... because I manage to look silly, no matter what. That's why!
Despite knowing I'd produce a bunch of dorkish looking pictures of myself, I was brave and faced the camera today to bring you pictures of my latest three gi acquisitions. I try to keep my belt tied in the cool zone (definition here), but I have a high dork factor nonetheless :-) I must be just a natural.
I've been meaning to put up photos of the Shoyoroll and the RDA gis for some time, but I've been too busy. However, I just received my Tatami Zero G gi, so now there are three I owe you info about. The SYR and the RDA have been washed and worn several times. The TZG has had one wash to get the shrinking happening, and I have not yet had opportunity to roll in it. I'll get back to you about it's performance on the mat.
All three gis are A2. For reference, I'm 172cm tall and weigh in at 66kg (if you can't think in metric units, you'll have to convert that yourself :-) ). I'm really almost between sizes and roll happily in A3 Atama and Fuji Kassen gis. But I bought these three gis in A3, based on the size charts supplied.
So here - in order of when I bought the gis - are some photos and comments:
1. Blue Shoyoroll Superlite Batch 6
The pants have a thick draw cord which is very easy to fasten. About six loops ensure that it stays in place around the front. What I don't like about the pants is that the doubled area ends too far up. Basically, by the time I kneel down, the bottom seam of the reinforced area (which is jacket weave material) is right under my knee. It's never rubbed me but it seems pointless to have a reinforced front if it ends above where most of the wear will happen on the knee!
The jacket is a wee bit loose, especially under the arms. But it's nice and light and I feel fine when drilling or rolling in it. The collar is just the right thickness for my liking.
The gi looks nice, the embroidered patches are small. A friend who saw me in in the other day said it looks "sharp". I agree.
2. Roy Dean "Honor" Gi
This gi appealed to me primarily because of the embroidery. The top seems to be single weave material which is fairly light. The collar is quite thick and stiffer than the other two gis.
There was significant shrinkage of the whole top, and especially the sleeves. I would doubt that it is competition legal for me. It fits pretty snugly and I'm very happy with the rest of the fit.
The pants are from a thicker cotton material than the other two gis and are nicely finished with plenty of reinforcement. The embroidery down the leg looks fantastic. The RDA logo on the back of the leg is very nicely done. As there is no lettering on it, there is no problem wearing this gi at another school, as far as I'm concerned. The pants have a cloth tie, which makes it more difficult to adjust than the other pants, but the brown tie looks very spiffy together with the brown stitching of the whole uniform.
I've had several nice comments about this gi. I would have preferred a pearl type of weave for the top, and a bit less shrinkage. All in all I'm pretty happy with it.
3. Tatami Fightwear Zero G
I bought the Zero G because I wanted another lightweight gi. It gets pretty hot down here, and we don't always do no-gi in summer! I was offered this gi at a discounted price and because I had read promising reviews by Slideyfoot and Meerkatsu, I decided to give it a go.
As I said, I haven't rolled in it yet, so I can't comment about usability/user friendliness. It has only had one single wash at 30 degrees C, so there may be a little more shinkage to come. Here are my first impressions:
The top is similar in cut and material to the SYR, but it's a bit more snug under the armpits. The sleeves did shrink a bit but are still on the long side. I will know after another couple of washes if I need to shorten them. The collar thickness is very similar to the SYR. There is a significant difference though in how wide the collar is at the back of the neck. When I lay the gi down flat, it has a narrower neck opening than the others. I can feel this when I wear it, too. It is more tight around the back of the neck. I have a reasonably skinny neck so I can't see that being an issue. Time on the mat will tell which style I prefer. I like the cut of the jacket and I think it looks really nice.
All part of the gi are have clean and tidy stitching and there is decent reinforcement everywhere. I like the blue patches on the shoulders and on the pant legs. The patch on the bum however - it's coming off. Don't like!
The pants are made of an even lighter material than the SYR pants. It seems a very tight weave though. The front reinforcement could come down a bit further below the knees, but it's better than in the SYR. The draw string cord is easy to adjust and I really like it, but a couple more loops at the front would have been better (there are only two near the front). The pants did shrink a fair bit, too. In hindsight, I would have been better off with A3 pants, but then I don't know how bulky they would have been. I also don't know if it's possible to buy mixed sizes. Aside from the length, the fit of the pants is good.
If there is interest, I can post exact measurements. But if you go to Meerkatsu's blog, you will find measurements of both the RDA and the TZG in size A2. Nobody does better or more throrough reviews than the Meerkat!!
All three gis are a bit of a rarity in Australia. I've seen a couple of Shoyoroll gis around, if only white ones. I have spotted one Tatami gi (not a Zero G) and never any RDA ones. The postage on all three gis was similar and significantly added to the cost of the gi. I purchased the SYR and the RDA from BudoVideos in the US. The Zero G was purchased from Tatami Fightwear in the UK.