Short BJJ gi review: This is a good competition gi. It's sparsely decorated which allows addition of team and club patches without it becoming too much of the good thing. The gi jacket has been re-designed to offer a wider skirt (for loopin chokes) but maintained the nice collar and sleeves. The gi pants are still ripstop and uber-light. The gi feels very soft and nice to roll in. Take it to a comp and you won't regret it. It is currently priced at £89.99 (approx. $143 or €108) on http://www.black-eagle.co.uk/predator/bjjclothingtype-bjjgi/f/
More detailed gi review: Check out the picture below.
That skirt width difference between my first Predators (black gi) and the new generation might not look like much, but I love using the sneaky gi lapel choke Renzo Gracie shows here from side control and trust me those extra centimetres make a difference.
The lapel is very nice. It's thick, but not too thick. It's rubbery, but not too rubbery. It's one of the best things about the gi.
Also check out these re-inforcements. I'm sure other brands do them too, but for a clumsy, slightly heavier grappler like me, they are brilliant. I also roll with big guys so when and if they go for a Brabo grip and yank, I'm not worried they'll tear the gi.
The material is the same as the previous generation Predator and I'm happy they stuck with it because it's awesome. It's very soft even after several washes and Black Eagle maintain that their gis shouldn't shrink, ever!
The pants are very nice. Very light and very resiliant. What you expect from a competition gi with rip-stop pants. The whole gi is very light and very resiliant. As I said above, this is a good gi.
So good so far?*
I really had only one major gripe with the gi and as this was a sample, I wasn't too worried. The stiching on the embroidery (which is scarce on this model - simple & clear lines was the theme) started to unravel already after the first roll. I took some pics and sent them to Predator HQ and this is what they told me:
Basically there are many different ways of embroidering, although there are similarities between the different programs and machines. The Satin stitch is the one used on the lettering of the Predator. We have been taught that when a satin stitch is greater than 10mm wide we should use a ‘Fill stitch’, now although this is the same rule / assumption from the embroidery machine manufacturers we only ever satin stitch up to 6mm wide and fill stitch on any width greater. When we use satin on BJJ kimonos we tend to stick to a rule of 4mm.
All this said you will find that our own expertise on embroidery has never produced a complaint, whereas our manufacturers are often a law unto themselves. The problem you are likely to experience with the long satin stitch is that you could potentially unloop the whole text for the Predator, although we have never known this to happen, and yours is the first real complaint about this.
The Eagle should be in a Fill Stitch so you should be able to see the difference between that and the Satin… basically if you run your nail over it you will notice movement (gaps) in the satin, and not in the Fill. I have also inspected around six other kimonos and they do not appear to have the loose threads you have, so you may have got a rogue one.
Form your comments, however, management has decided to insist that all future orders are produced using the fill stitch, which will hopefully alleviate this ever becoming a problem.
That right there is why I love working with Black Eagle: They take feeback on board.
Here is the official word on the gi from Black Eagle:
The 'Predator' BJJ Gi is the latest design, incorporating many new design changes to produce one of the lightest and toughest BJJ Competition Gi's ever!
Manufactured from a new improved Pearl Weave offering greater strength without compromising weight!
1. Ultra light, ultra strong ripstop trousers
2. Ultra Light Pearl Weave jacket
3. Extra lines of stitching on re-enforced lapel with ripstop overlay
4. Ripstop trimming to sleeve cuffs and jacket trim
5. New patch designs and Predator embroideries
6. Sanforized - Guaranteed never to shrink out of fit (still allow for an initial shrinkage of around 1%)
7. Mercerised - Increases the strength of the fibres and further protects from shrinkage
8. Additional loops on trousers for greater comfort fit
9. Improved Competition cut, and fully IBJJF legal
Additional belt loops (6 in total) ensure an even more secure fit, resulting in the trousers staying put during training and, more importantly, competition, giving athletes far superior mobility without being hindered!
The BJJ gi market today is full of high quality products, but also a lot of shit. Even within the great brands, you will have to think about your own needs and wants. I prefer a lighter, resiliant model that allows me to add my own designs without it becoming too much.
If, however, you want an already blinged up gi with canvas pants and cotrast stitching, the Predator is not for you (but I'd kep my eyes peeled for their upcoming project: The Tamashii, a work-in-progress that will knock your socks off!).
*I love Brazinglish. It's actually Mr Cleber Luciano who said "So good so far" when asked about how his team are doing at the Pan Kids. Watch the whole coverage at http://youtu.be/8y78NY0zXqo
Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi
Proudly sponsored by Predator Fightwear: Built for the kill and Brutal TShirt: Made By Grapplers For Fighters
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