Posts Tagged ‘Tatami’

Photograph rights and property of Laura Hensen of GRITZ photography.


This review is brought to you by the good folks at BJJHQ and MAS.  Go check them out.  Then buy something!

This thing is just ugly enough to be pretty.  Kind of like the Honey Badger itself.  Orange and purple highlights stand out perfectly against the black.  Classic Tatami patch work and quality.  Lightweight, comfortable, and great fit.  This bad boy didn’t shrink much or loose any color in the washes.  It doesn’t turn stale and feel like sandpaper when you air dry it, either.  The stitching and quality are great so all around, I really, really like this gi.

And of course, quality design by the great Meerkatsu.  I still haven’t decided if I like this guy or if I’m jealous of his success.  It’s kind of funny because I hate him for making great products!  I’m jealous of his creative acumen!  Too bad his HB v.2 looks even more sic.  You can check out his pre-release review of the HB gi here.


Unfortunately, you can’t wear this gi to the Dojo without being prepared to withstand the barrage of Cobra Kai jokes that are sure to be launched in your general direction.  Then, waiting for you when you get home, will be the continued Facebook remarks of your latest and greatest gi outing.  It only gets better when you wear it back there a second time.  The white belt college student who just finished watching Dodgeball for the 1000th time can’t help but call you the leader of the Purple Cobra’s and start throwing medicine balls at your head!  Do you know how hard it is to dodge 8 lb medicine balls every time you walk into the gym?!?

The good news is that your Halloween costume is already taken care of for this year.  “Joanie loves Chachi!”

In all seriousness, though, the design on this gi is great.  It’s toned down from his original HB rash guard (which I also thought was really impressive) which makes it look great.  The little tweaks around the Tatami patch of the HB’s crawling over are a nice subtle touch.


Photograph rights and property of Laura Hensen of GRITZ photography

This is probably my best fitting and most comfortable gi in my closet right now.  It’s a lightweight hybrid weave that fits like a competition uniform.  On me, the sleeves and legs go down to where they’re supposed to.  Which, you would think, wouldn’t be uncommon.  However, most of my gi’s don’t reach the first knuckle of my thumb (like they’re supposed to).

Since it’s a lightweight, hybrid jacket the collar isn’t overly stiff.  Which I find kind of nice considering less than a year ago it seemed most designers were trying to make their gi collars as hard and stiff as possible.  If you tuck your chin and protect your neck (like a good Jiu-Jitsu practitioner) the collar stiffness doesn’t make a difference.  I don’t want to wear a gi that feels like sandpaper.  No fears here with the Honey Badger.  The Honey Badger don’t give a shit about collar stiffness.  One downfall, I found, to the jacket was that the embroidery on the back will rub and irritate your back.

The pants are 8 oz. twill cotton.  Which is nice because it keeps them comfortable as well.  However, I usually prefer rip-stop.  They haven’t torn yet (and Lord knows my training partners have been trying to tear this thing apart) so it’s been a non-issue thus far.  IF they tear, we’ll see how well they take to patching.  A definite plus to the pants, on top of the cotton comfort, is the drawstring is cord instead of the twill drawstring.  Tatami has made the cord fairly standard in their gi’s, which is great because I HATE twill drawstring.  They never pull tight enough and they stretch and come loose.  It’s habit for me to replace them now with rope from the Home Depot.  Good job, Tatami.


Photograph rights and property of Laura Hensen of GRITZ photography

I really enjoy rolling in this gi.  It fits great.  It’s not too tight but it’s not super loose either.  It’s the perfect mix between a competition cut jiu-jitsu gi and a traditional judo gi.  It can take a beating, that’s for sure.  The sleeves are great for gripping and because they’re the proper length you won’t have any issues executing that new Ezekiel choke you just learned!

A closing thought, I haven’t found any loose threads in the stitching.  Even after multiple wears and washes it hasn’t started to fray anywhere.  Which is pretty impressive considering all the embroidery that is on this gi.  I gave this gi a vinegar bath for its first wash and haven’t noticed any color loss anywhere either.  I don’t know if that’s because of the vinegar bath or because Tatami puts out quality products.  Either way, I’m satisfied.


Like I said, I really like this gi.  Go buy it and wear it often.  You won’t be disappointed in the money spent.  It’s IBJJF competition legal and fits great.  The included gi bag is nice, too.  Cobra Kai!

Photograph rights and property of Laura Hensen of GRITZ photography.


