A hyper luxurious premium gi, built largely from the popular Estilo model, but designed and endorsed by legendary BJJ player Fernando "Tererê" Augusto da Silva. This signature model gi is bright and bold with in built rashguard and novel decorative features, it will appeal to fans of the star and those who simply wish to wear a design that stands out from the pack.
I have been commissioned in the past by Tatami Fightwear to produce design work for various products. I have had no contribution to this model gi. This report will be my own personal opinion and remain as objective and unbiased as I can.
The Terere Signature gi can be purchased directly from Tatami Fightwear's website or via their specific site here: www.tereresignaturegi.com which lists all the distributor contacts around the world.
Price - tbc
Available: Early December 2011
Terere is often cited by many experienced BJJ people as one of the all time pound for pound greatest jiu jitsu fighters. His ups, and his downs, have been well recorded. During his recent stay in the UK, Tatami Fightwear offered Terere a sponsorship to endorse the brand and design a gi that carries his name. This gi is the final result. Judging from the quirky individualist styling, Terere clearly has an eye for very colourful combinations and bright bold logo work.
Size, Weight and Other Stats
The model sent to me was a size A1.
Sizes in centimetres brand new v two 40 degree washes
A: 159.5cm / 157cm
B: 75cm / 75cm
C: 56cm / 56cm
D: 16cm / 16cm
E: 51cm / 50cm
F: 97.5cm / 97cm
G: 21.5cm / 21.5cm
Jacket Weight = 1.36Kg
Trouser Weight = 0.5Kg
My stats: Height 167cm, Weight 59Kg
The initial stats reveal how very little the Terere Gi shrinks - practically negligible in all areas of the uniform. This was the same finding as my previous review on the navy Estilo 2.0 gi - which is not a surprise given that the two gis are cut in the same way and use the same weave. There is one crucial difference between the Estilo 2.0 and this gi however - weight.
The Terere gi jacket is much heavier than the Estilo 2.0 due to the addition of the internal rash material lining, conversely, the Terere trousers are much lighter due to a newer lighter weight (12oz) of canvas cotton, compared with the 14oz canvas cotton of the Estilo 2.0 that I reviewed. Current models of the Estilo (both the 2.0 and the 3.0 now carry the lighter 12oz canvas trousers too).
From personal experience, all Tatami models tend to be a bit larger and longer than many other brands of gis. The sleeve lengths in particular are much longer than most - the wingspan of the A1 measuring 157cm which is longer than, say, the Origin Comp 550 (151cm) or the Break Point FC Deluxe (150cm). This suits me perfectly as I have longer arms than the average A1 wearer.
The trousers too are much longer than many other models. At 97cm long, it suits the leggier player much more than, say, a Storm Typhoon A1 (93.5cm), or my own self-designed Raptor gi (87cm).
A final note on size - it is worth noting that Tatami Fightwear's website carries a reasonably helpful gi size chart and fitting guide that is well worth referring to before buying. They are also able to offer mix and match trouser sizes upon special request however I am not sure if this applies to the Terere Signature gi.
There Terere Signature Gi jacket is made from the same material as the Estilo 2.0 and Estilo 3.0 gi. If you were to take all the patches off this gi, it would be the same as an Estilo.
The quality of the manufacturing, as with all the previous Estilo models I have reviewed, is outstanding. There is not a stitch out of place or a fraying edge on the sample I received. Everything appears to be perfectly in position and built with very high quality materials. Reinforcements across the board are, as usual, built for on the mat toughness.
Rash guard Inner Lining
The most obvious difference, apart from patch design, with this and the Estilo gi is the inclusion of the inner rash lining. I first sampled this on the Gameness Elite gi and then on my own design, the Raptor.
On the Terere gi, the lining extends all the way into the sleeves and stops just below the elbow. It is printed with logos and appears to me to be thicker and less stretchy than the Raptor lining.
I do not know how much input Terere had into the minutiae of the actual final product, but this review version is the product that Terere gave the green light to. The whole colour scheme is incredibly bright. Orange and royal blue make for an eye popping, but not disharmonious, combination. It's certainly an attention seeking package, and perhaps is a reminder of how, in his heyday, Terere loved to display his best performances in front of packed crowds.
I recall reading somewhere on an Estilo review about how the jacket patches are sewn into and under the collar lapel, making it very difficult to remove. It might be useful to note that Tatami Fightwear now offer a 'Classic' range of Estilo models which are the same gis but without the shoulder, chest and trouser patches.
For this model gi, I doubt very much anyone would buy it and then remove the patches.
|Leather patch as new|
|Appearance after x2 washes|
The Terere signature gi also has a leather patch. I have never seen this before on a gi, and it is an interesting choice of label material. It does seem to fray and fade a little after a couple of washes, unlike the back of denim trousers, which use a much sturdier leather. However it appears to be really only a minor deterioration.
The big improvement with this model gi compared with the Estilo 2.0 is the lighter weight canvas cotton trousers. The difference between wearing a 12oz weight material and a 14oz weight is significant during rolling.
As usual, Tatami use rope drawstrings to tie up the trouser waists. In several gi reviews of the past, I have noticed that the quality of string used can vary, but this has never been an issue (in my experience) with any of the Tatami gis I have reviewed. It's quite a chunky string however, and some users may feel the bundle of tied up rope hanging in front of their belly to be a bit annoying. I personally do not have any problems with the rope string.
When you first turn up at the academy wearing the Terere Signature gi, I can guarantee you will get at least one comment from a training pal who will say, wow does it come with Terere's abilities? To which the generally accepted response from you is to say, no, I left it in the gi bag, I'll bring it with me next time.
Joking aside, you do not buy or wear this gi to hide into the background. It's about as blingy a model gi as you can possibly buy. Arguably THE blingiest model BJJ uniform ever made. Wearing the gi however is no joke. The jacket is amazingly smooth and comfortable thanks to the slick inner rash guard lining. The additional layer and the added weight does however make the gi feel slightly hotter, in my opinion, than a non-lined uniform, especially if the ambient temperature is warm.
Of all the gis I have reviewed, only a few ever make it to my regular everyday rotation. The navy Estilo is one of them (others are, at time of writing, the Raptor Gi, Black Eagle singleweave, Pin Up gi). It is as if Tatami Fightwear have modelled their A1 size chart to fit me perfectly (they didn't but it just seems like it does), especially given my long arms. The Terere is no exception - the arm length and trouser lengths are big for an A1, but smaller than most A2's - are actually perfect for me.
The new lighter trousers are, as mentioned before, much more comfortable and cooler to wear than the 14oz navy Estilo trousers (which can get hot and sweaty.) The only drawback I felt with the thinner canvas trousers was the feeling that they were less durable than before. This is only speculation on my part as so far they have performed without fault. But they just 'feel' thinner and less strong.
|I look like I am doing a pee! Hmmm.|
Discussion and Conclusion
The Terere Signature gi is a uniquely designed uniform loaded with just about every functional and aesthetic extra one can think of. It's certainly not for the shy. For me, with the slick inside lining, more comfortable trousers and usual fantastic cut and fit, it's a superb gi to wear in class. Is it worth the extra amount over and above a standard Estilo gi? Possibly. The extra top weight and slightly hotter jacket experience means I still prefer my Estilo 2.0 over this gi but nevertheless, the Terere Signature is a damn fine gi.