HOTSEAT: Interview with Datsusara MMAInterviews

We got Chris Odell from Datsusara MMA to sit down on the HOTSEAT.

We have been getting tromendous feedback from the readers about Datsusara MMA and its products so we thought that we’d give you guys (more of) what you want and deliver.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Datsusara, they are an upcoming company that produce very premium products. The most notable in my opinion would be the Datsusara Pro Gear Bag. This thing was MASSIVE and the amount of things that it can hold.. and it doesn’t stop there. Many have claimed that once you buy a Datsusara bag, you’ll never need another MMA gear bag again. You’ll get more information about that as the interview unfolds but for now.. here’s the interview.

I had a chance to talk to Chris Odell from DS-MMA and from the brief time that I’ve known him, I can say that he’s one of the nicest and honest guys in the MMA industry so with great pleasure, we give you the 3rd installment of featuring Chris from Datsusara MMA.

Q: Datsusara is a Japanese term. What is it and why is your company called that?

A: The Japanese term Datsusara literally translates as “to escape from being a salary worker”, my loose interpretation is that it means to spend time doing the things you love rather than working for the man. I saw this term in Tim Ferriss’ book “The Four Hour Work Week” and I felt it resonated with me on a personal level but I also thought MMA practitioners would appreciate it. I think most pro MMA athletes are living the Datsusara life already and the rest of us in the gym are taking time off from our busy schedules to participate in a sport we love and escape from boring daily routines.

Q: If it wasn’t called Datsusara, what would it be possibly called?

A: That is a good question and one that has crossed my mind many a night when I stay awake worrying about things like weather or not people can remember our company name. I didn’t want to name the company anything too obnoxious or obvious but things like “Guerilla Gear” or “Hemp for Victory” did cross my mind. But somehow when I heard Datsusara I knew that was the one. I figure with time Datsusara will be remembered more easily, after all I’m sure even Mercedes was an odd name to some at first but they made a good product and now they are known worldwide.

Q: What makes Datsusara different from other companies?

A: For starters we are real people that actually practice the sport, not some corporate funded attempt to cash in on the MMA market. We didn’t just come in and rebrand generic gym bags and call them MMA bags, we actually spend time designing gear with our friends from various gyms. We also use alternative fibers like hemp that should be a no brainer for sports gear, it costs more but makes for a unique superior product. The other element
is that I personally have a love for the strength and functionality of tactical/military style gear and I wanted all of our MMA products to have those qualities.

Q: What is the driving force behind the company?

A: It really comes down to our love of the sport. We want to support everyone that participates in the sport and what personally gets me up in the morning is hearing from people that love our gear because it made their training experience all the better.

Q: You guys use hemp in a lot of your products. Why so?

A: When I started thinking about starting a new business I looked at things that I loved. One was MMA, one was tactical/military gear, and the other that came to mind was my long history with hemp. So I put these all together and decided to make our first gear bag for MMA with hemp fabric. Hemp is strong, antimicrobial, and the fabric breathes well. These are qualities that are perfect for sports gear. The real problem I see with hemp is that people that are using it mostly to make products that old hippies would want so it gets a bad rep. Hemp is great for the planet too and you can read all about that online. It’s time hemp for hemp to be used to it’s full potential, which is massive.

Q: What is the funniest/most unique idea you’ve heard or come out with, with regards to a product?

A: We are considering having “stash” pockets added to all of our gear, of course this would primarily be to up our sales to the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu crowd.

Q: If you guys were only to sell ONE product, what would it be?

A: It would be our Pro Gear Bag (PGB). It’s our flagship product and the one I think the sport most needs. I made it partially because I got sick of stuffing my nice gear into a small, crappy, non-breathable bag, and it seems I wasn’t the only one who was dreaming of fixing that problem.

Q: Any notable figures that you guys have sponsored?

A: So far I can say that Eddie Bravo and Joe Rogan proudly sport our bags, and we sent George Sotiropoulos a PGB that he says he uses and loves (we hope to officially sponsor him soon). We want to sponsor not just talented fighters but talented fighters that are respectful. Sh*t-talking meatheads will never wear our logo, we are not about being “nationalistic, arrogant and in ya face”.

Q: Any products that we should be on the look-out for?

A: Yes and I wish they were coming sooner but it all takes time and lots of money. We hope to finally get the hemp shorts done this year and then after that gis and rash guards (made with hemp and bamboo). Some other accessories might come along the way but our focus is on having a solid base product line and then we’ll branch out. We won’t be making boxing gloves with our name on them just because we can, if we can’t use better materials and improve the functionality and construction then we’ll leave that to the other guys. We expect it may take years to get the full line ready but if someone reading this would like to make a large investment in a budding MMA gear company then you’ll see these products much faster.

Q: Where do you see DS-MMA in 5 years time?

A: I see us being the standard in MMA gear bags ll over the world and having a solid line of other products that appeal to people that want top notch, highly functional gear that lasts.

Here’s a video tour of the PGB-03.

PURCHASE: Datsusara PGB3 MMA Gear Bag

Also available on MMAWarehouse

I’d like to thank Chris Odell for doing this interview and for making such exceptional products. (I’m just about to place an order from these guys and I can’t decide which bag to get) Their PGB-03 is available at MMAWarehouse. For more information and to see the full range of Datsusara products including the BP-02 (Backpack), you can visit

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