9 May 2015

Gi Review - Kalabaw Republic Kimono by Gawakoto

An attractively designed, soft fabric uniform with a great feel and overall fit, except for shrinkage along the sleeves - typical for goldweave fabrics - which resulted in a gi with arms too short for my personal dimensions.

Available to buy from the Gawakoto Store for £100 plus shipping.

I have worked with Bong Abad, owner of Gawakoto, on a number of collaborative projects in the past. I have had no involvement with this product. All views expressed in this review are my own and represent what I feel is a fair and unbiased opinion of the product.

Gawakoto is the brainchild of comic artist Bong Abad. Originally from the Philippines, this gi design pays homage to the national symbol of his birthplace - the kalabaw water buffalo. The black base fabric gives the tiny splashes of bright yellows and blues a vibrant touch of colour and individuality.

Size, Weight, Shrinkage
(I weigh 58-59kilos / 135lbs and measure 167cm tall / 5'6" - I normally wear A1 but I have long arms)

A1 size in centimetres fresh and post washing at 40 degrees three times:
A: 161/151
B: 74.5 / 74
C: 54/53
D: 15/15
E: 50.5 / 50
F: 99 / 97
G: 19/19

Wingspan is the figure that jumps out here. Starting off with 161cm it shrinks by a full 10 cm down to 151cm. A more preferable wingspan would be more like 155cm as per the Hypnotik  or the Shoyoroll 7th Son II at 159cm gis I reviewed recently. All other areas are as expected for an A1 gi and especially pleasing that the pants are a lengthy 97cm. Photos later show how the gi looks on my body frame.

The jacket is made from a super soft 450gsm goldweave coton fabric. I'm not exaggerating to say it really is super soft, wearing it is a lot like wearing a luxury bath robe.

Woven shoulder patches and yellow stitches

Ripstop collar cover

Smooth cuff tape inside the sleeves

Patch details showcase Gawakoto artistry

The jacket has quite long side vents

Lots of small signature touches

Artist signature

The pants are made from 10oz ripstop cotton. They are light and comfortable.

Rolling performance, comfort and fit
The Kalabaw Republic was super comfortable to wear and roll in. The goldweave fabric at first feels thicker than my usual pearlweave rotation gis, but due to the less dense weave, it actually feels as light if not lighter than my regular gis. The trousers were long and a good fit. Sadly the sleeves ended up shrinking a bit too much for my long arms. It's a shame because I really enjoyed wearing the gi and love the artistic touches.


About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Anonymous said...

Bought this gi recently and really like it, awesome design and great comfort. I have washed mine several times now and personally have not noticed massive shrinkage.

Anonymous said...

I haven't noticed shrinkage either. Looks like he put the jacket in the dryer.


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