Thursday, February 08, 2007

Isami JJ-200 Single Weave Kimono

Isami is a Japanese manufacturer that's been around a long time. If you've seen the gis the guys wear on the Japanese DVDs distributed by Budo Videos, they're largely Isami ones. Mine came from Choke Sports is a Danish company and - as far as I'm aware - are the only distributor for Isami (and Reversal - the equivalent Japanese submission wrestling brand) outside Japan.

The first thing you'll need to get over with these gis is the cost. The price itself is very reasonable for such a quality gi, but the shipping is a bit of a killer. Worldwide shipping for the gi is $54 US. The gi, itself runs $105 for the single and $145 for the double.

The shipping makes the gi more expensive than most Brazilian single (and, indeed gold-weave) weave gis. However, it puts it right in the same range as Koral, which, to me, is probably Isami's most logical competitor. With shipping, the double's price is on par with most other premium double weave gis. In fact it comes in cheaper than several.

I really like this gi. I prefer a tight fitting sleeve to a BJJ gi and the Isami gves me this but gives a little room in the cuff. My Krugans was great, but didn't have enough room in the cuff to perform Ezekiel chokes. The Isami gives me the best of both worlds.

The Isami is cut very slim. How slim? Well, if I gain ten pounds, it doesn't fit. Consequentially, I wear it for competitions, since I'm usually at my slimmest, then. The collar is among the thickest I've seen on a single, but is still soft. It treads the fine line between comfort and performance (read: hard to choke) very well.

I have very big legs (30" or so) and the pants are cut very slim, as well. As a result, the pants conform to my legs at the thighs. They are, however, light and strong and comfortable. Enough so that I use them preferentially over ones that seem to fit better.

The size 7 Isami is one of the very few gis that are long enough for me. Isami's size chart lists the 7 for people up to 6'5". I'm approaching 6'7" and have very long legs and the length is perfect for me.

The cloth looks no different than other single weave gis I've owned. However, it's softer and doesn't seems to lose any shape over time (especially in the cuffs, which regularly have 300lb cuff grabbers hanging off them). It shrunk a tiny bit on first wash, but not a lot. I wouldn't go washing in hot water, though.

All in all, if you're the lean type, who has difficulty finding a gi that conforms to you, I highly recommend this gi. If you're a bigger guy (like me) with broad shoulders and a relatively small waist, you'll benefit from the very slim cut, which will restrict the 'handles' the gi gives your opponent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good points and the details are more precise than somewhere else, thanks.

- Murk