After much back and forth and roaming the net, I decided on a Fuji Kassen. Here in Australia, we don't have such a huge choice available. We can, of course, order from USA or Europe, but the cost of postage for a gi is approximately USD40, and that adds significantly to the total cost. It also depends on the exchange rate, and can turn into an expensive way of buying a gi.
What I have in the way of gis:
- size 5 judo gi (Jols) which was my first when I didn't know better. It is way too big and marked for ebay.
- A2 Padilla & Sons Gold weave gi. Sadly, too small after shrinkage and marked for ebay.
- A3 Atama (single??), bought 2nd hand on Oz ebay. Feels like armour, terribly stiff as I air dry my gis, but good fit. However, I hate the seam on the back. My comp gi to date, but is starting to show some worn patches on the collar. Otherwise, holding up well and getting used 2-3 times/week
- A3 Fuji single weave gi. Bought new in OZ. Not quite as nice a fit as the Atama, but next nicest. No seam on the back. Holding up really well getting used 2-3 times/week
- A3 Gameness single weave gi. Bought second hadn on Oz ebay. Hate it because it doesn't fit me well and the material is very thin. That together with the stiff as a board collar is a recipe for making it fall off while I wrestle, although the fit is good. Don't like the pants at all. Marked for disposal on ebay
-A2 Shoyoroll gi. Batch 6, blue. Am not yet allowed to wear it (have to wait until blue belt :-( ). Wanted a white one, but my size was sold out too fast, so bought this on spec. Much longer in the sleeves than some of the others, had to wash it on 60deg.C to get them to shrink so I can wear it. The pants fit nice and I wear them sometimes (I figure if we are allowed black pans with a white gi top, I can wear blue ones). So I haven't battle tested this Gi yet.
As I have three gis which are all but useless to me and one I can't wear yet, I decided to get another so I have three in a rotation. As I train 5 or 6 times per week (twice on Wednesdays), I really need the three.
I was lusting after several nice looking gis, but with overseas postage, conversion rates and the longer wait I decided against it at this point in time.
So I ordered and received the A3 Fuji Kassen. It's available in OZ, so the postage cost is ok. And the white gi with the moderate patches looks pretty good. I love black and red, so the patches appeal to me and they are not over the top. The A3 Kassen is pretty much the same size as the A3 single weave Fuji, except that the sleeves are still a bit longer. It's had a wash at 30 and a wash at 40 deg.C. So they may shrink a touch more yet, which is fine. The pants did shrink a bit, too, but are fine. I've replaced the cloth ties on the pants with cotton string as I can't stand cloth ties. It needs a musclebound contortionist to do them up.
The pants have reinforcement all the way down and feel very robust, a bit like armour. One minor bitch I have is that the stitching at the edge at the top (where the string passes through) has let go on one side. So I need to fix that with the sewing machine. But I consider that minor. The fit is good for me.
The jacket feels nice, and the collar is just right. I've only had one roll in it, and that was after the first nearly cold wash, so the jacket was still a bit big then. It looks as though it has shrunk just a tad more so I think it will fit well now. The weave is supposed to be some kind of pearl weave. Looks and feels good, and I do like it better than the single weave.
All in all, this gi seems pretty nice. I will take some photos and measurements shortly and post them.