Intro: X-Guard Brand gis came to my attention about a year ago. I was looked for a new gi and during my research I kept seeing references to X-Guard and their kimonos. No one had a bad word to say about their service or their gis. The only thing that stopped me from buying one of their gis that day was that they were out of stock. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one that wanted to give these guys a closer look. In December I finally got my hands on an X-Guard gi, the XG5 Element Series Sandstorm. The Element series gis are also available in black and blue to round out the color choices. The Sandstorm is value priced gi (it’s $134.00 which includes shipping) and consists of a pearl weave jacket and 12oz canvas pants.
“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.”
If you’ve ever watched an MMA event you’ve probably seen at least half a dozen different Venum shorts and walk out shirts. Just off the top of my head I can name close to 30 different UFC fighters that are sponsored by Venum. Guys like Jose Aldo, Carlos Condit, Wanderlei Silva and Jim Miller all use Venum gear in their fights.
Venum also has a line BJJ gis that include single weave and gold weave models. The good folks over at MAS sent Venum’s Competitor gi to me for a review. The Competitor is a single weave gi is comes in white, blue and black. It is available in the traditional sizes as well as A1.5 and A2.5 and is modeled by none other than Rodolfo Vieira himself.
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.
Modern Flow is a very new gear company that was founded by David Garmo and Saif Askar. David and Saif are both purple belts under Master Caique and train out of Warrior Way and Mash Gym in Michigan. Despite their recent emergence Modern Flow has been hard at work creating new products and already has a comprehensive product line that includes gear such as gis, backpacks and tees.
Modern Flow’s initial foray into the cutthroat world of gi manufacturing is the Ranger. The jacket is constructed of pearl weave, has green trim, contrast stitching and reinforced seams throughout. One look of the Ranger and I really liked it. For one thing the color palette is different than all of my other gis. The use of green, yellow and brown makes the gi stand out without being obnoxious and the embroidery give the gi a very clean look. The quality of construction was also evident with even a quick glance.
During my first few months of training BJJ there are only a few things that really stand out in my memory. Getting crushed by absolutely everyone, my instructor weighing in at about 600lbs even though the scale said I outweighed him by 20lb and my friend Eric’s gi. Everyone one else had these simple blue and white gis and were completely forgettable. The gi that really caught my eye was a blue Breakpoint FC Deluxe.
There’s nothing subtle about the Breakpoint FC Deluxe. The previous iterations of the gi have made Meerkatsu’s Top Five Blingin’ BJJ gis list. The tradition of bling continues in the 2012 model and has been redesigned with a slimmer more tailored fit as well. And if you need additional incentive to read this review I’ve included a 30% off coupon code at the end of the review that is good thru Cyber Monday.
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…
The topic of this review is the infamous and colorful Scramble “Rainbow Spats” Grappling tights. Yes, you heard correct, I did say Rainbow Spats. Some call them tights, grappling tights, compression pants, nogi extreme wear, call them what you want except fashionable. I personally train the majority of my time with a gi but always wear some type of compression pants or tights under my gi for several reasons.
The popularity of the Japanese sensation, Shinya Aoki, submitting people wearing Scramble tights in Japan, lead to a mad rush to find gear that could possibly make your game as good as the athlete wearing it. But we all know that grappling tights have been around a very long time. I just came across a video from my 1993 high school wrestling days where one of the competitors had tights on.
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.
What do you do when not only are you and your brother avid BJJ players but are also involved in the family business of fabric and fashion design? Easy, peezy start a new gi company of course. Kaden of Mueawear has promised to deliver simple and functional gis that will continue to be pleasing to both the eye and the body. Founded earlier this year in Seoul Korea, Muae currently offers only a single limited edition gi, the Oniwakamaru, but plans are in place for more gis as well as a full line of fightwear and clothing.
The Oniwakamaru features stunning interior artwork that is printed directly on the inside of the gi. This kimono comes with all the features you’d expect from a high-end gi and few you may not have seen before such as ripstop lining in the lower half of the gi. High-quality construction and excellent customer service combine to make this an attractive gi.
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
"This is a decent gi. It feels like it can withstand the wear and tear of being a daily gi, without feeling like a suit of armor."
This is my second go at this company's gi. Just as before I really like this companie's vision and mission statement. As this is their second gi that I'm reviewing, I can't help but compare the two.
At first unpacking I quickly noticed the color of the gi. With out being loud or obnoxious, it manages to stand out with its own unique shade of blue. There is no mistaking it for any other gi on the market. On their first gi, they had a black logo on a black gi, but no one knew it was there because you couldn't see it. On this edition, the logo stands out without being huge.
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.