I interviewed the top BJJ coach and fashion fella Miad Najafi recently about his new brand of fashion fight wear. Let me tell from personal experience the cut and quality of the fabric is awesome- I now own two of the amazing designs and will shortly be purchasing the third! Check out the designs and what Miad has to say
1- Can you tell us a bit about your background in mma and bjj
I have been involved in martial arts for over 20 years now, originally starting out in Karate as many do, I soon got introduced to Jeet Kune Do (JKD) under Guro Bob Breen. The JKD philosophy was simply to “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” and it always emphasised grappling as an important component of combat. The training was really open minded with regard to what really works, so when Royce Gracie dominated the first 4 UFC events, grappling in general and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in particular soon became an essential component of any serious martial artists arsenal.
In the late 1990′s I competed as an Amateur Boxer and was fortunate enough to be selected to represent the London ABA squad against the Army squad, but I knew long term I wanted to become a more rounded martial artist, and was keen to work on the other facets of combative sports. At the time there weren’t any BJJ clubs in London, so I started to train some Freestyle Wrestling under Kevin Darkus, a World Silver Medalist who was teaching in West London. Soon after I trained under Roger Brooking who was a Black Belt under the Legendary “Jacare” Cavalcanti at Alliance London and have never looked back since.
Over the years I helped several MMA fighters prepare for their fights and now teach no-gi BJJ at ZT Fight Skool which is run by Sol Gilbert and I also run an Alliance affiliate BJJ school in Brighton www.alliancebjjbrighton.com.
More importantly, I am a huge fan of not only MMA but also BJJ and Boxing, I really respect the dedication and commitment needed to compete at the highest level and am loving seeing MMA and BJJ evolve and develop so rapidly.
2- Your new brand iMMACULATE is very different from the other MMA brands can you tell us a bit about it’s roots and inspiration
I have always had a keen eye for clothing, particularly mens casual wear, so iMMACULATE as a concept was conceived mainly because I didn’t feel there was an brand out there that represented the combat sports practitioner as a true athlete, fighter, martial artist and competitor. I felt the repetitive designs and often arrogant messages help perpetuate the more negative MMA stereotypes out there and didn’t capture the true character of the fighter and felt most of the MMA linked labels simply pushed a bad-boy/thug image. As I had been lucky enough to train with some amazing fighters from my Boxing, BJJ and MMA days I wanted to relay a more positive message of what it really takes to compete in combat sports at a high level.
As a child and teenager, I was heavily influenced by the terrace fashions of the 80s, from Fila, and Tacchini in the early 80′s to Stone Island and CP Company in the late 80′s, and wanted to to create a cooler, classier and more subtle way to represent combat sports without looking like a hells angel! So its vitally important that my garments are beautiful, anyone can come up with a logo and print it on a plain t shirt, but I wanted to get everything right and unique, from the cut of the garments, the feel and weight of the fabric, artwork and the colours used. I want the “thread” of iMMACULATE to run through all of the designs.
iMMACULATE garments have been well thought out at every stage of the process and I feel that people who see the products would agree.
3- How would you like to see your brand evolve over the coming years?
This is very early days for me and iMMACULATE, and I purposely have concentrated on quality rather than quantity for the initial collection. However, I am already looking at sweatshirts, hooded tops, rash guards and fight shorts for 2012! Long term I would like iMMACULATE to be the quality brand that represents the journey of the true combat sports athlete , and to consistently create on-trend, beautiful and original designs. Naturally, as a brand I intend to have a presence in the biggest MMA, BJJ and Boxing events and in the world and truly believe that this is very possible.
4- Where can our readers purchase the immaculate brand?
The easiest way to purchase an iMMACULATE garment is to visit the website at www.immaculateclothing.com.