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DonMagee 11-28-2007 12:07 PM

Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
Ok, I'm going to be buying 3 new gi's for Xmas to replace 2 of my current gi's and add 1 more to the lineup. I know this is more of a bjj question, but I know some of you also train in bjj/judo/etc and I wanted to get your input on it.

A little background here. I currently own a mizuno single for judo, and 2 atama singles for bjj. I am just under 5'9" and my weight swings between 155 and 165 depending on the season (I tend to have a poor diet when not training for competition).

My mizuno single is a size 4 and fits perfectly after a hot wash and hot dry in the chest/skirt, but is a little long in the pants and a little short in the arms (on the verge of being judo illegal). It was too long in the sleeves and too baggy in the chest prior to washing.

The atama's are size 2 and the oldest is going on 2 years old. Before any shrinkage both of these gi's fit perfectly (man I wish they were preshrunk). It has been washed in warm water and always hung dried. It was accidentally dried once and accidentaly left in the car in the hot sun while soaked from practice. It has shrunk down to way to small on me. The sleeves are almost halfway between my wrist and elbow, and the pants are boarderline shorts. My newer atama is about a year old and has always been washed warm and hung dry. It has shrunk as well and is slowly getting to the same point as my first atama gi. My bjj instructor has recomended my next atama be an A3 and shrunk down to fit.

Ok, now that I have gotten that out of the way. Here is my plan. I have always wanted to do some reviews of gi's with pictures showing prewash fit, after wash fit, how it 'feel's and an update after 3 and 6 months with how it has continued to shrink and feel/wear issues. Because of this I plan to buy myself 3 new gi's for X-mas. I want each one to be from a different manufacture. My only requirements are that they do not look like walking billboards, I like to sneak my bjj gi's into judo pratice without too many looks (The coach doesn't mind, but he takes issue with rash guards and patches. My aikido instructor doesn't care what I wear, we have an understanding that I'm not a full time student and he's just happy to beat me up.) And I just don't like the patched up look. I will be buying 1 white gi, 1 blue gi, and 1 'fun' gi, probably black in color (unless you guys think that is lame, in which case, another blue gi).

So given the following choices, which 3 gi's would you buy and what size do you think I need (taking any shrinkage into account).

Here is what I have interest in buying.

Mizuno Eurocomp $160.00 - This would make a good judo gi, and I need one. Although my goal is really new gi's for bjj. I would not mind a new judo gi as well.

FUJI single weave - $70.00 - This is the new gi my instructor sells and recommends for noobs in bjj. He wears one himself now and says they are a good gi. Previously all he would sell was atama.

Gameness Pearl Gi $110 - $130 (depending on color) I've been interested in this gi for a while. It is not all patched up like the other gi's gameness sells and I think the black version looks sharp. Another great selling point is that the gi is pre-shrunk, something I am interested in.

Sirius Gold Weave Traditional- $95.00 This looks like a great gi at a great price.

Sirius Ultra-Light Gold Weave $95.00 - It is always hot in the gym and an ultra light could be just what the doctor ordered. My only concern is the pants, I like thick pants. I find most judo pants to be too thin for me. I'm not sure how think 12oz pants are, but I really prefer pants as think as atama's pants are. Again, can't beat the price, and the gi looks sharp.

SSF Pro $105.00 I've heard great things about these as well. Good price, good looking, suposidly cut like the rickson gracie gis'.

SSF Comp $105.00 Another SSF gi, this one is suposidly a little thicker then the Pro gi and based on the Kikskin Komp. I would add the Kikskin Komp gi to the list, but it has that huge logo on the front. I am not a fan of that.

Koral Classic $140.00 A pre-shrunk gi that a few guys in my club have and love. I can deal with the shoulder patches as I do not really think this gi looks bad at all.

So that is the list. I want to make the order this week. Right now I am leaning to Sirius, gameness and SSF comp or pro. Although I wanted to use my discover card, and gameness doesn't seem to take discover which might put them out of the competition.

Erik Jögimar 11-30-2007 06:12 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
I use Budo Nord's Kodomo dogi which is a thick 100% cotton weave, for Judo. It works wonderful, but it's hot as hell some days to practice in it as its quite thick.

I bought it from which i believe shipps international, last time i checked.

Stephen Kotev 12-07-2007 08:11 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)

I don't have anything to add but I would be interested in what you finally chose and why. Specifically your BJJ dogi.


