30 Apr 2012

Gi Review: Atama Mundial No.9

The Atama Mundial #9 is an outstanding BJJ uniform manufactured with very high quality components. The attention to detail throughout is staggering. However, be aware, the Atama is cut pretty small for an A1 (compared to a lot of other brands) and of course the very high quality comes with a pretty high price tag.

This gi was sent to me by Atama-Europe. I regularly provide design work to a large number of fightwear companies on a freelance basis. I have no personal or business connection with Atama or with Atama-Europe.

Atama have been around for years and years. They were clothing BJJ fighters long before rebels rebelled against the mainstream, long before Predators were unleashed from cages, long before tatamis became gis, long before...ah you get the idea. In fact when I first began BJJ, one of the first gis I ever bought was an Atama - the Mundial #2 to be precise. And I loved it. You can see me wear it in this photo here. That model was a goldweave and it shrank so much I had to give it away - to a child, that's how small it got. I really missed that gi so when the opportunity came up to test out the most recent incarnation of the Mundial series, I jumped at it. the No9 is an entirely different beast to that old No2 I wore in the photo, hell, it could even be a whole 9 generations better! We shall soon see...

 Size, Stats, Shrinkage and Other Info for A1

Sizes in centimetres brand new v three 40 degree washes
A: 154cm / 150cm
B: 74cm / 74cm
C: 58cm / 56cm
D: 17cm / 16.5cm
E: 51cm / 50cm
F: 95cm / 94cm
G: 23cm / 23cm
Jacket Weight = 1.1Kg
Trouser Weight = 0.45Kg
My stats: Height 167cm, Weight 59Kg
Made in: Brazil
Price: Euros164.90
Website: http://www.atamaeurope.com/

It is clear from the stats that the No9 is small - a good deal smaller than a lot of other A1 gis I have sampled. With a wingspan of just 150cm, it is dwarfed by models such as the Tatami Estilo 2 (156cm), Kingz Kimonos (157cm), Do or Die Hyperfly (159cm) and so on... But the trousers are an entirely different matter. Reaching a healthy 94 centimetres in length, this compares very favourably with The Shoyoroll Maeda (93cm), Estilo (96cm) and Bull Terrier (94cm) for example.

The jacket and trousers weigh just a touch over 1.5Kg making it reasonably light for its size. At a price of 164.90 Euros (equivalent to $217 or £134 as of 30th April 2012, the Atama Mundial is considered a  premium model gi).

ADDENDA: Atama USA sells this model for $219 but you can select different size jacket and pants.

The Atama Mundial No9 jacket is made from what appears to be a very densely woven pearlweave. It's very stiff and coarse to the touch.

The collar is average width in thickness but again, it is incredibly stiff. Imagine stacking up a dozen credit cards and then trying to bend and flex them - that's the nearest I can begin to describe how the collar feels on the No9. Ripstop cotton covers the core - the same ripstop as the trousers.

This is not a 'bling' gi. Patches are very minimal, with only a large embroidered logo on each shoulder and a few smaller woven patches tucked here and there. However it still exudes the feeling of a 'bling' gi - proving that sometimes, less is in fact more. Atama - one of the most familiar brands in BJJ - embodies quality, reassurance and excellence. It says, people who wear Atama, take their BJJ very seriously indeed.

Interestingly, the Atama No9 does not have an underarm reinforcement patch. Most gis I have sampled before do. Given the extreme lengths taken over the design of this gi, I doubt it is a cost saving measure, simply that this gi does not need it.

The sleeve cuffs are lined with branded tape. In some gis, this tape can be very scratchy. On the Mundial No9 however, it is lovely and soft.

The base jacket labels have a mysterious product code number. What does this signify? Is it a unique identifying number or just a manufacture batch code? [I'd love it if you typed it into Google and an alternate universe opened up. Welcome to Atama world, where everything is awesome. Ahem, moving on...]

There is no functional need to place a patch on the nape of the collar, but the Mundial No9 has it, and it looks very cool too.

I would describe the side vents as, generous. Lined with more ripstop, they look very sturdy. More branded tape decorating the lower trim completes the minimal yet pretty aesthetics of this model.

