Archive for the ‘Gi Review’ Category

Summer New Gear Roundup

Posted: July 3, 2014 in Gi Review

I’ve been pretty busy the last 2 months, I moved into a new house and even changed gyms. Newer still is a few BJJ clothing items I picked up recently.

One of my favorite BJJ brands is Underoath BJJ, I currently own 5 of their shirts. Two of those shirts I just got the other day and are pretty sweet. One of the reasons I love their t-shirts in particular is the extremely durable printing method they use on the T’s. Paired with solid designs and a comfortable t-shirt, you’ve got a recipe for awesomeness.

The PAPA, my favorite out of the new two I picked up:


The “Chix”:


I also was able to pick up a Gawakoto Kalabaw rashguard from Beyond having some really good deals on gear overall, they also have a 60 day Warranty on Gis, even if you’ve washed or rolled in it. That’s pretty sweet. Especially considering how hard it can be to find a gi that fits just right. Not only that, but it’s free shipping and 2 day air shipping for Gis. BOOM. As far as distributors go these guys are doing it right. I’ve heard (correct me if I’m wrong) that Scramble makes Gawakoto’s rashguards, so if those fit you well this could be another good option for you.

I’m 5’10 and a luscious 215lbs since my surgery so I got the rashie in an XL. It fits great. I’ve had some really bad issues with certain brands in the past in regards to fitment and quality and this Gawatoko rashguard was great all around. The sublimations look beautiful and it fits like a glove. I’m a bigger fan of long sleeved rashguards but it’s summer right? Suns out, guns out.


Since I mentioned it, I wanted to give reasons why I dislike the NOGI, Kaizen and Manto rashguards so much. The NOGI and Kaizen were clearly made by the same people (Budovideos owns NOGI AFAIK) and the lettering came off in one wash and it fit like crap. The Manto didn’t have that issue (I bought the TapCancerOut rashguard) but it’s neck opening is seriously wide and the body was definitely made for someone with a super long torso.

Manila Kimonos

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review


Manila Kimonos Gi Review

by Daniel ‘I’d rather be Starscream than Megatron’ Halpin

Manila Kimonos Overview

The Manila Kimonos Gi is a Gi that really hits a homerun in regards to its execution. With beautiful embroidery and seam tape the Gi stands out without going overboard.

It’s comfortable AND classy.


Be weary however, as the A3 is a little longer in the pants and the skirt than even I (at the bottom of the A3 spectrum and used to oversized Gis) am used to.

I’d say the perfect height after shrinkage is 6’0″ or 6’1″.

Although the chest/shoulder/arm girth did fit my frame of 195lbs very nicely.

Purchase of the Manila Kimono includes: 1 x top. 1 x bottom.

I am unsure if this was a full on production model but no Gi bag came with the Gi.


gireviews size chart

Washer Warm – Cold, 2nd Rinse

Dryer, 60 minutes normal heat

Pre and Post wash measurements:
22 inch armpit to wrist 21
67 inch wingspan to 66
C – 22 inch armpit to skirt 21 3/4
32 3/4 top to skirt 32 1/2
D – 25 inch bottom of skirt across 24 1/2
E – 23 1/2 waist to 21 1/2
H – 42 long to 39 1/2
30 1/2 crotch to pant bottom 29
F – 12 inch pant width top to 11 1/2
G – 9 1/2 pant width bottom 9

No Shrinkage in the chest.
A – No Shrinkage in the wrist.



As I mentioned previously, the Gi is cut for someone with a longer torso. The slits on side of the Gi are very large but, unlike the Ezekiel “Jiu Jitsu” Gi, I can see these slits being larger making sense. As the jacket itself is longer the slits allow for greater mobility and are designed as to not restrict your legs.


I really like the Lotus flower design you can find on both arms and the back of this Gi. Good care was taken in the embroidery of the flower. The writing above the flower however of “Manila” could use some work as the border around the inner text doesn’t always sit nicely on the letters.


I also really enjoyed the seam tape on the otuside of the sleeves and the bottom of the skirt. A nice amount of flare without becoming too overpowering. The orange contrast stitching really does well to make this Gi “pop”.


I had no issues with a flimsy collar or any scratching from the interior of the Gi. The collar is wrapped in ripstop. After three washes the Gi still maintained its deep black color, however the ripstop coated collar had begun to fade a small bit. It’s not a summer time light Gi by any means, but definitely not that heavy either. I would put it right in the middle of all the Gi’s I own. A nice year round choice.




The pants are made of ripstop and have the same Manila seam tape as the rest of the gi at the bottom of the pant legs. The islands of the Philippines are beautifully embroidered on the left pant leg. Unfortunately due to my stubby legs the A3 pants were too long for me, on the bright side for the people that these DO fit, the crotch area is not saggy, which is something I can’t stand.


The pants are held up by one loop on each side of the waist using a twill string.


