Finger tape for grappling – review (e.g., BJJ, Judo, Wrestling)

Finger tape are basically sports/athletic tapes designed to save people the trouble of separating a normal roll of sports tape into different width.

One important thing to consider is rather the adhesiveness of the tape could withstand training sessions and competitions. Another reason many people considered designated finger tape is that they are tired of their tape coming off during a 1-2 hours session. So all finger tapes try to sell these two ‘convenience’ to us when we are purchasing finger tape.
1. Width of tape is suitable for taping fingers (0.2-0.3 inches).
2. Sticky enough to withstand a training session or competition

Four brands of finger tape

Collection of finger tape. Top: Tape & Roll, Tape Armor; Grip Roll
Bottom: Monkey Tape

Sports tape tear at different width

Sports tape tear at different width

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BJJ Rash Guards: How are they different?

Some common things we want to know about purchasing rash guards for BJJ:

  1. Qualities and features to look out for when purchasing a rash guard for BJJ.
  2. Are there differences (if any) between BJJ rash guards and rash guards made for other activities?
  3. What are cheaper alternatives to those $50 colorful rash guards with inverted pandas and flying dragons?

But first, why wear a rash guard instead of good old t-shirts or going old school topless (for males)?

  • Unlike a normal t-shirt, which will absorb the sweat and feels like a wet towel after the first roll, rash guards are made of materials that will wicks moisture (sweat) away from you.
  • The same material also helps block moisture (partner’s sweat) getting on to you.
  • Maybe you don’t sweat a lot and don’t mind people’s sweat on you, but still, do it for your partner, it is a bit less crappy to be stuck under an armpit/belly of someone wearing a rash guard than one that doesn’t 😀
BJJ rash guards

Komainu rash guard $49 (left), Baleaf ‘compression base layer shirt’ $12 (right).

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Ruck Plates Comparison: Goruck, SHplates, and DIYing

Ruck plates for Goruck or rucking, what are the options?

After using bricks, sand or whatever cheaper options for our ruck weights, maybe we finally want to invest in a more compact option: ruck plates. In short, these are the most common options:

  1. Buy ruck plates from companies (e.g., Goruck, SHplates, Sprouse Metal Craft).
  2. Buy/obtain a piece of steel that fits in a ruck (e.g., OnlineMetal.com).
Ruck plates comparison between SHplates, online-metal plate, and Goruck

Ruck plates comparison: SHplates, online-metal plate, and Goruck (10lb, 11lb, 20lb and 20lb).

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Goruck Bullet Ruck (10L) vs. Goruck GR0 (GR1 21L) for EDC

Goruck probably needs no introduction to the awesome packs they make. However, they make packs of difference sizes, which one is best for me as an average built, 5’5 female? My first go-to was the Goruck GR0 (now the GR1 21L), which was recommended for those under 6 feet. It was my daily EDC pack for about half a year. I didn’t plan on switching to a new pack anytime soon. When ‘Christmas-in-July” sale happened at Goruck, I bought the Goruck Bullet Ruck (10L) as my weekend pack. After using the GR0 for half a year, and recently switching to the Bullet, I think I’ve found my perfect EDC pack 😀

Goruck GR0 and Goruck Bullet side by side

Goruck GR0 and Goruck Bullet side by side

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Female groin cup for combative sports

Where can one find a good female groin cup?

A lot of female combative sports practitioners opt to go without groin protection due to (1) lack of good product availability (i.e., groin cups that don’t fit the female body well), (2) sense of security (i.e., don’t have organ hanging between our legs), and (3) maybe they just haven’t gotten seriously attacked around that area…yet. In my quest to find a good female groin cup for myself, I tried four different groin protection, two made for females, two made for males. Two that fits inside a compression short, and two that is self-sustainable (same brand).

Groin protections

Top row (made for male) left to right: RDX gel groin cup, Lo-Bloo Thai Cup 2.0. Bottom row (made for female) left to right: Shock Doctor Pelvic Protector, Lo-Bloo Aero Slim Female..

I think the Lo-Bloo Thai Cup 2.0 is my go-to if I’m sparring, and I am keeping the Lo-Bloo Aero Slim Female for Krav Maga everyday training. Both of them (1) provide good protection, (2) stay in place, and (3) don’t impede my movements. I’ll give an overview for each of these groin protector, and the reason I opt for the Lo-Bloo despite the slightly higher price tag (although if you include the cost of a compression short for the other two, the prices are actually similar).  Read More …

G-Code INCOG vs. INCOG Eclipse (makeshift version – Super mojo riser on original INCOG)

This is actually a comparison of the original INCOG holster vs. a makeshift version of the INCOG Eclipse (using the Super MOJO riser on the original INCOG holster).

