Spirit. Originality. Passion. Drive. These are the qualities that embody Roll, Adapt, Win, which is a clothing brand built from the wholehearted passion of Jiu-Jitsu. FighterStyle had the pleasure of catching up with Jamel Kennedy, founder of Roll, Adapt, Win, to gain some insight into how the company got started, who is involved in their movement, and what their brand is all about.
The concept of Roll Adapt Win started in 2010 when co-founder Jamel Kennedy started a small jiu-jitsu blog called Journey Jiu-Jitsu. It was a slogan of sorts for what I immediately recognized as a fundamental explanation of jiu-jitsu. Later that year I met Ethan Wakeley (co-founder) and a friendship ensued that would one day turn into a partnership. In 2011, Ethan and I talked heavily about jiu-jitsu, from techniques to business, and the result of those conversations ignited an idea to create our own t-shirt company. Ethan had been designing for a very long time with computer programs like Illustrator; I was in my sophomore year of design school as an industrial designer, and I have always been a creative individual since I could remember. Before we even started designing anything for ourselves, we entered a few jiu-jitsu apparel design competitions (we didn’t win). Through those competitions and my blog inspired what we feel is the bread and butter piece of our first collection, the Journey shirt. That was literally our first design, even before the classic.
From that day we just started designing, we literally produced 100’s of designs over a matter of months, and it surprisingly improved our skills and helped to create a very distinct design aesthetic. Yet with all of our designs and aspirations, we still lacked the organizational and design business skills that are needed to help a business thrive. That’s when I bought in my girlfriend Sonia Sillan, whose years of administrative and technology experience helped to actually make this little idea look like a legitimate business. I also convinced my longtime mentor/friend/design guru Henry Hiltner (who has over 10 years of design experience), to join forces with us and provide us with guidance, web administration, and to help fine tune our designs to be ready for the public eye. Together we form a team of individuals who love jiu-jitsu over everything else, and just so happen to enjoy business and design.
We are not really out to compete with anyone or kill the competition, because our product is completely different. We think we sit in a completely different realm than our so-called competitors. Roll Adapt Win is a lifestyle! We consider it a mentality that every individual (no matter if you train or not) should wake up with every morning. Life is filled with ups and downs, trials and tribulations and you always have to remember that with the right attitude and perseverance you can always change your situation and come out on top. We want to create a movement through our designs, when someone wears one of our shirts we want their hearts and minds to be reinvigorated with positive thinking. There have been plenty of times I have been in a bad position in jiu-jitsu, even down on points, but I came back to win because I kept my mind free of negativity. That is Roll Adapt Win.
As you can see, Roll, Adapt, Win is not just another fish in the pond, but a truly unique perspective on the world of Mixed Martial Arts inspired apparel. Their Facebook page sums it up nicely with a play on The Art of War, “Those who are able to roll and adapt in accord with the enemy and win, are called champions. The art of RAW.” Their free-spirited t-shirt designs are truly one of a kind, with tees such as their Classic, Journey, and those paying homage to Canada and Brazil. Add some fresh style to your summer wardrobe this season with a couple of bold pieces from Roll, Adapt, Win; you can check out some of their shirts pictured below.
Editor’s Note: We at FighterStyle would like to thank Jamel Kennedy and the crew at Roll, Adapt, Win for taking the time to tell us a bit about their brand. Jamel was open, honest, and ambitious about RAW’s future, and we believe they will find great success. We look forward to seeing what they come up with next. Thank you.
Check out Roll Adapt Win’s website: Roll, Adapt, Win
Follow Roll Adapt Win on Twitter: @RollAdaptWin
Or, catch up with them on Facebook: Roll.Adapt.Win