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quest for the perfect gi

February 27, 2008

In December, I wrote about getting a new gi from Machado Kimonos. It was a blue gold weave A1 and it did not fit me. So I sent it back and asked for a blue A2 gold weave.

It took awhile but it finally got here.

Just wanted to make sure it was an A2.

Now I suppose I should say a few things about the gi. I know some people would blow a gasket over the amount of time it took for the gi to finally arrive. And that’s probably why a few kimomo manufactures – Machado Kimono being one of them – do not ship internationally. It takes a long time to ship internationally and have it done at a low cost. I will say that there are sites out there in online-land that sell MMA/BJJ merchandise AND ship internationally but they aren’t manufactures like Machado is.

But that’s besides the point.

As for the gi itself. I have not washed the gi yet but I can already tell it’ll be a great fit and I’m going to love rolling around in it. It’s a smudge large now but I suspect that it’ll shrink a bit in the dryer. Even if it didn’t shrink (a gi not shrinking – ha!) it’s a perfect fit.

And there’s just something about a jiu-jitsu gi. It feels like home to me. Especially this one, something about the gold weave, which also was my first type of jiu-jitsu gi as well. The other gis I have are about stand-up. Judo. Karate. Just something to wear. Looks nifty. Comes with a matching belt. The Judo gi, much like the Jiu-jitsu gi, serves as an instrument, a vehicle for the application of technique. But as far as I’m concerned there’s more to it than using the collar to provide leverage or to apply a choke.

In Brazilian Jiu-jitsu there is strong sense of intimacy. Literally. I still have a lot of friends back home who hate the idea of grappling with another man and the best position for that man is in-between your legs. Get over it. I have.

This sense of intimacy also relates to the gi. The handles are there; the grips; the sneaky lapel chokes; the sleeve chokes. Underhooks locked into place just by grabbing the collar. The absolute wonderful control of the gi. Plus there’s the whole rolling around for hours on the ground thing. And in order to do that, in order to thoroughly enjoy jiu-jitsu, there has to that gi I wouldn’t mind wearing for hour and hours on end on the ground.

And Machado Kimonos makes one of the most aesthetically pleasing (simple) and comfortable gis out there. Outstanding craftsmanship. It’s why I paid for and waited patiently a long time for my gi.

Thanks to Dianne for sending me my gi when she really didn’t have to. You’re one in a million, Dianne! And thanks to Luciana Machado Simon at Machado Kimonos for making, in my opinion, the best kimonos in the jiu-jitsu game. Customer for life!

Oh, and eventually I’m going to post up pictures of me in my free99 Judo gi and my way-too-expensive Karate gi just to provide juxtaposition against the Jiu-jitsu gi. And to see how color coded I am.

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