6 Mar 2013

Review: Echo fight shorts by Tatami Fightwear

A well constructed and slim fitting pair of MMA shorts. I'm not a fan of the styling and graphics nor the large side splits but the quality of the production and the copious reinforcements and tightening fixtures make this one very tough and durable piece of kit.

Full disclosure: I have worked with Tatami Fightwear on a freelance basis over a number of unrelated projects. I have had no involvement with the design of this product.

Information: Available from the Tatami Fightwear website and other MA retailers for £35.

In my recent reviews of both the Odin fight shorts and the Ground Game fight shorts I noted how such products tended to load their construction with a plethora of reinforcements and fixtures that help to keep the item in place when worn on the body. The Echo shorts are no exception to this type of more 'technical' fight short. It is a far cry from the first ever pair of fight shorts I bought - a pair made by Atama which was no more complex than my swimming shorts. I kind of still prefer the simpler Atama shorts for my day to day grappling but there's certainly no harm having all the added on benefits that these Echo shorts possess. Let's take a closer look...

Materials & Design
These shorts are made from 100% polyester. The surface of the main fabric has a slight sheen to it and feels reasonably thick to the touch.#

The edging base of the shorts are lined with stitched borders

Almost the entire inner waistband is lined with a rubbery textured strip of gripping tape.

The drawstring is noticeably stretchy, as is the gusset panel around the crotch, which is made from stretchier lycra type material.

The entire body is dye sublimation printed with branding logos. I'm not a fan of the mock-cursive font used on the left side leg as I think it looks a little naff, but that's probably the design snob in me. The smaller text on the same leg reads: No Gi Customs.

Construction and reinforcements
These fight shorts are impressively laden with fixtures that help to ensure a very tight and secure fit to the body alongside several key aspects that provide a thorough level of durability.

The previously mentioned rubbery grip strip on the inside waist creates friction on the skin which might affect how easily the shorts slip up and down the body during normal movement. I say 'might' because I wore my shorts with the rashguard tucked in, so they never really made skin contact with me.

It's probably only of minor benefit in my opinion because the main devices used to secure the shorts are the very long front velcro strap and the stretchy drawstrings. Utilising both these together meant the shorts were held onto my body very securely indeed!

Triple or double rows of stitching are used throughout the shorts.

The side vents are very long - but this seems to be normal for most fight shorts. I personally don't need to enact huge leg spits when grappling so the large vents are of no use to me but it's possible that they are beneficial if you train high leg kicks. Regardless, Tatami have ensured that the weakest stress point at the apex of the split is reinforced with a triangular patch of material.

Rolling Report
I wore these shorts to a couple of nogi sessions. They fit me pretty good. I wore a size SMALL pair of shorts and as expected, they still extend to just around my knee cap, as are typical of beach board shorts. This is fine for me but I dislike the long side vents, they sort of flap around a lot when sparring. It's not a deal breaker, but if I trained a lot of nogi, I actually would probably stitch them so the opening was much smaller (I actually did this to my favourite Atama shorts).

The blurb on Tatami's website claim that these shorts are a tighter, slimmer fit than MMA shorts. I must admit I can't really tell but they certainly don't feel baggy or flared out when I wear them. The material is super soft and comfy though I felt the width of the velcro section did ride up a wee bit higher than I would normally like. Again, it's no deal breaker but due to the stiffness of the velcro section, it did dig into my stomach when I ended up curling into myself, eg in turtle position.

These shorts are made to a very high standard and feature copious reinforcements and are designed to remain secured to the body. If you like the styling and need a pair of technical fight shorts, then at a reasonable price of £35 from the Tatami Fightwear store (or other MA retailers), I reckon you can't go far wong.

About the Author


Author & Artist

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



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