Fushida Comp GS Gi Review
By Jason Steffe
Fushida Comp GS Summary
Most gi companies nowadays are putting out high quality products that are well-made. However, the Fushida Comp GS is one of the best made gi’s that I have come across since I’ve been training in the martial arts. All of the seams are heavily reinforced with 3 to 4 rows of stitching. It’s obvious that Christo van Rooyen also took some extra steps with the gi’s preshrinking process as there was virtually no shrinkage measured after 3 washes at 86 degrees F water. The gi top is a very light weight 450 gsm with a very thick collar. The pants are heavy-duty 12 oz drill cotton with a pearl weave gusset / crotch. The pants also have 4 very tough, oversized belt loops. The look of the gi is very clean by todays standards and is a bit of a throw-back in that it’s built to last with solid construction.
In 2011, Fushida Sports Corp won the Aesopian gi review contest in which about 2000 surveys were sent out and people rated their gi’s on a self-report scale. The Fushida gis that were out at that time were the Mantis and Komodo. Aesopian took pains to point out that the top 33 gi’s in the survey were virtually equal in quality. Nevertheless, number one is still #1. An impressive achievement especially when you consider that Fushida has not been around as long (2006) as many of the major, well-known gi companies that they beat and that they have only produced 3 BJJ gi models.
In my opinion, part of how Fushida did so well is the approach of the companies owner, Christo van Rooyen. According to him, the philosophy of the company is to appeal to the serious BJJ practitioner who wants a middle of the road gi when it comes to bling, that has solid construction and that is built to last. That is why they do not have a beginner gi. Their gi’s are made for the person who has been training for a while and is not into bling.
The Comp GS is the men’s model of BJJ gi for Fushida in 2012 (they also make Judo gi’s). Evidently, they are already working on next years model and might release a new model by the end of the year or the beginning of 2013.
The gi is priced at about 150.00$ USD and I paid 170.00$ by the time it shipped from Canada. I sure wish gi prices would come down to a more reasonably level say 120$ or less. This is a top of the line gi however.
This is THE strongest selling point of Fushia from what I can tell. Their cut and fit of their gi’s are unmatched in my opinion. According to their sizing chart, they have 9 different sizes of the Comp GS all running from A1 thru A4. A drawback is that if you wear and A5 or an A6 you are out of luck with the Comp GS unfortunately. Obviously, Fushida focused their efforts in providing the best fit possible, off the shelf, for the most common sizes.
I am 6’2” and weigh 193 pounds and I am perennially in between an A3 and an A4 with most cuts of gi’s (which is maddening). I ordered an A3X and I have to admit that it is in fact the best fitting gi I have ever had. I have read prior reviews of Fushida gi’s and people talked about the painstaking process that Christo used to have customers go through in order to buy a gi. Presumably, after receiving feedback, now Fushida simply has a detailed sizing chart where you match up your height and weight and it gives you the exact size.
One thing that I like about the fit of this gi is that there is not any extra gi material in the body of the jacket or in the legs / crotch of the pants. It is an exact fit and what is nice is that the gi is preshrunk, so you do not have worries about the gi becoming too small.
Here are the gi measurements in inches after 3 washes at 86 degrees (i.e. I had the washer set on cold wash, but it is hot in GA right now and this was the temperature of the water coming out of the pipe):
Sleeve to sleeve: 69.5 / 69.3 / 69.0
Skirt length: 30 / 30 / 30
Body width: 23 / 23 / 23
Length: 42 / 42 / 41.7
Jacket: 2.6 pounds
Pants: 1.6 pounds
The weight of the gi puts in a medium weight category. The jacket is light enough to be considered an ultra-lite top (my A4 Zero G weighs 2.4 pounds and my A3 Moya Brand White Sands weighs 2.2 pounds, Tatami Estilo A4 weighed 2.8 pounds and Black Eagle A4 weighed 3.0 pounds). The pants are what makes this a medium weight gi (again my 8 oz Tatami Zero G and 8 oz Moya Brand ripstop pants both weigh 1.0 pounds).
The jacket sports a classy looking embroidery along the shoulders along with the company logo on the sleeves. There is a black trim on the bottom of the skirt that says the company name. Perhaps the blingiest aspect of the gi is the yellow taping that runs along inside the gi just behind the collar and inside the waist of the pants. On the back of the jacket at the base of the neck there is latin “in spiritu et veritate” written in cursive, which means “In spirit and Truth”.
There is also company logo taping in the sleeve cuffs as well, which has become a common staple amongst gi makers currently, and a logo at the bottom of the left pant leg. Colorways are black and yellow.
There is not any contrast stitching.
