BJJ Interview: Submission Fight Co Founder Mr Shakib Nassiri

Shakib Nassiri (2nd from left) with the team helping prepare
 Eddie Bravo for Metamoris III at
Jean Jacques Machado's Tarzana BJJ HQ
Recently, I published the review of the Sensation (previously Hemp Sensation) gi by Submission Fight Co. If you missed the review, you can find it here. That review has proven very popular so here's a Part Time Grappler Interview with the owner of the brand Mr Shakib Nassiri where he discusses some of the controversy around the gi, but also gives some great advice to all us other part time grapplers on how to balance life, training and everything else.

- Hello. Why don’t we start by you telling us a little about yourself?

My name is Shakib Nassiri and I am a bjj purple belt under Jean Jacques Machado. I am also the president of Submission Fight Co.


- Are you currently working? Is that Full time / Part time?

Yes, I am currently working full time at Submission Fight Co. with 1 part time employee, Chase Gould.


- You also set aside time to practice a sport. Which sport(s)?

I was on lots of sport teams as a kid but when I took up Jiu Jitsu a few years ago, it took over my life and have only been training BJJ ever since.


- Have you competed much?

I have competed a few times as a white and blue belt, but haven't got the chance to compete yet at purple. Dream Jiu Jitsu is actually having a purple belt submission only tournament coming up soon that I really want to compete in, but I have some injuries so we'll see.


- How do you manage to fit your training around work, study and family time?

It's really hard actually, so I have put a priority on work for myself but I still train about 2 - 3 times per week. I've also taken up yoga recently and it's been helping me a lot with injuries and my Jiu Jitsu game.


- What is the greatest thrill you have gotten out of practicing your sport and working in the martial arts industry?

Every day is a thrill for me, weather I'm working in the Jiu Jitsu industry or training BJJ, I love every day and every second of it.


- Give us your top 5 tips for time-management (to fit exercise around life)

- Schedule your daily activities

- Schedule your daily meals

- Get your work out done early in the day

- Sleep early

- Wake up early


Submission FightCo representing with Eddie Bravo

- Do you feel that there is a difference in style of gi from brand to brand? What are those differences? After all, jiu jitsu is jiu jitsu!

Besides the brands themselves and their marketing, yes there can be a lot of differences between bjj gis from the cut, fit, design, material, weight, weave, etc.


- Tell us how you started in the MA business?

I had just started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and loved it when a friend of mine gave me the idea to start a bjj gi brand. I took a shot at it and now I’m here.


- Why do you choose to stay in it?

For the love of Jiu Jitsu. I can't imagine my life without Jiu Jitsu.


- When did you put together the idea for the hemp gi?

A few years ago.


- What were the inspirations behind it?

I wanted to be different than the rest so I asked my supplier if he can produce a hemp gi and he said yes. It took him about a year for him to send me a sample, and as soon as I felt the gi for the first time, I knew there was something special about this bjj gi. But that story doesn’t end well.


-Tell us what has happened over the past few months with your Sensation gi?

It’s been a long story that’s been covered extensively, but basically people questioned the legitimacy of the fabric used in our Sensation gi. We could have handled it better, but we ordered lab tests to be done and in fact there was no hemp in a product that essentially built our brand. You can read the details in our blog post. It’s been a struggle, but we’ve made it a priority to reach out to every customer to make things right and we’re getting a lot of support. I’m focused on the future now.


-If someone is in two minds about choosing your gi, what would you say to them?

Every person has their own reasons for why they choose a gi. Some are looking for style, others for fit, and some just need something basic to get work in. Obviously I’m going to speak highly of my gi, but I would tell them to try any gi out before you buy it. If it feels good, then it’s probably the gi for you.


- Finally, do you have any regrets?

Of course there are regrets. I should have done more research. I should have collaborated more with people who are familiar with the hemp gi industry rather than going about it on my own making the mistakes I’ve made. But now I am going to be on top of the details and educate myself on every aspect of the industry. I know it will make Submission Fight Co. have stronger organization, customer service and products for the future.

I'd like to thank Shakib for taking the time to answer my questions and for sending me the beautiful Sensation gi. If you missed the review, you can find it here.


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