The Mundial No9 trousers are made from ripstop cotton. They are unlike any other ripstop trousers I have sampled before in my opinion. Some ripstop pants are too waxy, too stiff, or way too thin and weedy. Not the No9's. These pants are a perfect balance between strength and weight. They feel very comfy too with no sensation of sweaty, waxy stiffness that plague other ripstop trousers.

The ripstop trouser cord seems a bit short in my opinion, tying it up left little room for excess girth. It did the job fine however and did not come apart during rolling.

The double lining extends from above the knee all the way to the base. In my opinion, this exhibits a high degree of attention to detail. Too many gis are supplied with the double lining barely extending past the base of the patella - rendering the lining useless when playing from the knees.

More branded logo tape lining the ankle openings. Super soft and comfy I would state that the the whole gi excels in the level of reinforcement and stitching.

Rolling report and conclusion
Straight out the bag the No9 oozes quality. From the sheen of the fabric to the myriad of tiny details dotted throughout the uniform, this set of jacket and trousers are made to the highest quality standards I have ever witnessed on a BJJ uniform. In black, it looks especially appealing too.

Rolling in the gi the first impression I got was that the jacket was very very stiff -it felt like a very hard suit of armour or bullet proof vest. Probably the stiffest gi I have ever tested. I figured it would soften up over several washes - but it did not. Normally I would consider a very stiff gi to be a huge disadvantage - but after a few minutes into class, it didn't really become a huge issue, in fact I noticed it was harder for my opponents to grab and manipulate me - all without particularly affecting my own performance. If only those damn sleeves could be longer...a lot longer. There's no doubting the durability of this gi however, it will withstand a nuclear blast.

The trousers, in my opinion, are simply gorgeous. I never really liked ripstop before this gi came along. I have noted in the past that some ripstops are better than others but this pair of pants are a cut above all other ripstops I have tried before. The Atama pair actually feel like a proper pair of rugged, combat-ready apparel. Yet they still retain that lightness associated with ripstop. The length, feel and general comfort of this pair is outstanding. Honestly, if every single gi from now on included pants made exactly like these Atamas, I would be very happy indeed.

I wonder if older brands ever change the cut of their uniforms? My first Atama, the Mundial #2 shrunk too much and was just too small for me at A1. I did try on an A2 Atama several months later, but sent it back because it was too massive. It breaks me up not to really be able to wear this No9 due to the incredibly sort sleeves. It's such a gorgeous gi overall. I really feel Atama should introduce an intermediate size model - like Shoyoroll do. I think an Atama A1L would be perfect, keep the same size pants, just make it longer on the sleeves because I would be willing to bet there is a very sizable chunk of the customer base out there who flirt in between sizes.

I'm making a big deal out of the size issues here because this gi is almost damn near perfect but it costs a lot more than other very good quality gis  out there right now. For those contemplating this gi, I recommend scrutinising the size charts carefully and refer to other reviews out there on the internet. If  all the boxes are checked and you can afford it, I have no hesitation recommending the Atama Mundial No9.


About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Anonymous said...

One of the guys in my school has a #9 and stiff and coarse is an understatement. The thing is like a cheese grater on my knuckles.

I also have long arms, so the atama would never be an option for me. . .

Hiren said...

I own two Numer 9s (one white and one black as shown here). A few observations: I'm tall and lanky and the sleeves are too short. Also the collar like Seymour says is extremely stiff, and get's stiffer as you wash the gi.

I'd also agree that the trousers are fantastic! Not sure how much they now sell for by I paid £140 for mine a year ago.

Great review as always.

Anonymous said...

I've owned 2 atama's: Mundial 5 and Ultra light. I'm 5'7 155lbs both gi's were A2's sleeve length were ok but it was definitely baggy. I've kept the mundial 5 and sold the ultra light.

This guy in our class has #9 and for some reason the jacket is falling apart (stitching, elbows are shredding etc.)

for the fit and quality, i think they are way over-priced.

Definitely have the best ripstop pants out there. I've had the fushida to compare it with and the fushida is waxy and stiff.

Dharma Bum said...

I have a white #9 that I roll in every day. I'm no Meerkatsu, but I own nine or so gis that I have collected through the years (HCK, Gameness, Ground Control to name a few) and the Mundial 9 is my 'go to'. I wash it and hang it after every class so I can wear it the next day.

