Plays 5 Questions with Luciana Machado Simon

I was very fortunate to ask MKimonos founder Luciana Machado Simon 5 questions about her iconic BJJ brand, here’s what she had to say…

BJJKR: If you had to choose three words to define your brand what would they be?

LMS: Traditional, respected, legendary.

BJJKR: What is your philosophy in terms of materials?

LMS: Always traditional! Jiu-jitsu is an old martial art, so we should not keep inventing new materials every other week! That disrespects the sport and even the athlete. Jiu-jitsu gi’s are supposed to be worn only to train or compete and not to be comfortable or easy on the athlete. Even worse than that, not to be fashionable, interesting or funny. The weaves (material) must be extremely strong and durable; also thick to avoid the grabbing from the opponent - always. It should follow the great masters that brought the sport to Brazil and then all the countries in the world.

BJJKR: How important is feedback from the BJJ community in the design process?

LMS: I always listen to them all and many of them have given me good ideas, but, since I deal with jiu-jitsu and gi’s since I was 6 years old, I know what is right and what is absolutely unacceptable for the sport. So, I tend to follow my instincts, even if I have to sell less, because at least I know I am doing the right thing and not disrespecting the sport and the old generation of athletes. Like I said, jiu-jitsu gi’s are not supposed to be a fashion statement; they are uniforms to train and/or compete and that’s all. The minimum in details put on them make them look better and more professional for sure.

BJJKR: Who is your all time BJJ hero and why?

LMS: Well, I love so many BJJ guys in my life and many of them are my friends. I would hate to hurt someone’s feelings. I am not saying that my all time BJJ hero is the best fighter on earth, but because I have watched him teach my brother since an early age, privately, and play with Marcelo and me [BJJKR: Luciana's brother, currently a 5th degree BB, Marcelo Machado], and tell us jokes while he was training, etc, I have to choose Royler Gracie. My brother’s jiu-jitsu is identical to Royler’s; that’s another reason why he is my number one BJJ hero. All that my brother knows nowadays that makes people stay in complete “awe” was learned from Royler. And Royler has always treated me with a lot of love and respect, just like a “brother”, which I appreciate a lot! He’s also a very funny guy, for those who know him well.

BJJKR: What’s your “go-to” submission?

LMS: I would love to go for a Mata-leao (rear naked choke). I am still very good at it! I was also excellent and very fast in the americana.

Thanks Luciana!