How Jiu-Jitsu Helped Rener Gracie Create the Perfect Hoodie
“I’ve been in the industry for 25 years…THIS is the one we’ve been waiting for.” That’s what a promotional products veteran told Rener Gracie one day, after witnessing his extremely high-energy and engaging presentation of the Quikflip hoodie. The spectacle was one that had huge crowds circling around Gracie, as he magically transformed his hooded sweatshirt into a drawstring bag – within seconds.
Not only was it something the crowd had never seen before, but the prospect of being able to offer customers an opportunity to get double the impressions, by showing off their logo on both the back of a drawstring bag and the surface of a trendy sweatshirt – all in the same product – had every passersby salivating.
Talking about the Quikflip as being just another innovative piece of apparel, though, is really selling it short. It’s also a symbol of what can come from the discipline, inspiration and teachings of the martial arts.
“Someone who commits a life to jiu-jitsu…what they’re committing themselves to is a life of everyday problem solving”. – Rener Gracie, Founder & CEO of Quikflip and Gracie University
When people typically think of Jiu-Jitsu, they think of the hard-hitting, intense action they see on-screen during televised UFC events. But, the ever-increasingly popular sport is about so much more than what you see on TV. Unless you practice jiu-jitsu, you might not think about all of the off-screen intangibles that also stem from it. Two of the biggest traits that come from practicing the marital art are both the ability to problem-solveand think on-the-fly.
As the son of Rorion Gracie, who’s well-known for bringing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu into the U.S., and the grandson of Hélio Gracie, who helped develop the popular marital art, Rener Gracie had those traits already built into his DNA.
Rorion Gracie on how he helped develop the UFC we know today
On December 27th 2016, after the sun suddenly came out of the clouds and brought the heat, Rener Gracie had a big problem figuring out where to put his hoodie. Because he was with his son, he opted for the cool look of throwing it over his shoulder, but it kept slipping off. The bottom line is, there’s just no comfortable way to carry a sweatshirt, when it gets too hot to wear one. It’s just too bulky.
Most people would frown, complain, and admit defeat, but Gracie saw a problem and knew there had to be a way to solve it.
“I went home that day so frustrated, that I wouldn’t accept no for an answer ( to this problem )…went into the office, locked myself in there for 30 minutes…and came out with a prototype that day,” says Gracie. For decades, the fashion industry never really attempted to solve this problem in a way that was practical and could serve a purpose. How could all these big companies have missed the boat on this?
Gracie remembers someone once telling him, “oftentimes, innovation will happen from someone who’s outside the industry,” and Quikflip is proof of that. He just wanted to be comfortable on a day out with his son, and with no real experience in the fashion industry or passion for sweatshirts, Gracie ended up creating a game-changing piece of apparel technology. It also shows that with the right amount of determination, passion and open-mindedness, any problem could be turned into something special.
One could argue that without his passion for jiu-jitsu, Quikflip would never have been born. Thankfully though, it was, because it’s helping people to finally free themselves from the chains that ordinary sweatshirts kept them in all of their lives, and that makes us extremely excited to be the exclusive wholesale supplier of Quikflip Apparel.