Written by: Conor Hogan
Here at TheCageDoor.net, we pride ourselves on spreading the word about the Houston AND Texas MMA and BJJ community. This includes the people and companies who have consistently supported our community during its rapid growth. One such company, Break Point, has been a major supporter of the Texas BJJ community for a long time now. From supporting local tournaments, to even releasing a special edition gi to help with the gulf coast devastation after the major 2010 oil spill; Break Point has shown a lot of support for Texas. I talked to Break Point’s Sam Aschidamini about the company, and the ideas behind it.
BP: We started forming the idea for Break Point in 2007. We knew we wanted to create a company that would make innovative new fightwear products. We especially felt we could make a better Jiu Jitsu gi. At the time, we weren’t impressed by any particular gi on the market and we felt we had a lot we could improve.
The first thing we did was to try and create a name. One of the names we considered and registered was ‘Ring Worm Fight Wear.’ We thought the connotation of ‘Ring Worm’ might end up being like ‘Mat Rat,’ taking two nasty things and using them to describe a dedicated fighter. But everyone we asked felt like the name was gross so we came up with a name that didn’t give people the creeps. I think we did a good job of that, Break Point sticks and it doesn’t totally gross anyone out.
We needed more than a name to make Break Point stand out, though. We needed a gi that was flashy and different from anything on the market, but more than that, it needed to be a quality product. A flashy design will get people to buy your gi once but a good cut will get people to buy it again and again. We spent a lot of time developing the cut of our gi and years continuing to refine it. Developing the gi took from 2007 all the way to our first big batch in 2009. We began by consulting instructors at local academies. Four black belts helped us come up with the designs for our prototypes. With the prototypes we could see what worked and what didn’t and begin to make key adjustments. We hit on subtle things like sleeve width and snugness in the chest and shoulders, but also major things like skirt length and collar thickness. Spending those two years developing the cut of our gi was worth it and I think it’s a major reason Break Point has been such a fast success.
The company began in a small house in Torrance that one of our employees had an extra room in. We filled it with gis and continued to sell out our batches so we were able to move into a showroom in Torrance and now we have moved into a larger warehouse showroom. The company began as a part time job for a couple people, but now it’s grown into a full time gig for the group of us and we are carried on major websites all around the US and we have distributors around the world.
TCD: How many of you at BP train jiu jitsu?
BP: We all train. Most of our employees are white and blue belts, but we have three black belts and a purple belt here as well.
BP: The goal of Break Point was to create a product that would stand out and hold up to consumer critique. We believe we’ve done that with our trademark product, the Deluxe gi. We were the first company to sell a gi with two pairs of pants as well as the first company to produce the pants made with heavy woven gi top material. We think we succeeded in getting people’s attention as well as satisfying them with the quality of our product.
TCD: How do you feel about being part of rapidly growing marketplace?
BP: The competition and feedback has always been interesting. We love being part of the Jiu Jitsu community. The rate that it’s been growing in the US has been astounding. People really care about the sport; they put a lot of thought into what they want in a gi and the community talks openly about what gis they do and don’t like. So if your company is good, it’s easy to float, but if there are flaws, it’s just as easy for your company to sink.
TCD: How do you intend on standing out from the crowded market?
BP: Break Point has always managed to stand out. We think that’s been one of our strongest assets. In just over 2 years we’ve become one of the top 10 Jiu Jitsu companies in the US and we’re still growing. We constantly come out with products to innovate the market like the Break Point ЯVRSL Black & Blue Gi.
TCD: Your limited edition gis have a been a huge hit with the BJJ community. What was your inspiration behind those? Do you have any plans for the next one?
BP: At the end of last year we came out with the Oilspill Gi with a “Protect your Environment” theme. This was a reaction to the British Petroleum disaster in the gulf. We wanted to use our power as a company to make a difference, so we donated proceeds from the sale of this gi to a charity that focused on cleaning up the disaster. The response to the Oilspill Gi was very positive, so we went on to make our Acai Gi. The Acai berry comes from the Amazon in Brazil and is an important part of Brazilian culture and Jiu Jitsu culture in the US. The gi has done very well and we are almost sold out.
TCD: Is there anyone that you’d like to thank?
BP: We would like to thank all the Break Point fans out there for making Break Point the company it is today. We work around the clock to improve our product each and every day.
WIN A BREAK POINT ACAI GI
You know what’s even better than reading about the amazing companies that support Texas MMA/BJJ? Getting free stuff from those companies!
Break Point was awesome enough to give us a limited edition Acai Gi to give away to one of our lucky readers! I could be a dick, and make it a super complicated contest. However, I’m a fan of working hard in the gym, and being lazy just about everywhere else. I’m going to make it incredibly easy for you to have a chance to get your hands on this awesome gi.
All you have to do is like Break Point’s Facebook page and our Facebook page, and sit tight for a few days. On September 3rd, both Facebook pages will feature a different password that you’ll need to come back and post on the comments to this feature. We’ll do a random drawing from the people manage to get both passwords right. It might sound a bit complicated, but I promise that we’ll make it generally painless.