With the aiming of taking MMA and Jiu-jitsu fashion appeal to a higher standard in comes Veni Vidi Vici (VVV Fight Co). VVV Fight CO was established in 2010.They started six years ago with a vision of creating a brand that represented their passion for the sport. They try to better our fight community and have become a globally-recognized company.
Continuing to push their movement VVV Fight Co brings to you their latest kimono the Black Paladin Gi. The Paladin Gi was inspired by what and who we are as modern day warriors training on the mats.
Our review of the VVV Fight Co. Paladin Kimmo; here are all the details on the evaluation we conducted.
The Paladin GI
The VVV Paladin Kimono Jacket has a simple stunning appearance. Made out of 450 GSM pearl weave material the uniform jacket is light. It is cut slim, has a tough to grip lapel and reinforced seams cover all areas making the jacket capable of withstanding the toughest training and competing conditions.
There is a vintage logo on left side of the lapel jacket and the right side of the sleeve. Flipping over to the back side you will find VVV's inspiring motto "TRUST THE PROCESS EMBRACE THE JOURNEY" located at the bottom of the jacket. Aside from the bottom message imprint and the small Spartan insignia on the top, the back of the gi is left blank for pasting academy and sponsor logos.
The Paladin jacket has a mesh liner back piece. Wearing a gi with a mesh liner it is similar to wearing a rash guard; it provides even more comfort and absorbs sweat during training sessions.
The Paladin GI Pants are made out of a very light weight durable 12oz twill oz. cotton material. The paints are reinforced from the groin to the ankle with a pearl weave gusset. The knees are also reinforced. These reinforced stress zones keeping the gi in perfect working condition for endless mat time.
The Paladin is equipped with four thick belt loops offering extra tightening from the left to the right side of the waistline and decreasing the chance of your pants falling off while training.
Size & Shrinkage
With sizes ranging from A0 to A5 the Paladin size chart accommodates most height and weight measurements. We found the gi sleeves a little long aligning slightly passed the wrist line while the pants will be right at the ankle line.
Washing instructions: when placing it in the washer it is recommended to wash the uniform alone in cold water and hang drying it afterwards. Most kimono purchasers such as myself have had our share of issues washing black gis as the color fades turning a once solid black into a fading grayish black appearance. This is will not be a concern with VVV's Paladin gi as it maintains it same appearance after washing.
After a thorough examination of this uniform, it is safe to say that VVV's Paladin is a good buy most Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner’s collection. It is perfect for training, IBJJF approved, and affordable at the price of $145. The gi is a bargain buy for anyone hoping to save money while enjoying the benefits of owning a top quality gi.
The Paladin is VVV Fight Co.’s second kimono release.
Read the review: Datsusara Hemp Combat comes with effective rough gi rash for your training partners but unfortunately this wears off after a handfull of washes. Its a specific gi for a specific grappler.
To leave the corporate workers life.
Whether in combat, on vacation, taking a hike or simply dealing with a daily commute, Datsusara has the gear to get you through. Datsusara gear is not for everyone – if “making do” is good enough for you, then we are not your brand. Our gear may not be essential, but you may discover it’s the gear that you’ve always wanted.
If living your life with purpose outside the cubicle is important, Datsusara is for you.
A snippet from the DSgear website.
DATSUSARA Is a Japanese phrase that expresses the desire “to leave the salaried/corporate worker's life".
Datsusara’s mission is the creation of extremely high quality, functional gear made with hemp textiles. Datsusara gear features hemp for a multitude of reasons. In short it is the most versatile and useful natural fiber on the planet. It is naturally anti-microbial, strong, breathable and very environmentally friendly.
Let’s get to the review.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING
100% Hemp Combat Gi
I will be reviewing the A3 Natural White Gi
I am 92 kgs and 184cm tall, or 202llbs and 6’1
Made of durable 100% Hemp
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu style weave and cut
Jacket made of a 17oz (580gsm) long fibre weave
UVA Foam collar.
