Thursday, November 18, 2021

Monday, September 6, 2021

Preparing For Battle in San Antonio.

Ohana West. San Antonio, TX.
Art from Ohana Academy West helping a teammate prepare at Grappling Industries. San Antonio, TX.

Making photographs at competitions is providing me with some of my favorite images of jiu jitsu. I am particularly finding a new passion for photographing warm-ups and moments in the venues that are outside of the competition itself. During my recent session at Grappling Industries in San Antonio, I took a break from the fights to photograph competitors warming up on the sidelines before their respective matches. These moments are proving to be very satisfying for me in that the fighters are usually flowing and moving slower or yielding some candid moments that are much more relaxed. Through these competitions, events, and through rolling I am finding a deeper love for the art itself as well as for capturing the various sides of it all through my glass.

In this set of images I happened to recognize fighters from two gyms, V.O.W. BJJ in Austin, TX and Ohana Academy West in San Antonio, TX. V.O.W. is a dope joint that I used to live nearby that I had attended once before leaving Austin while my school had been closed for maintenance. I picked up some great info on takedowns that afternoon and also put myself up against a bunch of strangers to see where I stood outside of my own classmates. Cross training is something I really love about jiu jitsu because of that very idea as well as the opportunities to meet new people I may not have otherwise met. V.O.W. BJJ cultivates a really welcoming community, especially towards women (including a women's only open mat). A visit for class or open mat at V.O.W. is highly suggested. Ohana Academy West is also a nice place to train if you find yourself in Far West San Antonio. Upon a family visit earlier this year I made it a point to stop by Ohana for an open mat session. While there were not many people training that day (and no other fighters in nogi), I still managed to pick up some new tools through rolls and the environment is pretty rad with plenty of open space.

Until the next set of images I would like to extend my thanks to all the competitors who have found their way in front of my lenses. You help me understand jiu jitsu more deeply and help me create some pleasing art for myself and others. I am always available for personal shoots or coverage, just hit me up through IG (@indigoso) and we can make it happen.

Stay Creative,

Flow rolls.

Drilling technique.

Each one teach one.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Alamo City welcomes battles from Grappling Industries.


Competitors at Grappling Industries. San Antonio, TX.V.O.W. BJJ competitor takes hold of her opponent at Grappling Industries. San Antonio, TX.

While I am in the process of moving yet again, I wanted to take some time to spend with family just outside of San Antonio. And while the layover is taking a bit longer than expected, luckily a competition opportunity popped up to photograph another Grappling Industries event nearby. I made the drive out to the San Antonio Factory of Champions for another afternoon of jiu jitsu. I have been off the mats myself due to injury, so this was a pleasant treat to be back in the gym environment surrounded by fellow practitioners. In an ironic twist upon arrival, I recognized the signage that I laid out and printed at a previous employer and my first full-time design job. It's always cool seeing your work in the wild, this one was particularly cool given that it had been about ten years since we made these signs and they're still hanging strong.

On top of that cool twist, I was stoked af to see the inside--NO WOOD PANELED WALLS! They were all a neutral grey with great lighting throughout. Every GI event I have attended has been in gyms that have wood paneling everywhere making all the photos extremely yellow and warm. Yuck. The mats at FOC were mostly white with orange trim which was another blessing given that over half the competitors usually wear black and all the GI events I have attended previously were on black mats making photographs extremely difficult. It was like a smile from the gods.

I spent a few hours photographing the remaining gi matches and then the nogi matches that followed. I was pumped to see so many competitors really going for it and giving their all on the mats. I was extremely excited to see how fierce the female competition was too. Every women's match I watched was entertaining and most ended in subs. I walked away with some great images and may have picked up some pointers watching the fights. That is something I really enjoy about photographing jiu jitsu--I get to learn while I work. I snapped some sideline photos as well that I will get up here by next week. Take a look at the remaining images below and I will see you on the mats real soon.

Stay Creative,

Fierce competition in all brackets.

Nancy Ramirez brought the heat to all her matches.

Mia Moi straight beasting the competition!

Another one locks onto my glass.

This fight was aggressive af.

How it started... it ended.

Pass and control.

Arm candy hits different.

Dude was pumped after the armbar snag.

Many arms were taken this afternoon.

Thursday, August 26, 2021



With love in our hearts, always.
With love. Austin, TX.

Stay Creative,

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Fierce Competition Arrives Again With Grappling Industries.

Grappling Industries 2021. Austin, TX.
Fighters take mat at a Grappling Industries competition. Austin, TX.

Just before leaving Austin I took the opportunity to photograph another Grappling Industries competition. This one was in town for once (they're usually in Cedar Park) and was a bit easier to get to. The bigger challenge was the venue size being much smaller than where they normally host these. Challenge number two was damn near every competitor was wearing black and fighting on black mats, making a lot of images kind of stale or unusable in my opinion. I managed to capture some great fights while navigating the smaller spaces and doing my best to adjust for colors. All in all it was a pretty good afternoon of catching fights, albeit a shorter day than usual. From the white belts to the higher ranks, fighters came to take gold and put on some fierce competition. Looking forward to my next competition which will likely be in another city. Oss!

Stay Creative,

Rolling through the grips.

Lift off!

Top control.


These ladies put on a good match.

Texas 2-Step.

Tight grips.



Plenty of sub attempts here.