2 Nov 2013

Gi Review: Gawakoto x David Mack Kabuki Kimo-noh

Graphic novel inspired BJJ gi features the original artwork of David Mack. The gi itself was refreshingly light and comfortable to wear with a great slim fit in A1. The sleeves were perfect for my longish arms too.

I am friends with Gawakoto owner Bong Abad and we have collaborated in several past t-shirt designs. I have had no involvement with this product. The views expressed here are my own.

Available to purchase in the UK here.
Also from MMA Warehouse in the USA.
Cost: £120
Made in: Pakistan

The Kimo-noh comes with a gi bag and, for a limited number of orders, a signed postcard sized art print.

Size, Weight, Shrink data
Gawakoto sent me a size A1 kimono. For the record, I weight around 59Kg and am around 167cm tall. I normally wear gis in A1 but due to my long arms, not all brands fit me quite as well in this region. This gi was worn and washed at 40 degrees and air dried.

A:  160cm/156cm
B:  76cm/75cm
C:  55cm/54cm
D:  15cm/15cm
E:  50cm/50cm
F:  98cm/96cm
G:  19.5cm/19cm
Weight jacket:  1kg
Weight trousers: 0.6kg

Discussion: the jacket has a good length wingspan along the arms. The length of 156 is much more in line with A1 sized Tatami Estilo gi and the even longer Grips gi both of which suits my long arm dimensions. Trouser length suits my frame also, at 96 long on the outside leg, it matches the length of the Scramble Athlete. The sleeve cuffs and ankle openings are a touch narrower than some gi brands indicating the slimmer cut of this gi. The weight, at 1.6Kg is fairly lightweight compared to, say the Rei gi, but still heavier than 'ultra' light models such as the Arte Suave gi.

The jacket is made from 475gsm pearlweave cotton. This is the same 'weight' fabric as the Scramble Athlete and much like that model, feels pretty light and thin when worn.

David Mack's Kabuki graphic novels tells the tale of a female assassin. I must admit I'm not much of a comic buff so this is all new to me, but I do understand David Mack is extremely well respected as a comic artist in the genre.

The inside yoke of the jacket features a rashguard type shoulder lining with Kabuki artwork.

Below - left sleeve embroidery is clean and precisely tailored.

Right arm embroidery reveals the 'Fine Art' series in which Bong intends to showcase the work of other professional comic artists.

The side vents and skirt base are lined with grey contrast tape.

The showpiece of this gi design is the extensive dragon embroidery on the back of the jacket.
It is rare to see a commercial gi model feature this size of embroidery - the only ones I can think of would be the Hayabusa dragon gi and my own honey badger V2 gi. The Kabuki use of embroidery is a lot finer and cleaner than the two previous examples. It arguably carries more impact as a result.

The dragon used on the gi is the same dragon artwork that the Noh agents have tattooed on their backs. I did a quick Google search and in fact a lot of people, inspired by the comic, have actually tattooed their backs with this same design!

The trousers are made from 10oz drill cotton. They feel very soft and light. Red coloured rop drawstring with six belt loops is a valuable feature. Knee lining that extends all the way to the base of the trousers ensures they still function when the wearer is kneeling.

Rolling experience
Wearing this gi to class (which I did over a 3 week period) was a refreshing change from the rather more heavyweight experience of my previous gi review. I much prefer the lighter style of gi and the Kimo-noh gi reminded me a heck of a lot in feel, comfort and fit of my top rotation item - the Shoyoroll Count Koma gi.

Both the jacket and trousers felt super soft and comfortable plus the fit was perfect for my physique. The only quibble perhaps with the gi was that after several washes the jacket looked a lot more wrinkly and crumpled as it dried compared to most of my other gis. the corners of the side vents would curl upwards as it dried too, contributing to the effect. I guess I could iron it but really, who irons a gi? Once on my body in class however, the gi soon flattened out and it became a pleasure to wear.

This gi is made with huge attention to detail. As a tribute to a highly respected comic artist, it manages to offer something very refreshing and new to the BJJ gear world. With the added bonus of a gi that fits fantastic on me at A1 size, this is a kimono I will continue to wear in my usual rotation.


About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Anonymous said...

i hang my one on a hang to dry and the side vents doesn't curl up, and i also put pegs on the bottom of the lapels to stop it from getting warped

Anonymous said...

Another fine Gi review, thanks Meerkatsu.

Maybe I'm a bit oldskool, but I iron my Gi. I feel it shows respect to the Art and to my Instructors, as well to myself.

Unknown said...

You said similar to the Scramble? Is the collar any stronger?


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