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      Fighter — cat_Gi Guides

      What Are the Best Gi Brands?

      What Are the Best Gi Brands?

      The ultimate question for the jiu jitsu beginner embarking on his/her first gi buying journey: what is the best gi brand? Really, this blog is just for that person, because anyone who has been in jiu jitsu long enough will know that 1) there are many great gi brands all claiming to be the "best", and 2) "best" is really relative on someone's personal preferences.

      If everyone had the same exact preferences, there'd be exactly one gi brand. But everyone is wonderfully, magically different... we're left with a ton of different gi brands. And so instead of writing about what I consider the best - because my preferences will likely be different from yours - here are a few awesome gi brands that we here at the Fighters Market warehouse really like: 

      Kingz Kimonos

      You really can't go wrong with a Kingz gi. The brand has been around since 2011 and produces some of the best-constructed gis in the market. Owned and run by jiu jitsu practitioners, they have a vested interest in producing a gi that stands up to rigorous training. Kingz also offers a variety of different models - perfect for every preference and price range. For example, their ultralight weight Kingz Nano 2.0 Jiu Jitsu Gi and lightweight Kingz Balistico 3.0 Jiu Jitsu Gi are both ideal for the competitor worried about making weight on the competition scale. For those practitioners a little strapped for cash, their Kingz The One Jiu Jitsu Gi is probably the best - and sharpest-looking - basic gis that have come through the warehouse. Kingz also has offers kid's and women's cuts for most of their gi models!

      Progress

      Although Progress is relatively new to the jiu jitsu brand landscape, they've quickly made waves in the industry. Super streamlined with fresh, modern details, Progress made a big entrance onto the competition scene with their sponsorship of debut black belt superstar Kaynan Duarte. What they lack in variety (yet), they more than make up for in quality. Their standard kimono is the Progress M6 Kimono, which is now in it's fourth version, featuring the quote "Without struggle there is no progress". And while the price point is really quite reasonable, their basic model, Progress The Foundation Kimono, is the best bang for your buck you'll spend on a gi. They do offer a women's cut in a few of their models, but no kid's cuts as of yet. Stay tuned...

      Tatami

      Aside from Kingz, Tatami is the other big name gi brand in the market today. Established in 2009 in South Wales, Tatami features one of the widest range of gi and no-gi products in the industry, with collections ranging from simple and streamlined, to wild and "way out there". Tatami definitely has every other gi brand beat when it comes to the number of gi models they offer, so there is plenty to choose from. By far their most popular gi model - particularly for competitors - is the Tatami Estilo Gi, now in its sixth edition, with a variety of different color schemes to choose from. Looking for something more lightweight? Their Tatami Zero G is one of the lightest in the market. If you like the fun and funky, Tatami also has a whole slew of more artsy, collectible gis, including the Tatami Japan Series Samurai Gi and the Tatami Gorilla Smash Gi

      If you're just starting BJJ, you might have to buy and try a bunch of different gis before you actually have a preference. There's no getting around that. And few gi brands have actual storefronts where you can go in and try a bunch of different gis on. If you can't get to the Fighters Market store in San Diego or visit the Fighters Market booth at a major IBJJF event, odds are you'll find a great gi from among these three awesome gi brands. 

      Train on... comfortably. Oss. 

      How to Wash Your BJJ Gi

      How to Wash Your BJJ Gi

      There's nothing more frustrating than buying a perfectly-fitting gi, and then finding that it no longer fits right after you wash it for the first time. Arg!

      Your first instinct may be to blame the gi company for producing a shotty gi... but before you send off that angry email to customer service (who, by the way, work their tails off and don't deserve your passive aggressive attitude, ya schmuck), you might want to make sure you're washing your gi correctly and the fault isn't your own

      Here are some tips to keep your gi clean, shrink-free and long-lasting: 

      Washing

      From the second you pull your brand spanking-new gi out of the bag, you'll need to consider what your first few washes will look like. Does your gi fit loose? Do you like it more fitted? Then wash your gi on hot the first time, try it on again and decide if you need to shrink it a bit more. There's no scientific calculation for the amount shrink you can expect. This is mostly due to the fact that different gi companies use different weaves and fabric weights for their gis. In fact, some companies have numerous gi models that all differ in their construction. The quality of the cotton fibers can also play a role in the amount of shrinkage you can expect, and this is a factor that's controlled at the very beginning of the manufacturing process. 

      However, as a rule of thumb, you can a lighter weight, looser weave to shrink more than a heavier, tighter weave. Ripstop pants tend to shrink very minimally, if at all. 

      Drying

      Again, consider if you need to shrink your gi to make it fit more snug. If you do, then you can pop it into the dryer the first time you wash it. Because almost all gis are made from cotton - at least the jacket, anyway - anytime you dry your gi, it will shrink. The reason for this is that cotton is a natural fiber made of cellulose. When the cellulose fibers are exposed to heat, they constrict, which, compounded over the entire length of the fabric, causes your gi to shrink. It also breaks down the fibers, which weakens the fabric over the long-term and leaves your gi prone to tearing. 