DonMagee 12-11-2007 07:24 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
The first of my three was the SSFGear Pro gi . I emailed the owner and was told an A2 would be good to fit me. He was very prompt in answering me. It arrived at my house last night. I am working on a formal review. I have pictures of all the important stitching, how it came packaged, how it looks on me without washing, the embroidery, and measurements of wrist to end of cuff, ankle to end of cuff, hips to end of skirt, and groin to crotch all pre-wash. I will wear it once then wash in cold and hang dry, retake all pictures and redo all measurements. Finally I will wear the gi to one more class. This is going to be my standard process for all reviews

A quick overview however. This gi is very very soft gold weave, it is so soft I wanted to wear it to bed. It is also pleasantly thick. Initially, coming from only wearing single weaves, I was worried about the weight. But once I put the thing on, I was in heaven. The collar is very thick, but not in the least bit uncomfortable. It crosses higher on the chest then I am used to, but that seemed to keep it together better. The shoulders are a bit baggy, but I think this will shrink up in the wash. The sleeves came to less than an inch from my wrist bones. The skirt was fairly long for a bjj gi, covering my groin area (I don't recall the exact measurement and I am at work.) It only has 2 spots of embroidery and no patches. Very tastefully done on each arm (similar location to atama gi's).

The pants are super thick. Almost like a super soft broken in pair of jeans. They are a little large in the waist and crotch, but they work just fine. The legs were shorter then I expected, about 1 inch above my ankles. I am hoping that does not change much after washing. They are super reinforced, with a knee pad the whole length of the knee and extra stitching in all the right places. The rope for securing the pants is made of the same material as the pants, and the area it is threaded though is extra wide and extra reinforced, making it very easy to put the pants on and off. I suspect this will keep the problem I have with my atama single weave (I can't get the pants off easily when sweat soaked) from happening. The pants have embroidery on the bottom of the right pant leg near the ankle. The same logo that is on the arms. Very tastefully done and I think it looks great.

I will be wearing this gi tomorrow night at practice (tonight is judo night and I want to wear this for bjj first.) So after that and a wash, I can take my pictures and work up a real review. I'll post a link to it after I am done.

Th next gi I am ordering is a Sirius ultra-light gold weave. I will be ordering that gi tonight after judo practice. My final gi is a toss up between a mizuno Euro-comp, the gameness pearl, and the koral classic.

Stephen Kotev 12-11-2007 10:11 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)

This is really interesting. One of my issues with most dogi pants is that they are not that durable. So your review sounds interesting.

I never really understood why the BJJ gear is completely covered in patches - they look like NASCAR. It annoys me. I am looking for a nice dogi that is free of these patches and embroidery (if possible.)

Looking forward to the rest of your review.


DonMagee 12-11-2007 11:49 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
My next gi that I will be getting to review is very empty of patches as well (I'm not a fan of patches). I will have a review of the ultra-light gold weave version as soon as it arrives.

Another highly rated patchless gi (with almost no embroidery) is HCK. They have very nice pants as well (very thick). I do not own one personally, but my coach owns one and he likes it a lot. I found his jacket to be very heavy. But I'm not sure if he has the single or competition weave. I've heard their single weave is as thick as other's competition weaves and gold weaves. I plan to get one in the future as they are priced cheaply and give it a proper review.

The FUJI single weave is the gi sold at my club. It is white and very plain, with only the word fuji on the arms. This is a good practice gi, but I'm not sure I would like it for a competition gi. My coach has been asking me to try it out. The guys who have so far love them. It comes with patches, but they are not sewn on so you do not have to use them. I will probably pick one of these up later this year and try it out (I plan to buy 5 or 6 gi's this year to review for my blog that I want to start.)

The gameness pearl has patches on the shoulders and down the seam of the legs. All reports I have read say the stitching on these patches is easy to remove and the gi can be 100% plain. This is on my list for my gi after the Sirius (Unless I get the koral instead). So there is a good chance I will find out for sure.

One last gi I know about just from reading other reviews is the OTM Blank Gi.
It has no patches, no embroidery, nothing. Just a plain white bjj cut gi. The pants are 14oz so they are going to be very thick. I have no plans to review this gi at this time. But it looks like a very nice gi.

Of course you could always get a mizuno Eurocomp gi. It is a judo gi, but cut slender enough to work as a bjj gi. It is double weave, so it is thick and heavy. I really want one of these for judo comps, but it is a little pricey, so I'm holding off until the summer. My current mizuno single is much too baggy for bjj training.

