|EKBJJ in the house!|
I first became aware of ALAVANCA when there pictures started popping up in my search function:
I was quickly made aware of the clean lines, the consistent message in branding and their catchy slogan: Invisible to the Eye - Imperative in Combat - Impossible to Resist
I became curious, but to be honest, I didn't think too much of it. If it was just yet another product line (of which there are so, so many nowadays!). I'm sure it's a good product, I thought to myself, as the Gracie Brothers always do their homework diligently before releasing anything to the market, but was there anything that made the company different? Then I saw this:
TEAM JIU-JITSU: Is your school #TeamJiuJitsu? Visit www.Alavanca.com for more info!
Exciting! I've always felt far more "Team Jiu-jitsu" than This team vs That team so this had a nice ring to it. I checked it out and the jiu-jitsu traveler in me wasn't disappointed.
When you click through to "Team Jiu-jitsu" you are immediately greeted with the right message:
"Jiu-jitsu has never been so popular, but it's also never been so divided. To address this, we created a unique training and lifestyle brand to connect with all jiu-jitsu practitioners, Gracie or not."
I don't know what it is, but SIGN ME UP!
"We understand that each school has it’s own curriculum emphasis and training objectives, but that doesn’t mean we don’t all share the same passion for jiu-jitsu. For the same reason that we feel an instant bond with an absolute stranger who is wearing a jiu-jitsu t-shirt in public, we believe that this shared passion for the art can be used to break down barriers and increase the possibilities for collaboration in the community."
Long story short, there is a growing list of participating academies (150 at the moment) around the world (74 cities in 5 continents) where if you show up in an Alavanca gi, they promise to waver the drop-in fee, giving you one free class as a guest of jiu-jitsu.
OK. I've spoken enough about the company and its engagement in the community. Let's move on to the gi itself.
When I mentioned to Rener that I'd be interested in reviewing their gi, he suggested the AV COMBAT GI and I am very glad he did.
The bag was very light, as expected from a modern pearl-weave. I checked it and it came in at 1.4kg!
I mean, how do you make a gi with so little fabric? Apparently, it can be done thanks to exacting design. Here are the COMBAT GIs measurements:
Out of the bag:
Wing span: 164cm 64.5in
Height: 84cm 33in
Width: 58cm 23in
Cuff: 16cm 6.5in
Width: 55cm 21.5cm
Outside: 94cm 37in
Inside: 67cm 26.5in
Cuff: 24cm 9.5in
|Green contrast stiching|
|Working through some details with my friend Mr Jack Taufer|
After several washes at 30 degrees:
Wing span: 163cm 64in (-1 cm / 0.5in)
Height: 84cm 33in (same)
Width: 55cm 21.5in (-3 cm / 1.5in)
Cuff: 16cm 6.5in (same)
Width: 55cm 21.5cm (same)
Outside: 94cm 37in (same)
Inside: 66cm 26in (-1 cm / 0.5in)
Cuff: 23cm 9in (-1 cm / 0.5in)
As expected, the biggest shrinkage was along the Jacket width (sleeve cuff to sleeve cuff) but it is important to notice that that was no more than a 3cm (1.5inch) shrinkage! All in all, the gi has kept its shape beautifully and still rolls like a dream. It is one of the lightest feeling gis you'll ever wear yet still sturdy.
The gi is very light, as mentioned before, and it feels light. This is a California gi. Great for summer training and travelling. Easy to wash and quick to dry. In fact, a week ago, I used it for a morning private, got home and washed it and by evening time, it was dry and ready for the evening session.
Further, it is minimalist in style and embroidery.
|Look at the rich green embroidery and ignore my greys|
|Same embroidery near the shin, and further away from the greys!|
Some light weight gis bunch up. My amateur opinion blames it on the looseness of the weave. Once an opponent with big hands get hold of it, there's not getting out. I remember wearing one like that and guest-training at Professor Lucio Sergio's place in Manchester and immediately regretted it. He has hands like medium-sized clouds of titanium!
Fortunately, I didn't get the same feel with the Alavanca. The pearl weave they use had tangible structure and, that coupled with the slim-fit cut, was a great equaliser.
|No excess material!|
With that said, the slim fit never meant I was feeling constricted. Let's face it, I'm not a slim-fit kinda build generally (176cm, 82kg) but I've always hated excess fabric hanging off the gi. The Alavanca strikes a good balance between the two worlds.
|Erm...am I the only one thinking the portrait behind me is judging my technique?|
|Professor Kone has great camera skills!|
|Deep first hand: Check!|
Obviously once on, I completely forget about it, but if I'm in a rush due to traffic delays and I open my gym bag and look at the flat cord, I immediately sigh!
All in all the Alavanca Combat Gi is now one of my favourite gis to teach privates in. If I every need another competition gi this will be one of my top choices. Slick design lines. No excess bulk. Team Jiu-jitsu.
I'd like to thank Rener, Ryron and the rest of the team at ALAVANCA.com for sending the gi to be reviewed. Very excited to see what the future holds for the brand.
ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!
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