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.
Intro: I train and compete in the Midwest, specifically in St Louis. I’ve been fortunate enough to compete fairly frequently and it was at one of these competitions, the IBJJF Chicago International Open, that I saw my first Quantum Kimono. I saw about half a dozen that day, many of them with Comprido/BRASA patches. The gis fit the athletes very well, especially the long and lanky ones. I’d never head of this brand before and was curious what they were about. A friend of mine is a brown belt under Comprido so with the help of a little Facebook stalking and I was able to track them down and beg them for their Comp gi to review.
"We started our gi company because it was so hard and expensive to the get the kimonos that we wanted. We decided to make our well-built gi at a reasonable price.” Quantum Kimonos
I would like to start this by telling you this is my first gi review. I'm really happy to have been provided the chance to review this gi, it is an awesome choice in training and for tournament competition. There are three prime characteristics I want in my gi. I want a durable gi with a close fit that meets all standards for competition in the federations I compete. I want the gi to be light weight and easy to clean. It also wouldn't hurt my feelings to find a gi which looks good.
As I judge the Estilo Premier 4.0 by that criteria I find it quickly became my absolute favorite gi. The combination of prime functional improvements and simple aestetics has made it my #1 choice for tournament or training day.
Conca “Our goal is to provide the best quality gi possible at the lowest cost. We strongly believe that everyone should be able to acquire the best quality gi to represent themselves and their schools while on the mat.”
The Joker Lightweight Gi by Conca
Style The Conca Joker is a white gi with colorful, what I like to think of as Mardi Gras colors. My teammate referred to the gi as my Miami Dolphins gi. Truth be told the color scheme was inspired by DC Comic’s Joker.
Founded in summer 2010, Poland-based Ground Game Fightwear makes a line of Brazilian jiu-jitsu/grappling/MMA martial arts gear and apparel including gis, shorts, rashguards, belts, and gloves. In their own words: "Our products are extensively tested to the highest standard with the help from our sponsored fighters. Designs are made by people who, like us, are passionate about martial arts. We train, compete and are a part of the martial arts community and that is the reason why we value the relationship with our customers so much. We deliver products that we ourselves wear with pride everyday."
The Titan Energy gi is one of Ground Game's newest offerings and they were kind enough to send one to BJJ Legends for our perusal. The short-term diagnosis? Sturdy construction, nice embroidery, understated colours, and a comfortable fit.
Grab & Pull, out of Brighton UK, is the child of Gus Oliviera and has become one of the most recognizable BJJ Apparel Company in the UK. Grab & Pull is also very active in the European BJJ community. Recently, they’ve helped to bring Grappler’s Quest to Europe and will also be streaming the upcoming Copa Podio tournament. G&P is crossing the big pond soon and were kind enough to send their Premium Version 2 gi for a review. If the gi that I was sent is any indication of their products they will be just as big in the US in no time. Their current line of products include: tees, gis, belts, rashguards, and fight shorts. Now, let’s jump into the review for the Grab & Pull Premium Version 2 in White (A2)!
"Inverted Gear was founded in February of 2012. We had grown tired of the current trend of high price pre-order limited edition gis, which meant months of waiting and small window of purchase. We strive to bring a high quality product at an affordable price… We are not for the tough guys, our logo is a clear indication of what we are about. We are for the guys and girls that want to be on the mat… Be part of the Panda Nation”
I was introduced to Inverted Gear about a year ago. I was competing in my first IBJJF tournament and kept seeing these gis with upside down pandas on them. They were everywhere, seemed to fit well and the panda logo is pretty cool. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I was able to finally get my hands on one of these gis and see what all the fuss was about. BTW, Inverted Gear has the nicest gi bag that I’ve ever seen. My oldest daughter fell in love with it instantly and has claimed it as her own.
Manto has been around for quite a while and is considered by most to be one of the “big boys” of BJJ and MMA gear. Their current line of products include: clothes, kimonos, rashguards and fight gear. As athletes are getting bigger and stronger Manto has created a gi created specifically for competitors and those that need to keep the weight of their gi as low as possible. I was sent a Manto “X” Pro Ultra-light A3 a few months ago and have been using it regularly ever since. The gi is very light (the A3 weighs just less than 2 kg) and has a very slim cut. From the time I opened the package I knew that this might turn into one of my favorite gis to train in.