As with most ripstop pants they aren’t very breathable once they get soaked. If rip stops you’re flavor though, that’s nothing new to you. I also would have preferred a large area of coverage for the knee reinforcements.

Wife Approval

“Oh my god! That’s sooo nice!”

My Filipino Friend Omar’s first impression

“Oh my god dude! I want that Gi!”


I must say that after reviewing quite a few Gis now that it seems that all of the Gis I have tested are always of good quality in terms of construction.

This really is good news for BJJ practioners everywhere as it means competitiveness in the market is at an all time high.

I’m seeing new brands pop up virtually every week some great new innovations to add to the industry.

It’s a great time to be buying a Gi.

With construction quality being something less to worry about it seems the main purpose of reviewing Gis is to point out the Gi cut, the materials used and the aesthetics of the Gi.

As those are typically the deciding factor for people when purchasing a Gi outside of construction quality. It says a lot for the industry when start up and major Gi brands alike have similar construction quality.

Getting a Gi that is cut wrong or too oversized/undersized can be a huge hassle and waste a lot of time/money sending a Gi back for another.

Hopefully I can convey to the reader enough information to help them in their Gi selection process. That is always my goal.

Valor Victory BJJ Gi in Sexy Grey

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Valor Victory BJJ GI in sexy Grey

Valor Fightwear is a new BJJ Gi company out of England. One of the harder parts for a new company to get right is the design, and Valor really made a splash with us in regards to the aesthetic of their Gis. They look super clean and well thought out without going overboard.

From their site:

Technical Specs

  • 450 Gram Pearl Weave Jacket
  • Rip Stop Covered Rubberised Lapel
  • Contrast Stitching
  • Tailored Cut for a better fit
  • 8oz Canvass Cotton Trousers
  • 4 Drawstring Loops to keep the drawstring in the correct position and to stop it moving around
  • Super Thick Duo Layer Rope Drawstring
  • FREE Drawstring GI Bag

Let’s start with the top. The top fit superbly. My 5’10″ 205lb frame fit in their A2 quite comfortable.  Their claim of a tailored fit was validated the first time I put the jacket on. Prior to putting the jacket on, I was instantly impressed with their awesome logos and the embroidery used to construct them. The first logo, shown below next to the collar, has the companies name embroidered in very clean typography. The gi was quite light. This is my first grey Gi and honestly wish more people would wear them because they look awesome.



The arm embroidery (it’s on both arms) is also squeaky clean. The embroidery itself is of good quality and the design is easy to look at. My favorite Gis are those that make a brand statement but do so in a minimalist fashion. I think Valor Fightwear achieves this and makes it look easy while doing it.


The navy contrast stitching was an excellent choice, you can see how beautifully it goes  with the grey they used just by looking at the “Victory” embroidery near the bottom of the skirt.


A very standard triple stitched seam tape is used for the sleeve taping.




The pants are VERY light. They are listed as 8 oz cotton but I truly feel as if they are the lightest pair I own. It leads me to wonder about the long term durability of these pants, although the gi IS marketed as being a competition gi. The knee reinforcements a quite long.


The poker chip logo on the pants looks great and the embroidery is just as solid as that found on the top. Although I was originally bothered by the thickness and shortness of the stretchy rope drawstring, I stopped tying it in the traditional manner and just made a knot. It stayed put during sparring and came undone easily enough when I was done. So for those giving this Gi a shot go with a small knot vice the old bunny ears and it will work just grand.


In an effort to keep the pants lighter they went with a very thin seam tape for the bottom of the pants. Personally I prefer a 10oz cotton pant, but these did hold up in training.


 Final Thought:

Grey is sexy. Super clean with beautiful touches. A brand to follow for sure.


From their site:

The Valor Victory GI is a premium lightweight GI made from a 450gram pearl weave that’€™s lightweight, durable and comfortable to train in.

The GI jacket is has a tailored cut so it fits closer to the body giving it a better fit than most standard GIs. It features contrast stitching, stylish Valor patches and embroideries and a Rip Stop covered rubberised lapel.

The Pants are made from 8oz canvass cotton and feature contrast stitching, drawstring loops and Drawstring. The Drawstring is our very own Super Thick Duo Layer Rope Drawstring. Its twice as thick as most other rope drawstrings and features a canvass cotton outer layer and a thick slightly elasticated inner core. These are the best drawstrings on any GI we have seen!

Each GI comes with a free drawstring GI bag.

