8 Dec 2010

Gi Review: Break Point FC Deluxe

Gi Review: Break Point Fight Company Light Weight Deluxe Gi in White A1




Summary
A super stylish, extrovert uniform - the Break Point Deluxe BJJ gi is more than just pimped up bling; it offers a well constructed, well fitting and comfortable prestige quality gi with a number of innovative features.

DISCLAIMER: I am not sponsored by any company nor to I endorse any brand. This review represents my honest, unbiased opinions. Thank you to www.made4fighters.com and www.breakpointfc.com for sending me this gi for review.



Stars in their eyes!

Introduction
I first encountered the Break Point gi early last year when pictures started appearing on the fight forums and then one of my instructors walked into Mill Hill BJJ wearing one. At the time, my eyes were transfixed on the sheer chutzpah of the gi he was rockin'. Since then, the Break Point Deluxe has gone on to establish itself as the byword for pimped up bling gi couture! Heck I even listed it as the most bling gi in my blog post - Five Blingin’ gis.

Break Point, founded in 2009, are based in Los Angeles. They kindly sent me their white Deluxe model via their UK distributor, Made4Fighters.com. I was keen to find out if the gi was more than just surface glamour and could hold its own as a day to day training gi.

Netted gi bag and cool stickers included!


Size stats, measurements and other info

CLICK FOR A LARGER VIEW



Fabric, Cut & Shrinkage
The Break Point gi jacket (and one of the trouser pairs) is made from single (pearl) weave cotton. It is sold pre-shrunk but after several washes at 30 degrees, there was still around 5-6% shrinkage along the jacket width, not much in the height. It is possible a higher temperature wash, followed by tumble drying, could induce a larger degree of shrinkage - although this is not suggested by the enclosed instructions.

Bottom back of jacket patch

Straight out of the bag, the Deluxe fitted me perfectly but the immediate thing I first noticed was the much shorter skirt length compared to other brands. This means the gi jacket comes loose out of the belt very easily - handy for chokes that incorporate the jacket, or equally, for your opponent to do the same!



Design
Okay enough of the stats and onto the main talking point - THIS GI IS BLING! I mean, there is no hiding the fact that Break Point have gone out of their way to produce a gi with shock and awe. I asked the Break Point rep about this, and this was their reply:

“The real product we have become known for is the Deluxe gi. It headed the top of your list for the 5 blinginest BJJ gis J While we appreciate the publicity, the intent of the design was not necessarily to be “bling.” Rather, we wanted a product that would stand out and be immediately recognizable. When I browse through pictures of competitions, I can immediately spot our products. The broad black patches with rounded edges on the shoulders are an immediate visual marker that distinguish our Deluxe model. We did go over the top to make sure our gi was recognizable – we’ve received both criticism and praise for this aspect of our gis.”

Judging from the forum chatter, people either love this gi, or hate it - there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. Did I love this gi? Heh, read on and you’ll find out what I think at the end.

Right chest patch

The Deluxe has patches and logos everywhere: on the chest, high on the back, on the trouser leg, and on the trouser waist. In addition to the patches, logo’ed tape is used to reinforce most of the key seams and the entire interior of the gi jacket is screen printed with the BP-star logo. All of it is stitched together by a light grey thread that contrasts nicely against the white gi material. The attention to detail is quite astonishing.


Inside screen printed BP logo

One drawback to the inside print is that in a certain light, or when the gi is wet with sweat, it does show through on the white model gi - possibly not so with the blue or black gi models. The effect makes the gi look patchy and a bit greyer than normal. Under the crappy strip lights of the academy however, this effect is not noticeable. The screen printed interior design also began to wear and fade after just three washes.

Collar
The collar is noticeably thicker than the average gi. When compared to a selection of my other gis, I noticed how much thicker it was. It seems the rubber core has an extra roll of fabric surrounding it to give it that extra bit of wadding thickness along the leading edge. It works too, this gi is pretty hard to grab and hold. The rubber core was pretty stiff when new, but after a few washes, it softened up a bit. The collar and lapels are covered by canvas cotton which I are a harder wearing material compared with cotton twill. One tiny observation I noted was that the collar and lapels appeared more white than the gi material, which had a slightly off-white appearance. Again, under academy lighting, this was not noticeable.




Sleeves
For an A1, the sleeves are quite wide, not quite judo sized wide, and well within my happy tolerance range. Each cuff seam is reinforced with logo’ed tape. The sleeve lengths are pretty good on me. Most A1's tend to be a bit too short along the sleeve length, but the Break Point just about hit the legal shortness of sleeves (four finger widths distance between cuff and wrist with arms outstretched). I do however have very long arms for a short guy.


Trousers
Rather unusually for a gi brand, Break Point offer two pairs of trousers with each gi jacket - one is a standard training pair made from actual woven gi material and the other is a thinner competition pair made from thin canvas cotton.