New Tatami Shorts on BJJ HQ Today

Posted: February 19, 2012 in Gear
Tags: , , , , , ,

Introducing the brand new Tatami MultiFlex No Gi shorts – and they’re on BJJ HQ today for $35

Tatami Jiu Jitsu Shorts for $35

Don’t miss this shorts sale.

Looking back, it’s been a great year for me!  I earned my Blue Belt, started this blog and I feel like my game has really grown and matured.  One of the best parts from all of this is that I get a good deal of free gear to review.  Well, it’s not really free.  I have to wear it, test it, stretch its limits and try to find its weaknesses and strengths all while doing what I love.  Oh, darn.  So in keeping with this months theme of looking back I’m going to give away a free rash guard, provided by the wonderful folks at MAS – the Tatami Gen X Red & Black (size XL)!  Why Tatami’s Gen X, you say?  Simple – it was the best rash guard I got to roll in last year, that’s why!

So what do you have to do?  Simply like my Facebook page and share this link on your Facebook page and I’ll pick one random winner on Feb 10th, 2012!  If you already like my site, just share the love!

Check out my original review of the Tatami Gen X Rash guard here.

*(1) NEW, UNOPENED Red & Black Gen X Rash guard, size XL

There’s an old quote that says, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”  I say bring it on!  2011 was a great year for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and we’re counting down the top 10 events that helped shape the year!

10.  BJJHQ – Offering you one great deal a day, BJJHQ is probably one of the hottest deals going for Jiu-Jitsu gear.  However, their significance isn’t their gimmick – it’s their representation of the market that’s important.  We’re talking about a website whose sole purpose is to make money selling Jiu-Jitsu related products.  Not a website who is selling you techniques or is a representation of a specific breed of Jiu-Jitsu, but a third-party sales company who is making money by simply selling merchandise.  If a company can make money only selling Jiu-Jitsu gear then it’s definitely a major mile-stone for our sport and is a great sign of things to come!

9.  Jiu-Jitsu Delivered to Your Door – Jiu-Jitsu Magazine, a publication coming out of California, is making its mark in the states.  Due to the development and recent acceptance of the iPad, NOOK, Kindle and other e-readers the magazine and newspaper markets have taken a hit.  Again, it says a lot about where our sport is for a publication to make it in today’s economy.  Grab a subscription to this and expand your game!

8.  The UFC in Brazil – In 1993 the Gracie’s created the UFC in an effort to show the world that they had created the best defensive combat system in the world.  In 2011 the UFC went to the Gracie’s home country for the first time in history!  MMA is probably going to be the first truly international sport because people all over the world love to watch other people from all over the world getting their arms broken.  And the UFC is going to deliver!

7.  Earn Your Degree Online with Gracie University – The Gracie family has done marvels with growing the sport and the science of Jiu-Jitsu online.  Love them or hate them, odds are, you’re watching their videos.  They’ve also inspired others to create their own online training programs.  The difference between the Gracie’s and everybody else is that they are willing to promote you based on video evaluation.  Not only can you put on your Blue Belt at home, you can add a stripe to it!

6.  The Honey Badger Don’t Care – Fellow blogger, jitz roller, and artist Meerkatsu may have had his biggest break out in 2011 with the introduction of his Honey Badger rash guard.  It’s taken off like wildfire (so much so that I can’t even get my hands on one to review, hint hint…).  It’s turned into the “hot” item for BJJ all across the internet and developed itself into a brand, Honey Badger Fightwear.  He did it right, too, by pushing through a noted and professional company like Tatami.  I expect to see Honey Badgers on gi’s in the near future.  Personally, I think an Octopus could take a Honey Badger any day…

5.  Attack of the App – With the invention of the Android, iPhone, iPad and every other mobile device there has come more apps than one can count.  Thrown in that mix are some pretty impressive Jiu-Jitsu apps.  I’m a big fan of the Mobile Black Belt series by Gracie Barra Black Belt “Bill” Aparecido Faria.  Quick, easy techniques to watch if you’ve got 5 minutes to kill.  Another favorite is access to my Gracie University account via their mobile site.  You can make fun of those who learn watching YouTube, or you can add those tools to your toolbox.  Me?  I have more than one Black Belt in my pocket.

4.  The Match that Never Happened – Supposedly going to be the Superfight of the Decade, the Eddie Bravo vs. Royler Gracie rematch caused more stirs, murmurs and rumors than a hooker in the White House.  Set for ADCC 2011, the always cost conscious Gracie managed to put this one to bed by refusing to roll for riches.  Cash up front had to be provided or the event was to never happen.  And it didn’t.  Bloody Elbow does a good break down of events here.