Sizing information:

Height Weight Size
5’2-5’8 55-70 Kilo A1
5’9-5’11 71-86 Kilo A2
6’0-6’2 87-102 Kilo A3
6’2-6’3 103-120 Kilo A4 

Dokebi Bros

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Dokebi Bros

One of the more unique Gi offerings I’ve come across in my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey is the Dokebi Bro’s Balance Gi. Unique in the sense that it is the only Gi that I’ve personally come across that is Made in South Korea. It’s a strong gi, it reminds me of a cross between a Judo Gi and a BJJ Gi. It’s a got a very durable 450gsm Single Weave, but it’s also quite soft. They’ve gone for a traditionalist and old school take on the BJJ kimono, I’d say they’ve definitely succeeded in that regard. Dokebi Bros is doing things different, and I LIKE that. It’s hard to stand out in today’s BJJ market, but they do it will. They have the right mindset for sure. They believe in labor that doesn’t involved a sweatshop mentality and cares about their product AND the people involved with it.



I asked Dokebi to share with me a little bit about their company, and I’ll have that posted at the bottom of the review, so you can see why they do what they do. Due to a knee injury, and me having the Gi for quite a while without being able to roll in it, I gave the Gi to my coach Perry to wear so I could hassle him and see what he liked/disliked about the Gi. It was a new way of reviewing the Gi, but it was nice seeing the things other people noticed after I had my initial impressions from just trying it on.

Some notes about the  ”Balance” Gi by Dokebi Bros.

  • Tailored Fit Single Weave 100% cotton
  • 450 G/SM Jacket
  • All patches are embroidered
  • Heavy-duty cotton twill pants (14 oz.)
  • Flat cord drawstring closure system
  • Reinforced knees
  • No EVA Foam Collar

The top, like previously stated is a 450gsm Single Weave. It’s soft and durable. The top has a few logo hits here on the gi: the collar, the right sleeve, and the back of the Gi. All of the embroidery is nicely done and flows well. The cut of the Gi (this being an A2) would be better suited for someone with a larger chest but a healthy waistline. The collar seemed to puff out from the chest quite a bit on myself and Perry.  The Gi didn’t seem to sit flush on either of us at the bottom of the skirt, which was on the longer side. (Which is a traditional BJJ trait).


Some closer shots of the cool collar embroidery.


The collar itself felt sturdy but light. It’s wrapped in twill cotton, which is what the pants are made of.


One aspect I really liked with the Gi was the reinforcement across the back stitching using a strong seam tape. I’ve only seen a few companies do this and wish more would.


The seam tape in the sleeves (and on the pant bottoms for that matter) are a sturdy twill cotton. It helps keep the tone of the Gi down so it doesn’t come across as too flash and I like that a lot. Speaking of the sleeves, it was another of my favorite aspects of the Gi. They seemed to be cut perfectly. Tailored, tough to grip and a smaller sized sleeve opening.


A shot showing the “Made in Korea” tag. You know they have to be proud of that.


Close up of the arm embroidery.


The prominent upper back logo. You may have noticed that the Ying and Yang is featured in a lot of their artwork


Sticking with their traditionalist theme on this Gi. They went with the twill drawstrings. Neither myself nor Perry prefer these type, but it goes with the intentions of the Gi. I’m not too sure I feel safe having just two drawstring loops and would have liked to have seen at least two on each side.


The pants fit really well on both myself and Perry. Other than wanting a bit more from the drawstring system, he didn’t have any issues with the pants falling down or inhibiting his rolling at all. I LOVE these little dudes on the pants label. These cartoon characters are present quite a bit on their site and marketing media.


Despite having no idea what these letters mean, they look sweet. The blue has a nice shiny aspect to it and it really looks clean.

If you are looking to support a great company, with good values and want a traditionalist gi with some new-age flair, this could be your dream Gi.

And here’s a picture of Perry, thanks for the assist Perry!

photo (5)

About the company, from the company:

We tried to keep it old school on our basic model. It doesn’t include foam collar, rip-stop, stretch ropestring closures or flexpanels. (Of course all these things are not something we consider bad and they have their right to exist, we just wanted to keep it simple and down to earth with this model.)

We are a team of two (hence the ‘Bros.’). Me, Paul,and my friend and co-owner Jusuf. I am a bluebelt under Renzo Gracie and my partner is also a bluebelt under Orlando Neto Machado from Akxe BJJ Vienna where we both currently train. So far we did all the work by ourselves, from locating our suppliers via designing our merchandise and website through to arranging photoshootings and customer care.

Our brand’s focus is to provide our jiu-jitsu community with unique bjj gear and streetwear items made of the highest quality. The streetwear clothing line will include products with a hint of vintage but will always have the connection to the sport of bjj.

We are trying to avoid sweatshop labor and we struggle to be different from the usual small gi companies that produce their gear via Alibaba in Pakistan by copying big company gis and just putting their own labels on it.

A lot of nice stuff is coming up which I hope you guys will like. For example our ranked rashguards: They are made from a compound of two different mesh-materials and are very breathable. So keep your eyes open!