Reinforced stitching for strength and durability
Pants made of 11oz (376gsm) long fiber twill
Braided cord draw string, easy to get in and out of
Reinforced stitching for strength and durability
Machine washable: Due to the properties of the hemp blend the gi actually gets softer and more comfortable with each wash while retaining its strength, it wears in rather than wearing out
Machine wash cold
Do not iron or dry clean
Have the possibility to shrink a little depending on wash method.
FIRST LOOK IMPRESSIONS:
At first look I was a little turned off. The natural white colour of the Gi to me gave off an unwashed look. Upon feeling the material I found it to be quite rough and when I put the jacket on I noticed almost straight away that this material was the type that wasn’t going to be suitable for me unless I had a rash guard on under it. I then had a look through the care instructions and noticed a recommendation to wash the Gi twice before use. Off the laundry I went. After the first wash I pulled it out and had a feel before hanging it out to dry, and noticed a little softening had occurred. It didn’t take as long as I expected to dry and with one more wash with some added fabric softener it felt softer again. Once it dried I put the jacket on and instantly noticed the difference, although I still felt the need to put a rash guard on.
FIRST WORKOUT AND ROLL:
The fit of the Gi was nice although I did find it a little loose around my shoulders and noticed that the jacket slid of my shoulders quite a bit, this led me to develop a conscience about my broadness and led me to destroy my shoulders in the weights workouts that followed so thank you Datsusara for that. This was the first Hemp Gi I had seen and was very excited to roll in it. People within my club have started to notice that ever 4 or so weeks I have been bringing out a new gi and begun to ask questions. I let them all know that it was 100% hemp and as you could imagine the jokes began to come. I didn’t realise that not only do I train at an amazing club with some awesome people but we also have quite a lot of comedic talent with in the club. I think some of them may have missed there calling, well except for Zach who actually does quite a bit of stand up on the local scene. One recommendation was that we close all the doors to the gym and I do hip escapes up and down the mats for a while and see what happens. Back to the Gi. After a gruelling 2 hour session on the mats I had a new respect for Hemp material it was quite a warm night and with the rashie on I was surprised how cool I stayed and how soft the Gi got in just the one session. The Gi has a total combined weight of around the 2kg mark which I found quite nice.
Rolling in this Gi was a fun experience its sturdy design and ability to breathe was great, however the heat in the gym combined with the rash guard seen me sweating up a storm. After a few weeks of rolling in this Gi it began to really grow on me, however with the warmer weather I think it is definitely a cooler climate gi, for me anyway. The feedback from my training partners was also all positive however the one thing that came up early in the piece was the roughness of the Gi if it was on their face, these complaints started to disappear the more it was washed. The colour of the Gi was also noted with a 50/50 response, me personally it grew on me.
WASH AND FIT:
With the washing of the Gi the Datsusara website states that due to the properties of the hemp blend the Gi actually gets softer and more comfortable with each wash while retaining its strength, it wears in rather than out. I honestly thought this was a marketing phrase however I found this statement to be 100% true. Wash after wash the Gi got more comfortable over time. I wash all of my Gi according to the instructions on the tag and with this it states 30c wash.
1. Will not shrink on you.
2. Customer service you receive will be amazing. Chris literally shipped this Gi half way across the world and checked in to ensure I received it.
3. Gets softer and softer after each wash bring you to new levels of comfort each training session.
4. Hemp is environmentally friendly.
The colour seems to put a few people off.
The material can be found rather rough in the first few sessions.
You will notice all the comedians come out when you mention the 100% Hemp.
Over all this Gi is a high quality Gi. This one will be either one you like or you don’t. If you are not a natural white fan you also have the option to purchase the Black Combat Gi which looks quite nice. All in all this was a great Gi to train in however the Gi rash that came from it in the early phase before many washes may upset your more “sensitive” training partners. If you are in a cooler climate then this Gi would be perfect its medium weight and ability to breathe would make it a great training necessity on the chillier evenings. Overall I award the Combat Gi 3 Gis out of 5.