3.  Grandmaster Dr. Pedro Valente Sr. – Anytime you get a new Red Belt thrown in the mix, especially in Jiu-Jitsu where it’s incredibly hard to get promoted anyway, it’s worth pointing out.  It took Pedro Sr. 58 years to put Red around his waist.  That’s a lot of time shrimping on the mats.

2.  Doing the Twist in the UFC – The Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung hit the first Twister in UFC history!  That’s sick!  There are a lot of haters of Jiu-Jitsu in the MMA market but every time Chael Sonnen gets tapped out or somebody does something like the Twister on national and international television it blows the doors off of BJJ schools everywhere!  This technique was so smooth and so sick that it got breakdowns from Eddie Bravo and the Gracie brothers.

And the winner is…

1.  André Galvão Wins… Again! – Black Belt Galvão won his weight class and the absolute at the ADCC 2011.  That’s pretty impressive.  If you didn’t know who André Galvão was from his many other championship wins, you better take note and figure it out now.  Anyone who can defeat Pablo Popovitch and Rousimar Palhares on the big stage is worth watching down the road. The ADCC rematch between Eddie and Royler didn’t play out, but Galvao gave us plenty to watch and be thankful for.

I’m beginning to love the folks in the UK. I hate to admit it, being the proud American that I am, I just hate it. There’s nothing worse than having to admit that our brothers in competition are doing something right! And that’s just what the lads at Tatami are doing. With the recent launch of the Brotherhood, GenX, and Zero G lines and the continued sale of their Estilo and Nova lines, as well as their limited Pinup release (which is sick!), there is a flavor for everybody.

Let me be honest with you for a minute. I’ll tell you up front I’m not a sponsored fighter. Don’t read my reviews thinking I’m only going to hype up a product because they’re paying me too. Because they’re not. So what can I say that hasn’t already been said about this gi? There’s not a lot. I found 7 to 10 reviews online just doing a quick Google search and most of them are written ‘more better’ than I’m able to. I’m not going to razzle-dazzle you with my impressive Photoshop abilities or take multiple pictures from multiple angles. That’s not what I do. However, what my friends failed to focus on is that Tatami really paid attention to what the practitioner wants. Any monkey can get a mama-san in Singapore to sew them a gi but it takes a professional company with solid customer service and an ear for what their customer really wants to provide a quality product. Thank you, Tatami. Thank you for a stiffer (not thicker) collar (making it just a little bit harder for the “bad guy” to choke us!). Thank you, Tatami for four loops around the waist of the pants to keep them up. Thank you, Tatami, for a rope drawstring which actually gets tighter the more you wear it. No more pesky re-tying of your pants after a tough sparring session! No more pants sliding off my ass as I get used as a mop to soak up sweat around the mat! Take all of these things and throw in the fact that the Tatami Estilo 2.0 jacket is a bit bigger in the mid-section than most others for comfort (and sizing for us fatties), and you’ve got yourself a top quality gi! Oh, and did I mention that you can mix and match the jacket and pant sizes so you can get a fit for your body that actually works for you! Thank you, Tatami!

Let’s talk quality – top quality! Tatami not only set us up for success with an awesome fitting gi, but one that uses canvas instead of twill. Heavy pants and a single piece pearl weave material up top keep me happy! Tatami made the smart decision of pretty much replacing anything twill with canvas. Canvas pants. Canvas collar. Canvas! Canvas! Canvas! You know that twill drawstring you’re used to? You know, the one you can’t keep tied? Yup, gone! Canvas? Nope! Rope! But we already talked about this. Let’s move on.

The shrinkage on this kimono is the only thing that is standard about it. Following the provided care instructions (which means I did NOT stick it in the dryer and blast in high heat) the measurements prior to the wash were:

Collar to bottom: 32.5″

Collar to end of sleeve: 31.5″

Exterior leg: 40″

In seam leg: 31″

The post wash measurements were:

Collar to bottom: 32.25″ (-.25″)

Collar to end of sleeve: 31″ (-.5)

Exterior leg: 40″ (0)

In seam leg: 30.5″ (-.5″)

Moving on to what you really care about, the cool factor. Tatami sent me their Navy Premier Estilo 2.0, which looks sick! Custom embroidery, contrast stitching, rich colors, and a bad ass set of patches make me look like the cool kid on the block. Fake it till you make it, right?! (Insert cool guy strut and obnoxious stretching in the middle of the mat …here…).

Use the coupon code Jonny5 for 5% off your purchase at their websiteYou can check out the full photo set on Flickr.

If you’re in the market for a new Kimono, you might consider checking out Tatami. I’ll be rocking mine for a long time to come!