DonMagee 12-13-2007 09:19 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
I wore the gi at class last night without washing it. It stretched a lot and was baggy like a judo gi. Very soft and easy to move in. The collar is very thick and hurt my neck until I got used to it. It was very hard to get a choke with it as well. The pants are awesome, and I am liking them more and more. I really hope the gi top shrinks in the wash. I washed it all on cold last night, I will measure and go from there. If the top has not shrunk, I will try warm water. Otherwise, I love the gi.

justin 12-26-2007 12:06 PM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
"Ciba Antibacterial wash to keep the nasty staff and ringworm from living in your gear. "

urgh whats that all about ? link taken from the first site don posted above

DonMagee 12-27-2007 08:44 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
When you train in high impact sports like wrestling, judo and bjj, you are in very close contact with the mat, and with very sweaty persons. Unfortunately, while you can bath yourself, normal washing (except in hot water, and with most gi's being made out of cotton, you can see why this is not done) does not always kill all the nastys that live in a your equipment. Some equipment can't even be washed (such as boxing gloves). There is a moderate chance of catching some nasty bacteria or virus sometime withing your training. I personally have gotten ringworm 3 times. I've also know someone who got a type of viral wart (molluscum).

This is why it is very important to wash your gi after every single class, and to spray all gear with cleaners, and wash all mats with anti fungal, bacterial, and viral cleaners. Recently, a new line of clothing has come out containing anti-microbial treatment. This is to stop the nasties from getting into the clothing, and thus in theory, helping keep you safe from infection. I personally have a few rash guards treated with this. I have no idea if it helps, but being a clean freak, I tend to use anything that makes me think I'm cleaner.

I have not found this to be a problem in aikido, the level of body contact is very minimal. A lot different then a very sweaty guy laying on you rubbing his sweat coated sleeve into your face.

Kevin Leavitt 12-27-2007 09:15 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
I am currently advising people I study with to read this. Also lots of good info on CDC website in relation to MRSA and Skin Diseases.

On the GI note, I have been interested in M Kimonos.

I have heard good things about them, and they don't have many patches, just some good quality embroidery.

Aiki1 01-07-2008 10:30 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
Don - did you ever get a Sirius gi? They look pretty good from the pics at least....

DonMagee 01-08-2008 05:54 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
I did, I've just been swamped lately with work. I plan to get a review up soon. I also plan to get the pictures up for a full review of the ssfgear gi.

Aiki1 01-08-2008 02:33 PM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
Do you like it? Did you get the Ultra-lite? How's the collar, fit, and jacket length - what size did you get????


paw 01-08-2008 06:07 PM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)

Don Magee wrote: (Post 195565)
Another highly rated patchless gi (with almost no embroidery) is HCK. They have very nice pants as well (very thick). I do not own one personally, but my coach owns one and he likes it a lot. I found his jacket to be very heavy. But I'm not sure if he has the single or competition weave. I've heard their single weave is as thick as other's competition weaves and gold weaves. I plan to get one in the future as they are priced cheaply and give it a proper review.

I love HCK, but I'm very biased. HCK is the only gi I wear.



Aiki1 01-08-2008 06:16 PM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)

Paul Watt wrote: (Post 196970)
I love HCK, but I'm very biased. HCK is the only gi I wear.



When I was rolling a lot that's all I wore as well, but now I'm looking for something for Aikido, with a shorter jacket like a BJJ gi but not necessarily the thickest collar in the world....

Aiki1 01-13-2008 08:14 PM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
If anyone is interested, I just got a Warrior-One single weave BJJ gi to use for Aikido. Since they offer a choice I got one without any logo/embroidery on it. I'm very impressed, I like it a lot. It's not too snug, like some BJJ gis can be to me, since I'm not rolling I don't need that, but it's not baggy either. The collar is thick but not like a Howard, and not uncomfortable at all. The pants are good, strong but light enough, very comfortable. I had to be a little careful about drying it so it didnt shrink, but that's fine. Well made, good material, comfortable to move in, if I do go back to rolling (might) I think it would be fine too. I'm 5'11" around 165lbs, I got a size 5.

I've got a Piranha Gold Weave on the way next. I'm thinking about trying a Kikskin single weave but I hear they might be a bit snug, not sure. I wanted to check out the Sirius single or Ultra-light too but I hear they might be snug as well.

Aiki1 01-17-2008 12:28 PM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
Again, if anyone is interested, I got a Piranha gold weave size A3. 550gr weight, very nice, soft material, thick collar. Really well made, with good strong pants. The jacket was just slightly large for me, but I never washed it because I really don't want a gi with a such a full-out "competition" collar, so I sent it back. Other than that, if I were still rolling I would have kept it, it felt great to put on. Very nice people to deal with as well. I'm waiting for their single-weave to try instead, it's a Shock Wave lighter weight.

I may try an Adidas Aikido gi or a Toraki BJJ or Judo next, not sure....

Kevin Leavitt 01-17-2008 09:18 PM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
I don't like them either with thick collars.

Went to Europeans last year with a friend that had a Gameness Gold Double weave, or something like that....he was not allowed to compete in it because it was too thick when they measured it.

So, I always try and stick to "comp legal" Kimono/Gi.

Stephen Kotev 01-18-2008 07:17 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
I am looking for a dogi that would be "comp legal" and is free of patches and embroidery. Antibacterial sounds interesting too.

