24 Mar 2014

Gi Review - Fudoshin Kimonos, Classic White

A reasonably plain gi made by the company behind Tatami Fightwear, the Fudoshin offers judo level uniform strength within a BJJ cut uniform. The thick and heavy materials along with formidable reinforcements make this a tough BJJ kimono for those who prefer a heavier set of features.

Full Disclosure: I was hired by Tatami Fightwear to design the logos and branding for Fudoshin. I was paid a fixed fee so I receive no royalties based on sales of this gi. The views expressed in this report are my own and those of my guest contributor - Mark O Brien.

The Fudoshin gi website - http://www.fudoshinkimonos.com/
Fudoshin Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/fudoshinkimonos
Price: £85 UKP

When Tatami fightwear asked me if I could design a logo and branding elements for a new product, I was curious to find out that they wanted something that would evoke the style of old school judo uniforms. I saw this opportunity as a fresh challenge and set out working on the logo. The resulting final product is also very judo-esque in feel - as you'll see in the rest of this report.

Size, weight and shrinkage stats
I was sent a size A1 gi. Size in centimetres and weight in kilograms. For reference, I am 59-60Kg in weight and 167cm in height. I am used to wearing A1 or A1L size gis though I do have long arms. First figure brand new, second figure after x3 mild temperature washes and then air dried.

A.  164cm/156cm
B. 77cm/75cm
C. 55cm/52.5cm
D. 16cm/15.5cm
E. 52cm/50cm
F. 98cm/93cm
G. 21cm/19cm

Jacket weight: 1.3Kg
Trouser weight: 0.7Kg

Measurement discussion
The standout stat here is the sleeve shrinkage. As with most goldweave material jackets I have sampled in the past, I can expect some level of shrinkage and this was indeed the case with the Fudoshin. After three washes, the wingspan length leveled out at 156cm. This is not as long when you compare it to the recently reviewed 93 Brand Charlie jacket (160cm) but much better than the also goldweave made 93 Brand Tau (151cm) - both models reviewed here.

Comparing the Fudoshin with the Tatami Estilo, one would expect to find similarities, and indeed both this and the Estilo 4 share very similar size measurements across the board in the post-washed gi. The conclusion here is that if a Tatami gi fits you, then so will the Fudoshin. Being a goldweave however, it is more sensitive to heat-based shrinking methods - something my guest contributor Mark will talk about his his section later on in this review.

Weight-wise, this gi differs from both the Estilo and the Zero-G as it is much heavier than either of those models. This is apparent in the thick 14oz twill cotton trousers, but less so with the top. Goldweaves are less densely woven than pearlweaves, so 'feel' lighter than the measurements might suggest.

The Fudoshin Classic is made from 550gsm cotton goldweave. It feels pretty chunky and seems heavy but once worn, the more pliable nature of goldweave means the heaviness never becomes a burden.

The collar is covered with standard twill cotton but any similarity with previous Tatami offerings ends there. This collar feels much thicker and stiffer than the Estilo or Zero-G. Certainly the leading edge of the collar and lapels have a chunky, rounded appearance that gives the impression of being heavy duty.

Logos on the sleeves and rear nape are embroidered on. When I designed the logo, I wanted to combine both the Japanese rising sun and a floral pattern. I just played around with abstract shapes until I felt this one had the right balance. The quality of the embroidery is pin sharp - a difficult feat given the small 1-point line weight I used on some of the markings.

The jacket interior is reinforced along each seam with thick, strong, cotton tape. No fancy logos, no woven adornments, just plain cotton, folded over and stitched around the portion where collar and gi body meet. Extra material lines the armpits and side vents which are usual features for most BJJ gis.

The pants are made from 14oz cotton twill. They feel thick and they are thick. In contrast with Tatami fightwear gis, the Fudoshin carries a flat drawstring to tie up the trousers. It does the job perfectly fine and the three belt loops again seem to function adequately. I'm not a fan of centre middle loops though myself.

Double layering extends all the way past the knee and down to the ankles - which ensures the knees are doubly covered when the user is kneeling. Ankle ends are folded, covered with tape and quadruple stitched. I doubt these things will ever come apart.

Rolling Performance

This gi helped me remove some of the negative feelings I had previously about wearing heavy gis in class. The goldweave is heavy but being soft and pliable, didn't feel like a burden. I like how the measurements of the sleeves allowed for generous shrinkage, meaning that it still fitted me after washing. The trousers are heavy and while it was fine to train in during the winter, I feel it might not get much of an outing during summer. Still, I know a lot of people have commented that they much prefer a sturdy, heavier gi compared to the many lighter weight models out there so I think the Fudoshin serves that purpose brilliantly.

Guest Contributor Mark O Brien

Those that know me know i have a penchant for wearing pretty flashy gi's but i have to say i love the minimalist look of this gi, the sleeve cuffs have been heavily reinforced with canvas tape with no fewer than 8 rows of stitching and all the major stress areas are reinforced too , this sleeve logos were designed by Meerkatsu and on the back of the jacket there is a single Fudoshin embroidered logo.

The pants are a heavy piece of kit , I'm used to wearing a 12oz rip stop pants with my normal training gi's but this bad boy is a 14oz twill cotton material. I was a bit concerned at first that it would get really heavy and uncomfortable while training but how wrong was I, these pants are a joy to wear. It runs loose in the legs - if you're used to wearing say a Scramble or SYR that have a more fitted pants then you'll feel like an Astronaut in this pants as its so roomy. Me personally I loved the space (pun intended) and comfort.... my training partners loved the extra material too grrrrr..... The knee reinforcement runs from just above the knees right to the end of the pants leg and again the leg seam is reinforced with canvas tape, my only gripe is the number of fastening loops ,all you get is 3 loops which to some won't be an issue but me personally i think every gi should have at least 6 loops. Saying that I didn't have any wardrobe malfunctions so they did their job. Again there's minimal distractions on the pants with only a single Fudoshin patch and all the usual areas are well reinforced.

BTW I'm 6'1 and I ordered an A3. The jacket had to be shrunk but one hot wash and a bit of tlc in the dryer sorted it and now it fits me perfect (see photo).

I love this gi, its well priced, well designed and it's a comfy gi to wear. It is a robust piece of kit that'll stand the test of time and give you endless hours of enjoyment whilst training.

Oh by the way i'm not a professional reviewer so i apologize if i left out any important details..... until next time....

About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Ben W. said...

tell me if I'm wrong, but this Gi look like the current Tatami Fightwear Classic:
- Same embroidery behind the neck
- Same reinforcements
- 14oz pants
- 550gsm Goldweave Jacket

Anonymous said...

How does the collar compare to a HCK collar?


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