The training trousers were noticeably heavier, shorter and less wide than the competition pair (see stats above). Both are patched and embroidered in identical places and both are held up by a length of flat canvas. Personally I prefer rope ties, but these seemed to do the job.


Reinforcements
Both jacket and trousers were reinforced with triple stitching and an tape to cover the seams within the sleeve cuffs and also (not common with many brands) covering the inside ankle legs. Gussets, armpits, side vents etc all have extra material stitched in for further reinforcements - standard practice for most modern BJJ uniforms.



Fit, comfort, rolling performance and discussion

(i) Jacket:
After a couple of washes at 30 degrees the jacket still fitted me perfectly which was a nice bonus as most A1’s eventually get a little too short for me along the sleeves. The collar and lapels are pretty stiff when new and the extra thickness is very apparent when you first put it on, but after a while I did not notice it being any more uncomfortable compared to other gis with thinner collars. The one interesting aspect I wanted to investigate was the shortness of the jacket - would it come out of my belt more easily than other gis with longer skirts. The answer I found was that it did come undone very easily. But that was not necessarily a bad thing, as I was sometimes able to use it for cheeky collar-wrap chokes and other gi-related trickery during a roll. In fact, due to the shortness of the jacket height, I was happily able to ride my belt a little higher - back to my previous ‘dorky’ belt height (see my post on this), and yet still look okay. The overall feel of the Deluxe jacket was of a damned comfortable gi, protective yet mobile, cool and excellently fitted to my dimensions.

(ii) Training trousers:
As mentioned earlier, the training trousers are made from the same wingle weave material as the gi top - quite a novelty in my opinion as I have never seen this before in a gi (I'm sure others exist however, I just have never seen one myself).
I did have my doubts at first, but as soon as I put them on, the woven trousers just seemed to make incredible sense. They felt super comfy and super tough too.

Being made from the same material as the jacket, I found that my training partners were able to make a better grip on my trousers than the thinner pair. The extra thickness and rougher surface made it harder for me to break his grips. Not a huge concern, but something to bear in mind.

Unlike nearly all other gi trousers, the Break Point gi-material pair do not have reinforced knees. I assume there is simply no need (no pun intended!) as the material is thick enough and tough enough on its own.

I tested the Break Point at a time when the outside temperature was minus two degrees Celsius so I found these heavier and thicker gi trousers were perfect for winter. However, in really hot weather, I doubt I would wear them, luckily, Break Point have conjured up the...

(iii) Competition trousers:
The second pair of Break Point trousers are made from lightweight canvas cotton. From the stats above, you can see that these trousers save you almost 0.16 kilograms (0.35lb) in weight difference. If you are right on the border in your weight division, these lightweight pair might help. For me, this is not really a concern, so I would view these trousers as a very decent warm weather pair of training trousers.

The canvas material is a little crisper and stiffer than the gi-made pair. It reminds me of a similar feeling to wearing a ripstop cotton pair of trousers. I did worry that their thinness would make them prone to ripping or tearing against an aggressive pant holding opponent, but so far, this has not happened. Personally, I enjoyed the lightness of these trousers and have no problem using them for daily wear in addition to the gi-material pair.


Conclusion
This gi is not for the shy! With patches, embroidery and logos sewn onto every legal area, this gi could be viewed as the epitome of the ‘Formula One Racing Driver’ uniform syndrome...and that’s one of the reasons why I love this gi so much! Yes it is loud, but there is a difference between a loud blingin gi made by a design-dyslexic gi maker (not naming names, but you know who you are LOL) and a loud gi made by someone who is creatively adventurous. The strong branding on Break Point Deluxe, in my opinion, is aesthetically well judged.

But decor can only cover the surface. Let’s forget about the patches for one second. The true test of any gi is how it ‘feels’ during training. And this gi completely and utterly ROCKS!! Every single aspect speaks to me of a gi that has been crafted by jiu-jitsu people who really know the game and how the uniform that we all wear should be made to fit the job.

The sample gi I received was made to impeccable standards of manufacturing quality - I could not see a stitch out of place - yeah seriously! And every seam and join is reinforced as you would expect any modern day BJJ uniform to be, and yet Break Point have still managed to make the Deluxe as light as possible. Sure, it’s not as light as many of the ‘ultra’ light brands out there, but at 1.75Kg (3.85lbs) when wearing the competition/summer trousers, in my opinion, I think this is a perfect compromise between strength, durability and lightness.

Ultimately a gi designed with this amount of ‘blingin’ patchery will evoke either a positive or negative reaction from you. My findings however suggest that this gi is more than just a pretty fashion item, in terms of fit, form and function, this is an ncredible BJJ gi and priced very competitively. The patches are the icing on the cake for me. However if you really dislike the branding, I believe that Break Point offer their ULTRA LIGHT gi which is very plain.