I'm a hair under 5'9" and I weigh exactly 150. My A2 fits perfectly.

My only complaint is the pants are a little bit baggy; they rock otherwise.

Love it!

Georgette said...

I've owned an A1 #9 for three years. I'm 5'2" ~135 lbs, and I concur-- the jacket is ridiculously short-sleeved. I no longer wear this gi because I got sick of the stiffness of the jacket, and the sleeves are far too short for even my petite frame. I also found that their ripstop pants tore-- at the hip, where there is a gap between front and back, just underneath the seam-reinforcement, and across the knees.

Anonymous said...

The Atama is a fine gi. I actually love the stiffness of this gi, this was my first gi. When I purchased other lighter weight pearl weaves gis, I found the tops to open a lot more and feel like the material stretches as sweat builds up. Lighter weight gis that are not as stiff as the Atama bother me. Pants are also amazing, A2 fits 32 inch waist at 6,0".

Alex E said...

I ordered an Atama Mundial 9 and the construction was so bad and stitching so poor on the jacket that I immediately sent it back for a full refund. What's worse is they sent me the wrong one the first time and then the second was way below expectations, and my refund took forever. Their US customer service is lacking. Gonna stick with my SYRs.

Anonymous said...

I'm 5'6" tall, 155lbs and the A2 jacket and A1 pants Atama Mundial #9 fits perfectly after about 2 washes in hot water to shrink everything down. My only minor complaints are: I wish the skirt was about 1 to 2" shorter (maybe I have a really short torso), all the Atamas I've had have had loose stitch which is annoying, but nothing 5 minutes with a sharp pair of scissors can't fix. The fabric on this gi is VERY rough, especially if you wash in cold water and air dry it. It shreds fingers, breaks nails and causes burns all over you training partner's faces. Surpassingly I actually find the inside of the top to be pretty soft and the ripstop pants are awesome. Also, Meerkatsu, the fabric is known as Carioca weave (see the Atama site). Overall, it's an awesome gi. Also, Atama normally has a New Year's sale and picked up two Mundial #9s for $160 each which is a good $60 to $80 off the original MSRP.

Anonymous said...

I own an earlier version of the Mundial 9 and just got a new one.

They have different fabrics, weaves, and cuts. It's like they're two different gi's.

When they first started making the 9, Atama was using the same everything as the 7, except changed the patch colour (the new ones look much nicer).

Now the pants have a thicker stitch and even though the tag claims that they use the same fabrics, it feels like they use more polyester than cotton in the pants now.

The weave is coarser. The older models were thicker and softer and much higher quality overall.

And as you point our in your review, the new sleeve cut is almost unwearable.

Pretty disappointed in what I thought was a great gi.

Anonymous said...

I have an Atama mundial 9 since 2and half years, it's a GREAT GREAT gi, but the rip stop pants will start to be damaged after one and half year of intense training. Just few observations, you said that there are no reinforcements under the arms and down on the stress points, take a look INSIDE, they are INSIDE ;) anyway, the jacket is great and I love the fact that it's a little bit stiff, there are some good reiforcements on the top (next to the collar) too ;) (sorry for some grammar mistakes ;) )

stn said...

I'm 172cm and 84kg. I purchased an A2 and it was HUGE. Based on your review I will fit an A1 as it measures up with my keiko that fits like a glove. My arms must be really short

Anonymous said...

The Atama Mundial 9, in my opinion, is a phenomenal gi. Two reasons...first, I'm a short, stocky guy. At 5'9" and 225 pounds, it's near impossible to find a gi that fits. Most that are wide enough in the shoulders are about six inches too long, making me look like a child in his big brother's pajamas. I purchased an A4 top and washed it in hot water and dried it under medium heat. After shrinking it as much as I could, the fit was perfect. The A3 pants were great in length and were wide enough in the waste without leaving the crotch dragging half way down my legs. Second reason I love this gi is due to the durability it continues to demonstrate. I've worn it to two classes a day, four days a week, for three months, washing it every night and it still shows no signs of deterioration. In all, if you're a shorter, stockier guy, you're going to love the cut of the top. And, as most people attest to, the ripstop pants are amazing.

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