I do like buying gi’s whilst I am on holiday or travelling. This is for a number of reasons including being able to try gi’s on and avoid online delivery problems but mainly to pick something that’s hard or difficult to get in the UK. So when I visited Tokyo I couldn’t resist buying a gi. Hence this review of the Isami Beborn gi. Apologies for it being a little bit late but I really didn’t feel like reviewing it whist in lockdown / off the mats!
The Isami Reborn gi isn’t one of the latest gi’s in the market and has been superseded by the Isami Scratch but I’ll be honest I bought the gi I like the most in the store and that was the Isami. The gi available in White, Blue, Black and Navy colors but this review focus on the black version. The gi is suitable for IBJJF events (as long as you don’t buy the navy one!) as is Isami’s first uniform featuring pants made of ripstop fabric. Although the gi is designed in Japan it is produced in Pakistan but for the Japanese market. This means that it still came with an expectation that it would be a high-quality piece of kit!
The gi jacket is made of cotton with ripstop reinforced cuffs, collar, and slits. The result is a Jiu-Jitsu kimono that is ultra-resistant to tearing and ripping. Whilst the pants are made of lighter ripstop material. There are contrast stitch lines and matching embroideries on the shoulders, stomach, and pants.
The gi was available in a full range of adult sizing but I went for the A1 option after comparing the size chart but also trying it on in-store. Out of the bag, the gi fitted incredibly well. I was able to wear straight away after receiving it as a Xmas present from my hubby (as we all gis are the best type of present!) and had a great roll at the Xmas day open mat but felt comfortable that the jacket could shrink a little bit without causing any serious problems with the fit.
In terms of those all-important measurements:
|Out of the Bag||After 3 Washes|
|Body Length||71.5 cm||70.5 cm|
|Body Width||56 cm||53.5 cm|
|Wing Span||162 cm||161 cm|
|Sleeve Length||54 cm||53 cm|
|Cuff Width||15.5 cm||15 cm|
|Inside Leg||69 cm||68 cm|
|Outside Leg||95.5 cm||95 cm|
|Pant Width||20.5 cm||20 cm|
*3 Washes = cold wash, tumble spin and air drying. For Gi Map click here.
The website very honestly states a shrinkage of around 3-4% in terms of pant or sleeve length. I’ll be honest whilst that was accurate for the width of the jacket I found it shrunk slightly less than that in the length on the pants which is something I am putting down to the weave of the jacket versus the ripstop pants. The shrinkage has worked great for me leaving me with a gi that’s fits really well and is definitely competition legal in terms of length etc.
I’ve been really surprised at how well this gi had performed. As I bought it in Japan (with Duty Free Shopping) it definitely is the most expensive gi that I own as I picked it up for less than £100 but its really good. I managed to get several sessions in before lockdown hit and it quickly has become one of my favourites. It’s very comfortable with the balance of being light enough for great rolling but still robust enough to make those grips easier to break and take the wear and tear! I am seriously considering this as my new competition gi.
Isami have a reputation of producing high quality kit and equipment and this gi definitely confirms that. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to buy another gi from them if I get the opportunity. That being said it may take me a while as there isn’t that many stockists outside of Japan and shipping and import taxes do start to make it challenging. But hey any excuse for another holiday to Japan!
Getting hold of this gi won’t be easy but you can get one shipped to Europe or the US via Chokesports. The UK price including shipping is around £155 or $200.