Nike Free 5.0 TR Jon “Bones” Jones Edition


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Nike has released a special edition of its Free 5.0 TR for current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones, who just signed with the sports brand last summer. Designed to give the wearer greater freedom of movement thanks to its ultra flexible build, it was only natural that these two parties would find a match with the Free 5.0 TR. The shoes feature a predominantly tonal black upper marked by an interwoven pattern and contrasting Gym Red accents on the outsole, and “Bones” and “Jones” printed on the tongues. A subtle but integral element is the pink that lines the edges of the woven bands, allowing them to pop out from the body of the shoe. Priced at $105 USD, the shoes and an accompanying T-shirt can be found at select Nike outlets as well on Nike.com .

Despite the great design, I don’t see how this is considered as “functional”. Are going to see more martial arts (or mixed martial artists) with sneaker launches. Are there going to be used inside of the pentagon? Afterall, the sneaker is made for Jon Jones and he is a fighter! I love the fact Nike has taken the step to curate sleek footwear, which I would hope they would be able to design apparel for other sport martial arts styles (i.e. sport karate, Tae Kwon Do,  wrestling, etc.).

Iron Will

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fashion’s substitution vs. imitation


0722422250_1_1_2There is a fine line between substitution from imitation. Often times it tends to become overkill. Fashion is not only for the rich and glamorous! Despite the fact most trends are created from high fashion label, high street fashion brands (not labels, difference) would imitate the look for less. Take these shirts from the spanish brand, Zara, for example. They practically got the some of the most popular fashion t-shirts with a fraction of the retail price. It is completely obvious which shirt is being inspired from what designer. However, these popular garments are sold out within minutes! Every one can’t purchase those items. Therefore, a substitute rises from the surface. I must admit some of these “inspired” pieces will just as good as their predecessors.

 

Shooting in the Gym


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I haven’t trained here in a while. There is never a moment it does not feel like home stepping into the dojo. The martial artist (Jeremy) who owns the building is always adding new shit. Sick MMA is probably the second martial arts facility I go and train whenever I get the chance! If you want to work on tradition martial arts (i.e. Judo, Wing Chun) to Boxing or MMA, Sick MMA is the place to do in the kentuckiana area. Recently, I have decided to put in some extra work because a brotha needs to lose some weight and get right for this local tournament. Timing is everything to me. It doesn’t matter how fast or hard I perform a technique; on the other hand, its useless to give the satisfaction of stepping into the ring.

gym gym2Besides cardio, one of my main issues was drilling. Drilling is probably more important than sparring because you are actually working out the kinks. It gives you the chance to focus on timing and reflexes. Personally, I love drilling better than sparring because there is always a new discovery about myself. Its time to put on the sauna suit and pack a sweat!

“Iron Will”

 

 

 

 

Brooks Brothers “The Great Gatsby” Lookbook


 

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I remember my junior year of high school reading “The Great Gatsby” actually made me think about the finer things in life. The lavish parties, beautiful women, and clothes. There was a mystique about Gatsby I could relate to. What’s relatable about menswear are the classic essentials. Brooks Brothers, the father of Americana Fashion, designed a collection for the new film adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” . You are never get wrong with classics. There is something about the sophistication of the garments that was truly . To be honest, I would have love to see Michael Bastian designed for the film. However, they wanted to start true to the aesthetic F. Scott Fitzgerald desired (agree to disagree). Nevertheless, it’s still a good collection..

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Mas Oyama


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I would be so curious what type of conversation Mas Oyama and Bruce Lee would have about the martial arts.. For those who are not aware, but Mas Oyama was not Japanese; he was Korean. During his life in the martial arts, the Japanese did not give Oyama a straight-narrow road. He was not going to be denied. Through his vigorous training, he was overcame the top martial arts masters in Japan by studying from the philosophies of Miyamoto Musashi.

In 1953 Oyama opened his own karate dojo, named Oyama Dojo, in Tokyo but continued to travel around Japan and the world giving martial arts demonstrations, including the fighting and killing of live bulls with his bare hands. His dojo was first located outside in an empty lot but eventually moved into a ballet school in 1956. Oyama’s own curriculum soon developed a reputation as a tough, intense, hard-hitting but practical style which was finally named Kyokushin, which means ‘the search for the ultimate truth,’ in a ceremony 1957. He also developed a reputation for being ‘rough’ with his students, often injuring them during training sessions. As the reputation of the dojo grew students were attracted to come to train there from inside and outside Japan and the number of students grew. Oyama, believing that no other style was comparable to his, accepted the challenge and sent three students (Kenji Kurosaki, Tadashi Nakamura, Noboru Ōsawa) to Thailand who won 2 of the 3 fights, thus redeeming the reputation of his karate style.

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He was also known for fighting bulls bare-handed. In his lifetime, he battled 52 bulls, three of which were purportedly killed instantly with one strike, earning him the nickname of “Godhand”. Many martial artists believe that the bulls he beat were at a disadvantage, because they were tamed and tied with nose rings and rope when Mas Oyama fought them (haters).

