Buying a gi in the UK?

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by slideyfoot, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    There's a fairly good thread on the topic over on Bullshido, but its largely geared towards US purchases (although I did have two helpful suggestions on the UK - MMAUniverse, for example). So, thought I might as well ask over here too, as there is a slightly larger UK presence.

    Speaking personally, I'm a beginner, so I'm looking for something very basic: no need to spend a load of cash on something super-high quality. I've got one BJJ gi (they give you one when you sign up at the Roger Gracie Academy) and a cheap judo one (£20, which I got through the university judo club before getting injured). At present, I'm only able to train twice a week, so that means I can wash one and wear the other, but term is ending soon, which will mean I can train three times over the holiday.

    Therefore, I'd like another gi (I could just wash the other two even more often, but I'm assuming that will reduce their lifespan?). Judging by the Bullshido thread and Google, these are the options I've come up with so far:

    The Atama single-weave, from the US: $85 + $38 shipping (£63 total), plus whatever customs slap on.

    Obviously UK supplier is preferable:

    Atama gi in the UK - £85

    Some random gi from the same site for £50

    A 'Fire' gi, which again looks cheapo at £40. Still, I only need cheapo, so as long as its not total crap, tempting.

    Or perhaps a judo gi for £30

    Any thoughts? Like has anyone tried this 'Fire' gi?
  2. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    My Judo Sesnei recomends a couple of different Gi's based on how big you are, going by what Mungkorn dam is threatening to do to you over on the UK throwdown thread at bullshido I'lla ssume you want a fairly light weight gi :D

    I use one of these but I'm big, my senseis had his one for about 10 years and it's still going strong:

    I'll try and find out what the lighter weight gi is, my gf wears one of them, I'll ask her tonight.
  3. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    Heh - I'll probably see him in training tomorrow, so no doubt he can get in some practice for the piledrivers etc on Sat. ;)

    Have you found much difference between judo and BJJ gis? Again going by Bullshido, it would appear the main distinction is that the judo gi is heavier, with a longer skirt. I can't see too much difference between the BJJ one I've got and my cheap judo one, but then I'm still new. Would be nice to have another specifically BJJ gi anyway.
  4. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    I train a heap more than twice a week (4 days a week twice a day) and I only have two gi's. One Atama gi that was expensive but the quality is top notch - and one very cheap Japanese one... and they both work fine. The biggest difference is that the Atama one seems to way twice as much when soaked with sweat. :p

    Washing them more isn't going to really wear them out any faster I don't think. I use them for other MA's beside BJJ as well... so suffice it so say they get a damn load of wear and tear on a daily basis.

    In general I sweat more than most people... literally dripping - that we often train with NO aircon on means it gets hot. But a freshly washed gi should usually last you two big sweaty sessions before it starts to get an funky aroma. But it's key to hang it up right after training - preferably with a fan or open window. If you're lazy/busy and leave it sitting in your bag with your jock strap... then all bets are off. :eek:

    If you train where it gets hot and humid... shave your armpits. It helps to keep the funk down.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2006
  5. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    There are a few differences between them, possibly most importantly is that the BJJ guy at my Judo club nearly wasn't allwed to compete in his Gi under Judo rules. Just something to bare in mind if you migh ever enter a Judo comp.

    Besides that BJJ gi's seem to be of a of a thicker weave than the Judo ones, the collars thicker and harder to grip on the BJJ ones. Also the sleeves tend to be a bit narrower giving away less area to grip at (Thats what nearly got my friend DQ'd form the competition). n Having said that I think that the Judo Gi's are heaier overall.

    To be honest I think that a decent quality Gi of either type will be fine, it's just a matter of the rules of the competition really.
  6. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    Oh yeah, I forgot that bit, the disturbing phenomenon of taking off your Gi top and not being able to pick it up without having a bodyweight or gretaer deadlift. Well, thats psychological trauma and repressed memories for you...
  7. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Out of curiosity why was this?
    Was it down to the BJJ blue color?
    Or was it actually something because of a difference in cut?