If you would like to take a look at the other gear Datsusara have to offer why not head over to www.dsgear.com to take a look at the combat Gi a whole lot more 100% hemp gear that they have to offer.
Since I own 3 other gi’s made by 93 Brand, Kris Shaw, whom I train with at Tinguinha Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Yorba Linda, CA and also the owner of BJJ Legends Magazine asked me to review the latest gi by 93 Brand, the Zodiac. I haven’t wrote anything other than a email since my last English final essay in college 15 years ago, hopefully I don’t make too much of a mess out of this.
Manufacturer’s description of the gi: The gi features a 350gsm pearl weave gi top, 10oz rip stop pants, and interior yoke panel plus customers get to choose from any of the twelve circular zodiac patches designed by BJJ artist Meerkatsu.
First impression: When I took the gi out of the bag, it felt very light. The gi is minimally patched, which I prefer, and the color combination of white and blue look sharp. There is a small strip of patches on the shoulders with the company name. The side vents on the gi top and the gi pants have blue tape with stars on them to keep with the theme of zodiac. It kind of reminds me of the U.S. Air Force uniform. I don’t usually like ripstop pants due to being too stiff, but these pants felt softer than other ripstop pants I own. The gi also came with a patch with my zodiac sign, Aquarius, which depicts a guy holding a water jug. There are some cool looking patches that come with other zodiac signs, such as Pisces, Scorpio, or Leo, but as my luck will have it, I got a guy holding a water jug.
Measurements (all measurements in inches):
After 3 washes;
After 15 washes;
As you can see, there is minimal shrinkage with the gi. I always washed the gi with cold water. Gi top were always hung dried but the pants were put in the dryer at medium heat after the 3rd wash but the pants never shrunk.
Review: I have trained in this gi for three straight weeks, 5 times a week. This was possible due to the gi being so light that even after being washed and hung to dry, it usually dried within few hours. Although the material is very thin, I did not notice the gi being stretched when it was soaked in sweat and my training partners tugging on the sleeves/pants etc. As for the fit of the gi, I am 5’11” tall and weigh 165 pounds and the A1L fitted me like a custom made suit. I have gotten many compliments from my training partners regarding the look of the gi along with how great it fits.
Conclusion: If you need a great fitting, light competition gi or a gi that you can hang dry and wear every day, this will be a great addition to your collection. I can’t wait to patch it up with my school flag and add to my collection.
In the interest of full disclosure, I really like Flow Kimonos and have since I saw their website for the first time. A year or so ago Jonathan sent me a test sample of an unbleached hemp gi. I beat the heck out of that thing and it’s still holding up great. Six months after that I got my hands on their ultra-light Pro Series (the lightest gi that I own) and finally a few months ago I was sent the Classic. Before getting into the review itself it’s worth noting that I still have and use all 3 of my Flow Kimonos. In the last few years I’ve had a few dozen gis but these three are going to be in closet for a long time to come. This review is going to be a lot different than my normal reviews, it will be very heavy on pictures. I hope you like it.
Notable Stats: The Classic Series gi is a pre-shrunk 550gsm gold weave gi that is available from Flow Kimonos in three colors (white, blue and black) and in traditional, slim & husky cuts. As a lanky guy their slim cut fits me very well and so far all three of their A3Ls have had the same cut. Flow is one of the few companies that I recommend on a regular basis to those looking for non-traditional sizes.
The gi has all of the standard features regarding quality stitching, reinforcements and well sewn embroidery. Two things that do set it apart are that it’s made in China (the gi is priced very well for one made in China) and that is still using a cloth drawstring. I like that it’s made in China and the drawstring not so much (but it does work). All the pictures were taken in the last few weeks. I wash and dry this gi every time that I wear it. For washing I use a gentle cycle and cold water, for drying I use low heat and dry it completely. If I'd wanted to keep it a little longer I would have skipped the dryer to stop shrinkage.