      Once you've achieved the desirable size for your gi, the best option is to air dry it from then on. If you live in a warm, dry climate, you can dry it outside on a line. However, if the climate is not favorable, or if it happens to be raining on washing day, you can opt to dry it indoors, either on a line or hanging on your bathroom shower rod. 

      Post-Training Care

      It shouldn't have to be said, but you don't want to just leave your sweaty, un-washed gi in the trunk of your car or in your laundry basket for days on end. While you might think you can just wash that funk out - and gi funk is some serious funk - it's easier said than done. The source of that funk is bacteria - both your body's naturally-occurring ba bcteria as well as the bacteria that may or may not be thriving on the mats - which eat the fatty compounds found in sweat and produce malodorous compounds. These compounds then cling to the natural fibers in your gi, and the longer you leave your gi to "ferment", the harder it is to wash those pesky compounds out, especially if you're washing in cold water to preserve the size and longevity of your gi. 

      If you can't wash your gi immediately after a training session, there are some ways you can try to "defunk" your gi. These include: adding Borax or color-safe bleach to your laundry, spraying your gi with diluted peroxide (white gis only, as peroxide can bleach certain colors), soaking your gi in a vinegar solution prior to washing, or using a detergent specifically made for gis. 

      Hopefully these tips will help you keep your gi in tip top shape for your next training session. Just remember the most important tip of all: don't wear a stinky gi to class. You won't make any friends that way. 

       

      Train on... fresh. Oss.

      Best Kid's Jiu Jitsu Gis

      Best Kid's Jiu Jitsu Gis

      Indisputably, jiu jitsu is one of the best activities to get your child - boy or girl - involved in. It teaches them discipline, respect for elders and each other, resilience... and it's a whole lot of fun! But just as with their everyday clothes, it can be hard to find a gi that fits them well, especially as they continue to grow - and grow out - of it. 

      But never fear... Fighters Market is here to give you a rundown on the best kid's gis in the store! Check it out:

      Kingz

      Kingz Kimonos is by far one of the most popular and well-respected gi brands in the market today. Almost the entire company trains jiu jitsu, and have kid's that train, so not only do they really know their stuff, but they have an interest in ensuring their gis fit well and are durable enough to withstand everything the mat, and their opponents, can throw at them. Our favorites right now are: the Kingz Kid's The One gi, which features a standard 400 GSM jacket, 10oz cotton pants and a free white belt; and the Kingz Kid's Nano gi, which features a lighter 370 GSM jacket and 8oz cotton pants, but does not come with a belt. All the Kingz Kid's gis have an elastic waistband and inner drawstring, so their pants stay snug, even when they come untied. All Kingz kid's gis range from size M0000 (for little guys 3-4 years old) to M4 (kids 4'11" to 5'1'). 

      Tatami

      Known for their wide selection of adult gi and no-gi options, UK-based brand Tatami Fightwear also puts out some great kid's gis. For the slightly older kid, we like the Tatami Kid's Estilo 5.0, which is pretty much identical to their popular adult version, featuring a sturdy 550 GSM jacket, 12oz cotton pants, a regular rope drawstring (like adult gis), and coming in sizes M0 (for kids 3'7" to 3'11") to M4 (kids 4'11" to 5'1'). For those tiny tykes in your family, they have their highly-popular Tatami Kid's Animal Gi, which features eight different Meerkatsu-designed animals embroidered on the jacket and pants, and comes in sizes M0000 (for kids up to 2'11") to M1 (kids 3'11" to 4'3"). 

      Fuji

      One of the longest-running gi companies in the market, Fuji knows their stuff. Plus, not only do they have some of the most reasonably-priced gis, their gis are also build to last and last and last... in fact, I think I still have a Fuji gi from ten years ago somewhere in my closet. So if your kid tends to be a little hard on clothes, Fuji is the way to go. Hands down, their most popular kid's gi is the Fuji Single Weave Kid's Gi, which features a mid-weight cotton jacket, durable cotton pants with an elastic waistband, and a free white belt. The best part about this gi is that it's also roomy enough in the sleeves for your kiddo to take to judo practice, as well. Fuji kid's gis come in sizes C00 (for kids between 38-50 lbs, and 3'9" to 4'0" in height) to C3 (95-100 lbs, and 4'9" to 5'0" in height). 

       

      And if you live in the U.S. and buy from Fighters Market, you can rest assured that if the gi doesn't fit your little dude or dudette, they will exchange it at no cost to you!

      Train on... Oss. 

      Best Women's BJJ Gis

      Best Women's BJJ Gis

      All gis were not created equal... and if you're a female practitioner, you - more than anyone else - are acutely aware of the differences. Before jiu jitsu brands started creating gis specially designed for the woman's body, we were stuck having to wear ill-fitting men's or kid's gis. 

      No more! Nearly all major BJJ gi brands have jumped on the bandwagon, including women's cuts in their gi lineups. Check out our favorites here: 

      Kingz Kimonos

      Undoubtedly, Kingz Kimonos is dominating today's gi market. As such, it'd be strange if they didn't product a great women's gi. While the brand produces men's/unisex gis as small as A0, and offer slim, competition cuts that fit the tall, slender women in our community, they recognized that not all female grapplers fit that body type. In consultation with several upper-belt women, they produced a specially designed women's cut that features a lower front rise on the pants, more room in the backside, and a more tapered cut in the jacket, especially around the shoulders. But don't take our word for it! Check out the IBJJF competition photo galleries, where you'll see many women - of all body types - sporting such gis as the Nano 2.0 and the Balistico 2.0.