X-Guard Kamikaze

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

X-Guard Kamikaze XG4

X Gonna give it to ya (Shameless DMX reference)


 A very solid Kimono in construction and looks

X-Guard is one of those companies that dove right in to every aspect of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community as soon as they got in on the market. They pay close attention to their customers and because of that, have been moving more and more Gi’s. Folks like Vinny Magalhaes and Rodrigo Teixeira can be seen sporting X-Guard gear. With cool freebies and solid quality, you can’t go wrong with an X-Guard Kimono.


From the site:

This premium quality kimono was born on the mat, and was designed by a grappler for a grappler. Some features we demand are 8 point loop system trousers, contrast color stitching, tailored fit and feel, Lite-Pearl weave jacket, competition strength 10 oz canvas trousers, double stitched logos and a thick rope drawstring.

In addition this premium quality kimono is a LIMITED EDITION and will never be mass produced.

Kimono features:

– 8 Point Loop System
– Sick Contrast Color Stitching
– Lite Pearl Weave Jacket
– Competition Strength Canvas Trousers
– Thick Rope Drawstring
– Double Stitched Logos / Patches
– 3 Color Ribbon Lining

What you recieve:

1 x Gi Top

1 x Gi Pant

(Per other customers)

1 x T-shirt

1 x Gi Bag

1 x Patch


A very solid pearl weave Kimono in construction and looks.  The XG4 Kamikaze doesn’t bring much, if anything, new to the table, but it is reasonably priced, with nice extra goodies and will take the abuse you throw at it. The Gi has mostly subtle flair that looks clean and contrasts well. I had no issues with bad threading or seams, which were tripled stitched throughout. Of note, the stretchy rope drawstring seemed to have frayed a little bit on one side, but that’s most likely a defect. As a limited edition Gi you won’t be able to get it anymore, but rest assured you will be in good hands if you pick up the XG5 series X-Guard has yet to release.

Unfortunately I washed the Gi before I took initial measurements so a shrinkage comparison would be in vain, however, I can tell you that shrinkage was very very minimal as I couldn’t even tell a difference in the sleeves, pants or skirt length. I even hot washed it with a run in the dryer on medium heat. So it would seem that the Gi stays pretty true to form.

The top:

In the range of Gi’s I own I would classify the X-Guard Kamikaze as a middle-weight. It’s not ultra-light or super-heavy, just a nice all around Gi top. It will be able to handle intense sessions on the mat quite easily. It was a tad larger than I like around the body, but that’s more likely to me being inbetween sizes than anything else.

The red and black contrast nicely but I must say that the white patch on the chest of the black Gi really throws off the sex appeal of the Gi overall to me. Otherwise, in the looks department, the Gi looks great.

The other white patch featuring a kamikaze on the bottom of the skirt has a nice location as to not detract from the overall look of the Gi. The collar was nice and thick, comfortable and sturdy.

During grappling the X-guard jacket did not limit my range of motion in any way and I felt no scratchy interior linings, patches, etc.

The sleeves are slim around the wrist which makes for a nice advantage in grip fighting.

Embroidery is well stitched including the “X” wrapped in a wreath on the sleeves and the Kamikaze Japanese lettering on the back of the Gi looks beautiful.

The skirt sits flush and the overall cut is what I would classify as being “tailored”. The sleeves did seem a little on the shorter side for an A3 compared to the rest of the Gi top. 



The pants felt much like any other canvas trousers. There was a bit of excess threading fraying at the belt loops which gave the pants a bit of a “cheap” look too it. A couple of tugs though and I was reassured that the belt loops would suffice in strength. And with 8 belt loops total instead of the usual 6 the drawstring stayed nice and secure without rising above the front of the pants.

The extra knee padding doesn’t extend all the way to the ankle, but it hast decent enough range.

The A3 pants were a bit long on my 5’10 frame and I did find the pants much baggier than I am used to. The A2 pants would have been a much wiser choice on my part. O well, that’s the tough life of a short and wide mutant.

Customer Service:


One thing that I hear a lot of great feedback on is X-Guards customer service. Most purchases enjoy free T-shirts, Gi-bags and patches.

I personally love having free stuff shoved in my face, so for those out there looking to make the most out of your investment, X-Guard really does have a great bang for the buck. I’m not 100% on their next XG5 gi’s price range but I expect to see it in the $120-140 range, depending on the seller.

TUFROL Signature Gi

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

The TUFROL Signature Gi.

TUFROL is a new company that has some nice designs and is working on developing their own brand of Gis. Like many companies, TUFROL is out of California.





A. 6.75

B. 29

C. 22

D. 26

E. 22

F. 12

G. 9.5

H. 38

Pant length from crotch: 25

Chest width: 21




  • 550 GSM Pearl Weave Jacket
  • 12 oz. canvas pants
  • pre-shrunk jackets and pants
  • gold weave gusset crotch
  • double stitched loops on the pants
  • reinforcement lining tape inside jacket and on sleeve and pants cuffs.
  • few tags and embroidery.
  • reinforced knee pads
  • EVA foam collar – perfect balance, not too hard (uncomfortable), not to soft (better grips for the opponent)
  • fitted kimono, confort and style
  • elastic drawstring on the pants
  • heavy reinforced seams for extra durability
  • contrast stitching

The Top:

The collar felt like it was choking me and was my only real major gripe with the Gi, I was really disappointed because aesthetically the Gi has some nice colors in use. The seam tape colors were different that a lot of other Gis and looked nice and I liked the use of gray as a contrast stitch and side vent color. I also liked how they left one of the sleeves blank and think the Gi overall would have looked a little better with both sleeves being blank.

