When In Manila and passing time people-watching, one could easily spot a kuya or manong wearing a rough imitation of a Tapout or Affliction shirt. For some reason, imitations of these rather costly MMA brands have become fashionable among the masses. Go to Shoppesville in Greenhills and you’d be amazed at how better-looking their Affliction, Silver Star, Bad Boy, and Form Athletics “Class A” imitations are compared to the originals! Such is the crux of MMA lifestyle brands that have and would try to enter the Philippine market: With imitations preemptively littered across the shopping districts, most people wouldn’t give time to discern whether you’re wearing a 3,000-plus original or a 600-peso “Class A”.
Looks familiar? You can find imitations of this Silver Star GSP shirt strewn across several bargain districts.
Truth is, since most serious MMA enthusiasts also train in the sport, they’d make a wiser investment in purchasing MMA performance apparel instead – the technology is nearly impossible to replicate, and they are intended for actual training and competition! There are a handful of technical clothing brands out there, but the first high-performance brand to be distributed here in the Philippines is Hayabusa fightwear. Hayabusa, along with Venum, is one of the most recognizable brands in the UFC, providing competition shorts for a slew of fighters including Thiago Alves, Rick Story, Melvin Guillard, and heavyweight title contender Alistair Overeem. Aside from fight shorts, Hayabusa also developed state-of-the-art rashguards, fight gloves, and (my personal favorite) triple-weave BJJ gi.
The entire back of Hayabusa’s Mizuchi rashguard is covered with a Japanese dragon tatoo-esque design. Yes, that’s actually training gear!
Hayabusa fight shorts are made with tear-resistant stretch fabric and reinforced stitching to handle the abuse of rigorous MMAtraining. Split side seams allow unrestricted motion for any strike, any explosive move you make. Compared to its competitors, Hayabusa fight shorts are more robust. Aside from optimum strength and durability, such design prevents the shorts from sticking to the thighs when sweat is introduced. For non-practitioners, Hayabusa boasts excellent Japanese-inspired designs that make their shorts as much of an eye candy outside as it is inside the gym!
Mizuchi fight shorts are available in black and white.
Hayabusa rashguards are designed for maximum durability, ensuring its contour fit over time. The fabric wicks away sweat and is antimicrobial, keeping your body dry and preventing skin infections from occurring. The rashguards have fiber-fused designs to resist fading even after repeated washing.
The Haburi rashguard boasts of the same specifications as the Mizuchi but come in a simpler, more elegant design.
Hayabusa Pro MMA gloves have a unique Y-shaped design to keep gloves tight to the palm whether your fists are clenched or your hands are open. The gloves are contoured so that your hands do not easily fatigue when striking (compared to other brands with straight, stiff pads). They incorporate a dual cross-directional strap system to provide optimum wrist support.
The Brave and the Bold: The Story Behind Hayabusa Philippines
Kyle and Malone: The Jobs and Wozniak of Hayabusa Philippines.
Knowing how big a brand Hayabusa is in the US and Canada, surprise is an understatement when I learned that the prime movers behind this enterprise are two graduating students from DLSU and UA&P. Kyle Litonjua, a Marketing Management student at DLSU, trains MMA and BJJ at DEFTAC Ortigas. A friend introduced him to Hayabusa, and he fell in love with the fight shorts. He talked his highschool friend Malone Juan into this venture, contacting Hayabusa USA and later Hayabusa Australia for the stocks; and after almost a year of haggling for fewer stocks in their initial order, the first shipment of Hayabusa fightwear reached Philippine shores.
Kyle Litonjua was interested to train and compete in MMA; then he fell in love with Hayabusa.
Driven by a passion for the sport and backed by a ton of cajones, this entrepreneurial duo broke barriers by bringing top-quality MMA gear to the Philippines. Having witnessed the frenzied crowds of fans welcoming UFC fighters who visit the country, a rapidly growing local MMA culture, and murmurs of a TUF Philippines, it’s very likely that other MMA brands will soon follow and distribute their products here. But Kyle and Malone hit the mark when they brought in Hayabusa fightwear rather than an MMA lifestyle brand. With just a few hundred bucks separating an easily imitable shirt and actual training gear, going for the latter seems to be a no-brainer.
Hayabusa Philippines is available in Toby’s Sports North Edsa The Block, Shangri-La Mall, and Alabang Town Center. Like them on facebook.com/hayabusa.ph.
Available in the ff Toby’s Sports Arena outlets:
G/F, Alabang Town Center Promenade, 836-8866
G/F, Shangri-La Plaza, 633-7014
3/F, SM North Edsa The Block, 442-0163
For comments and inquires, contact Malone Juan via:
When In Manila and wanting the best MMA gear, check out Hayabusa fightwear.
Grab them while they’re hot!