I’d like to still have the choice to add the magazine caddy, so I ended up not purchasing the new INCOG Eclispe holster (cannot attach mag caddy), but instead, I got myself a Super Mojo riser to put on the original INCOG, thereby trying out the clip position of the INCOG Eclipse. It is essentially an Eclipse, plus a little material (next to the front sight).

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The Super Mojo riser on the original INCOG holster. Its basically the Eclipse with extra material next to where the front sight would be.

The main difference between the INCOG and the INCOG Eclipse is the position of the clip.

  • The original INCOG holster was designed to have two clips to the side, even though many people prefer to only use one clip.
  • The INCOG Eclipse holster was designed to use one clip at the center of the holster, along the slide.
(left) Super Mojo riser on original Incog. (right) Original Mojo riser on Incog.

(left) Super Mojo riser on original INCOG. (right) Original Mojo riser on INCOG.

After trying it out, I still prefer the original INCOG, and below I’ll detail why I prefer the original, but other people may prefer the Eclipse due to their position of carry and body type.

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[Review] Orbitkey alternative – Thrux Lawrence Horween Leather Foldover Fob

Finding an alternative to the Orbitkey

I have been a fan and a backer of Orbitkey since its Kickstarter campaign in 2013. And while I loved the concept of key-carrier that is not noisy (i.e., leather wrap-around), low profile (i.e., small size compare to traditional leather key pouches), and quick access, it has become apparent to me that the leather used by Orbitkey cannot withstand the wear and tear I put my key-carrier through on a day-to-day basis (with keys being part of my EDC).

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Thrux Lawrence Horween Foldover Fob (left) and Orbitkey in tan leather with stitching (right).

Comes the Thrux Lawrence Horween Leather Foldover Fob, a very similar key carrier made with a much more substantial leather (quality of Horween leather is no joke). The pros and cons between the two is that Orbitkey definitely has a more complex design, but there is no way it will beat the Thrux Lawrence in terms of leather quality. Time will tell if the Fob is the answer to my ideal key carrier. (The runner-up candidate is the TPU-version of the Orbitkey, which will negate the issue with their leather quality).

* If I already have all the tools to work with leather, I would’ve probably just made my own following this video tutorial.

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[Early-Review] Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag by Bomber & Company

Out of the half a dozen of projects that I have backed on Kickstarter/Indiegogo (e.g., Orbitkey, MVMT watch), the Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag is probably the one I was most excited about. it is a small/medium size duffel bag that is water-resistant, lightweight, and good looking 😀

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Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag

My main purpose for the duffel was travel. I have always been a light traveler, so one medium size laptop backpack is all I need for a week-long trip. However, I got tired of having to empty out my backpack in the hotel room in order to use the backpack throughout the trip (KEY: washing and hanging in the hotel room is critical to keeping my load as light as possible). Also, I can always stuff this into my backpack in case I ended up needing more space on my return-trip (you never know if you see a good deal you can’t pass up while traveling :p).

I set out to look for a light weight duffel that can (1) store all my clothing and leave my backpack more ready-to-go once I get to my destination, and also (2) be used for outdoor activities (e.g., beach, picnic, canoeing), where my I’d rather not use my everyday backpack (usually carrying my laptop).

The Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag fits these two descriptions, so I backed the campaign. The bag arrived last month, and so far, I’m quite happy with it. In addition to the two uses I planned to use it for, it also serves as my light gym bag (when I don’t need all my sparring gears).

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[Review] Datsusara Gear Bag Core (GBC-03)

The ultimate gym bag = Datsusara Gear Bag Core

The Datsusara Gear Bag Core (GBC-03) (the updated version of the original Light Gear Bag) is my my gear bag for sparring and Krav Maga. The bag is made of hemp, an antimicrobial fiber from high-growing varieties of the cannabis plant, which makes it ideal for transporting & temporarily storing sport gears that are soaked in sweat.dsc08262

The Datsusara Gear Bag Core.

Overall, this bag is very sturdy, lots of storage space, has tons of compartments for organization, and won’t stink because of its antimicrobial nature.

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