I would like to use this dogi for both BJJ and Aikido.

The only thing that I have seen so far would be the OTM Blank Gi that Don mentioned before. Does any one have any other suggestions?


DonMagee 01-18-2008 07:23 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
Another option is Padilla & Son's gold weave.

They come in white and blue. Mine is bjj and judo comp legal (Well I've gotten a complaint once in judo by a stuffy old ref for the sleeve width). They fit great and are priced right. It does have some slight embroidery though. Other almost embroidery free gi's are from Howards Combat Kimonos (HCK), Sirius, HSU imports (for the most part if I recall right these are 100% embroidery and patch free ), and the gameness pearl can be modified to easily remove it's striping on the shoulders and pants, then it is patch free as well.

I am currently planning to get all my reviews up for all my gi's with pictures by the end of February. I'm working on a little domain to house them.

Aiki1 02-14-2008 03:45 PM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
Since I last posted I've tried:

- Toraki BJJ gi - tough, well-made, stiff collar (ordered with more room, was too big, my fault...)
- Kikskin single weave - well-made, soft, comfortable, big but soft collar, BJJ fit
- Piranha/Shockwave single weave - nice gi, lightweight, jacket was too long for me, shrunk a bit in the body

On The Way:

- Isami super light-weight BJJ single weave
- Isami "mid-weight" Aikido-specific gi (had to order Isami from Japan through Chokesports)
- Spartan mid-weight hybrid weave BJJ gi

Thinking of trying:

- Mizuno Kano judo gi (mid-weight) supposed to be soft and comfortable
- Mizuno new Keiko gi (lighter)

DonMagee 02-18-2008 10:50 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
I'm really swamped at work. Having trouble getting my reviews online due to time constraints with training.

Right now my most favorite gi is the Padillia. The fit is nice, its very soft and has a good fit to it for me. The collar is very thin however, which could be problematic for competitions. I also love my Sirius ultralite gold weave. Again, the collar is a little thinner than I like, but the fit in A2 is perfect for me. Shrinkage in both of these gi's was almost non-existant with cold water wash and hang dry.

My list of gi's

1) Mizuno single weave
2) Sirius Ultralight gold
3) Padillia and sons gold weave
4) Scientific street fighter gold weave (Pro, not competition)
5) Atama single
6) Atama gold weave
7) Kwon single
8) Gameness pearl (on the way)

Aiki1 02-18-2008 08:16 PM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
Got the lastest gis:

-- Isami super light-weight BJJ single weave

Nice light-weight BJJ gi with no logos or embroidery, good fit, not uncomfortably snug and not huge. Fairly thin collar but it's not meant to be a competition gi.

-- Isami "mid-weight" Aikido-specific gi (IK-100)

A nice gi with the "Aikikai" label/logo on it. A little long, which I don't like, but not too bad. Looks like the sleeves are shrinking a little to about 3/4 length, which is fine for AIkido. The entire gi is single weave, not a diamond-weave skirt. Had I known it was this long I probably wouldn't have ordered it, but it's a good gi, I may have it tailored. It was $85 + shipping.

I ordered both Isami through Chokesports. Shipping was a lot but it got here Really fast from Japan.

-- Spartan mid-weight hybrid weave BJJ gi

Good BJJ gi, I ordered it too big and am sending it back. Very nice though, heavier hybrid weave, nice collar, strong jacket, heavy pants. I could have exchanged it, if I were still rolling a lot I would use it. Very nice folks.

Kevin Leavitt 02-18-2008 08:21 PM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)
I'd imagine that the Aikido Gi has the longer skirt on the jacket so it will stay tucked in the Hakama better...maybe?

I always have a field day with guys that have loose baggy, and long Gi's in BJJ. They make wonderful garrots to wrap around the neck and to secure arms with! :)

I have an Atama Single weave that I have worn for the past 3 years. Decent GI, starting to wear and tear some, but it has been my favorite!

I also like the Gameness Double Weaves, but you have to be careful if you are going to compete under IBJJF rules, the Collars are too thick sometimes and they are not legal!

Aiki1 02-19-2008 12:29 AM

Re: Gi advice (judo/bjj/aikido)

Kevin Leavitt wrote: (Post 199480)
I'd imagine that the Aikido Gi has the longer skirt on the jacket so it will stay tucked in the Hakama better...maybe?

That was my take as well....


I have an Atama Single weave that I have worn for the past 3 years. Decent GI, starting to wear and tear some, but it has been my favorite!
I still have an Atama single that I bought ten tears ago - still a great gi, I don't know if the newer ones are the same or made different now....

The perennial gi search goes on.... I'm thinking of trying a Sirius single but they're out right now....

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