Grappler, just this week a group of really smart people managed to fly an SUV from Earth to Mars. They used a supersonic parashute and rockets and radar and all their fancy brain powers to make it happen. It really makes creating and running a sweet and moderately humorous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/Submission Grappling website seem, kind of, insignificant. It's times like this when the wisdom of Helio kicks in. I believe he once said "Trust your doubt. Always fight for your beliefs. That is the path beyond thought." That's deep.
OK. That's actually Steven Seagal, but it makes a lot of sense here, so we're going with it. Onward and upward.
Behold Grappler's Interrogs Case No. 0005, as responded to by our friend and colleague in BJJ, Vince "Bear" Quitugua a/k/a the man behind Shoyoroll.
1. How did you get your start in BJJ?
I started BJJ like most people watching Royce Gracie tap everybody in the early UFC'S. When I moved to California from Guam in the end 1999, I was on my quest to find a jiu-jitsu gym and learn the art. I started at Gracie Torrance for a couple months and trained on and off at a few different places since then. I'm currently a brown belt and just like anybody who is in BJJ long term just trying to consistently learn and get better. THE NEVER ENDING QUEST OF LEARNING THE GENTLE ART! OSSS.
2. How did Shoyoroll get its start?
Shoyoroll started as an idea to start clothing brand to add our own flavor and ideas to apparel back in 1999. We got motivated back in 1999 and 2000 to get it going to sponsor a good friend and one of the sickest body boarders on island by the name of Brian "Ripper" Cruz who was a phenom body boarder from the islands. He was by far the most talented people in the water at a very young age and was a personal friend. So, that kinda got us going to produce goods and give some support a talented kid who also so happened to be a personal friend.
We basically took our interest at the time which was Surf, Grappling, and Skateboard influence and used it as the base of the brands direction in the early days. Just like any other kids who want to start a clothing brand, we did not know much and we were learning as we went along and also made zero to no money for a very long time. It was almost a hobby brand for the most part in the very beginning with just friends wearing our product and also some people in the grappling community.
Then we started to develop a kimono at the time that blended aspects of a gi and made our gi.
3. How has your experience in BJJ influenced your approach to Shoyoroll as a business?
In my opinion, it's probably using timing and being patient. In my opinion, those are two things you learn from jiu-jitsu that transfer over to any business.
4. Do you have any advice for someone who has a business idea in a niche market like yours?
Do a lot of research and make sure you are in it for the right reasons.
5. Favorite BJJ Fighter of All Time?
MMA BJJ FIGHTER: MURILO BUSTAMANTE
SPORT BJJ FIGHTER: Either Leozinho or Margarida
6. Closed Guard, Open Guard or Fancy Guard? Halfguard, if that counts.
7. Fauxhawk, Mohawk, Mullet or Fabio? Mullet's are pretty much the coolest things on earth. I wish I could pull it off. JOE DIRT IS THE MAN.
8. Fight/Board Shorts, Vale Tudo Shorts, or Spats (i.e., tights)? BOARDSHORTS W/ Tights. Japan style.
9. Triangle, RNC, Armbar or Other? If other than triangle, please explain. Triangle to win. I think you get a better overall feeling when landing triangles and finishing.
10. What Animal Best Defines You as a Grappler (e.g., I am like a snail. I am slow and get smashed a lot)? Note: Answering with Fictional Animals (e.g., Unicorns, Sasquatch) Not Permitted.
Possum. Like to play dead then boom :) Defense is offense.
11. Favorite Gracie? If other than Rickson, please explain.
I really dig Roger Gracie because he uses the simple things of jiu-jitsu and makes it work. It's awesome to watch.
[A Note from DSTRYR/SG: Much appreciation to Bear and Shoyoroll for participating and having some fun with us. Let's roll sometime!]