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Yes. I'm just really busy and don't update it that often.
I don't have a jiu-jitsu kimono "regular" style body (e.g. very tall and thin or very short and stocky). How can I get a comfortable kimono?
If you have a specific brand in mind, call the manufacturers and explain your situation, they may have a recommendation or solution for you. If you're in Brazil, go to the store or factory you can get it tailored right there, just like buying a suit. Another option is to check out some of the judogi as this is a larger sport with more "plus-sized" competitors (see Judoinfo.com). Lastly, many of the folks not within the mold of the kimono companies simply buy a larger kimono and then get it tailored locally.
One e-mail I got recommends Atama: I'm 6'8" 285 lbs and got a A-6 Atama single as recommended by my instructor. I can't really compare it to anything else since it's my first gi, but it seems to be holding up just fine considering my weight. No damage to report except for one of the embroidered letters came out. As far as the coat goes I'm willing to say that an A-6 coat would fit up to 6'10" and probably about 325 lbs. Coat is enormous. Although sleeves might be starting to get to short. Pants are also big boy size and when I got them they touched the floor standing. Now they have shrunk to right at my ankle. Overall very pleased.
Courtesy of Norm Q.
Gi, like most garments, are really all about brand names and marketing. I will agree that for the most part, it is only huge companies have the money to research, develop, market and warranty a product and there is a lot of overhead running that type of operation. Still, the price discrepancy among most of the popular brands does little to justify or reflect the difference in quality.
Most gi come out of a few factories in China or Pakistan. There is a multicolored galaxy of other producers around the world but they pale in comparison to what Pakistan and China produce. You know the standard bleached single weave cotton uniforms that pretty much all companies push as beginner uniforms and cost around $60 - $70? [These can be] imported from Pakistan at a price of $6 per unit, import taxes, and transportation included. Amazing what you can produce by paying slave wages, no? Just about every major manufacturer has at least a few models from their line produced in these centers.
Now let's talk about the fabric. Cotton producers have a somewhat complicated formula by which they grade cotton. Cotton is graded by using a complicated system of tests that measures everything from fiber length and thickness to individual fiber strength, maturity ratio (the amount of cellulose in the fiber) and permeability of compressed fibers, to name a few. So basically, the higher the quality of the fiber, the longer, stronger, lighter, better moisture absorption, breathbalilty and better dye holding properties it has.
So in relation to gi, companies will do anything to sell and make a profit. The latest marketing tool is to market a heavier gi. You will notice that most times, the heaver the gi, the coarser it feels, right? That's because companies are using a lower grade of cotton to produce those gi. The logic is that there is a lot more fabric and it is a much denser weave so the fiber strength of the cotton doesn't have to be as high as a high quality lighter weaves. Using lower grade cotton, even in higher amounts, is cheaper than using a higher-grade cotton. Companies are also savvy with marketing research and they know very well that there are few people who really wear out gis before they buy new ones. Try asking some companies for a data sheet on the cotton they use. You'll never get it. I won't even go into the cost difference per bail between the low, mid and high-grade cottons. You would flip.
Ever wonder why some blue gi fade so fast? Bad cotton. Wonder why a DAX moskito (for instance) weighs so much more than a Mizuno double deluxe, but the advertisedâ fabric weight is only slightly heavier? The cotton used is lesser quality and has much shorter, denser fibers. This is also the reason that some gis are so hot and donât seem to breathe. Once again, itâs due to bad, dense cotton. It's like the difference between a cotton shirt that one would buy at a discount store and one bought from a shirt maker that uses a fine Egyptian cotton. Wash them both a hundred times and see which one lasts, still looks good, breathes well and shrinks less.
A competition lite should be similar to a single weave, the thinnest collar made by a brand. Next up would be the double weave, with a thicker collar. The thickest collar would come on an absolute. Typically the kimono material also gets heavier and coarser. The more you pay, the more (by mass), kimono you usually get.
The exception is the gold weave, these kimono have fairly thick collars (single to double weave) but are made of softer (higher quality) material.
Send a kimono to me and I will be happy to run it through the Joker test. I look at how the structural weak points are reinforced, feel, comfort, look, collar thickness, what happens after a wash (e.g. any color bleed), how easy is for me to manipulate the gi on offense, and how easy is it for my opponent to manipulate the gi against me (e.g. collar chokes). I'll either write a new review or expand the information already there. Contact me for more information.
I wash my kimonos with cold water using liquid soap (powdered soap has a tendency to cling to the material). I hang my them up to dry. If your breaking in a new kimono you can wash it and use brief intervals in the dryer to shrink it to perfection. I have heard that to "set" dark colors you can wash the kimono in vinegar and then follow with a regular wash. I have never tried this so I do not know if its true.
My recommendation is if you have a jiu-jitsu or judo gi stick with it until shortly before it dies a noble death (nobody likes wrestling people with ripped gi's). During this time find out which gi seems right for you, although I recommend HCK, Atama, and Gameness. If you are just starting out with no equipment try to invest under $100 on your gi, because you might also want to pick up head gear, a jockstrap with cup, knee pads, and a well fitting mouthguard. I found wearing spandex shorts under my gi pants helped too, as it prevented people from grabbing the flesh on the inside of my thighs when passing the guard.
Basically in form and function, they are the same: a heavy top with a thick collar for throwing and wrestling, pants typically with reinforced knees for wrestling, and a belt for keeping the top closed as well as being an extra hand hold.
At a beginner training and competition level, the use of either jiu-jitsu kimono or judo gi is mutually exclusive, it's the uniform that you get beat in -- A LOT! Jiu-jitsu tournaments are more poorly organized than judo, so a proper judo uniform is necessary for competition but jiu-jitsu kimonos fall in this category.
From what I have observed, it seems like the judo uniform sleeves can be worn higher and tighter than in jiu-jitsu. The jiu-jitsu kimonos have thicker lapels on average and are built to withstand the rigors of groundfighting. Judo gi's usually have a two piece cut, while jiu-jitsu has a one or two piece cut.
Probably very little to nothing at all if it's not up. Please ask about it and I'll find some information and post it. I'm always looking to expand the site and if you have any opinions about a kimono, please let me know.
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