      Atama

      Brazilian brand Atama was one of the very first gis to produce a women's cut. This was likely due to the influence of BJJ legend Leticia Ribeiro, who has been a long-time sponsored athlete and coach of the brand, and has run one of the most successful women's teams out of San Diego, California. The most popular of their models is the Mundial Model 9, which was the staple competition gi for multiple-time world champion - and Leticia's student - Bia Mesquita for years. The Atama women's cut features a bit more room in the shoulders and chest than the Kingz cut, perfect for the more busty or wider shouldered women. 

      Tatami 

      After Kingz, Tatami probably produces the second-most popular women's cut gi in the market today. The UK-based company is well-known for its incredible range of BJJ gis and gear, with new models and designed offered nearly every year. They have long been on the women's cut bandwagon, and have even offered models designed only for women, like the Ladies Phoenix BJJ Gi and the Lotus Ladies BJJ Gi. By far their most popular women's gi model is the Estilo 6.0, which is the preferred gi for the brand's many sponsored female athletes. Tatami's women's cut is ideal for the more slender female practitioner, as it runs fairly slim in the legs and body.

      Of course, these are our top three, but the exciting part of being a female practitioner in today's world is that, following the lead of these three brands, many other gi brands are producing women's cuts, too. The best way to find the cut that best fits you is to actually try them on... which is impossible for most brands, unless you regularly attend the major IBJJF events where they might have booths. However, if you don't have that luxury, we're confident that at least one of these three brands will offer you a gi that fits you a lot better than the standard unisex gi. 

      Train on... in style. Oss. 

      *Photo by FloGrappling

      Product Release: New Kingz Gis!

      Product Release: New Kingz Gis!

      What's better than a new, fresh, crisp gi in the mail? When it's a new gi model from your favorite jiu jitsu brand!! Whether it's the new colorways, more streamlined or flashier design, better fit, or latest fabric technology... or all of the above... you're bound to squeal like a little girl (or boy) on Christmas morning. 

      So what do we got for you this time? The latest release from Kingz Kimonos, featuring not one, or two, or three... but FOUR new gi models! Check them out:

      Classic 3.0 Jiu Jitsu Gi

      Personally, the Classic has always been one of my favorites of Kingz. Super streamlined, super classy, and not too light that I feel like it'll rip the second one of my teammates grabs a hold of it. For those of you who are already Classic fans - like me - the Classic 3.0 brings you the same amazing features, with fresh new colorways to add to your collection. Made with a light weight, yet sturdy 450 GSM Pearl Weave Plus jacket and 10 oz cotton drill pants, the white gi features blood red, the blue gi features dove grey, and the black gi features cool mint green embroideries and patch details. Also available in Kingz' popular women's cut

      Nano 2.0 Jiu Jitsu Gi

      Competitors rejoice! Kingz also decided to refresh their highly popular ultralight gi! The original Nano was a total hit among the jiu jitsu community, as it was one of the few truly ultralight gis in the market that featured cotton rather than ripstop pants. With ultra-streamlined embroideries, a super lightweight 400 GSM jacket and 8 oz cotton pants - bolstered with as many reinforcements as they could without sacrificing weight - the Nano is a competitor's best friend. And can we talk about how stylish it is?? In addition to a slightly heavier fabric (we're talking a teeny tiny bit, 400 GSM versus 370 GSM, in response to reviews about the original Nano being too light), Kingz has also refreshed the colorways and added a sick grey version to the lineup! Also available in a women's cut!

      The One Jiu Jitsu Gi

      Kingz really is all about the people. Since the beginning, they've provided a basic gi model at an amazing price, without sacrificing quality. They've continued to commit to that idea with The One Jiu Jitsu Gi, a basic gi that is far from basic. Featuring a 400 GSM High-Tech Pearl Weave jacket, 10 oz cotton pants, streamlined Kingz crown logos and their new One logo, the One Jiu Jitsu Gi is a sweet, sweet gi, perfect for everyday training and at a price point that allows you to have one, two, heck... ten in the closet. Available in women's and kid's cuts!

      Sport Jiu Jitsu Gi

      If you thought Kingz' product release was just about refreshed gi models... you thought wrong! Check out the all new Sport Jiu Jitsu Gi, the latest model in Kingz' gi lineup. Inspired by football ("soccer" for you 'mericans out there) and fast cars, the Sport Jiu Jitsu Gi features wicked cool racing stripe Kingz patches down the shoulders and one leg, a lightweight 400 GSM Pearl Weave Jacket and ultralight weight 7.5 oz polyester/cotton ripstop pants. Only available in black and white! 

      Yeah, we know your interest is piqued... with so many new fresh models, how can you possibly decide which one to get?? Why not try them all? I mean... you really can't have too many gis. 

      Train on... Oss.