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Here at the beginning of 2012, it seems like there are a million gi companies out there. And there are. More are starting out every day and it’s almost impossible to keep up (believe me, we try!).
We just wanted to take a second to highlight a few brands that we think you should really keep your eye on because they’ll be making a big splash and show new or continued success in 2012. Without further adieu:
1. Scramble – Scramble flew out of the gates at the end of 2011 with the 1chiban gi. The fact that they did a fast return time on their first pre-order gi, coupled with their dedication to carrying a regular line of gis in-stock makes them somebody to watch in 2012. Also add in their incredibly creative and innovative shorts, rashguards and spats (our favorite are the Aoki spats), and they are definitely poised for success in 2012.
2. CTRL Industries – CTRL looks like they’ll have a strong showing in 2012. With the Rook as their first offering, they are really doing a few things different than other brands (more embroidery) and more thought into the theme of the gi than just some contrast stitching. We really wish their Carioca 1.0 gi had more press because it was a very unique and solid gi for their first one.
3. Ronin Brand – In 2011, Ronin Brand went from being a small New York City-based company to a nationwide success. We did a review on their Insignia gi an awesome giveaway with them and made one GiReviews reader incredibly happy! Their gis are very well-made (as they’ve been in the gi business a long time), and they have the potential to make a huge impact in 2012.
4. Shoyoroll – I doubt there is a more polarizing gi company than Shoyoroll. In 2011, they came out with some cool gis, but people were very frustrated about some consistency issues, customer service issues, and the extremely long wait times for some of the gis. They are DEFINITELY a brand to watch in 2012 because they will not only be releasing 12 gis (yes, twelve! which you can read about here), but they we will also see the unfolding of their GUMA Membership Program. Love it or hate it, this program is the first of its kind and we will be tracking its progress closely here at GiReviews.
5. Kingz – Kingz came literally out of nowhere in 2011 with a heavy comp gi, a ripstop gi, and a lightweight gi that were all extremely high quality and very well produced. They are already sponsoring some top names in BJJ like Xande Ribeiro and are definitely going to continue storming onto the scene in 2012. They have a lot of momentum heading into this year and they will likely come out with some very cool designs in 2012 to match their already fantastic standard set.
6. Tatami Fightwear – In 2011, Tatami took an already superb line, which included their Estilo and Zero G gis, and added a bunch of very flashy items including the Terere gi (which we’ll be reviewing soon!), the Pin Up gi, and the Honey Badger Rashguard! Keep an eye on them in 2012 because they’re a brand that is proven to be completely unafraid of taking a risk.
7. OSS! – OSS came out with some pretty cool designs in 2011 including the awesome Miyao Bros. shirts (designed by Meerkatsu!), but the people at OSS aren’t too shabby in the design department either! With their first gi set to drop soon and a promise of some incredible rashguards on the way, you definitely need to keep an eye on them in 2012!
I know I said five, but there are so many great brands out there! There are also a ton of brands that I didn’t even get to mention!! Look for the 6 month follow-up on these brands to see how they’re doing mid-way through 2012.
Shoyoroll hinted at a special membership option for fans of the brand a while ago and recently they released the details of the Shoyoroll Guma Reserve Membership. Here’s the deal:
Cost: $379 (nets you a membership until Jan. 01, 2013)
Where to buy it: Shoyoroll online store
When to buy it: December 24th @1pm Pacific time
Other: 1 Shoyoroll GUMA Reserve Membership per person. Spaces are limited.
1 gear bag
1 patch and sticker set
10% off all SYR purchases
Access to special members-only releases
Allocated gis for all future releases
Ability to purchase gis before general public
Future kimono releases for 2012
– Rio Koi (limited edition artist series)
– Original Competitor (lightweight white and blue new weave )
– The Ring (limited edition athlete series)
– Special Forces (limited theme release kimono)
– The Roc (rare limited collectors release)
– Deluxe (heavy duty limited release)
– Navy Skies (rare limited collectors release)
– Pharaoh (Shoyoroll GUMA Reserve Membershipmember only release)
– Flamingo (Shoyoroll GUMA Reserve Membership member only release)
– The Kingpin (athlete edition limited release)
– Rolls (rare limited release)
These are only some of our future release we plan to put out in 2012. Note names and styles are subject to change.
When will I get my membership package? March 2012
How many can I buy? ONE.
Can I come pick it up? Sure!
Will there be more member-only gis than just what is listed? Yes!
