25 Mar 2011

Gi Review: Bull Terrier Limited Edition

A rare limited edition design from one of the most daring gi makers in the world, the Bull Terrier Limited Edition is aimed squarely at the extrovert with an eye for the outrageous. This Bull Terrier appeared to be cut a little smaller than many A1s I have sampled previously, it was still a very fun item to train in.

This gi was sent to me from www.BTfightgear.com via trendy UK fightwear company Scramble. UK buyers are able to purchase a select range of BT gear from the Official UK Seller for Bull Terrier (Facebook Group).


I can just imagine a meeting at Bull Terrier head quarters going a little something like this:

BOSS: Guys we only have 1,634 different gi models, we need SOME MORE! I want ideas!
DESIGNERS: [shrugs shoulders]
BOSS: Come on darnit, must be something new no one has ever tried before?
LACKEY: How about silver foil lining? And make it one of only 100 ever made.

Yes, welcome to the world where loud is just not loud enough. Bold is simply not bold enough. The rare and soon to never ever be sold again Bull Terrier Limited Edition is one heck of a gi! Let's kick off with the stats...but I know, you don't care, you want to see the shiny silvery things right? We'll soon get to that bit...

Out of the bag: jacket, trousers, brochure and calendar

Size, shrinkage, weight and other stats

Click for full size
As the stats above show, this gi experienced very little shrinkage overall. However, with a wingspan of 153cm in length, the arms are a bit too small for me (but I do have very long arms for my height). Compare this to the previously reviewed Tatami Fightwear Estilo, which has a wingspan of 156cm - that little difference can pass or fail an IBJJF gi checker. The rest of the gi fitted reasonably well. I would say that the Bull Terrier is cut a wee bit smaller than many other gis I have reviewed, although not as short as the Break Point Deluxe.
The weight, at 1.7Kg or 3.7 lbs puts it in the lighter end of the spectrum, although certainly not as light as the 'ultra' light models, such as the Manto Evolution (1.3kg, 2.9lbs).

Style and Design
This gi is so bling I hardly seem to know where to begin, however the eye popping silver foil screen print would be a good place to start. I have never seen anything like this on a BJJ uniform before. I expected the print to fade after a few washes but pretty much most of the shininess is still there. It is singularly the most impressive part of the uniform.

Silver, shiny, pretty things

The bling doesn't just end there. The exterior of both the jacket and the trousers are adorned with synthetic patches and embroidery. These are placed in every single vacant slot as dictated by IBJJF patch placement rules. If you want space to stick on your team patch, then something has to go.

Chest patch

Upper arm embroidery

Base of rear jacket

I particularly like the fact that this gi is individually numbered - No79 in my case. Only 100 of these gis were ever made.

To top off the impressive display of blinging finery, the gi is stitched with a contrasting red and the edges are lined with either red or white trim.

An increasing number of new gis coming to me utilise rip-stop fabric. The Bull Terrier gi here is no exception, with rip-stop on the collars and lapels that cover a foam rubber core.

The collar thickness feels a little thin, but not as thin as the Vulkan Pro Light, but not as thick as the Break Point Deluxe. It was a little stiff when new, but softened after x3 washes.

As one would expect from a prestige model, this gi is loaded with good quality reinforcements in key stress regions:
Side vent layer reinforcement

Armpit layer and triple stitching throughout

Cuffs are triple stitched and lined with rip stop

The trousers are made from rip-stop cotton and are reasonably comfortable - not as waxy or stiff as some models I have tried, but not as soft and comfy as the Manto trousers (which admittedly are much thinner).
A good quality thick red rope drawstring holds the trousers up - always a plus in my book. But rather mysteriously considering most other gi designs, the Bull Terrier only has one belt loop. This caused the rope to ride up above the hem around the sides.

Nice rope, but only one loop

Reinforced gusset panel join

Only double stitched ankle cuffs

The trousers did feel a little tight on my around the glutes and crotch, especially when I squatted. Maybe I've been eating too many pies recently! But my biggest concern with any lightweight pair of trousers is whether they would rip or not under heavy stress. The Bull Terriers did not suffer any problems but I can't help wondering how durable such material is over a longer time period compared to canvas or even twill cotton trousers.

The final interesting point to note is that the trousers, at 23cm, a quite wide at the bottom. Most other A1 gis I have sampled measure around 21cm. It does give the slight impression of flared gi pants!

Rolling performance, comfort and fit
I must confess I thrilled at the blinginess of this gi. Every time I rolled in class whilst wearing it I felt like a rock star! The silver shiny lining seemed to bring out smiles and it did give me an excuse to lark about whilst rolling - pretending to dazzle my opponents by shining reflected light at them.

Simian arms

It is perhaps a slight shame that the sleeves were a bit too short and the trousers a little too tight for my liking. I think the A1 is designed for the smaller person to wear. When I held out my arms in front of me, the gap between cuff and wrist line was more than four fingers width. As a side note, I have possessed an A2 sized Bull Terrier (New Star model) which was much too big for me, so assuming the Limited Edition is cut the same as the Star gi, I guess neither sizes would be the perfect fit for me :(

One side effect of the silver foil screen print is that the surface is quite cold to the touch. During our recent low temperatures, whenever I put this gi onto my bare torso, it did feel very cold on my skin. I wonder if it would do the reverse in summer and help cool me down?

Apart from my niggling size issues, the gi was great fun to roll in and an eye catching way to bring to some colour into the dojo.

Bull Terrier do not make okay'ish gis. They make AWESOME gis. The Limited Edition is no exception. With good use of quality materials and eye-catching style, this rare edition would suit the keen BJJ gi collector and showman alike. Despite minimal shrinkage, do check the company size chart closely as it seems to be cut for a smaller frame compared to many other brands.

Puts a spring in the step!

Credit and Disclaimer
My thanks to Bull Terrier and Scramble for the chance to review this gi.

This review represents my own opinions. I am not an expert in textiles or clothing etc, just a regular BJJ student who likes a few BJJ gis (okay a lot). I consider myself independent and impartial - I am not sponsored by any one company nor do I endorse any one brand. I have a close dialogue with a large number of gi makers and sellers, some of whom I collaborate with on various projects that are unconnected with this review. If you have any questions about this review, please feel free to email me (see About Me) or post a comment below. I hope this review was helpful.


About the Author


Author & Artist

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


jey@pj-jiujitsu said...

Wow. That's a frikkin nice looking gi.

Liam H Wandi said...


SkinnyD said...

Wow. I will have to try at least one of these "bling" gis. Part of me is turned off by all the pizazz, but the other half of me wants to indulge :)

MrDinaguan said...

How do Bull Terrier gi's compare to Shoyoroll as far as fit and quality goes?

Meerkatsu said...

I'll know when I get my Count Koma gi.

Paul Cypert said...

Just wanted to say I bought a Bull Terrier Ultra Light A2 and I'm 6ft1 and 175lbs. Thing fits great. I know my specs are off their size chart, just wanted to say it fits me well at A2 even though chart would indicate an A3 for me...

Ethan Ta said...

You know, I contact fighters market, Bruno stated that I would fit a A2s. I'm 5'9 and 165lbs.

@ Paul, was the length of the sleeves or trousers an issue to you? I dont know if I need to purchase an A2s or just an A2


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