I wasn’t too keen on their website being embroidered on the upper back of the Gi, to me putting a website on clothing can look pretty cheesy. The trailing stitching also looks subpar.TUFROL 007
The flat back part of the collar should be visible in this picture.  and was oddly formed with indents near the back of the neck. Maybe I have a fat neck, but I’ve never had this issue with any gi in the past of any A2 or A3 size from any company. It wasn’t comfortable to roll in at all.TUFROL 001The pretty seam tape, it was a bit scratchy, but only a tad. It lessened with continuous washing and wasn’t an issue after a handful of washes.

The TUFROL Signature Gi does have some nice elements to it, the color options being one of them, their TUFROL patch on the skirt of the jacket being another, it looks really nice and subtle.

Another tag on the skirt. Although they say the gi is 550gsm, it feels much lighter.TUFROL 004

I wasn’t the biggest fan of this arm embroidery from a looks standpoint. None of the patches or embroidery bothered me while rolling however.TUFROL 006

The Trousers:

The pants didn’t feel as if they were the greatest quality and had a yellow tint to them which didn’t look very good compared to the tops color. Although light, they felt relatively baggy in the arse. Regardless, I didn’t have any issues while rolling. Like the top, the pants 12oz cotton rating seems a bit too much as these are definitely some of the lighter pants I’ve worn.


Embroidery on the side of the leg.

The belt loop system worked and featured a six belt loop system with a stretchy rope drawstring.TUFROL 013The seam tape at the bottom of the pants was uncolored standard cotton. It wasn’t scratchy but was different than the colored choice they went with for the sleeves.TUFROL 015


Rolling wise, I just couldn’t enjoy myself due to the collar. The pants were ok but not my favorite fitting. This could be a great summer Gi due to its lightness if the collar fits you.

On a brighter note, in addition to the Gi, TUFROL throws in some really good looking stickers. I especially like the Carlos Gracie, Helio Gracie, Mitsu Maeda and Jigoro Kano sticker. It’s a really cool design and you can buy a shirt with it on their store.


In Conclusion:

I did try messaging TUFROL to express a few concerns but did not get a response back. Smaller companies are always improving and I’d love to see them make a couple minor changes to really let their line of Gis stand out.

Tatami Estilo 3.0

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Tatami Fightwear Estilo 3.0 After Rolling Top & Pants, Pink Elephant slipper not included

The skinny on the Tatami Estilo 3.0 in Navy:

by Dan Halpin

– 500gsm Single Piece Pearl Weave Jacket
– Canvas rubberized collar, opposed to normal twill collar. Canvas BJJ GI collars are much more hard wearing than traditional twill collars and help to keep the shape of the kimono.
– Contrast stitching on all Kimono’s
– New patch and embroidery designs.
– Triple stitched across all stress points
– Estilo E logo embroidered on both arms and left leg
– Inside cuff and lapel trim
– Heavy 14oz Canvas pants opposed to traditional twill. Double reinforced knee padding, triple stitched with over lapped seams.
– 4 Drawstring loops on the trousers to help keep the pants in the correct position on the body.
– All Estilo kimono’s will come with mix and match pants options enabling customers of in between the sizes to have the best fitting kimono.
– Rope drawstring as opposed to the traditional twill, which allows for tighter fastening of the pants, and more comfort when training.

Bottom line: Buy this Gi! (This gi made our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide for a reason!)


Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you). These are all things that I have experience with that I am recommending because they are helpful and are companies that I have personally purchased from, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products. If you have any questions about the links on this page, please email me!

Click here for a great price on the Estilo 3.0 here in the U.S.

Click here for the best place to order the Estilo 3.0 in the U.K. and abroad

Dan’s Score for the Tatami Estilo 3.0 in Navy: 9/10

Dan’s Dimensions: 5’10″ 195lbs, stockier upper body with normal legs for his height.
Gi Top Size: A3
Pant Size: A2

Estilo 3.0 by Tatami Fightwear Pre-Roll Top & Pants


Pretty much everything about this Gi is likeable. The Gi cut is tailored and fits me like a glove (A3 at 5’10 195lbs, Gi has been washed and dried after every session). The interior is comfortable while the exterior is still difficult to grip.

The Navy colored Estilo 3.0 that I personally own is just beautiful. I don’t see anyone getting as many compliments as I do in regards to what Gi they’re wearing, except maybe a friend of mine who just purchased the Honey Badger Gi(also by Tatami) which is a work of art in the field of color contrasts, but I digress….

