25 Jan 2015

Gi Review - Shoyoroll 7th Son II

A stunningly designed gi featuring the artwork of MMA fighter, BJJ black belt and tattoo artist Luke Stewart. Luke owns the tattoo shop Seventh Son, hence the name of this gi. This gi was light, comfortable and, despite the in-built liner, cool to wear. There was a slight issue with the drawstring, but apart from that, the gi performed admirably over 2 months of solid rolling.

This gi was only available as a strictly limited edition kimono. As with most previous Shoyoroll batch releases, these gis sold out within a very short time on release day. I bought my model from UK distributor, Grapplers Delight for £150 incl postage.

I have no personal or business connection with Shoyoroll. All views expressed in this review are my own.

Shoyoroll are known for releasing limited edition runs of gi models that are highly sought after by collectors. I first saw the teasers for this gi posted up on Instagram weeks before it went on sale and I knew then that I wanted to buy it. I love great tattoo artwork and Luke Stewart is highly skilled in this field. Along with the detailed Japanese themed illustrations are some of Shoyoroll's most ambitious and over the top gi design flourishes - from contrast coloured collar to the interior mesh liner. Its a gi that is almost too beautiful to wear and I felt it could have been hung up like a rare painting. Of course, I didn't do that. I firmly believe gis are for rolling in and not hoarding, so I wore the Seventh Son II at every other class for a period of two months. Here are my thoughts...

Size, Shrink, Weight
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 multiple washes at 40 degrees C.

A: 165cm / 159cm
B: 74cm / 73cm
C: 58cm / 56cm
D: 16cm / 15cm
E: 53cm / 51cm
F: 101cm / 97cm
G: 21cm / 21cm

Jacket weight: 1.1kg
Trouser weight: 0.6Kg

Stats Discussion
Shoyoroll offer generous size options at purchase, with standard sizes plus several in-between options. I plumped for a standard A1 given my height and weight. It turned out to be the perfect choice with arm wingspan at 159cm just the right width for me and trouser length at 97cm again within the sweet spot for my own dimensions. My standard go-to gi is the Tatami Estilo 4 and the 7th Son dimensions are similar (157cm wingspan, 92cm trouser length).

Most remarkable is the very low weight of the jacket. At 1.1Kg it rivals many super light gis at this size, yet it still carries a ton of embroidery and those sheets of inside liner material must add tot he basic bulk. For comparison, a similarly highly patched and rash-lined gi model is the Tatami Fightwear Spirit of Japan - it weighs 1.4Kg.

The jacket is made from pearlweave cotton. It feels very thin and light so in the absence of available stats, I'm guessing it is 420-450gsm weight cotton material. It certainly feels around the same weight roughly as my other Shoyoroll - the Count Koma.

This gi is overloaded with decorative features - clearly, it is not going to a uniform that will pass IBJJF competition regulations. But then again, a gi like this is not intended for that purpose.

The retail version of the Seventh Son II was available in navy with a grey collared collar. There was also an exclusive members only version (GUMA) that was all black. Lining the inside of the jacket along the yoke panel is a synthetic material lining printed with peony flowers. The rest of the torso was lined with mesh synthetic fabric and printed with a samurai skull and helmet.

Decorating the exterior of the gi are a number of embroidered patches. The famous sleeve roundel makes an appearance, as it does with nearly all other Shoyoroll releases. Elsewhere, the 7th Son company logo appears.

There are a number of little details on this gi that caught my eye. The side vent patch for example is made from the same colourful material as the yoke lining.

The mesh liner is thin and stretchy, as you would expect of a rashguard type material. Although it is perforated, it doesn't seem to affect the quality of the artwork. The lining itself is only affixed to the main torso or the gi. It does not spread out into the sleeves nor does it continue across to the side flaps of the jacket. This keeps the weight down and lowers the hot and sticky effect one can experience with other rashguard lined gis.

The patch on the back of the gi is a little roughly cut out. The detailing is impressive but the poor quality edging makes it look a tad messy.

The pants are made from a lightweight canvas cotton fabric. I'd say they feel like a 10oz weight. The crotch panel is the same canvas material but coloured grey. Inside of that crotch panel is the same flower printed yoke liner material. As per the jacket, the pants are adorned with embroidered detailing.

The inside hem of the pants and the jacket sleeves was lined with 7th son logo tape.

The photo below shows how the end of the rop drawstring disintegrated after just one wash. It was simple to repair however.

Rolling Performance
Even among today's highly creative gi design market, I can't help but feel that the 7th Son II is an extraordinary gi model. Almost anything and everything that can be done to a gi has been applied here with gusto and flare. But it would all mean nothing to me if the gi itself did not feel right and did not fit right. After rolling for several months I can simply say it was and is, a fantastic gi to wear. The fit (A1) is perfect on me, which is rare for an A1 and thus I can conclude that Shoyoroll gis run slightly big at this size. The lightness of the jacket and pants meant that rolling was smooth and my movements unhindered. Even the mesh lining did not feel hot and sticky, which is something I do experience with other lined gis. Naturally, it goes without saying, that the gi itself looks outstanding and caught the eye of all my class mates. Not something to wear for those who are shy!

The only minor issue with this gi is that after many washes, the navy colour began to fade unevenly causing lighter areas, especially around the creases. It doesn't bother me that much but those who are interested in preserving the care of this gi for later resale, it's something to be aware of.

Can you tell I love this gi? I'm not even a Shoyoroll nerd or collector, but when I saw the artwork being used, I knew I had to have this gi. At £150 it is expensive so I wouldn't call it value for money. But it wears so beautifully, fits perfectly and looks so amazing, so I guess it is at least money well spent. I realise my review of this gi is moot since it is no longer on sale. But with the vibrant second hand Shoyoroll trading market, it might be of use to someone deciding whether to purchase a used or BNIB gi. If you do, then have fun with it, it's a stunning and fun gi to wear.


About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Anonymous said...

I am considering buying a 2nd hand one so your review was very helpful- thank you.

Anonymous said...

I also purchased this GI brand new. The Gi really does get style points,however it is not one of my favorite fitting gi's. I received the size recommendation from Shoyoroll but The skirt is too short, the jacket shrunk a little too much, and the pants bunch at the waist when the draw string is tightened...however If the fit was right I would be wearing it all the time.


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