It’s mid-January and you’ve made the resolution (which I’m sure you’ve forgotten about) to start playing Jiu-Jitsu, get that next belt, or even enter your first competition. What better way to keep that going than buying a new gi! Get that awesome competition gi you want, replace that old, stinky one that smells no matter how much soap and bleach you use or simply be the coolest kid on the mats! Or just have something new to get choked out in…
CTRL INDUSTRIES is the quiet but bold brand on the block. They don’t try to overstate their products with designs of skulls and dragons, which I like. Instead they look to pay homage to the places where the sport originated and took root. Brazil is heavily themed. The Rook is their gi for kicking off 2012 and looks pretty impressive. I’m looking forward to 2012 and seeing where they take it CTRL in the next 12 months.
4. The COMPETIDOR brand – Just Another Dope Brand
I found out about Competidor brand late last year and was super pumped about their designs. They’re a Guam based brand that incorporates a kind of Asian-Fusion style of design into their gi’s and t-shirts. The Guardian: Charcoal Haze gi is pretty sic and definitely worth examining a little bit closer. Guam has always taken great pride in their fighting and it’s nice to see that they’re taking great pride in their gi’s. I’m looking forward to seeing their growth and expansion in the coming year. I also love their love for the sport: Rear-naked chokes served with a smile! Check ’em out!
3. Zombie Kimonos ~ Spread the Infection
Zombie Kimonos is really connecting with Hollywood and the current dig with the undead. Zombieland, the Walking Dead, even the rash of zombie inspired books that have hit the market. Why not do an undead theme? Zombie Kimono’s was bought out last year and is under new management and is promising some new products over the next year. We’ll see where Jesus Carlos takes them this year and watch their expansion into the market. I’m looking forward to seeing their newest gi coming this year. BRRAAIINNNNSSSS….. er.. I mean.. OOOSSSSSZZZZZ……
2. Scramble ~ No Jiu-Jitsu: No Life
I like Scramble. They’re a UK brand that’s inspired by Japanese art. It’s different. It’s clean. It’s straight-forward. It’s fun! They embrace the colors of yellow and purple and try to not take themselves too seriously. It’s almost like they take the idea of a traditional Aikido kimono and incorporate that familia-style mindset into a modern Japanese tattooing style of art. They also embrace new ideas. Half-sleeved rash guards, for example. Late last year we saw the release of the Ichiban. What’s next? I don’t know. But I can’t wait!
1. oriGIn: In Search of the Perfect Roll
I really, really like Origin’s designs. The small explosion of color in the right places makes all the difference. Little pops of teal, or orange, or green against simple white or black make all the difference. Reinforcement stitching but with design is going to be their money-maker. That and Pete Roberts graphic-designer eye. I would describe his style as calm, circles, and flow. He get’s it. He get’s Jiu-Jitsu. You can’t push or pull – you have to circle out. Bulldozing doesn’t work. Roll baby, roll. I also really dig the fact that they’ve produced kids gi’s. Turns out my kid’s like to roll, too.