Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Atama Gold Weave - White

Another gi I don't use myself. Two of my training partners picked these up in Australia from Shogun Martial Arts in Sydney. The price at Shogn is competitive with any other imported gi manufacturer and runs you AUD$160 for A1-A4. Atama themselves sell their gold weave gi direct from their website at US$130. It's important to note, though, that the gi at Atama's site is not the same gi. It is a newer model I haven't yet seen.

As you'd expect from arguably the most popular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu kimono brand, there are many other models, one of which I'll review in the next few days.

Both the guys bought the A3. One is a little over 6' tall and about 95kg (209lb). The other stands a little under 6' and gets around in low 80kg range (180-185lb). As such, we'll get a look at the gi on different body types.

Material: Surprise, surprise - the gi is made out of gold-weave material. I know little about where gold-weave comes from, whether all the manufacturers use the same source or even what the difference is from platinum weave, really. What I can tell you, though, is that the Atama is of moderate weight (my Keiko G-W is significantly heavier) and is less soft than my KF G-W. It may not be as soft, but it doesn't seem any less comfortable for the guys who use it. The collar is your standard, everyday thickish collar. It's not up there with the big names (HCK, Keiko), but it isn't as easy to grab as most singles. Nor is it soft, like some (my Krugans collar sometimes feels like a pillow). I think Atama have found a great balance between collar thickness and comfort.

Honestly, the pants aren't significantly different to Koral. The material is similar medium weight cotton. It's much softer than the canvas used by KF and not nearly as soft as the Gameness Platinum's pants. There double-layed from mid thigh to the cuff (down the front) and don't have a rope drawstring closure.

Fit: Fit is good - on anyone. The pants have enough adjustment to make up the difference in waist measurement between my two training partners. Equally, both find the fit to be good around the chest. The cut of the jacket really allows for a thinner wearer to tighten up the belt and not have the gi billowing out in the chest. The arms are cut such that the cuffs are at the wrists of your average six footer and the cuffs themselves are slightly larger than the average Jiu Jitsu gi. They would be Judo-legal..... Just. The skirt is shorter than some, but not so that it rides up and comes free of the belt. A little longer than the Koral, perhaps. Photos of the new model look like the skirt might be shorter on it, though.

The pants go all the way to the ankles. A big plus for me. They adjust enough in the waist to allow for the difference in waist size between the afore-mentioned training partners. Interestingly, the pants fit just right on both guys. Just loose enough to make mobility easy without being baggy.

Bottom Line: I guess Atama's niche in the business is reliability. You know if you pick up an Atama it's going to fit and fit well. If you're remotely within the bounds of normal, they have your size and, with other fabric available, they'll have a gi for just about anyone (Look for the double-weave's review in the next few days). Honestly, if you're not fussed about rubber collars, different weaves, skirt length, cuff size, etc and just want a gi that works, see Atama.

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