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Thursday, 01 November 2012 01:00

Gi Review: Super Gold by Bull Terrier

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Intro:

Bull Terrier Co has been providing high quality fight gear in Japan since 2002.  If you’re like me when you hear Bull Terrier you think of premium Japanese gis with a lot of bling.  While they are still producing premium gis they now have several models that are more understated and will appeal to all tastes.  One of these, the Super Gold, is the subject of this review.  Bull Terrier also has a full line of rash guards, spats, shorts, clothing and other fight gear.

The Super Gold has a gold weave jacket with 12 oz pants and is currently available in black and blue.  This gi features the high-quality construction that has become the standard for premium gis and is ornamented with high quality embroidery and a few patches. After reviewing this gi I can say that Bull Terrier's reputation for quality and durability is not overstated and is well-deserved.

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Technical Specs/Construction:

 

 

 

The kimono top is made from 550g/m² gold weave and like other gold weave jackets has a sturdiness that you won’t find in other weaves. The gi pants are made of 12 oz cotton with reinforced knees.  The seams of the pants and jacket are reinforced throughout and there is extra reinforcement at stress points such as the armpits and the slits in the skirt.  There were no loose stitches anywhere and the embroidery was solidly sewn in and is not removeable.  The few patchs on the gi are sewn with the same level of care and detail.  These patches would be removeable with a seam ripper if needed.  The collar of the gi is foam filled, stiff and fairly thick.

Hyperfly Muae Bull Terrier Weaves   Hyperfly Muae Bull Terrier Collars

Kimono:

The kimono fit me surprisingly well for an A4.  I washed the jacket and pants in white vinegar before wearing to set the color and make sure that it didn’t fade or run.  The pants were hung dry and the jacket was washed again, this time on hot, and dried completely on hot in the dryer.  The jacket shrunk up nicely and fit quite a bit better.  Since the initial washing I usually dry the jacket in the dryer and continue to hang dry the pants.  After the initial shrinking the gi hasn’t shrunk noticeably since.  As mentioned earlier the construction of the jacket is excellent.  The more that I wear and wash the gi the softer it gets and more comfortable it becomes.  The seams at the cuffs and skirt are covered in a satin tape to improve comfort. 

Printed directly on the inside of the gi is a hexagonal pattern with flowers or bull terriers inside the hexagons.  The exterior adornment on the Super Gold is well-done and not overly blingy.  There is embroidery on both sleeves.  The right sleeve has the Bull Terrier logo, name of the gi and a Brazilian flag while the left sleeve is the same minus the flag.  There is a small patch at the bottom on the lapel and another section of embroidery at the bottom left of gi that identifies the brand and model of the gi.  There is plenty of room to add your own patches should you choose to.  The only other adornment is a white border on the side of the jacket where the slit is.

 Bull Terrier Interior 2   Bull Terrier Top Chest

Pants:

The pants were sufficiently long for someone my height (6’4”) and didn’t shrink much at all from hang drying.  After several rounds thru the washer and hang drying the pants haven’t shrunk further and fit me better than most stock A4 pants.  The pants have reinforced knees that start at the mid-thigh and continue down to about 8 inches from the cuff.  The seams are reinforced throughout and there is white trim on the sides of the pants.  The seams of the cuffs are covered with the same cloth that is used to in the rest of pants.  The gusset of the pants is the same material as the pants themselves.

The pants have two belt loops for the cord and the rear pants are offset by about an inch from the front.  This is intended to make the pants sit on your butt better and be less likely to slide down.  While rolling I never noticed any issues with the pants coming loose or sliding.  There is a rather large Bull Terrier logo patch on the butt otherwise the only bling is a patch on the right size that contains the brand info, size and some washing instructions while the left side identifies the model and manufacturer.

Bull Terrier Pants Side   Bull Terrier Pants Butt Patch

Bull Terrier Top Front Full

Bull Terrier Pants Full

Kimono Top

Initial

Wash & Dry

A - Cuff

7”

6.75”

B - Wingspan

71”

68.75”

C - Length

33”

32.5”

D - Chest

26”

24.5”

Pants

Initial

Wash & Dry

A - Cuff

11”

10.75”

B - Waist

25.625”

25”

C - Length

41.5”

41.25”

D - Inseam

31.75”

31”

Test Run:

Since getting this gi I’ve used it about dozen times and can say that I’ve liked a little more each time that I’ve worn it.  Working against it (initially) is that I typically prefer light weaves, usually pearl or crystal, and I really like my gis to be cut specifically for lanky guys such as myself.  After the initial shrinkage the jacket fit much better and maintained enough length in the arms to be IBJJF legal.  While it was a little stiff the first few times I used it, the jacket has become softer as it is used and washed.  While rolling I never felt that it was overly baggy or that the cut of the gi gave my opponent any advantage for grip fighting.

Gold weaves are heavier and hotter than most other weaves and this would probably be a little hot for me in the summer.  As the weather has cooled off the mats have also gotten colder and this gi works well in that environment.  I’ve worn the gi both with and without a rashguard and never noticed a difference in feel due to the interior artwork.  I'm starting the appreciate the extra weight that gold weave provides.

Special Considerations:

The Super Gold is a premium gi and is priced as such.  The only place that I’ve seen this model available is directly from Bull Terrier’s store in Japan and it is 16,800JPY (~$210).  There are other retailers in the states, such as Budovideos.  If you don’t want to deal with customs, currency conversions and/or international shipping they would be a great option.  Budo has a very good selection but only Bull Terrier has the full line so you may have trouble finding exactly what you’re looking for if you go somewhere other than the source.

Wrap Up:

The price may put this excellent kimono out of reach for a lot people.  However, if you can afford the Super Gold it is definitely worth considering.  What you’ll get is a gi that is very well constructed, will hold up to years of abuse and looks as good as it feels.  Another option would be look at some of their other gis.  Budovideos has sales on several of their Bull Terrier kimonos and the quality of construction is consistent throughout their product line.  To see the full line of Bull Terrier products check out their homepage.  As always don’t forget to check out the image gallery for many more pictures.

 

Read 6888 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 November 2012 08:08
Matthew Corley

I'm a 37 year old husband and father to two girls.  I train under Ezra Lenon (black belt under Kiko France of American Top Team) in St Louis MO.  I drag my two little girls with me to the gym every chance that I get and usually end up training 5 days a week.  I'm a huge gear junkie, spend entirely too much time watching BJJ videos and am fascinated with the cerebral side of our sport.  When I'm not training or hanging with my family I work as a clinical pharmacist.

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