A few months ago, we received a package. Upon opening the smartly packaged box at my academy among the ranks of the grappling brethren, the Combat X Trainer, or CXT, was revealed to us. After following the instructions and inflating the CXT, the usefulness of the trainer became pretty obvious to me. Others needed some convincing.
Yes, the CXT is weird looking. It gives the most non-creative grappler an excellent opportunity to be mildly humorous and get some cheap laughs. Bondage and/or S&M jokes are go-to topics; the low-hanging-fruit of CXT bullying. For the slightly more clever grappler, a well-timed "Get the Gimp"comment a la "Pulp Fiction" will get a few chuckles. If you want to get really creepy, there's all kinds of pantomime-type humping-based physical comedy at your disposal. If that's you, then go for it. But, at the end of all, it ain't that funny, and the real creativity and innovation is in the design and concept of this black rubber bad boy.
We asked the creator of the CXT, Jason Gulati, a few pointed questions about his invention. Read his responses below, and be sure to watch the accompanying video to get a a better understanding of the trainer and it's benefits.
1. How did you get your start in BJJ?
I stumbled across a highlight reel of Kazushi Sakuraba and immediately knew that grappling is something I wanted to do. Have been doing BJJ since 2007 and am currently a brown belt under Bruno Panno (Gracie Humaita).2. How did you get the idea of the Combat X Trainer?
Saw the video of Galvao and Leo Vieira jumping around on a swiss ball and tried them when I got to the gym that night. I thought it would be cool if there were some points of reference for the limbs and head, so I chopped up a foam roller, deflated a basketball and made a quick prototype with some duct tape. I made it as a personal training tool, but everyone I showed it to liked the concept so I ran with it.3. When did you begin developing it, and what was the process for arriving at the final product?
We started two years ago. There has been lots of travel to source out the best manufacturer, prototyping to find the optimal dimensions, late nights working on the CXT system and talking to as many people as we could to get feedback.4. How did you determine the shape and size?
I run a Strength and Conditioning gym which follows the philosophy of ‘Athletics, Not Aesthetics’. I sort of brought that ideology along with me, and although it looks like a fat dwarf, the final product offers the most versatility which is what we were after.5. What are the intended goals of the product?
The most obvious benefit is it allows you to drill without a partner. Boxing has heavy bags, BJJ never really had an equivalent. Grappling dummies are out there, but they are centered around practicing submissions. The CXT is unstable. It teaches you how to distribute your weight and helps you refine basic ground movements. We also created a system which shows you how to progress through different techniques/concepts.6. What are the benefits of the CXT for beginners?
We created some drills in the first phase of our system which helps the user learn how to distribute their weight effectively, and also begin to refine their ground movements. We used the CXT for someone who was a bit intimidated to start BJJ because of his weight, and after 3 weeks he ended up moving better than the other members who started on the same day.7. How about for mid-level and advanced level grapplers?
When I roll, I always like to think a few moves ahead. We introduced that concept in our system which is called ‘Chain Attacks’ – you begin to link different positions, and perform them in a sequence. This, in my opinion is what yields the biggest benefits – being able to adjust on the fly and have an answer to any problems your opponent creates. If you have good movement, it also can serve as a pretty good conditioning tool.8. What has the reception been like so far?
So far we have had great feedback. We have sent units out all over the world, and they have fallen into the hands of some of the best BJJ athletes including Michelle Nicolini, Clark Gracie, Robert Drysdale, Andre Galvao and the Mendes Bros. Someone from our team contacts the user after they have purchased the CXT, and we are there anytime they need help. We want to turn our customers into weapons on the mat, so we are happy to take time out of our day to walk them through certain techniques if they are having any difficulties. All our customers seem happy, and we want to make sure it stays that way.9. Tell us about where grapplers can find it and how much it will cost.
You can find it on our site: www.combatxtrainer.com or on Budo Videos (www.budovideos.com). The cost is $179USD which includes free shipping in North America. We stand-by our product, and have a 60-Day Money Back Guarantee.10. Any other thoughts? Plans for the future?
We are actually planning a trip to the West Coast in March. If you think guys at your gym would be interested, e-mail me at Jason@combatxtrainer.com and we will happily run a small workshop.
We want to have a kids program, and want a Kimono to make it more specific when competing in the Gi. There are a few other ideas in the pipeline, but those are the main things we are working on right now.
Thanks for having us on your site, love reading your stuff!