Wrapping It Up: Jonathon & Flow Kimonos make great gis and have great service for their customers. If you’re a Redditor you’ve probably seen more than one thread from a satisfied customer and you've seen Jon on there as well. As I said before I’ve had 3 of his gis, I’ve kept all of them and still wear them all on a regular basis. That may not sound like a big deal but I've had about 2 dozen gis over the last few years and these are 3 that I'll never part with. The Classic Series gi (154.99 for blue) is a very comfortable, durable option and ideal for someone that is looking for that workhorse gi. Check them out at their Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
“At X-Guard Brand Fight Wear, we believe that fashion, quality, and performance go hand-in-hand. Our premium jiu-jitsu kimonos, IBJJF approved rash guards, and fight shorts have been mat tested and are cage approved. We listen to our customers, read reviews, and participate in the sport which helps us continually push our Jiu-Jitsu/MMA fight wear to the next level.”
Design/Features/Construction: Firstly I want to point out that the Recon is a Limited Edition and will not be massed produced. A quick overview of the main design features of the Recon: 425 gsm honeycomb tech jacket (strength of pearl weave with softness of gold weave), 12 oz drill cotton trousers, rope drawstring, contrast stitching, EVA foam lapel and stress point stitching. The jacket and pants are a medium gray in color with mahogany brown contrast stitching; the Recon only comes in gray. The Gi sports high quality stitching with all cuffs and stress points reinforced. With very few patches, and some small embroidered areas the Gi looks clean and fresh, with not a lot of bling to be shown. The few patches/embroidered areas coupled with the great gray color makes this Gi stand out without getting any crazy looks.
The Gi is very light for how durable it feels, and is the softest Gi I own by far. Many of the spider guard players and similar guard players “really appreciate how soft” this Gi is. Which I noticed is great for their grips, not so much for me stripping them. I originally tested the first X-Guard Kimono for BJJ Legends and was impressed (as I am again) on the construction and durability, but the first time round I was not impressed by the cut. At the time I was an A3 and the Gi was long in the skirt and baggy. As X-Guard Brand points out in their company description, they listened and really narrowed down the fit. This Gi fits me great, with a nice slim cut around the shoulders and arms. The skirt stops at an appropriate level and the pants fit very well. Due to its color this Gi is not IBJJF Legal.
Jacket: The Recon jacket has a large inside tag with X-Guard Brand Info and size tagging. The bottom left lapel has a small branding patch along with the bottom left of the front of the Gi. Along the bottom right front a red patch denoted the Series Vi limited Edition. A very small red X-Brand “X” sits right below the nape of the neck. The only embroidery is on each shoulder where the X-Brand “X” sits in the same brown stitching as the rest and is about 3-1/4”x3-1/4”. The sections of embroidery are well done and have no signs of distress; the patch stitching also shows no fraying. The EVA Foam collar is covered in ripstop. The skirt and waist line of the pant cut-outs for mobility are reinforced and have brown material sewn over them for added protection. The Recon looks great, as I stated above it gets attention but nothing like a bright red Gi would. I would say it garners the right type of attention, with compliments ranging from “nice stitching” to “great color”, to “wow that’s soft”.
Pants: The 12 oz drill cotton pants fit great, and feel like I could tow a truck with them. Sporting 8 loops for the drawstring, a very long stretchable drawstring in brown and an inside mouth guard holder the pants tie great and stay tied. The waist is off-set with the back half being slightly higher. Keeping up with the jacket the pants have the same reinforced stitching at all stress points and the contrast stitching at all seams. The pant has a 4-1/2”x3” patch on the front right hip and a very small red patch on the back left right on the waist line. Inside of the back panel below the waist line a 3-1/2”x3-3/4” patch with X-Guard Brand Logos and sizing info. There is additional reinforcement at the knees starting at the thigh and is 16”in length and runs from vertical seam to seam across the front of the leg.