The first thing that jumps out at me about the jacket is the skirt length, or lack thereof. I mean, there is no skirt at all. Shortest skirt that I have had on a gi top. My other gi’s tend to have skirts that are 33 to 34” in length and the Comp GS is 30”. This was one thing that I had to get used to. The skirt does come out when rolling every single time and quite often during drills / techniques portions of the class. In fact, Christo told met that this was the intention of the design. Some BJJ practitioners like to use their gi to attack their opponent and it’s easier to have the skirt out from under the belt, ready to go. As a result, I have been learning loop chokes and Brabo in order to take advantage of this.
The collar is very thick, the sort of collar you would expect to see on a double or a gold weave top. While it does not afford any real appreciable protection from being collar choked in my opinion, it does make it easier to break grips on the collar while in guard.
The sleeves come down to my wrists and have a very nice company logo taping in addition to a cotton canvas taping underneath it. Most gi companies choose one or the other for their cuffs on the jacket and pants, but Fushida choose to include both.
The body of the jacket is fitted. I took measurements of the width of the jacket because I was curious to see if it shrank any and to compare it to my other gi’s. It did not shrink any after 3 washes and it was 23 inches measured side to side. My other 2 gi’s measured 25 and 26 inches across in the body. So, again, a lot less extra material in the gi compared to other companies. But, the sleeves do not cut into my armpits at all, There is plenty of room for shoulder movement without the gi chafing you.
Also, it is very common for gi jackets to be cut sort of like a tent, with the jacket fully wrapping around your waist in order to be “closed”. The Fushida does not wrap all the way around my torso in order to be “closed” or situated, so it must be cut a bit differently.
The jacket is very lightweight at 450 gsm with no skirt. Much of the weight of the top is in the collar.
The first thing that I noticed about the pants were the oversized belt loops (along with a rope drawstring.) There is no way those things will ever tear. The belt loops are placed perfectly on the pants, about 2 inches below the waist. I think it is best to have the loops placed below the waist so the rope won’t ride up above the waistline of the pants.
There is also a yellow tape running along the inside of the pants around the waist. I did not find this to be scratchy at all. But, I don’t know who would actually see it other than the person wearing the pants…..or maybe your spouse
The pearl weave gusset / crotch is a nice touch and there is a company logo at the bottom of the left leg.
The pants come down to my ankles. Another nice feature about the pants is that the cut is fitted. So, there is no extra material in the legs for ankles, feet, or arms / hands to get caught in as you roll. The downside is that if I gain 15 to 20 pounds (which I don’t plan on doing), the pants wouldn’t fit.
The stitching is the heaviest I have come across so far and I have owned 9 gi’s. The pants are 12 oz drill cotton, which are pretty thick / heavy. I have had 12 oz pants before but were a bit lighter because they were cotton canvas instead of drill cotton. If I’m not mistaken, drill weave is a heavier weave than twill or canvas. At first, I was concerned that the pants would be too hot here in GA, but after rolling in the Comp GS for the past couple of weeks in July, it really hasn’t been an issue. I have to admit that I’ve been one to seek out ultra light gi’s thinking that they would be cooler to roll in. But, I have not noticed that the Comp GS pants being any hotter than my 8 oz pants that I have from my other gi’s. I have been surprised that it hasn’t been noticeable.
One thing that I will point out is that the extra padding on the knees needs to extend lower than it does. The padding does cover my knee when it’s bent, but just barely so. Maybe another 2 inches would be nice.
The Comp GS has been a pleasure to roll in. It is not a nimble / fast rolling gi like other ultra light weight gi’s are. But, it is solid and does not give up any extra material for your opponent to grab onto or for their feet to get caught in. In the past, when I rolled in baggy gi pants or loose fitting gi tops, there were times when a foot or hand would get caught in the extra loose material. I like the snug fit of the pants as there is not any shifting around in them while you try to move on the floor and there is less material at the cuffs for your opponent to grab onto and control you with during passing.
It took some getting used to having the skirt out of the belt all the time. When I roll with my instructor, I have to keep track of where it is because he will grab it and use it to choke me (he has done so often ) But, as I gain skill, I will begin to use the skirt more and more offensively. One advantage of the skirt coming undone is that it’s cooler. Some gi tops retain a lot of heat when you are rolling and it feels a lot hotter inside the gi. With the skirt being free, it’s like a built in heat sink.
As with the pants, I like the exact fit of the gi jacket during rolling. I don’t shift around in it like I do other gi’s with looser tops while I’m in guard. The sleeves do not stretch out almost at all. I do have a 420 gsm jacket and those sleeves loose shape pretty easily. Not so with the Comp GS.
One of the best made gi’s on the market. The attention to detail and to sturdy construction is very obvious once you have seen the gi in person and also put it on. This gi is built to last and the fit is excellent. My other gi’s now feel loose in comparison. It is a pricey gi for sure, but the craftsmanship is uncompromising. All in all, it’s a top of the line gi aimed at a BJJ practitioner who is interested in a straightforward design and does not care for a tricked out, blingy gi.