Sunday, April 3, 2011

gi observations

I've had a chance to wear my new Koral Light gi quite a few times over the last two weeks.

As I mentioned before, when I bought it (second hand, near new though), I wasn't even aware that the top is the rip stop weave. All my other gis are a more traditional weave, either single or pearl.

The pants on the Koral are without reinforcement over the knees. The drawstring is material, not cord, but it's not too difficult to pull through. I personally prefer cord though, and may replace the material some day soon.

The pants material is fairly rough cotton (compared to all the other gi pants I have). Like the top they are very fast drying. As I air dry my gis, this is a definite plus. Especially in winter, as I have to hang it on a coat hanger in the house for drying. However, the rough material has one draw back: it is rough. We were drilling the sit out from turtle on Saturday, and I ended up with gi burn on my right knee. Considering my knees are quite well acclimatised to BJJ, and can cope with the shorts or gi pants for hours every week, that was a bit of a surprise. The only explanation I have is that the material is so rough that it rubbed my knee raw. It's still sore, a day and a half later. I don't fancy a band-aid and knee brace on it tomorrow, but I don't have a choice.

The gi top is well cut and fits me perfectly. It's quite light due to the material, but not insubstantial. What I have found though is that it has less structure than a standard single or pearl weave. What I mean by that is that it behaves like softer, thinner material. And although it has a pretty thick, stiff collar, it tends to open up, even when the belt is done up. The innate stiffness of normal gi material keeps the front halves sort of across, untill there is a lot of pulling and the cloth gets very wet from sweat. With the ripstop material, it acts like a limp curtain and the front halves just start parting and hanging down. That's not a problem, more that I look untidy even sooner than I normally do when I roll :-)

Another thing.. The collar is covered in the same material as the pants. Or at least that is what it looks and feels like. And guess what else caused me abraded skin last week? We were drilling lapel half nelson chokes. These DO have a tendency to be a bit harsh on the neck. But lucky me was the demo dummy. And after a few applications of the choke at the hands of an expert, the skin on my neck was starting to protest. Oh, and wasn't the after training shower pleasant on that spot. ... And the next day....

So, that material, in the space of just over a week, caused me gi burn twice. Not good.

Apart from that, I'm quite happy with the gi. But I'm still debating if I should keep it.

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