Test Run: Right out of the free Limited Edition Gi Bag (Black with a large X-Guard Brand Logo) this Gi felt light, durable and looked great. I was given this Gi right before class started when I was already changed and stretching. I liked it so much I had to go try it on immediately. After trying it on I was very happy with the cut and fit that I wore it that day (with the Gi being gray I felt comfortable that it wouldn’t bleed like a black or dark blue Gi might). After 10+ washes I have noticed little to no shrinkage in the pants at all. I have noticed though some shrinkage occurring on the jacket. It still fits great and I would consider it still competition legal on my body but I have noticed it getting slimmer as I have trained. Make sure to double check the sizing on their website before purchasing. I only wash in cold and air dry all of my Gi’s. [Editor’s Note: X-Guard has tall, husky and traditional sizing options]
Washed 10+ times. Both Jacket and Pants Hung Dry
Wrap Up: The Recon is a great looking Gi, with a nice fit, great durability and a softness in a Gi that I have never felt before. With the great gray color and mahogany brown contrast stitching couple with few patches this Gi stands out without screaming look at me. Only negative is the shrinkage which may affect anybody that is a little longer limbed than me. X-Guard made a great Gi after listening to their customers; they have great customer service and a wide array of other gear. The Recon comes in at $154 which is a mid-range price for a nice Gi. Make sure to check out their website and Facebook page for any upcoming deals and announcements.
Ronin Brand contacted me in July to do a review of their John Small’s designed 5 Borough Gi (blue A3L). Since then I’ve worn it at least 20 times, washing and drying it each time. In short, I’ve beaten it up as much as possible over the last 90 days. The gi is available in white, blue and black. Ronin also has sizing for long/slim folks. This limited run gi is simply designed with an illustration by John Smalls printed on the inside of the 5 Boroughs of New York, hence the name. [Editor’s Note: All pictures were taken after the gi was used for 90 days].
Johns Smalls, if you’re not familiar with him, is an avid BJJ practitioner and professional artist who lives in NYC. John’s artwork can be found on/in gis, rashguards, shorts, prints, canvas, etc… In our little corner of the world John has worked with Ronin, Shoyoroll, NoGi and Modern Flow to name a few. To Ronin’s credit they recognized the skills and value of bringing a professional artist into the design process (their Samurai gi was in collaboration with Meerkatsu) and continue to offer well designed gis (check out the Legacy gi). Now to the review.
Founded in 2011, Cardiff-based Strike Fightwear are part of the UK wave of Brazilian jiu-jitsu gear companies. Strike’s kimonos, shorts, and rashguards all feature high-quality construction and their designs register around the Emerica mark on the BJJ industry scale of Jigoro Kano to NASCAR. This is a review of their recently released GRPPLR gi, size A2.
In the words of Strike Fightwear: “This gi has been in development for over a year and features a new cut & fit as well as high-quality embroidery and styling.”
“We designed this gi to be perfect for both everyday training and competitions. It seems foolhardy to train in a certain gi leading up to a competition, only to wear a different, lighter gi on the day. The GRPPLR is both lightweight and durable, ensuring you can wear it every day without it hindering your Jiu Jitsu.”
Hemp Ecstasy Gi Review by Jocelyn Chang, Brazilian Jiujitsu Black Belt of Let’s Roll Jiujitsu Academy, Torrance, CA
I find it appropriate to review the Hemp Ecstasy gi by Submission Fight Company during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am not only a Brazilian Jiujitsu Black belt; I am also a cancer survivor. During my bout with cancer, I learned the great benefits of Cannabis as an effective treatment to counter the side effects of chemotherapy. While researching more about Cannabis, I began to learn about Hemp and what a fantastic fiber it is. Hemp is strong, durable, breathable, and, anti-microbial. When you read about Hemp, you learn that not only is it much better than cotton as a fiber, but, it is also much more environmentally friendly too. So naturally, I was very excited to be asked to review the Hemp Ecstasy gi.
