August 2, 2010

Roy Dean "Honor" Gi - Review

The man must never sleep; seminars, affiliations worldwide, producing DVDs, and now Roy Dean has released his own limited "honor" BJJ gi!  A limited release this is a custom embroidered, all cotton white gi made in China.  I would call this a medium weight gi weighing in at 4.6 pounds, not as light as a Vulkan competition gi, but certainly not as heavy as Adidas, Lucky, or Atama.  This gi is one of the nicest fitting, most comfortable gi's I have ever worn.

I have the size 6 gi (I walk around at 213#'s, 6'4") and as you can see it fits perfectly.  Generous space in the groin and armpits, yet a firm fit that does not lend itself to "swimming" in the gi.  The kimono top is not one piece but the seems are strongly reinforced.  The weave is extremely comfortable and durable.  I have rolled in the gi for the past few weeks as well as taking it to the Igor Kurinoy seminar where we were pushing and pulling, lots of lapel grabs and sleeve grips.  No problem!  Sturdy lapel that is not too thick and stiff.  The skirt is generous and can be released from your belt with two tugs (I am just now getting into gi chokes so I speak with limited knowledge, but it has been my experience that certain gi's lend themselves to gi chokes and likewise not.  For instance my lucky gi is a very tight fitting gi with barely any skirt; gi chokes are almost not doable.  Vulkan is perfect, though some criticize it for too short of a skirt, but for me I can pull my Vulkan out of my belt with one tug making gi chokes fast and efficient.).  

The pants are very comfortable yet durable.  Held tight with a drawstring, the knee's are double layered for wear and tear, and the seems are all reinforced.  The pants do not get clingy with sweat and are quite comfortable to move in and lock down triangles and arm bars with.

The gi breathes very well and is comfortable to wear even drenched in sweat (does not cling like a Lucky gi).  I would caution the washing process though.  The gi IS NOT pre-shrunk and will shrink a bit in the dryer, so air dry is what I would suggest for minimizing shrinkage.  Also I would avoid bleach in general, but especially with the custom embroidery.

Roy Dean commissioned master calligrapher Eri Takase for this "Honor" gi which is named after the beautiful kanji on both arms for "Honor" (pronounced "Mei You") which is accompanied by "Jiu Jitsu de Brazil" embroidered on the left leg of the pants.  Finally topped off with Roy Dean's logo in brown stitching on the right calf.  The design is very zen in that the gi is simple (plenty of room to add patches, or not), clean, and the calligraphy is a unique touch that is not often used.  The embroidery is tight and thick, but only time will tell how it will hold up to matt abuse and repetitive washing.

Ultimately their is only one prohibitive aspect for this gi and that is the price (retails $250, on sale at Budo Videos for $225).  But if you were to go to a tailor and get some custom embroidery done (not to mention the commission for the artwork to begin with) it would surely cost much more than $250, so in the end worth is subjective but I will tell you this... I have had a couple expensive gi's such as Lucky, and if you are in the market for one pass up all others and get this limited release.  You will not be disappointed.  I hope the calligraphy lasts through the rugged training and washing as it really makes this gi snap and look sharp!
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1 comment:

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