Jay Lancaster wrote:
I don't want to double post but some original questions weren't answered as originally asked by aikidoguy. Since I am looking to possibly purchase a Tozando in the next few days the answers would apply to me also.
1. Anyone know how the begginer's Gi is? I actually have a nice Gi from HCK but am looking for a lighter weight second "traveling" Gi. Yet I still want a certain quality to it (without breaking the bank).
2. What kind of shipping service did you use? UPS Global or EMS?
3. How long did it take to get/ship the order (and to what state are we reffering to)?
4. Last question: How much was the tariffs and shipping total costs???
I would greatly appreciate your time in answering these questions based on your experiences. They are important because I have a summer camp in three weeks and want to know if its feasible to make my purchase from Tozando. Thank You.
Oh, this is also my first post, WhooHoo!
<This is a cool smiley
I first started working for Tozando when I lived in Kyoto in the 90's. Now back in the states, I'm still an agent and still help out with English translations whenever they ask. However, I'm a martial artist first, so I go with what works - period. Though I today order from several places, I've loved Tozando's products ever since I first came across them and have always considered them to be the best you could buy. As for their gi, their hand-stitched gi are simply beyond belief - totally amazing. You have to try one on just to even begin to know how strong and comfortable a gi can be at the very exact time. The lightest hand-stitched gi is so comfortable and easily as strong, if not stronger, than most heavy weight gi.
As for your questions:
1. This gi is comparable to other standard single weave gi. Only the jacket tends to be a bit softer (without losing strength) and the pants are both softer, slightly thicker, and much more comfortable around the draw string.
2. The shipping service you use is dependent upon what items you order - i.e. certain items are required by law to be shipped one way and not another (e.g. swords). Tozando will either let you know how an item can be shipped when you order it or you can contact them to find out what choices you have open to you.
3. All orders are slowed down slightly in August since this is like a national vacation month in Japan. So you got to account for that. Items that are hot items (like swords following Tom Cruise's "The Last Samurai") may take longer to received due to stocking issues - if that is the case, you might get what you want in 2 to 4 weeks time, depending how you ship it (realizing that shipping by sea to the states takes forever). Items that are custom made and/or that are made by houses represented by a culturally recognized master - expect a minimum of a month to several months to get your order. These are things like certain gi, certain hakama, certain swords, etc. The craftsmen are very dependent upon things like the weather, etc., and if something comes up, your order will be delayed, even greatly. Tozando can always be contacted, giving you an estimated time of shipping and also keeping you up to date on your order's status.
4. Shipping and tariffs are dependent upon what you order and how you send it. You can get this information from Tozando when you order the gi and/or you can contact them directly (remembering that August makes things a bit slow).
If you are looking to get only the beginner gi in three weeks, you are going to have to send that by air and you are going to have to have that item be in stock. If that is the case, you might be looking at shipping costing half the price of the gi or even more.
All I can say, is that Tozando's products are always worth the price and worth the wait.