Out of the bag I noticed that the build quality is very good. Unlike many gi’s, when you look closely at the stitching, it is nice and even. No loose stitching, or, tag ends anywhere. Also, unlike some other Hemp gi’s I’ve seen, the weave is nice and tight like true gi material. It’s nice to see someone is paying close attention to details that make a truly good gi. After all, it’s equipment, not fashion.
Platinum Jiu Jitsu has a small but deeply loyal following of jiu jiteiros that appreciate the flash of their designs and the quality of their craftsmanship. Each gi is produced in a very small batch, just 25 total gis divided among the 4 sizes, and features a fully sublimated rashguard liner. The rasghuards are based on artwork by Hawaiian artist Katch1. The exterior patching, embroidery and color schemes are all intended to compliment the interior artwork. Sean sent me the Grenada, #5 of 25, in A3 a few months ago and I’ve been putting it thru its paces ever since.
Intro: OSS made its intro into the BJJ clothing scene about a year ago. In that short time they’ve developed a reputation for quality and exception customer service. Their initial line up consisted mostly of BJJ-themed tees but it wasn’t too long before they begun to add kimonos. OSS has two models to choose from, the Original (available in white, blue & black) and the limited edition Wolf. The Wolf, $150, is a beautiful grey gi with accents designed by Seymour Yang, aka Meerkatsu, and the subject of this review.
"The GRIPS™ Kimono has been created with the finest attention to detail. Kimono Secret Weapon uses light, breathable fabric and is designed with a focus on efficiency. The mixed martial artist athlete today needs maximum mobility for athletic precision and performance. That’s why the quality of our Kimono is enforced in all aspects of design: temperature regulation, durability, and comfort.” Grips Athletics
We’ve spent the last few months beating up the Secret Weapon to see if it lives up to its billing as a high-quality gi with innovations that you can’t find anywhere else. Now on to the review for the Grips Secret Weapon 2.0 in White – Size A2!
“At the moment of exhaustion, inspire yourself to take on last step and that is when you have reached the next level. In Korean folktales, dokebi is a mythical being. Dokebi is considered to be harmless but nevertheless mischievous, playing pranks on people or challenging wayward travelers to a grappling match for the right to pass. The Dokebi’s free-spirited attitude reflects what we believe is the essence of the BJJ lifestyle.” Dokebi Bros
The Balance is Dokebi’s first in a line of BJJ gis that are made in Korea. This is the first Korean made gi that I’ve been able to review and to my knowledge one of the very few Korean made BJJ gis on the market.
Some of you may be familiar with Flow Kimonos from my previous review of their hemp gi earlier this year. Flow also has an ultra-light competition gi. The Pro Series 2.0 is made in China, available in black ($144.99) & white ($134.99), has long AND husky sizing and weighs just a little more than 2 iPads. Seriously, this thing weighs nothing. Before this gi my Manto X Pro was the lightest gi I’ve ever had at just under 4.5 pounds. The Pro Series 2.0 is a pound less and for anyone that cuts weight you know just how nice that can be.
Fuji has been manufacturing martial arts uniforms for decades longer than most of the competition. The company was founded in the 1960s by Frank Hatashita, known in the Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame as “The Father of Canadian Judo”. A judoka since 1927, Hatashita received his black belt in 1934 and went on to act as a driving force behind introducing judo to the 1967 Pan Am Games and the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, in which he coached Canadian judoka Doug Rogers to a silver medal.
Hatashita/Fuji Sports was founded in the 1960s, expanded into the United States in the 1980s, and has continued to evolve through partnerships with judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and mixed martial arts athletes and organizations including Jimmy Pedro, Gracie Humaita, Ronda Rousey, Jeff Curran, and the Abu Dhabi Combat Club. This company has roots.
Fuji sent BJJ Legends one of their newest products for testing, the IBJJF-approved Kassen II Brazilian jiu-jitsu gi. It’s light, comfortable, no-nonsense, and may just have elbowed its way to the top of my kimono pile.