Ah Ha! A guy with Nine Circles gear....what is your opinion? We are currently looking for a place to get hakama now that BuJin is out and are looking at Nine Circles. Is there keikogi of a respectable quality? I think they make a lighter version of the judo uwagi for aikido....is this true and, if so, have you tried that out?
Thanks for any response,
You know I'm still a bit up in the air about the Nine Circles gi. The guys in the UK are aboslutely nutso about Nine Circles - they love them. Perhaps my expectations were too high as a result. I would say it is a good but not great gi.
What I like about it especially is the clean look - it doesn't have lapel stitching like on some that I think can look a little odd. I also like the shorter, aikido length sleeves and the absence of a back seam. It does have a longer skirt - similar to Tozando but much longer than the BuJin design. It doesn't bother me and may be good for folks in hakama.
I'm 5'11" 175lbs and the size 5 is a just a bit snug - I believe it's designed to be that way - a slimmer fit. If I drop five pounds, it'd be perfect. I should say - when I drop five pounds, it'll be perfect.
I ordered mine from the UK. I had relatives there at the time who were able to bring it back for me. Still it cost almost $100 (w/ tax and shipping). If I had it shipped to the US, it would have been more like $120-$140. For that kind of money, get one from Japan - especially if you don't need the pants.
The customer service of the guys in the UK was, on the whole, great. Very responsive and shipped exactly when they promised. The only thing I didn't like was that I asked what the country of origin for the gi was and they said they didn't know for sure. When I got the gi, it was clearly labeled Made in Pakistan. I tell myself that shouldn't make a difference but I don't think I would have spent $100 on a gi made in Pakistan.
If the US branch of nine circles has significantly better pricing, I may yet try their single weave version.
Hope that helps...