June 27, 2011

Gi Review - "Origin Genesis 550"

Pete Roberts has wanted to design and manufacture kimono's since he started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so he saved some money and sparked a start up company called Origin.  Based out of the frosty northeast of Farmington, Maine, Origin released a very limited "test run" (if you will) with their Origin Genesis 550 and I was fortunate to be chosen as a reviewer of this all purpose gi.  So for the last few weeks I have been wearing the Genesis to every class, washing it after each one and in general testing out the quality that Pete and his crew have put together.  

In a nutshell, this has quickly become one of my favorite all around training gi's!  Straight out of the box this kimono catches your eye with it's green highlights on black 100% cotton, grey collar and pant loops, coupled with an awesome looking logo done in a pseudo five rings / Gaelic knot type of theme.  I have received lots of compliments on the look of the gi from fellow students.  Overall it is sharp looking, and as a great bonus Origin includes a full sleeve rashie with each gi (great idea Pete, can't believe others have not thought of it!).  Again it's design is sharp and distinct!

A 100% Pakistan cotton kimono, the pants are made of ripstop material with the legs featuring a single piece of fabric and are triple stitched.  Pete has included a thick stretchy drawstring which I like (some people not so much because the knots often come undone easily in a roll) because they are easier to open and tighten when soaked with sweat and are more comfortable around the waist.  Also in the design the groin features a gi material triangle intended to assist in friction to keep slippery arms and legs from sliding out of submissions.  I am not sold this works (I have some fight shorts with similar designs, and I would not say I am anymore prone to land subs with them then without) but I figure it certainly cannot hurt, plus the material is much thicker then rip stop so the extra reinforcement in the groin is always a bonus!

The Genesis 550 is an extremely comfortable fitting gi.  I am 6'4" and about 205#'s now, so Pete sent me an A4 and straight out of the box it looked like this:

After the initial wash she did not shrink at all.  Now the directions for the gi forbid drying of any kind except for line hanging, but I live in Seattle Washington... mold and mildew collect in a matter of seconds out here in the wetlands, so some dryer time is essential in my opinion.  I limited and monitored the shrinkage over the past few weeks and I must say with careful attention to drying in the machine coupled with the final dry on a line will result in minimal shrinkage of the gi.  Though made in Pakistan, the cotton seems to be of very good quality.

Extremely comfortable fit and smooth rolling make this gi a great all around kimono to roll in both competition and day to day classes.  As with any product I review durability will be determined via time, but rest assured this gi is tough!  Weighing in at just over 5 pounds, the rubber infused lapel is comfortable, strong, yet flexible.  All seams are reinforced with styling stitch work along with "Changing of the guard" stitched in smooth cursive writing along the shoulders in back.  The skirt is a perfect length taking only 1 1/2 tugs to get out of my belt to use for chokes.

The only design issue I have is the seam through the crotch is a bit tight in my opinion.  Perhaps due to my lacking in the junk in the trunk area, but it was a fit too tight for me.  Otherwise the gi fits and breathes very nicely and smoothly.

The Genesis model may be a bit heavy for those of us on the cusp of weight categories in tourneys, but I can't wait to wear this gi to a competition.  Pete has assured me that all of the Genesis (and future designs) are and will be legal on all levels with the IBJJF governing bodies (just be careful where you patch up as always!).

In summation the Genesis 550 Gi from Origin BJJ is one of the best gi's I have checked out since Vulkan launched it's line!  A great all around uniform that is not only functional, but sharp looking and very comfortable to roll in.  The inclusion of the rash guard and the strength of the stitching top to bottom will make this a staple in your weekly arsenal.

Check out Origin BJJ dot com  for more of Pete's projects as he is introducing some training equipment ideas, training and fight wear, along with the next evolution in the Origin Gi line; the Competition 550 Gi which features some very attractive purple highlights (I am hoping Pete will grace all my readers with the honor of reviewing the comp gi as well!  Support your homegrown business's!

Train Hard.  Fight Hard.  Party Hard.


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