20 Dec 2013
An excellent lightweight gi priced at a very affordable level. The HG13 is Strike Fightwear's homage to the late Grandmaster Helio Gracie.
Available for £68 at the Strike Fightwear website.
I have previously worked on a freelance basis for Strike Fightwear. I have no personal or current business relations with the brand.
The HG13 is Strike's homage to Helio Gracie. The numeral 13 represents the year of his birth, 1913. It has been a while since I have sampled a Strike Fightwear gi - not since my own designs (Red Dragon) were sent to me. Strike have produced a number of gi models since then so now would be a good time to see how far they have come since their earliest gi models.
Size, Weight, Shrink data
Strike 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.
First figure brand new, second figure after three 40 degree washes
Weight jacket: 1kg
Weight trousers: 0.5kg
Discussion: The wingspan shrinkage after washing is not too bad. 156cm is the same arm length roughly as the Gawakoto Kimo-noh gi and the Tatami Fightwear Estilo 4 gi, both of which fit me perfectly, so the HG13 is no exception. The trousers are within my good length range (anything between 90 and 100cm) so the HG13 in size A1 again, fits me perfectly. Weight, at 1.5Kg is very light.
The jacket is a very light and soft pearlweave cotton fabric. The website states 500gsm though when you pick it up, it certainly feels a lot thinner and lighter than you imagine. The torso and sleeves are reasonably slim and the embroidery is applied onto the sleeves, chest and top of the back area. The quality of the components are very good.
The sleeve cuffs are reinforced with a soft twill cotton tape. The collar is also made from twill. Both materials are very comfortable on the skin compared to other materials and textures.
The decals are very nicely executed, though I do wonder why they chose such a modern sans serif typeface for a gi that pays respect to someone born in the last century. Still, it's a clean and smart looking gi that is neither showy, nor plain.
The trousers are made from soft 14oz cotton twill. There is a ridiculous number of belt loops - 8 in total - and a nice chunky rope drawstring. The knee layer doesn't extend all the way to the ankle but is quite long so should still cover the knee when in kneeling position. The crotch is made from pearlweave gi material instead of twill.
I rolled in this gi extensively. Mainly because it was so light that it dried really quickly so was easily ready in time for my next class. I therefore got to test this gi continuously over four weeks at each training session. In this brief for intense period of testing, I loved how the gi still remained soft and comfortable. As mentioned above, after washing, it fitted me along the arms, torso and legs perfectly. The lightness meant I could roll in this gi with any hindrance to my movement.
The HGH13 is a great gi. Light, soft and comfortable, the size A1 fitted my own body proportions perfectly making it a joy to train in. The graphics are neat and the whole gi looks smart and yet still competition legal. With a very attractive price point of £68 this is an excellent lightweight gi that I highly recommend.