Back to the Americas with our featured brand series... Introducing Ronin Brand, the Brooklyn-based kimono brand that also caters to the judo and karate markets. Actually, "introducing" might be the wrong word. Ronin Brand has been around for a hot minute. First appearing on the scene in 1980, it's an in-house brand of martial arts supplier Kinji San, which has been in business since 1976. So these guys know their stuff.
Ronin Brand is particularly focused on producing solid, well-constructed gis, with extra reinforcement stitching. We know, because very few of their gis get returned due to fabric tears or other construction failures. As such, Ronin Brand isn't too concerned about producing flimsy, ultra-lightweight gis. The lightest gi they offer is the Koi Jiu Jitsu Gi, which features a 420 GSM jacket and 9.5 oz cotton pants. However, almost all of their gis feature a sturdy 450 GSM pearl weave jacket and between 10 oz to 11 oz cotton or canvas pants - pretty much the ideal combination for a long-lasting training and competition gi. For those who love that heavier gi, Ronin has got you covered: their Ronin Emperor Gi features a 500 GSM jacket and 12 oz duck canvas pants, and their Imperial Double Weave Gi, features a seriously durable 890 GSM jacket.
Ronin Brand also has a very well-defined aesthetic: it's all about the Japanese samurai warrior. In fact, the brand itself is inspired by the "ronin" (literally translated to "drifter" or "wanderer"), which was a samurai without a lord or master, due to the death or fall of his master, or because he fell out of favor. Therefore, the embroidered details and interior artwork (for those models with sublimated linings) feature traditional Japanese iconography, such as the samurai weapons - such as swords, shuriken throwing blades, and bow and arrows - as well as men-yoroi battle masks, Japanese crests and Kanji lettering.
Our favorite of the Ronin lineup? The Ronin Blackout Samurai Jiu Jitsu Gi, a limited edition collaborative design with artist Blackout Brother, featuring a deep green/black fabric, an incredibly detailed samurai mask embroidery on the left arm, and a wickedly cool Blackout Brother samurai mask fully subliminated on the interior CoolMax lining of the jacket. Check it out: