93 Brand BJJ gi’s has been on the rise with some different and unique designs, they have set a pretty cool standard with their ” out of the box ” styling, first came the Grey Goose gi , then the Tau , the latest of their designs is the Charlie BJJ Gi , assuming it was inspired by the book Charlie And The Chocolate Factory , available from www.martialartssupplies.com for $139.99 USD , it comes as a black only gi with brown accents . They contacted us for a review of their latest production and we were happy to oblige. First impression of the gi is the ” cartoonish ” back label , featuring a chocolate bar with the size on the wrapper and on as we said it is different and if you are they type of BJJ fighter that likes to be different then the Charlie by 93 Brand might be for you. The fabric is lightweight and very comfortable , the only thing we would have liked is to have the big label on the back of the gi a little smaller , it was a bit scratchy too , but trying to defend chokes makes the scratchiness go away quickly .
We asked for an A2 gi and when it arrived it felt more like and A3, i’m assuming it runs big because the sleeves were very long and the skirt/lapel wrapped almost around the back. I stand around 5’9″ tall with long arms and weigh around 190 lbs , and although the kimono didn’t drape on me, i did notice that after a session of rolling and sweating the sleeves began to stretch out. I didn’t want to try to dry it in the dryer since i never do to prolong the fabric and color so i am going to chalk it up as the sleeves are just too long for the size of the gi.
Despite the issue i had with the sleeves, the jacket was very comfortable with plenty of room to move in i would consider the sizing issue I had to be minimal.
Touching on the styling of the gi , the color combination of the Charlie by 93 Brand Kimonos is definitely different, it flows well together like peanut butter and jelly or dare i say , chocolate and peanut butter so it did got some ” oohs” and ” ahhss” from my team mates . The white seam tape on the inside was a nice touch to the overall cleanliness of the jacket , with the words “Position/Submission” throughout the tape. The collar of the jacket feels thick , enough to open up itself while sitting still so threats of collar chokes should be at a minimum.
The logo is embroidered on the right sleeve, after about 4 training sessions i did notice the fabric beginning to fray and come apart, we will see how it holds up over the long term and a re visit to this review after any changes might be in order. On the lower left side of the skirt is the other 93 Brand logo also embroidered into the fabric.
The pants of the Charlie are made of what feels like 100% cotton very strong yet light, the gusset is made of a stretchy fabric material that held up very well despite it’s thin demeanor. It sports a stretchy , round draw string which i am not a huge fan of because of the high risk of untying while in the middle of a training session, and as sure as i had hoped it wouldn’t untie , it did. Nothing at the end of the clock re adjusting couldn’t fix. I have had the best luck with flat draw string gi pants over the round bungee style. You could always replace the draw string as i plan on doing with the Charlie , and maybe to all of my other draw string gi pants too. The pants also feature six loops for reinforcement.
The seam tape the goes around the pant cuffs was sewn in high enough up on the pants leg that the edges do not contact your feet, a trait found on other gi’s i had to mention just because it was enough of a nuisance to point out. I say great job by 93 Brand Kimonos on doing their research and adding the seam tape in the location it’s in.
The best thing i enjoyed about the Charlie BJJ Gi is the comfort of the pants. I have had in the past pants made of cotton canvas that restricted movement so much so that even a small feat like regaining guard was a near impossibility. There is plenty of room in the crotch area that the pants do not fall while rolling despite the bungee cord drawstring untying.
All in all the 93 Brand Charlie Gi did it’s job, although there were some things i would have like to have had done differently, i think the uniqueness of the gi it should be a kimono you will see and hear of more and more.
I would give the 93 Brand Charlie Gi a solid 3 stars *** , although it did have more pros than cons i did feel as though the arms were too long after a night of training , and the big logo on the back of the jacket was scratchy. I did however absolutely love the color scheme, black and brown, something i have not seen in any other kimono maker. Something about the two colors together just feels ” right ” . I also loved how incredibly comfortable it is, with enough room to move in the pants , leg restriction was at a minimum.
If you would like to purchase the 93 Brand Charlie gi please visit www.martialartssupplies.com