    I know there's often the debate about all the patches some BJJ guys have on their Gi's. I often see Judoka's looking less than impressed when someone rocks up looking like a patchwork doll. :D
  8. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    His sleeves where to short, I think the regulation says something like you haven to have a hands width of loose material hanging from your arm when you your arms out straight, obviously to ensure people don't wear tight fitting gi's at competition. He had just udner a hands width though, they let him get away with it for the grading but said that in competition he'd not have been allowed to compete.
  9. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Ah ok... interesting.
    For some reason I've rolled with guys with tighter fitting gi's on and it can be hard to get a monkey grip on the leg at times because their Gi is not as baggy as mine.
  10. Garibaldi

    Garibaldi Valued Member

    No reason in this day & age why a UK supplier is preferable. Buying from Atama direct will save you £22 with the current exchange rate & their service is absolutely first class!

    Ordered one myself last year & received it in less than a week! In fact, when I tracked the parcel online, it took 2 days to be airmailed from Atama to the UK - the other 3 days was down UK postal service (which you'd have to deal with even if you order from UK)

    I've never been stung by customs either...ask atama to label the package as "gift"
  11. Ghost Frog

    Ghost Frog New Member

    You're right, the cut is different. Generally BJJ ones are more comfortable on the ground and less stiff around the collar.

    If you can afford the Atama, then go for it as they are a superb gi!!
  12. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    I would, but:

    I tend to worry about things like that. Hence why I always buy a train ticket, even if I've been travelling on the route for years and know for a fact that its never checked. ;)
  13. pauli

    pauli mr guillotine

    can't go wrong with atama.

    bjj gis are definitely different than judo gis in both cut and fit... technically, cbjj gi rules are pretty close to judo rules, but i've never, ever seen someone called on a gi violation in bjj comp.

    i know i'd never be allowed on the mats at a judo tournament in my war kimono that i wear for both bjj and karate, despite it obviously being the right size for me. fits like a glove :)

    (the new one i just got that hasn't shrunk yet and fits like a judo gi. same size as the other one, but it's huge on me right now)
  14. EmptyHandGuy

    EmptyHandGuy Valued Member

    Doesn't it have to be over a certain amount before they can charge you? I remember hearing on the news that people can bring in upto £150 worth of stuff before having to declare it at customs?
  15. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    Unless I've understood that incorrectly, you're going to be paying at least 17.5% VAT on anything over £18.
  16. Garibaldi

    Garibaldi Valued Member

    :eek: :confused: You worry too much and you've done too much research. There's times you need to stop using the internet! You've made yourself paranoid! Atama are hardly an "unscrupulous overseas supplier" (your full quote didn't come out)

    I'm not suggesting you ask them to lie about the contents of the parcel or falsify the customs declaration.

    And even if you get taxed, its still cheaper than buying from UK alternatives

    You asked for advice and now appear to be finding reasons to avoid taking it. At the end of the day we have answered your question & we are all giving it based on our own experiences. Take the advice or don't...

    It's your money & your choice.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
  17. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    Heh - too much research? I'm a PhD student, so obviously I do too much research. Comes with the territory. :p

    But yeah, you mentioned that you didn't have any problems when you ordered from the US last year, so your recommendation comes from first-hand experience, which certainly gives it weight. Still, when I do get round to buying a gi, I'll probably go for a UK supplier, due to the aforementioned worrying too much. Bit more expensive, but for that I get peace of mind. ;)
  18. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I've got a cheap Judo Gi and a (more expensive) Koral BJJ "Kimono".
    The major difference I found to be the material of the trousers.
    The Koral trousers are very robust while the Judo ones are quite flimsy.
    Considering the amount of time spent in BJJ on your knees that could be a factor in terms of wear and tear.

    If you've got two gis already I'd say wear one twice. Get it out of your bag after training and hang it up and you should be fine. Bit of Febreeze maybe?
    I've met you and you don't strike me as a particlarly sweaty individual. :)
  19. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    Heh - good to know. :p

    I tried that recently (hanging up the gi straight after, not being sweaty ;) ), and seemed to work ok. Of course, I do normally have about 2 hours before I get home from training, hence prefer to try and wash it every time.

    By the way, are you going to be up for the Grimsby throwdown, probably around March 2007? I'm guessing Grimsby isn't ridiculously far from you. Or at least closer than Birmingham.
  20. Ghost Frog

    Ghost Frog New Member

    <--- What he says. Gi washing is for wimps.

    But seriously, if you can air them properly, it cuts down on the washing. Heavy jackets can be murder on washing machines. I've heard of three breakages in the last four months. One with the blade getting knocked off the inside and two involving the weight of a wet gi unbalancing the drum and damaging the bearings. :(

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