I’ve been meaning to do this review for a while now, as Gilberto from www.JiuJitsuProGear.com gave me this Koral gi months ago and I said I would review it for the site. This works out better however, as I have time to really roll around and formulate an opinion on this gi.I’ve been meaning to do this review for a while now, as Gilberto from www.JiuJitsuProGear.com gave me this Koral gi months ago and I said I would review it for the site. This works out better however, as I have time to really roll around and formulate an opinion on this gi.
Attention Companies- I am a whore. Send me your stuff and I will mention it on the site or in some way. This is relatively cheap advertising for you. I will only speak the truth (or how I genuinely feel) about the products however.*
At any rate, the last time I was at the Jiu Jitsu Pro Gear store, his latest line of Koral Gi’s really stood out at me. While a lot of people may adorn their gi’s with all kinds of cool patches (Whore plug, get your OntheMat Patches at http://onthemat.com/xcart/customer/home.php?cat=9) gi’s themselves tend be relative conservative in either White, Blue or the occasional black gi. Sometimes people will make a fashion statement by wearing a blue top with a white gi or vice versa (although in my case it’s less a fashion statement and more trying to piece two relative clean and odor free pieces together), but you think you’ve pretty much come to expect what to see in the world of gi.
Leave it Koral to come up with a radical departure from the traditional fashion sense, in coming out with several different colors. On the rack I was immediately attracted to the bright red gis, but upon further inspection I was equally impressed by the Army Green and Black AND White gis. Being allowed to pick one, I opted for an A2 Black and White gi, which to my mind was the most conservative of the bunch. The gi was white with a black collar, along with black pants, and in my mind looked very sharp. Black and red Koral patches adorned both shoulders and along the side of the pants as well as the left lapel.
I wonder what the reaction would have been if I had picked the red one, because when I showed up wearing the Black and White gi at the academy (Ralph Gracie Mountain View) later that week I definitely got a reaction from my buddies. What I had dubbed previous as my “Tuxedo gi”, quickly became known as the “Pimp Gi”, but me being me, I liked the attention.
More importantly, the gi was lightweight and very comfortable. The top is made of a single piece of single weave fabric and preshrunk, reinforced in key areas of the stitiching (which there isn’t much of, being a one piece gi). After repeated washings and use the top has not shrunk at all on me, the sleeves have stayed the exact same length on me which is important on a 6’2 fellow like myself with long limbs.
The collar is thin but made of rubber sewn in the fabric so it holds it shape well. Whether you like this style of collar is a personal preference (some people prefer a very thick collar), generally the thinner the collar the easier it is to grip. While some people might have a harder time defending chokes with a thinner collar, if you’re into using your own gi for leverage and control the thinner collars will do nicely.
The pants are similarly well constructed and triple stitched at all seams. The fabric is doubled from the knee down through the shin for extra comfort. The drawstring is typical for most gi pants (don’t pull it all the way through or you’ll have a bear of a time rethreading it). After repeated washings and abuse the pants have also held up well, although one of the Koral Patches is half ripped off and I’ll probably wind up just putting it out of its misery and yanking the whole thing off.
Overall this is a sharp, lightweight gi that I never found myself overheating and enjoyed training in. Available for $145 at www.JiuJitsuProGear I would consider this gi for advanced Jiu Jitsu Practitioners who want to make a statement around the academy. (As of such, most major competitions only allow solid color uniforms).
Because of the way the ensemble goes together, this is also the only gi that I own that the top and bottom stay together, and when my girlfriend needed a costume for Halloween, this is the gi she wore (although this probably had as much to do with the aforementioned looking for the least offensive gi exercise I often go through directly before practice.)
Gilberto is a good guy and I’ve never heard anything but good things about customer service through his store www.JiuJitsuProgear.com Furthermore he supports a lot of tournaments on the West Coast, so you can check him out at one of his booths and get a feel for these gis yourself.