The first Gracie Barra academy was established in 1986 by Master Carlos Gracie, Jr. Starting in the 2000’s, they’ve had a requirement for schools to have “Official” gi’s. Part of this, I believe, was their push to be uniform, and in a sense, one team under one banner. While other schools have team gi’s, Gracie Barra is the only one I know of that you are required to wear their specific gi at all times while on the mats. Read more here.
STORM Kimono’s was founded in 1995 and have steadily grown. They are a leading sponsor of athletes in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu field. You’ll find competitors at the highest level wearing their equipment, you’ll see them worn by specialists in books and magazines and you’ll even find them on the beach with their new casual wear line. Read more here.
The Gracie Barra “Pro Light” is one kimono in a line of new gi’s designed by STORM Kimonos for Gracie Barra affiliate school members. It can be purchased online at Gracie Barra Wear or in any Gracie Barra academy for $179.99.
I have a special place for Gracie Barra in my heart. I earned the first stripe on my white belt at Gracie Barra University of Hawaii. I currently train at Chimera Mixed Martial Arts, whose Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program is taught by Gracie Barra Seattle’s brown belt Ben Pyne. I also drop in occasionally at Gracie Barra Seattle. However, my love for Gracie Barra will in no way influence my opinion of the Storm / Gracie Barra collaboration or the product they have provided.
Gracie Barra and STORM Kimonos have teamed up to bring you a pretty slick new gi for Gracie Barra academy’s around the world. Their design cues are well done but they stay in line with the traditional gi’s of Gracie Barra.
I ordered a size A3 “Pro Light”. Its weight, out of the package and prior to washing was 3.8 lbs. The size chart does not provide a weight for the “Pro Light” gi. I measured the “Pro Light” prior to washing it. Its measurements were as follows:
Arm length, from the leading edge of the lapel to the exterior edge of the cuff, following along the top of the sleeve: 30.5” (-.6” difference from the advertised size chart)
Left cuff, flattened: 6.5” (-.3” difference from the advertised size chart)
Vertical torso length, from the leading edge of the lapel to the exterior edge of the back: 31.5” (no difference from the advertised size chart)
Exterior length of the leg, along the side, from the top of the waist to the edge of the cuff: 39” (-.2” difference from the advertised size chart)
Interior seam, from the crotch down to the edge of the cuff: 29” (-.1” difference from the advertised size chart)
Leg cuff, flattened: 10.25” (measurement not provided on company size chart)
Waist, from edge to edge: 23.5” (+1.3” difference from the advertised size chart)
Inseam, from the top of the waist to the joint in the crotch: 12” (measurement not provided on company size chart)
Following the care instructions on the tag, I machine washed the jacket and trousers in cold water and allowed them to hang dry. The post wash measurements are as follows:
Arm length, from the leading edge of the lapel to the exterior edge of the cuff, following along the top of the sleeve: 30.0” (-0.5”)
Left cuff, flattened: 6.5” (no change)
Vertical torso length, from the leading edge of the lapel to the exterior edge of the back: 30.75” (-.75”)
Exterior length of the leg, along the side, from the top of the waist to the edge of the cuff: 38” (-1”)
Interior seam, from the crotch down to the edge of the cuff: 29” (no change)
Leg cuff, flattened: 10” (-.25”)
Waist, from edge to edge: 23.5” (no change)
Inseam, from the top of the waist to the joint in the crotch: 11” (-1”)
The “fit percentage”, based on the above measurements, from the advertised size chart to the actual received product was 19.84%. That’s almost 20% of difference between what’s advertised and what’s received. The disclaimer to this is that I did not follow all of the measurements given on the size chart. I also am not a seamstress and may not have made the measurements in the exact place as the manufacturer. These measurements should in no way discourage you from purchasing the gi and are provided for informational purposes.
The percentage of shrinkage, based on the above measurements, from pre-wash to post-wash, following the given care instructions was -1.92%. Less than 2%!! That’s great!
Overall, I was pleased with the ratio to pre- and post-wash, the weight, and the ratio to advertised size and actual size.
Fit and feel
I’m 6′ and 185-190lbs and I sometimes get stuck in these in-between sizes. An A3 isn’t quite big enough (after the wash) and an A4 is way to big (even after I try to shrink the snot out of it). The GB/STORM gi doesn’t have that problem. It’s slightly bigger than most other gi’s so it fits me perfectly. The sleeves don’t shrink up and make me look like an old school judo player and there is plenty of room on the inside of the jacket to move around in. Some gi’s can bind and tie you down because they lack the space inside the material to move. Not this one. If you’re a bigger Jits player that’s on the cusp of two sizes, this may be a perfect option for you.
The jacket and pants fit great. It’s a little big compared to the other gi’s I own so you may want to size down. Check out my stats above, this kimono has less than 2% shrinkage so don’t expect to buy an A3 and shrink it in the wash to make it fit. It’s going to be the size you purchase. Check their size chart prior to purchasing.
Style and Design
The Gracie Barra “Pro Light” incorporates design inputs from STORM Kimonos and Gracie Barra. It does an excellent job mixing the old school layout of the GB brand with new modern touches from STORM. Subdued “G”s accent the logo and patch work. Larger patches give it a cleaner “read” when you look at it. The updated tags even standout.
STORM’s touches take it from a gi that you need to a gi that you want!