Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Keiko Raca Gold Weave Kimono - Blue

I bought my Keiko Raca gi about two years ago from Rio Fightwear. It was a great deal at the time for $94 and I believe you can still get the exact same price, now. It's not the "Special" gi that you see Marcelo Garcia getting around in. It's the standard gold weave model. It has since become my primary training gi. About half of the classes I do, I do in this uniform.

Material: The material is gold weave. Most people have seen it. The gi seems a little heavier than my KF gold and Gameness Platinum weave gis, but this may be due to the fact that the Keiko is a much larger cut. I love the collar, which is very heavy, but it's not as thick and soft. It's tightly bound and very inflexible. That makes it a little uncomfortable, but it's almost impossible to grip effectively.

The material has lost its shape more than my other gis. The chest billows out at the front more than it used to and the collar seems a little 'bent'away from my neck. That's not a bad thing, though and it's probably due to the large amoutn of wear this gi gets.

The pants are quite heavy canvas with double thickness panels in the front all the way down the leg. They don't have a rope drawstring, though, which would make them just about spot on.

Fit: The Keiko is a large fitting gi. The lapels wrap past the split seams on the body of the gi (even when I'm way out of shape) and the chest is very generous. The sleeve cuffs are moderate (in between the Isami and Gameness) in size and the sleeves themselves taper down to that. They are very generous in the upper arm and shoulder. The skirt, though is quite short. Something I prefer.

The pants, aren't as generous as the jacket. The waist is quite wide and quite comfortable when it has to be adjusted in a long way. The legs are a baggy fit, even for me. Howver, they don't billow out in the lower legs. Lengthwise, they're maybe an inch shorter than the Gameness.

Bottom Line: I've never seen a more hard wearing BJJ gi (some Judo gis notwithstanding) and for a great price. If you're budget conscious, that is a major plus. The collar makes it useful as a competition gi, as well. If you're a large-framed person, the Keiko is going to be one of the gis that fit you. It's well worth a look.

Keiko Raca Official Site
Rio Fightwear Keiko Raca Gold Weave Page

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