Predator Kimonos have recently popped up in the last year as a standalone brand , spun off from highly regarded English martial arts gear company Back Eagle. Their commitment to excellence has transitioned from selling gear and equipment of all types of disciplines to focusing on one very specific and exploding sport, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Predator Brand Kimonos have redesigned their line up of gear which not only includes Kimonos but also rash guards , grappling spats and grappling shorts and the new updated Predator Kimonos line which comes in a range of colors from white , to blue to black but with the same attention to detail as the previous models of Predator Kimonos. While the previous model was a successful seller in it’s own right, Steve Turner, CEO of Black Eagle and now owner of Predator Brand Kimonos, has decided to improve on a design that has seen his company much success.
With the recent explosion in the art and most companies jumping onto the grappling bandwagon, Black Eagle for years have been offering quality BJJ gear at great prices. Only now, they have launched a brand solely to meet the demands of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gear market and if history has anything to say about what type of company this one will be, we can say we will be seeing a lot more of Predator brand Kimonos being utilized in competition and more sponsorships being awarded and more promotions being made by the rising BJJ gear entity.
Black Eagle sent us the newest version of the Predator BJJ MKII Kimono’s in a size A3 for review , almost entirely different than the previous version other than the placement of the Predator logos, if being compared has a more robust feel with the same quality fabric and the same strong craftsmanship, we didn’t want this review to be a comparison of old vs new, so we decided to analyze the Predator as if it was a new BJJ Kimono entirely ( ok we strayed off the path but with good intentions ) .
Starting with the jacket, it is made of a preshrunk, mercerised, Pearl Weave fabric and is incredibly light yet strong ( according to Black Eagle the A3 comes in weighing 1.85 kg , or 4lbs, 55 oz ) , the previous version while strong in it’s own right , had a thinner collar than the new version , opting to go with a thicker lapel ,Predator has joined a growing list of BJJ gi manufacturers in designing and fabricating a thicker lapel, for added strength and for a lack of a choke tool from your opponent.
Made of one piece for added strength and durability the jacket has the typical reinforcements in the skirt and armpit areas but one thing we noticed was the sleeve cuffs were a tad bit wide , and without making comparisons ( we are trying not to compare new vs. old, but it’s tough given the cut of the old version was so great ) , are wider than the previous model. Whether the sizing has changed or shrinking was involved on the old Predator we noted the difference in size and took note.
Black Eagle BJJ gi’s are known to have long sleeves ( depending on who you ask this may or may not be a good thing ) and the updated Predator is no exception, on a personal note i love my sleeves long as they make for a comfortable fit , shorter sleeves tend to bunch up when bending at the elbow thus tightening up so long sleeves to me are a plus! The only flaw given the choice of the Predator jacket were the cuffs being wide, almost giving a feel of a Judo gi , if the cuffs were 2 inches smaller in diameter i don’t think we would have had any problem giving the jacket a high mark and it’s only due to performance issues. While being tugged on when rolling live the cuffs did make for a ” floaty ” feel , not too bad but not good either.
The styling on the new Predator gives a clean look and the color even after several wash cycles has maintained it’s deep blue hue , like the previous version that has taken such abuse and still looks almost brand new ( other than normal wear and tear ) , we assume Black Eagle as a whole has maintained their standards of quality control and we noticed.
The logos are stitched into the fabric so if you are the type of grappler that wants a logo-less gi, then removing the stitching may be troublesome. Trending in BJJ now are stitched logos as opposed to sewn on flags, and Predator Kimonos have followed suit.
Made of rip stop material as like the previous version the trousers/pants are light yet strong, the sides feature the logo sewn on as opposed to stitched on ( we assume if the logo was stitched onto the rip stop fabric it would weaken the material ) which features the English flag, the Brazilian flag, the Japanese flag and the flag of the United States, which some people may have noticed is upside down. We assume it is due to the placement of the flag and no ill intent was the driving factor . We forgive you Predator , but only because of the high quality of the gi ( we kid ) .
The pants feature a six belt loop system for keeping the pants tight, other gi’s have only two or three, but Predator , staying with it’s previous model kept the six belt loops. No untying was noticed in any of the training sessions so rest assured no one will be witness to your undergarments when training or competing.
The newest version of the Predator by Black Eagle is a great all around gi for training or competing in, the Pearl Weave makes for a strong and robust gi that weighs less than some single weaves on the market today, while weight is an important factor when deciding to get a quality BJJ gi, so should cut and fit with customer service and company commitment not far behind . The Predator MKII delivers the goods and is a very versatile BJJ gi , we were happy with the performance , durability, color , quality material and the aesthetics of it were not bad either.
We rate the Predator a solid 4 out of 5 stars , had the cuffs been smaller in diameter it would have easily been a 4.5 , with a 5 looming close by. And since no two people are alike some may say it should have gotten 5 stars , and that’s ok too, we just chose the rating based on other gi’s pros and cons we found.
Now being sold through FightersMarket.com , the Predator has come to this side of the pond, and also still available through Black Eagle you now have 2 choices on where to purchase the newest version of the Predator MKII BJJ gi.
Be on the lookout for more involvement from Black Eagle in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!