Patrice, Owner Of Unlimited Fightwear, On How BJJ Changed His Life, His 3 Sons That Train & The Growth of His Brand


Patrice is the owner of the European BJJ shop Unlimited Fightwear which carries brands such as Tatami, Ronin Brand, DoorDie, Manto or Submission Sniper. In this interview with BJJ Eastern Europe, Patrice talks about how Jiu-Jitsu changed his life for the better after his near fatal motorcycle accident, his son Dorian, who is a French BJJ prodigy, and the development of his BJJ Shop and quality of kimonos:

Can you tell us about your background and how you got started in BJJ?

Hello, before I answer your questions I would like to congratulate you on your excellent BJJ website. Regarding my background, I’m 40 years old now, I started with boxing a long time ago … :)) When I settled in the south of France (1991) I started to train Tae kwon do for 3 years, then I was interested in judo in 1998-1999, I loved the groundwork already, of course I had the chance to follow Royce Gracie and all his fights in the first UFCs … on cable channels, =). The BJJ in my area did not yet exist. In 2000, I had a serious motorcycle accident, I had to be amputated at my right ankle after four long years (14 surgeries) between hospital and rehabilitation, I ended up being able to use my foot again. I certainly I can not run anymore, but I’m can move again and I can do BJJ. Many people that I have known during my accident may never have the pleasure of discovering something like this. (A thought for them and all those who suffer in the world). In 2005, I bought the book Gracie Jiu Jitsu by Renzo and Royler Gracie, and while reading it, I was experimenting with whoever wanted, especially my son Dorian aged 11 at the time ;)) I discovered a taste for life and sport once again, and I discovered a passion!
I then took a few classes with Jean-Marc NOBLOT at his school “Base” in Marseille which was 1 hour drive from my home, (probably one of the 1st BJJ teachers in Marseille with a good track record across the Atlantic http://www.myspace .com/13base/blog/198636812). I thank him again for his kindness and the time he spent with me!
in 2007 I was one of the first students of Julien Gaillard who had just moved 2 blocks from my home, which was great news. I invested heavily in the club with passion, but despite the quality of his training and his exceptional competition track record, I accepted the invitation of one of the students of “Jean Philippe Walter” (brown belt at the time and three times European vice-champion) who had occasionally trained with Julien, so I discovered the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team Tatame of Jean Philippe WALTER (1rst BJJ teacher in the Toulon region) a club for which I am Secretary since 2009, and my son and I feel at home there. In 2011, I created the “Fighting Spirit Jiu Jitsu” club and I teach BJJ to adults and children with the help of my son Dorian. It is a pleasure to meet, play sports and grow between friends with real values ​​of friendship.

Can you tell us about your business Unlimited Fightwear and your goals? 

It is clearly oriented towards the modern martial arts (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Mma, Fightwear) This is a young company, I am the beginnings of my goals, I intend to further develop the supply of BJJ Kimonos, always with the motivation of offering quality products, the objective is not to compete with other brands, so to offer different products from my competitors (especially in France). We want to stay a family business, close to our clients / partners, and always bring them the same satisfaction, and above all remain passionate.

Do you sponsor any athletes?

It’s a bit early to talk about sponsorship, although obviously the first athlete that I sponsor is my son Dorian, he just turned 18, he has a bright future ahead of him. A few years ago it was I who pushed him to train BJJ, today he is pushing me … (laughs) I also have my friend and teacher Jean Philippe Walter representing Unlimited Fightwear. I have great esteem for him, a real fighter, he competes every year at the European Championships and despite his 43 years, he did not hesitate to fight in Adult even though he knows that the level is high … I’m sure he’ll give us a podium soon!

Patrice's son, Dorian in action

Patrice’s son, Dorian in action

What made ​​you decide to start your business?

In my BJJ journey, I realized that there was little choice in France regarding kimonos, and when there was, the quality was lacking, with uniforms that were distorted, shrinking etc .. . I started by testing for my own use certain brands that I rolled a lot in and I was able to compare the quality and naturally seeing the limited offer, I decided to go on the market. I do not pretend to compete with big brands, but one thing is for sure is that I am 100% of my BJJ clients are satisfied and I’m getting more and more foreign customers, because I love what I do and my passion is deep within me. All my clients could be my training partners, and I respect them, and I do not want to disappoint them. I offer a service such as an online chat or I try personally to be as available as possible to be able to advise them the best, always in good humor, as if I was on the mats with my friends (smile)

What changes (positive and negative) have you noticed as a retailer in the world of jiu-jitsu and grappling?

I realize that we practitioners of the modern martial arts are very lucky, every day I see new brands entering the market, not always of good quality, but it feels like the interest in our martial art is growing. The art evolves, and I thank the federations and all the volunteers who work behind the scenes, among others the one which I am affiliated with the Cfjjb (French BJJ federation).

There are many products on the market, but what makes your products different?

In any case, for the French market, I offer brands on my website that differentiates me from the competition. I always update my inventory and make sure my products are always available in all sizes. Some of my brands are very rare in Europe, and I hope to diversify over the months …

How do you see your business in 5 years? 10 years?

Good question … I have a lot of projects … maybe we’ll talk about in a later interview, but I hope to sustain and grow in the first place my family business (I hope my three boys who all train BJJ will join me ), now we do not know what the future holds, but honestly I hope that my clients and future clients remain faithful to me and continue to trust me and by then we will have the opportunity to discuss this once more if health does not let me down.

If you want to thank someone, you can.

Yes I want to thank, you’ll laugh, but my wife, who has always been there in hard times to support me, my children and especially my eldest who makes me proud in competitions, my teacher Jean Philippe Walter who gave me confidence to start my own club, my students who are faithful to me, to my clients who trust me, I really do not want to forget the Gracie family without them Jiu Jitsu Lifestyle is not there to make us less unhappy every day, and obviously Guillaume Huni from BJJ Eastern Europe that fills our time between trainings and work with great articles to entertain us, and also interviews with practitioners  and simple enthusiasts like me (smile), bravo, take care of you all! Patrice.

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Some fights of Patrice’s son Dorian (blue Gi)