When will I get my SYR discount code? After Jan 1.
Click here to check out our Shoyoroll Gi Reviews.
A lot of people are probably going to scoff at this deal when they first see it. But if you do the math, it’s really not that bad.
Shoyoroll GUMA Reserve Membership price: 379
Minus cost of the gi: 165 (estimated cost based on batch 11 price)
Minus cost of two t-shirts: 50
Minus cost of sweatshirt: 50
Minus cost of gear bag and patches: 50
Total remaining: $64
Now, let’s say you are also going to buy two SYR gis and a rashguard during the next calendar year. The 10% discount will save you 10% of $380 (estimated cost for two gis and a rashguard), giving you another $38 in savings.
Total cost of Shoyoroll GUMA Reserve Membership: $26
The great equalizer is that all of these gis are going to be super rare and valuable and to gi collectors, worth quite a bit. If for some reason, you aren’t happy with the Shoyoroll GUMA Reserve Membership, you can always sell some of the rare stuff and make your money back.
Frankly, I think it sounds like a really cool concept and Shoyoroll is the first to try it, so I’ll definitely be grabbing a Shoyoroll GUMA Reserve Membership on December 24th.
Prefer grappling without wearing a bathrobe? Have a Nogi enthusiast in your life? Check out the list below for some do not miss holiday gift ideas!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you). These are all things that I have experience with that I am recommending because they are helpful and are companies that I have personally purchased from, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products. If you have any questions about the links on this page, please email me!
One of the most aesthetically pleasing rashguards on the market, but according to recent reviews, it may not be very durable. Which is very frustrating. It still goes on this list because Dean Lister is awesome.
If you have a list of nogi things you want as gifts and this isn’t on your list, then we aren’t friends. The Scramble Rainbow Spats are awesome, flashy, and increase leglock finishing rate by 7.26%.
Not only does Tatami make some sick Gis, but their shorts carry nearly the same style. Very nice.
SYR’s rashguards would have made this list as well, but there aren’t any in stock anywhere and I don’t want to send people on a wild goose chase. That said, their super-awesome t-shirt will work just as well. Definitely a great item from the guys at SYR.
A second Scramble item? You betcha. This shirt has very clean look but is also very ‘Scramble.’ Five stars.
Gotta have something to carry all this stuff in, right?
I know this list in for nogi items, but this gi is sick and I want one. I bet you do too. Check them out here.
Prefer grappling with the gi to nogi? Have a BJJ enthusiast in your life? Check out the list below for some do not miss holiday gift ideas!
Hands down, one of the most innovative DVDs put out in a long time. I own this personally, and have trained with Caio Terra. The DVD is incredible and the techniques are amazing.
Same high quality Estilo gi, swanky new patches. If you like the Navy, like I do, then double cool points for you.
Do I really need to go into why this is awesome? Didn’t think so…
Voted the best bjj belt, hands down. In our most recent poll and article, War belts won by a landslide.
The Vulkan Lightweights seem to be the new standard in lightweight gis. Definitely a solid gi and guaranteed quality.
Not into grappling in your pajamas? Click here for our 2011 BJJ Holiday Gift Guide (Nogi Edition)
In the last 6 months, there have been a lot of cool new BJJ magazines to hit the market.
Below is a list of the top 5 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu magazines, including some old favorites.
Jiu Jitsu Magazine is a pretty cool magazine that is pretty comprehensive in terms a great overall BJJ magazine. It has articles on strength and conditioning, techniques, events, and interviews.Continue reading
Not everybody who reads the site is from the same country, so I wanted to put together a list of the top BJJ and Grappling Shops around the world! Here are a few definitely worth checking out.
To tell you the story of my first BJJ gi, I need to tell you the story of how I got into BJJ…
For the first two years of grappling, I did exclusively nogi training. It wasn’t until I had moved to the Chicago area after college that I ever even entertained the idea of using the gi. Heck, the only place that I had ever even seen one was on Royce Gracie.
My first day training with UFC fighter Miguel Torres in 2006, I was given the choice to train in jiu-jitsu or mma. At the time, the bjj class was an older gentleman and two women going over armbars from the guard. MMA, on the other hand, was fifteen guys sparring with no equipment save shorts and four-ounce gloves. Needless to say, there wasn’t much of a choice.
I never even considered putting on a gi for those first 6 months.
When people complete gi reviews, you always have to wonder if they’ve washed the gi first or if it is fresh from the retailer.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll be covering a few different things people need to be aware of.