There is solid stitching and construction throughout this gi.

The pants. The PANTS. These are easily the most comfortable Gi pants I own.


There is a seam (pictured below) around the neck area that sometimes bothers me. It appears to have happened from an uneven lining up of material on the back of the neck below the collar. I don’t notice it all the time, it’s like a little annoying fly that sometimes appears.

I’m unsure if this is a defect on my particular Gi or a production issue, but in all honest I’m really nit-picking at this Gi because it is THAT good. It’s annoyance factor is around a 1/10.

Estilo 3.0 Bothersome Seam

Gi Top:

As mentioned, the cut of this Gi has a tailored fit. What this means is that the Gi will have skinnier sleeves as well as a skinnier jacket that will feel almost snug to your upper body.

tatami estilo gi review Top

Don’t confuse that with a lack of mobility however as the Estilo 3.0 meets all of my demands and has never felt restrictive in any way shape or form. Tatami’s choice of colors for the patches really give the gi a clean effect without too much clutter like Tatami’s previous patches, definitely a step in the right direction on their part.

estilo 3.0 Sleeve


The collar is around average sized, it feels thin but it’s very sturdy and it doesn’t have a tendency to flap around under my chin, it holds its shape very well.

Tatami Fightwear Estilo 3.0 Collar


The looping system seemed strong after giving it a few nice tugs with no signs of tearing. Although for the average buyer not writing an internet review for the masses I wouldn’t recommend intentionally tugging at the drawstring loops on any Gi, you could easily be heading to the seamstress to sew them back on. The 14oz Canvas pants are very soft and comfortable yet strong.

I am more of a stockier guy and at 5’10″ 195lbs I would recommend the A3 top with the A2 pants if you are able to mix and match through your buyer.

The draw string system is very much preferred by me over the standard twill. I find it is much quicker to readjust quickly during sparing than the traditional style if it gets loose at all.

tatami estilo Beltloop System


The Navy colored Estilo 3.0 really is stunning. The Gi is clean, crisp and beautiful. Not too flashy with just the right amount of bling. The tailored look of the Gi really adds to the sharp looking aspect of it.

There is a potential to go patch-less with this Gi with the only trouble spots being on the shoulder patches where the stitching is under the seam tape.

Any ole seamstress could handle this no problem and of note the Gi looks virtually identical to the Shoyoroll Yank when patch-less.

There is even a thread on the popular Mixed Martial Arts forum, Sherdog, about this.

tatami estilo versus shoyoroll yank

So if minimalism is your thing this Gi looks just as good patch-less. (Note: The Estilo in the Sherdog thread is a 2.0, not a 3.0, but extremely similar none the less.)

I did experience some fade in the Gi after the first wash (although I actually prefer the faded look). As I am generally lazy but also a germ freak my Gi’s go straight into the washer on Cold/Cold and then into the drier*.

It just makes me feel better about not leaving something wet drying in the open air. Tatami does NOT recommend the drier and I could have lost some color by doing this.

I add Distilled White Vinegar to all of the washes to help with any smell that could infiltrate the cotton as well as to help maintain the color of the Gi. I do not do a pre-soak in white vinegar prior to the first wash as a lot of people recommend, I’ve heard this is superstitious but it definitely helps with the smell. I experienced minimal shrinkage with the Tatami, less than a centimeter in sleeve length.

*As a side note I don’t actually recommend drying your gi in a dryer to anyone because it does wear out your Gi faster unless, like me, you’re lazy and a germaphobe. Or you just like wearing out Gi’s fast so you have reason to buy a new one.

Non-scientific who ha:

I bought my Estilo 3.0 and proudly posted on Facebook about it and within an hour or so a good friend of mine called and told me he had just been sponsored by Tatami and asked if I recommended the Estilo, which of course I did. My friend picked up an Estilo 3.0 in Blue immediately and called me back to tell me how much he loved it once he got to roll in it and how it was the best Gi he has ever owned. His main Gi prior to the Estilo 3.0 was a Shoyoroll Compadre and he said the cut and finish of the Tatami were far superior.

Shoyoroll Rio Koi

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Shoyoroll Rio Koi


One of our artist series release by homegrown NYC based artist John Smalls. The designs and color ways are influenced by the birth place of BJJ (Rio De Janiero, BRAZIL) and design pattern blend of a Japanese inspired Koi with a Water Dragon (2012).  We will also be featuring pattern
art hits in different parts of the kimono.

