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Friday, 25 October 2013 07:38

Gi Review: Strike Fightwear GRPPLR (A2)

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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.”

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Design/Features/Construction
I liked the GRPPLR as soon as I pulled it out of the bag. White with navy blue stitching and relatively unobtrusive logos is a win. The light but solid construction of the GRPPLR reminds me of my Fuji Kassen II, which I love. All main structural seams are triple stitched and the decoration department features a combination of synthetic woven patches and embroidered logos.

grpplr-jkt-cuff  grpplr-jkt-int

Jacket
The GRPPLR’s jacket has an EVA foam collar and is made of 450GSM pearl weave fabric, double layered in the shoulder/lapel area and reinforced in the armpits and vents. There are four embroidered logos: sleeves, between the shoulder blades, and on the left skirt area. The jacket’s left interior panel is screened with Strike’s motto “ROLLdifferent”, which sets off my editor’s alarm, but shouldn’t affect normal people. A small patch is sewn at the bottom of the left lapel and there’s logo tape around the bottom seam and inside the cuffs.

grpplr-jkt-frontwsleeve   grpplr-jkt-backlogo

Pants
Like the jacket, the GRPPLR pants are no-nonsense and solid: 12oz duck canvas, doubled from thigh to ankle with reinforcement at the waist vents and a pearl weave crotch gusset. The drawstring is a 1/4" (6mm) stretchy rope and is held in place with six belt loops. There’s logo tape inside the cuffs, a woven patch on each thigh, and kanji embroidered near the bottom of the left shin.

grpplr-pnt-waist    grpplr-pnt-cuff

On the Mat
Full disclosure: this gi arrived less than two weeks after a CT scan showed bulging in my L4-5 and L5-S1 discs, so it hasn’t been subjected to my standard range of stress testing and sweat saturation. But I can say this—it’s a comfortable gi that allows the full range of motion needed for BJJ drills and my FMS / Supple Leopard mobility exercises. I’m about 5’9” / 170lbs and this gi fits perfectly—close enough that I’m scared to put it in the dryer. I often bust out the sewing machine to shorten my gi pants, but these didn’t need it, so A2 wearers with longish legs may find themselves straying into capri territory. See the diagram for measurements after several cold wash / hang dry cycles.

grrplr-full-front

grpplr sizing

Conclusion
The GRPPLR gi was my first exposure to Strike Fightwear products and these blokes have earned themselves a new fan with their clean design and no-frills aesthetic. My body runs hot, so I appreciate the gi’s lightness, as will competitors who straddle the top of their weight class. The GRPPLR gi sells for £78.99 on the Strike website. Customer in the US should click HERE (they convert currency on the site, current price is ~ $130 + $16 for shipping).  For more about Strike, check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram.

Read 4482 times Last modified on Friday, 25 October 2013 08:41
Jeff Chan

Jeff discovered grappling at the University of Toronto Judo Club and now trains Brazilian Jiu-JItsu under Professor Adam Ryan at Dynamic MMA in Vancouver, BC. Off the mats he writes for the Jiu-Jitsu Vortex and is a skateboarder, world explorer, business copywriter, and rabid devourer of books and music.
 
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