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Drunkin’ Master


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Old Skool Kung Fu films.. They don’t make them like they use to! I must admit the dubbing was quite cheesy and the sound effects were a tad bit late. However, those elements is what made it great! It was the epitome of an imperfectly perfect product. I love how they use to make reference of how prospective students would relentlessly ask a master to be their students. Their relentless behavior is not like what it is now. No one wants to be a student. They want the easy way out. A black belt or mastering a style is so much more! It’s a right of passage of one’s skill. How things have changed.. Gotta love nostalgia

Erik Paulson’s Combat Submission Wrestling


This is what I like to call getting down with nitty-gritty! Erik Paulson, One of Dan Insanto’s excellent students would be covering leg lock drills. The drills will cover from striking techniques to takedowns, submissions, etc. This is true Mix Martial arts right here people! I’ve been taking notes, so hopefully you guys will too! Osu!

When the Integrity of Art battles Fame…


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This morning, I got the chance to watch a bio-film about Jean Michel Basquiat. I was already intrigued about his work as artist due to his affiliation with pop artist, Andy Warhol. Being an artist requires integrity. How can we stay true to ourselves when we can’t stay true to our art/craft/aesthetic. Whatever we do as art (in my case, martial arts and fashion) should be treated like a sanctuary. A utopia where negativity becomes positive or creative energy, Lines aren’t always straight, and coloring outside the lines, etc.

Despite his efforts to remain true, he was inevitably exploited from his talents whereas it destroyed himself and the very few people who supported him when he had nothing. As I watched this, I question the battle between fame vs integrity. Is this price of fame we all strive for? Do we confuse success with fame?  People constantly dissecting our lives like a scientist performing a genetic experiment? Will my integrity be altered in such circumstances? Some of the most artistic and influential people are often the most loneliest. A high cloud where the layman would not begin to comprehend. The only language that speaks to them is the art, not the artist.

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The truth of the matter lies he wanted the drug of fame but unaware of what side effects it could deliver. For example, he was a heavy drug addict. A man’s escape from reality has manifested into a tragic exit. From a series of unprecedented short comings, I became angry of the inability to become a top martial artist competitor, having my fashion label, and styling work. I resented the phrase, “in due time”. However, I reflected from my shortcomings and appreciated it. Experience added fuel to push forward in life. Moderation is key!! Excessive dosage of anything can plunge the individual. This is what I have learned from Basquiat. Seeing how people can treat you and how you treat others (Whether you in the elite or an underdog) is essential. No matter what we experience, must maintain that integrity. I will use his life as a lesson of awareness (minues the drugs; I am drug free). I hope my years of martial arts experience helps reinforces that.

“Iron Will”

Lightweight sketching


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I am so determined to leave from 9 to 5 world.. I do not have anything against it, but ya boy has dreams and aspirations to fulfill. Every since I was a child, small goals were nonexistent in my artistic mind. During my free time at work, I manage some time to sketch some designs for my upcoming label, Xiaolin Lotus. It’ll be starting off with t-shirts with intentions of a full fashion label.

Preparation is key. With that being said, I would like to prepare myself once the time comes to expand. This project is approximately 2 years in the making.  Louisville is not your ideal place for extreme creativity. However, who ever said creativity has a geographic location. I make it do what it do baby.. It doesn’t matter if you live in New York City, small metro city in Kentucky or a rural area in Montana, creativity is within you! Xiaolin Lotus coming soon…

“Iron Will”

Simply Gorgeous


In my opinion, this is probably one of the best fighting scenes during the late 90s. Jackie Chan is widely known for his spectacular and unique martial arts choreography throughout his career. Through the influences of the late comedic actor Buster Keaton and Chinese Opera combat and acrobatics, Jackie has created something martial artists and non-martial artist would enjoy filled humor and finesse! Majority of his main scenes provide a particular message. In this scene from the romantic film, Gorgeous, Jackie was an out of shape business defeated from an outdoor boxing match from the opponent (Bradley James Allen) shown in the video. Due to his defeat, he seek to train more frequently (not for competition, but for himself). His dedication for training showed us how much we need to always sharpen our skills so we can ready at all times.

The opponent offers him a rematch which he accepts. The choreography displayed beautiful striking and aerial kicking while complimented the individual fighting styles. Eventually, Jackie recognized he must alter his fighting style to overcome his opponent. Naturally, the alternate style was more fluid and “bespoken” to him. Sometimes, it takes a few hits for us to wake up and change our current position to outweigh those particular outcomes.  I love the contrast on the stylish minimal black and white ensembles as it reflect the yin-yang concept throughout the match! This is one of my favorite fighting scenes ever!

Straight Flexin: Maison Martin Margiela Sneakers


margielaI copped my first maison martin margiela line 22 sneakers last year. The feeling as they touch your feet is like resting your feet in a luxury car surrounded by pure leather. These retro classic sneakers inspired from the 1970s original model with suede and lambskin leather and gum bottom sole. It was like love at first sight. Recently, I bought a couple more pair of the sneakers. Feels like you are wearing Salvatore Ferragamo loafers. 🙂