Rio Koi Specs:

  • Shoyorolls new “Lite Tech Weave” Jacket
  • 10 oz Drill Cotton Pants with Gold Weave Gusset
  • Color ways of White with Green and Yellow Trims

My first Shoyoroll:

I had high expectations. VERY high expectations. I’m sitting here looking at a $1,580.75 price tag for a Shoyoroll Grey Skies on ebay, which someone actually paid. If that’s not a testament to the cult status of Shoyoroll Gi’s to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community I don’t know what is. That’s a mortgage payment for an average American, that’s NUTS. I don’t even think the Gi is one of Shoyorolls better looking…but I digress. I could care less about rarity, hype or the status quo. I just want a good gi.

So, with my high expectations, I took the Gi out of the bag and examined it. It was sexy. Shoyoroll Gi’s sell great for a reason, I like to think that reason is their extremely clean styling. There’s no out of place, mis-match or awkward placed patches that don’t contrast correctly. Although their color use may seem simple, it’s obvious to anyone with design experience that their Gi’s are very well thought out in the aesthetics department.

It isn’t that Shoyoroll Gi’s are bulletproof or make you a better grappler (although science does support the fact that if you wear a Gi you think you look badass in, you perform better), it’s the little things that made this Gi stand out to me. I assumed it would be like every other Gi but with just a little better styling. I, fortunately, was wrong.

The top:

I love the way the top fits. Just wearing it makes me feel skinny. The slim cut is perfect. At 5’10” 195lbs the A2 fit perfectly. The sleeves are tighter than any of my other Gi’s but I had no issues with the gi top restricting any movements whatsoever.

I want my gi to be as close to my body as possible so my opponents have the least amount of materials to grip. The Rio Koi does not disappoint. The Gi top is extremely light and easily the lightest Gi I’ve ever worn. It’s very very soft and relatively easy to grab but for those hot summer days or competitions where you need to watch your weight, this Gi will do superbly.

Styling wise the Gi top is accented with artist John Smalls Japanese Koi and Water Dragon design at the top portion of the inside of the Gi. It looks beautiful and is sublimated on a separate material as the Gi, which I imagine will allow the colors and to last quite a while.

There’s the standard Shoyoroll hits on the sleeve, which I’d like to point out look much improved over the Compadre and Americana embroidery. These newer version are outlined with a thicker embroidery giving the logos a much cleaner and professional look.

The Gi sleeves and skirt are taped with the same Koi design as the large jacket print and it really makes the Gi pop.  The collar is thin, so you’ll actually have to have some choke defense.

The pants:

The Gi pants fit me great. Shoyoroll pants are much slimmer, which as I mentioned earlier is something I love. I absolutely cannot stand Gi pants that are ridiculously baggy. (I’m looking at you virtually every other Gi company EVER). At 5’10, I couldn’t ask for a better length. After a single warm wash and medium dry the pants fit me perfectly. 

The green rope drawstring and belt loops contrast nicely. The knee reinforcements don’t go to the bottom of the ankle, but they go very far down, more than enough to cover my knee regardless of position.

I have two complaints for the Gi pants. The crotch can get tight at extreme leg separation and would have liked to seen Shoyoroll use a stretchy crotch like the Do or Die Hyperfly. The inside of the crotch does look great though which also showcases the Rio Koi design. (You can now go up to people and say “I have a dragon in my pants! Want to see it!).

The second complaint is that the belt loop system has the same ole 4 loop system. It’s 2012 Shoyoroll, have you seen what Origin is doing with their beltloops? Or Inverted Gear? Having a thicker belt loop closer to the sides of the body prevents the rope from ever coming up over the pants.  Get on it! 


So that’s it,  I love the fit of the Gi and it looks stunning. The graphic work and fit really set the Gi apart. I will sit here and tell you when their Guma T-shirts look like poo (massive stinking piles of poo) and I will also give credit where credit is due. So before you criticize a Gi or company because of it’s hype, remember that “the devil is in the details.”

Update 12/23/2012:

After forgetting to remove the jacket from my pile of clothes I was transferring to the dryer the Gi shrunk considerably. More so than any Gi I own. The Lite Tech weave stretches a great deal when wet and I imagine any Gi that stretches is more prone to shrinkage. It fits my tiny wife great though!

Shoyoroll Charles Lew

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

If you like it, then you should have put a ring* on it.

*Tiffany’s, obviously.


If you haven’t seen a particular movie, you won’t understand the above image. It’s ok though, just appreciate my raptor claw toes.

gireviews size chart

Size Tested: Shoyoroll A2. (Typically larger than other A2′s, especially the pants in length) Me: 5’10″ 195-200lbs.

A. 6.5

B. 31.25

C. 19

D. 25

E. 21.5

F. 12.5

G. 9

H. 40


The color combination used and the top of the Shoyoroll Charles Lew jacket are probably my favorite combo of all time. The Tiffany’s turquoise/blue (whatever) really pops on the black. The Gi is accented with diamond logo hits on the pants and jacket for a very clean and unique look.  I severely dislike ripstop pants, but as far as these ones go, they aren’t too bad. I should have jumped on the cotton pants option and have been kicking myself ever since. No durability issues to be had, but I personally feel like ripstop doesn’t breath well, turns into cardboard when wet and doesn’t allow for as greater of leg maneuverability.

