Rising BJJ Gi company Ronin Brand made exclusively by Kinji San Martial Arts Company, who have been in business since the 1970′s at the same location, with the original family (a 3rd generation) , with the same business model and most importantly, the same level of customer service and satisfaction since the very beginning, if that isn’t the model of a successful business plan , then we don’t know what is . They sent us the Fighter gi by Ronin Brand to review neatly packaged in a plastic protective wrap , and although we had never heard of Ronin Brand before, a little bit of research revealed much information about the Kimono company.
Ronin meaning ” Masterless Samurai”, Ronin Brand Kimonos initially started producing Judo and Karate Gi’s in 1981 and in recent years branched off into producing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Kimonos with it’s signature Gi, the Insignia.
After success with that particular model of Gi they decided to improve an already great design and add the Fighter model . The Fighter packs a mean punch to deliver an incredible Gi at an affordable price and you’ll see why after reading the review .
If value is on your mind when researching a quality BJJ Gi, then you must put the Fighter by Ronin Brand in your top 5 models to consider. More on why we feel this way later, but for now lets take a look into what makes the Fighter by Ronin Brand a great value for the price.
To begin the Fighter retails for around $119.99 through Kinji San Martial Arts Supplies , just at the bottom of the mid level gi price range but without the entry level Gi features, if it were priced at $129.99 then it would be worth every penny , but for the sake of argument, we’ll say the price tag on it as it currently sits is a steal. To say a quality BJJ Gi can be bought for about roughly the same price as an entry level gi is usually absurd since most high quality BJJ Gi’s can run upwards of about $150 USD or more .
Right out of the box when holding the Gi and feeling the material it is immediately felt that great care and workmanship has gone into producing one of these Gi’s , the most notable key attribute we paid close attention to was the collar and we weren’t sure if the thickness of the collar would be an asset or a liability and were curious to get on the mat to find out.
Think of that time when something caught your eye for whatever reason and you were able to distinguish it from any other notable ingredient only to have your mind hone in on it like a bird of prey to a mouse, well the thing that caught our attention was the collar and we were about to find out why.
Unlike any other Gi we have had the pleasure of reviewing the collar sticks out ( figuratively speaking of course ) as a key feature, and some may argue that it makes for difficulty in gripping or holding , and well ,that’s the point, we don’t want our collar being gripped in BJJ because of the impending doom that is the collar choke but we also don’t want the collar to be too stiff where it comes out of the belt when rolling so the collar may be a double edge sword, read on to find more information.
Made of a Pearl weave and preshrunk fabric the jacket is lightweight and strong made of 450 gsm with a typical rice grain weave , reinforced in all of the high stress areas including armpits and skirt and oddly enough we found attractive seam tape running on the inside of the jacket as well, which at training time scratched the skin from the edges of the taping not stitched into the gi. While as attractive as it is on the inside of the jacket, would it be practical as well if the seam tape wasn’t there ?
It is an eye catching feature but we found it to be troublesome when sweating and rolling in.
The collar which initially was a curiosity item at the beginning, began to give us concern. Due the rigidity and potency of the collar it kept riding up during roll time, because it is made of tense, thick material that we hope after some use will lighten up, it became undone several times, having to stop and recompose the Gi it felt unproductive. After getting used to a thick collar and strong lapel, hitting Gi and lapel chokes became much easier with the thick collar, the eva foam material held up nicely and several lapel chokes had us thinking ” hhhmmm this can definitely work !”.
Keep in mind these observations may only be on our part and they may not reflect the way the Gi fits you , in other words Your Mileage May Vary .
The fit right out of the box is spot on, sleeves were a perfect size, the jacket in the shoulders and armpits had plenty of room and the skirt was satisfactory in length size pre wash, post wash the gi jacket still fit nicely but the sleeves shrunk a little bit, you will see what we mean when looking at the pre and post wash measurements using cold water and a 24 hour hang dry. Other than the sleeves shortening a hair nothing else seemed to move and the gi felt great and still had the comfortable fit like it did right out of the box.
Overall the jacket felt great , plenty of room in the shoulders and armpit areas, the weave was comfortable rolling in and the sleeves were a perfect fit from the cuffs to the shoulders. As you see in the photos the quality is still there even after a night of training hard, being yanked on , pulled on and sweat in .
Made of Rip Stop material 9 ounces lightweight and , incredibly strong , the Fighter by Ronin Brand pants felt very roomy and comfortable, the drawstring was exceptionally long but its always better to be too long than too short. Plenty of room in the seat and crotch area , they held up great with mobility when training, and we felt no restrictions whatsoever, the cuffs on the pants did feel ” bulky “ and it may be due to the fact that the sextuplet stitching on the cuffs were designed for strength and stiff enough to keep them from folding, not a bad thing per say, just a key note when doing research on BJJ gi pants.
We rate the Fighter by Ronin Brand a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
The Ronin Brand Fighter Gi is an incredible value for what you get in a quality BJJ Gi, priced at only $119.99 ( and maybe less in some other stores ) , sitting at the top of the entry level Gi pricing but with mid level Gi features, The Fighter BJJ Gi should be in your top 10 or even top 5 Gi’s for training , or competing due to the minimal shrinking of the pants and jacket, the robust collar and the fit and cut of the Gi. The length of the sleeves were a perfect fit and post wash measurements revealed very little shrinking.
-True BJJ cut and fit
-Preshrunk – post wash measurements revealed very little shrinkage
-Very lightweight perfect for summer training or low ventilated academies
-Strong and light Rip Stop pants fit exceptionally well
-Thick collar makes for a troublesome grip from your opponent
-Clean distinct patches
-Sextuplet stitching on the pants cuffs for strength
-Seam tape edges inside the jacket were scratchy on the skin combined with sweat
- Collar thickness made for unravelling of the Gi
-Large back patch may be unaesthetically pleasing for some who like a plain Gi ( did not bother us )
-Long drawstring may not suit everyone’s liking ( did not bother us at all )
While we hadn’t heard of Ronin Brand previous to this Gi review , we would like to point out with some refining to build on an already great base of quality BJJ Gi’s, we can see Ronin Brand becoming a force to be reckoned with and we’ll continue to watch Ronin Brand’s line of BJJ Gi’s and gear in the future, since reviewing the Fighter Gi we have Ronin Brand on our radar and you should do the same for you never know what kind of gear will be coming out of Ronin Brand in the future.
For more information and to order the Ronin Brand Fighter visit www.kinjisan.com