Disclaimer
I am not sponsored by any company nor do I endorse any one brand. My views are simply my own opinion. If you like this review and found it helpful, please post a comment and tell the company too - it helps me get more reviews.

Thanks once again to www.made4fighters.com and www.breakpointfc.com for sending me this gi for review.



:)

About the Author

Meerkatsu

Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.

17 comments:

Tree Frog said...

Love this gi.

I am 5'10" and about 170+ pounds - which means I'm in that weird A2/A3 zone where either can fit.

I took the black square patches off both tops I got (one A2 that shrunk juuuuust too much for comfortable wearing, and the A3 that is now a great fit). It looks a bit cleaner with those patches off and it allows me to place my own gym's patches on in those spots.

The A2 was given to a teammate that is slightly smaller than me and he rocks it with aplomb. He still owes me a case of beer for the top (he injured his knee so hasn't been in for me to collect on that though).

Matt said...

Meerkatsu gi reviews are the only reviews that matter, and he should be showered with them, SHOWERED I TELL YOU!

He obviously loves what he does and puts weeks of work and effort into it.

As a result, people base their purchases on what he writes.

If I wasn't head honcho / big cheese at Scramble, I think I would buy this gi.

Adam Adshead said...

Great review, Break Point gis are my fav gis ever! Can't get enough of them! :)

slideyfoot said...

Heh - cool review as always, but I don't think I could ever bring myself to wear that gi. WAY too loud for me! Did you get any comments from training partners, or are they used to your Elvis in Vegas style gis by now? ;)

Or alternatively, I'd have to get very good at removing patches. Though that wouldn't help with the blinged up interior, or all the embroidered bits.

Big Phil said...

I'm with adam, I so want another break point. My fav gi.

Meerkatsu said...

Hey guys, thanks for the comments, this gi review was a lot of fun to do!

Tree Frog - interesting that you liked only some of the patches, but then the benefit of a patched gi is that yu can at least take ones off that you do not like.

Matt- gee thanks, I feel cleansed with my showering!

Adam, Big Phil, seems like Break Point have made a gi to appeal to guys from both ends of the size spectrum, glad you approve of the gi and the review!

Slidey - I did wonder, then I was road testing the gi, what a certain Mr Somnez would think of such a bling outfit! No guesses there haha. Thanks for your comment.

André said...

Finally a "bling" gi that impresses me. Now, I would still not buy it since I don't think I could feel good drawing all the attention but it really seems to have just the right amount of bling to not be tacky and some of the details are just downright beautiful. The two pairs of trousers for instance is something that should be mandatory at that price range (weather in gi material or not is a different matter but at least these aren't ripstop... ew).

The thing I'd probably have a problem with would be the skirt length, but that's probably something many won't mind at all.

p.s.- I too know who the design-dyslexic gi maker is. £5 by paypal and I'll tell you. special Xmas price.

Meerkatsu said...

HAHA Andre...only exclusive members of the BJJ Gi Addicts Anonymous know who the design-dyslexic Gi makers are!
But clue, type: World's Douchiest gi' into google and see what comes up?

Georgette said...

Phenomenal review as always! I especially loved the rockstar pictures.... damn I wish I were as technologically competent :)

I love the "Elvis in Vegas" look but honestly I would want to put my own patches on my gi, so this is a little busy to permit that.

Well done Seymour :)

Meerkatsu said...

You are are rockstar of the BJJ blogging world my dear!

Steve Spencer said...

I like the look of the gi, but personally, the whole issue of coming untucked super easy would drive me nuts. Definitely not a gi for someone with a longer torso, or those of us with a gut I would guess.

The Part Time Grappler said...

Meerkatsu. That's where it's at!

Galo said...

Another awesome review! I like the style and really want one of these gi's although I prefer the blue version over the white. I just pre-ordered 'The Yank' from Shoyoroll though so the Breakpoint Deluxe might have to wait until the New Year for me.

Meerkatsu said...

Thanks guys!

Tree Frog said...

Meerkatsu - I strongly prefer the embroidered into the gi designs over the patches.

The black patches look kinda too Affliction-like for my tastes.

Plus the usual spots for academy patches are the middle of the front lapel (black patch there), up on the shoulder blade area (embroidered BP there), down on the skirt (black patch there) and on the pant legs (embroidered BP on one leg).

So it's almost as if BreakPoint preempts some of the prime locations for that.

Don't get me wrong - I flat out love the gi. It's better than my starter Gameness, better than my Padilla and better than the Kagi, Korals, Keikos etc.

My instructor's Lucky (given as a gift by all the students) is very tight though. He received the black one and the little touches ("Get off my back" on the back of the neck) are fun and solid.

Anonymous said...

any cupon for this gi?

Meerkatsu said...

In the US, scan the forums, there was a huge reduced offer on at MMAHQ yesterday for US customers only. It was going for something like $110.
In the UK, check out Made4Fighters, they currently have a sale.

 

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