Intro: Lucky Gi was founded by Scotty Nelson who also brought us On The Mat (OTM) way back in the Stone Age of BJJ. Scotty’s obsession with gis began in the 90’s while training in Brazil and has been growing ever since. After years of traveling, training and researching he decided to make his own gis and to break with tradition by using factories in China, instead of Pakistan, and to experiment with other fabrics, notably bamboo.
Lucky’s gis have included the bamboo Fleur-De-Lis and signature fighter gis such as the Raphael Lovato Jr, Jeff Glover and currently the Diaz Brothers gi (also in black). For this review we’ll be looking at the Diaz Bros gi. The gi has a 550gm pearl weave top, 12oz bull denim pants, sizing options for everyone (tall & husky sizes are available and you can mix & match the jacket to pants) and comes with a travel bag.
"You cannot stop the wave, but you can learn how to surf.” Onda Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Onda BJJ is a new manufacturer out of the East Coast of the US that manufacturers Brazilian jiu jitsu gis (Kaimu, Recife & Bavaro), belts (blue, purple, brown & black) and clothing such as hats. Their gis have distinctive styling and construction that is intended to please the eye and body. Kaimu is a Hawaiian word for "gathering [at the sea] to watch" and can be used to describe those watching others surf. Kaimu beach was known as Black Sand Beach and served as inspiration for the styling of the gi.
When asking for info on the gi beforehand, Jessy (from Onda) described it to me by saying, “The Kaimu is the equivalent of a euro sports car in the gi world: excellent form and function, lightweight and you just feel good wearing it.” Always ready for a mini mid-life crisis I decided to give this one a shot.
Do Or Die has gotten quite a bit of air time lately due to their sponsorship of Xande Ribeiro, arguably the top BJJ player in the world, and also because they are expanding their line to include limited edition gis and clothes for men, women and youth. They’ve billed their Hyperfly gi as the perfect gi. Upcoming limited editions include the California edition and the NYC.
Per Do Or Die: Your battle will be here before you know it. It’s time to get yourself ready for combat and show the world you know what DO OR DIE is all about….YOU CAN’T TEACH HEART
The gi has some notable features (spandex gusset for one), a very clean look and premium construction. But is it really the best gi ever…
Redstar is a Canadian based gi company that has been focused on making high-quality gis for competitors of every size. Their flagship gi, the Stamp, is available in three colors (grey, white and navy blue) and nine different sizes. Redstar was one of the first gi companies to make gis specifically for the taller and leaner athlete and their experience really shows. Egor has recently expanded their lineup to include fight shorts, belts and t-shirts.
The Stamp is a lightweight, competition style gi consisting of a 450g pearl weave jacket and 12oz cotton pants. The collar is EVA foam filled and the “L” models are specially cut for a slimmer build and longer arms.
Roots Kimonos is a new gi manufacturer out of San Diego, CA. Their first gi, the Crimson Tide, has created quite a buzz in the online BJJ community and we’re lucky enough to be the first to review it. Roots has committed to provide the highest quality gis possible while never charging their customers more than $144.99. These kimonos are intended to provide you with a premium gi, with a host of features while staying affordable. The gi in this review is an A4 and the Tide is offered in sizes from A1 to A4.
“Roots started because I was tired designing gis for other companies and wanted to do my own thing. I started with the logo and went from there. I used the name because no matter where you train, the journey of jiu jitsu has many roots. Always learning from everyone you see do jiu jitsu. And they have got their roots from many people as well. Jiu Jitsu itself is a root system that has grown a tree of many schools and tournament series. I wanted to bring something to the BJJ world that was an awesome product and had meaning to it. The Tide is the first major release for Roots but there are many more kimonos in development as well as rash guards and apparel.” Mike founder of Roots Kimono
Review of the Datsusara HCG-03, the only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu kimono made of 100% hemp
Intro: Datsusara is a gear company based out of California that specializing in making products out of hemp. They offer kimonos, gi belts, gear bags and clothing all made from 100% hemp. I was fortunate to be able to review their Hemp Combat Gi (HCG-03). There battlepack backpacks have gotten rave reviews from other bloggers such as Brendan at Gi Reviews.net and Seymour "Meerkatsu" Yang (including some awesome pictures of his kids inside the bag).
Datsusara is a Japanese phrase meaning "to leave the salaried/corporate worker's life". Chris K. Odell founded Datsusara in 2007 because, as an avid sports participant (in Mixed Martial Arts), he couldn't find gear that met his needs. Datsusara has a singular goal, to make truly functional, high quality gear. The Datsusara lifestyle means spending more of your time doing the things you love to do, and Datsusara is here to supply the gear.
Right out of the bag I could tell that this gi was something unique. This is the first unbleached gi that I've ever owned and also the first that is not made out of traditional materials (cotton). The impression that I got when picking it up and examining the gi was that of a heavy linen shirt and pants; the pants especially look and feel like linen. The weave of the kimono and pant both highlight the natural fiber characteristics of hemp.
Intro: Gorilla fight gear is starting to make a name for themselves by offering a high quality, competition ready gis in so many different sizes that everyone will find something to fit them. I’m reviewing the Slim Cut Apeman crystal weave in A4S. They also have offerings for more traditional sizes and for stockier athletes.
The gi top is made out of a 550gr crystal weave jacket (similar to pearl weave but a little softer and heavier), triple stitching throughout, includes a mouth guard pocket and a thick rubber core lapel. The 12oz twill pants feature 5 loops, a crystal weave gusset and knee reinforcements that go all the way to the cuff.
Piranha Gear’s entry into the tall and lanky gi market is a value priced (~$75) gi that is cut to fit even the tallest and longest jiu-jiteiros in your gym. Their gi is a simple single weave kimono that includes pants with a reinforced knee area and a “karate” style belt. This gi is intended for those just beginning their journey with BJJ. While the collar and material of the gi are much tougher than those in traditional martial arts it is not as stiff as those preferred by many competitors.
A few weeks ago Piranha replied to my request for a gi to review and within a few days I had gi in hand. I didn't have many questions for Bill but each email was responded to promptly and if this feedback is any indication Bill places a high priority on the needs of his customers. The gi came with a very detailed pamphlet on washing and taking care of your new purchase. While this may be redundant for many of you reading this, it's a great addition for this product's target audience, the neophyte grappler.
We enjoy using the same clothing and equipment we sell - that's why we started the company - so we could get good gear at reasonable prices. We were tired of getting stuff that wore out too soon, wasn't comfortable or just cost more than it should.