Koral MKM Kimono vs. HSU Kodokan Gi for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

My first gi was a HSU Kodokan blue, size 6.  It was a good deal for a beginner like me.  What I didn’t realize at the time is what a good gi was.  I didn’t know anything about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Judo.  I was just starting out in BJJ.  Now I know the error of my ways.  Please note gi and kimono are two words for the same thing.  Brazilians say kimono and Americans gi.

A simple search for “Kodokan” on Google brings up Judo related links.  HSU sells Jiu-Jitsu gi’s.  Then why does there Jiu-Jitsu gi say Kodokan on it?  The URL to there site is www.hsujudo.com.  When you visit there site you will see that there Judo gi’s have a different picture but look the same as those for Jiu-Jitsu.  Are you starting to see a pattern here? My first gi is a Judo gi which was marketed as a Jiu-Jitsu gi.  It doesn’t have the smaller cuffs or pants legs.  The whole of it is baggier.  I had a black belt comment on the “extra large cuffs” while instructing my partner on how to get a good hold on them.  My size 6 will fit some one between 6’0” to 6’4”.  The collar is very thick.  After washing I can’t get it to dry out.  This has caused it to smell and I had to figure out how to clean it (see my post on “How to Clean your Gi”). The pants were too long.  I had them altered to fit.

My new gi is a Koral MKM Urban Camo Kimono size A3.  It is sized differently by height 5’11”-6’2″ and weight 190-220 lbs.  It doesn’t have the large cuffs and the pants fit right off in every aspect.  The collar is half as think and the jacket is light weight.  Great for hot summers!  It has vulcanized rubber inside of the collar.  It is preshrunk, so when you put it on you know that is the size it will stay.  You should have seen how big my HSU was before it shrunk!  The patches on the Koral MKM Urban Camo are cool.  Ok, so I paid a good deal more for it.  But it is worth it by far!  My game has changed too.  I can move better in it and I don’t have tons of cloth for my opponent to grab.  I’ll never go back.  Koral makes a quality Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu kimono.  Hands down they win this comparison.

HSU Kodokan Gi

  1. HSU does not sell Jiu-Jitsu gi’s.  They market Judo gi’s as Jiu-Jitsu gi’s.
  2. HSU gi’s are made in China.
  3. Collar of gi is not easy to dry out after washing.  Gets smelly and needs more care to keep it clean.
  4. HSU gi comes in broader size making for a bagger fit.  It is more of a Judo cut.
  5. Jacket is heavy and there is a good chance the pants won’t fit you right off.   The Jacket is two piece.

Koral MKM Urban Camo Kimono (click to see it)

  1. Koral Kimonos are made in Brazil, home of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  2. Collar isn’t too thick.  It dries all the way through in half the time.
  3. The jacket is one piece.  No seams around the waist.
  4. The Kimono fit out of the box like a dream and after washing.
  5. It is lighter and has more reinforcement.
  6. It was make by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners for Jiu-Jitsu!

How to clean your Gi – No More Stinky Gi

I wash my Gi after each practice.  I dry it in the dryer and hang it up for the next days class.  I began to notice a stink or rancid sweat smell while rolling.  At first I thought it was the other guy.  Then I noticed it was coming from the collar of my gi.  The thick cotton collar of the gi wasn’t drying out even in my dryer.  The moister mixed with my sweat, the rubbing against the back of my neck, and of course hands being put in my collar were starting to breed bacteria.  I first tried rubbing some baking soda on it.  That had no effect.  I then tried Febreze (Sport Extreme Odor Eliminator).  After a washing the smell was reduced but not all together eliminated by the Febreze.  After searching around I found a few posts on using OxiClean.  I soaked my gi top in the washing machine overnight and then put it through a normal cycle after that.  It came out smelling fresh and new.  Thank you OxiClean!  No more stinky gi!  I understand that bleach is another alternative but that it substantially reduces the life of your gi.  My gi is blue and the color remained the same after the OxiClean.

Once again I am enjoying rolling at Jiu-Jitsu.

A Rash Guard, I wouldn’t do Jiu-Jitsu without it

What’s a rash guard? It is a shirt or leggings that are made of a spandex type of slick material.  They are used to reduce skin abrasion and bruises in grappling.  I started like most beginners in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (a.k.a. BJJ) with just a t-shirt and sweats.  I came home each time bruised like a Dalmatian.  I soon got my Gi, the traditional uniform in most martial arts.  As anyone who works with their hands knows a good pair of work gloves keeps you from getting blisters.  When it come to BJJ, a Gi is the equivalent of work gloves.  But I found I was still getting  some bruises.  I noticed that some of the others had shinny shirts.  That is how I found out about Rash Guards.  When you wear a rash guard it gives you added protection by decreasing the friction between you and what ever comes in contact with you.  With my new rash guard I stopped being bruised.  Yes, some of the bruising was due to inexperience in grappling but after I got the Gi and rash guard my bruises all but went away.  It also helps protect you again the dreaded ring worm that come from grappling the “unclean”.  A rash guard in my opinion is a must.

What brand of rash guard is best?  I stared with Under Armour.  Their Heat Gear line is what is sold all over the web in MMA, Mixed Martial Art, sites.  I use a compression long sleeve top.  I understand that a loser fitting shirt can be better as the compression tops tend to roll up in grappling.  I am waiting on a lose fitting long sleeve top from Sprawl to see if it works any better.  I also have ordered a pair of their shorts to see if their claims at being the best are true.