Intro: Flow Kimonos is a Boston based gear manufacturer that was created last year by Jonathan Leung. I stumbled across Flow Kimonos while searching thru Facebook for new gear manufacturers and after seeing some of their pictures and sizing chart (they have slim/tall cuts) I contacted them about a review. Fast forward 3 months. I’ve been training in their prototype unbleached hemp gi since mid-December and in that time it has become one of my favorite gis and a staple of my training. Flow Kimono’s hemp gi is manufactured in China and they are transitioning their other gis, the Pro Series White & Black, to China as well. The Navy Blue Hemp gi (production version of my prototype) is available for pre-order and should be available in late-April or early May.
Intro: “Ronin is a subsidiary of Kinji San, a family owned and operated martial arts supplier that has been in business since 1976. As consumers ourselves, we strive to treat our customers as we would like to be treated. It is our sincere desire to provide you with the best quality products at affordable prices. We offer superior service, a knowledgeable staff and quick shipping.”
I first came across Ronin brand gis last year after reading Aesopian’s review of their Fighter model gi (currently on sale for ~$80). After a few emails with Doug at Ronin I was able to get my hands on their newest model, the Samurai. The Samurai is available in white, blue and black. The gi is available in the traditional sizes (A1 thru A5) as well as long (A1L thru A3L) and is priced at $139.95 (white) or $159.95 (black & blue) (which includes free US Shipping).
It wasn’t that long ago when a new fightwear company burst onto the martial arts market scene placing itself in the endless superhuman race to demonstrate its strength to service the BJJ community with their products.
Soaring high off the successful release of its debut kimono The Assassin, Jotunn Fightwear’s phenomenal introduction has already established themselves as a rising standout company looking in constructing its own lane toward greatness.
Picking up where they left off from the stealth like approach they formulated with The Assassin Gi model, the second edition to the kimono series “The Samurai “ offers not only a clean look for the serious jiu-jitsu athlete but also displays Jotunn’s daring in being innovative, versatile, and different with the creation of all its products.
Taking the gi out of the artistically designed Netted bag you will notice clearly that the Jotunn Samurai kimono goes in a totally different direction than the crystal-weave classic-like concept the Assassin gi offered customers.
Intro: Apollo FG is the product of Mark Finlay and his desire to make a gi that will actually fit thinner/leaner athletes. As anyone that’s read my reviews knows I’m a tall and lean guy myself and the reason I started to really get interested in gis is because it was so hard to find out that actually fit me. The Omega series is a heavy-duty 550g gold weave jacket with 9.5 oz ripstop fabric. The Omega is available in white, black and blue. The gi has regular and slim sizes and most important of all you can have it for $120 (which includes shipping).
Intro: Roots Kimonos came onto the gi manufacturer’s scene a few months ago with their Tide kimono. Mike is starting 2013 with a new batch of gis and the first to be released is the Carnivale. The Carnivale is a white gi, available in tall sizes and available for $144.99. The Carnivale will be shipping out to customers in early February. I was lucky enough to get a prototype in December and am glad to see that the Roots has made another high-quality gi at a reasonable price. Something that I was particularly excited to see is the inclusion of tall sizes (A1L and A3L) for us lanky guys. If you're familiar with Roots' other gis the design will be familiar with some aesthetic changes (color palette mosty) and some cuts to the cut as well.
Intro: Sprawl has been around forever. They’re one of the oldest names in fight shorts that I can remember and introduced their first pair over 10 years ago. Since then Sprawl’s line has expanded to include rashguards, clothing and most recently gi pants. Sprawls original Gi-Flex pants were released about 2 years ago and just last month the Gi-Flex 2 pants were released.
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if your fight shorts were 2 feet longer, look no further than the Gi-Flex 2 pants. The waist and upper portion of the pants are almost identical to a pair of high-end fight shorts and instead of ending at your knees the ripstop material extends down to your ankles.