I’m not going to go into details over the different Charles Lew options that were available, we already covered that, so I’ll just talk about this option, the V1, limited to GUMA members only. The Gi goes with a nice V1 Unique bag.

004The Jacket:

Like I previously stated, the jacket is probably my favorite, the V1 is a 450gsm Pearl Weave that is very comfortable. The fit of the jacket fits me so well it’s as if it was tailored to me specifically. Shoyoroll A2 jackets fit me like a glove. The embroidery and stitching were well done. A couple overruns at a few end points, but no loose strings are just ugly reruns in the middle of the stitching. The collar is wrapped in ripstop on the V1 and is of medium width. It’s not a flimsy paper collar I’ve been seeing lately, but definitely not an HCK.


Like all the Shoyorolls I own and have felt, the seam tape is not scratchy and looks great.


Very, very nice arm embroidery.

The Trousers:

Ah my old enemy, ripstop pants. I just can’t understand why people love them so much. Brendan swears by them. As a guard player, I love having the pant legs fall to my knees giving my opponent less to grip, and the ripstop pants just cling to the legs. Alas though, I have to try and be as objective as possible. DIAF Ripstop. The unmistakable crotch of the Charles Lew is a little bright for me, but works as intended, my maneuverability isn’t limited in anyway. The beltloops are Shoyorolls standard 6 and work as intended. Although I wish they would add loops closer to the sides so the string doesn’t ever ride up on the sides (which can happen).013

As far as ripstop pants go, these actually aren’t too bad. A little long for me, I found these pants around 2-3″ longer than most A2 pants.

The seam tape is again beautiful and doesn’t scratch at all. Scratchy seam tape should never be allowed to go to the market and Shoyoroll doesn’t disappoint in this regard.011

In Conclusion:

Never one to miss a hint at a unique opportunity, I took the liberty of getting my wife something nice for Xmas, with the Charles Lew being a bit of an inspiration. I think I scored a 10/10 on gift giving this Xmas:


Update: 03-29-2013

Around two weeks ago one of the belt loops popped off the Lew’s trousers. Not sure when it happened.

003 (2)

OSS Clothing V1

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

The first offering from OSS Clothing DELIVERS.


OSS Clothings Version 1 Review:



Oss Clothings first offering is awesome. Its fit is superb and construction sound. When I don’t feel like feeling flashy and just want a comfortable Gi that does its job, this Gi is where I turn to.


A: 7.25

B: 29

C: 20

D: 24

E: 21

F: 13.25

G: 9.75

H: 38

About the V1 from OSS:

Priced at $135 the V1 comes with top, pants, gi bag and a very high quality patch.

-550gsm Pearl Weave Top

-10 oz Twill Cotton Drill Pants

-Stretchy Rope Drawstring

-6 Belt Loop System

-Pearl Weave Gusset

-Tailored fit


023The top has very mild, but quality, embroidery accents.

025Kanji lettering has never been my favorite, but there’s just something about the way it’s portrayed on the Oss V1 that it doesn’t bother me. For the guys who are all function over form, this is the Gi for you.


The top doesn’t have any special seam tape, but it is reinforced with the same material as the pants and the sleeves still feel quite durable.


It’s not the lightest Gi in the world, but it’s an excellent choice for all around BJJ activities, competition, hard sparring, etc.

It’s not baggy in the chest and sits flush at the skirt. The grey contrast stitching pops just enough.

The skirt is also the perfect length for me. I can’t stand a long skirt or long side slits/vents, and this top is great in that regard.



I absolutely love cotton twill pants and these are no exceptions. The belt loop system is standard but works as advertised.

The knee reinforcements could be a little longer, but do cover my knee during most situations. I believe OSS has increased the length of these reinforcements at the time of me writing this post. I have a bit shorter of legs for someone my height and so usually shorter knee reinforcements aren’t an issue for me.


The fit of these pants in particular fit me perfectly (A2 pants, 5’10″ 195lbs) and I wish all my pants fit this perfect. The pearl weave gusset crotch doesn’t restrict my movements and the pants aren’t too long which is something I cannot stand. They are extremely comfortable and aren’t scratchy at the bottoms. These pants were extremely comfortable and not overly long like most pants I run into.



OSS also keeps some of the most detailed measurements you will find on their site for each Kimono, so if have specific measurements you need to adhere to you won’t be disappointed.

One of the nicer additions to this Gi was it’s packaging. It comes in a gear bag that is stuffed in a nice plastic bag/container that looks like it will last awhile and could be used for holding odds and ends or your children’s toys. The patch is also of beautiful quality and we all love patches!

If the looks of this Gi are up your alley do not hesitate to purchase this Gi, with some of the best customer service in the business you can’t go wrong with Oss.