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The Rook by CTRL Industries Gi Review

ctrl-industries-the-rook-gi-review-banner

Official Gi Review of The Rook by CTRL Industries

Summary

The Rook was the third gi made by CTRL Industries.  Their first gi really piqued my interest and I definitely wanted to check it out, but I wasn’t so sure as a new gi company was popping up every day.

Let me say this.

Based on The Rook, not only is CTRL Industries here to stay and become a major player in the BJJ scene, but I’m super upset that I never got that first Carioca gi.

At the end of my review is Joshua Barrow’s own review of The Rook. Click here to skip to that part.

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ctrl industries the rook oh hai there

Introduction

The Rook from CTRL Industries combines a very solid gi top and the best pair of pants that I have ever worn (more on that later).  As mentioned above, it is the third gi that they’ve produced and, by all accounts, including my own, every single one has been extremely high quality.  I believe that this trend will continue into the future as well.

ctrl industries the rook

Fit

Fit is everything in a BJJ gi.  If a gi is too baggy, too long, too tight in all the wrong places, etc. it can turn a beautiful gi into something you let sit in the closet.  Fortunately for me, CTRL has one of the best fitting gis that I have ever worn.  I am 6’1″ and fluctuate between 200-210lbs and the A3 fits me perfectly.  The jacket has a great sleeve length and skirt length.  The pants are the perfect length and cut for competition.  My partners had a lot of trouble grabbing them due to the cut, which I absolutely love (I detest baggy pants in BJJ).

ctrl industries the rook front

Design

The design on this gi is very well done.  They kept with the chess theme (hence the gis name) without going overboard with it.  It can pass for a plain black gi with nice low-key accent stitching.  But, it can also pass for a very bling gi if you dig the awesome taping (which isn’t scratchy and actually *is* seam taping) and the very cool embroidery and shoulder patches.

Please excuse the random fuzz and whatnot on the gi in the pictures.

They were taken directly after an intense training session and after having worn it for a few weeks!

ctrl industries the rook jacket

Jacket

The jacket on this gi looks very sharp and is a single weave top.  This makes it great for training and for competition.  I would probably prefer it for competition because I hate using super-thin gi jackets that let your opponent have whatever grips they want.  It was a pleasure to train in and fared exactly the same as all of my other single weave gi tops, including my first gi.  Despite being made of 550gm material (meaning it weighs 550grams per yard of fabric), it felt very mobile and light.  Future models made by CTRL Industries, including their newest release, the Carioca 1.2, will be 450 gram material (which is only slightly lighter, maybe 1/2 pound overall).  Also, the jacket’s sleeves were a perfect width that they didn’t feel like judo / wizard sleeves, but were also wide enough that I could easily execute Ezekiel chokes.

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ctrl industries the rook lapel

Trousers

Okay, let’s get to the best part of this gi.  During my review for this gi, I had to message CTRL on Facebook with the following message:

I got in trouble during sparring today because after the first few rounds of rolling with people, everybody was really interested in what the heck the Rook’s gi pants were made out of. When the rest time between rounds ended, none of them had partners because they were all looking at the pants. Many pushups were done.

These are the best ripstop pants that I have ever worn.  The material is very difficult to grip and seems exceptionally strong.  Definitely the strongest pair of ripstop pants that I own (as compared to 10+ other pairs of ripstop pants).  The pants initially felt a bit waxy, which I had never felt on ripstop pants before, and they did soften a bit.  Over time, they became easier to move in, but still very difficult for others to manipulate.

The cut on the Rook pants is really fantastic as well.  It fits my thighs tighter than any of my other pants and the bottoms are a bit tighter on my calves as well.  This leaves very little room for my training partner’s to grab to sweep me or pass my guard.  This is exemplified beautifully in the video below.

Since they fit really well out of the bag, I always washed on cold and hung dry in my basement (out of the sun) to prevent any shrinkage or extra wear and tear.  The knee reinforcements also fit my knees perfectly, not too low or too high.  They feel strong and will likely hold up for a really long time.

ctrl industries the rook hip logo hit

The pants also held up very very well.  The drawstring is stretchy and thin, but I experienced absolutely no wear and tear on it.  The embroidery and all of the stitching (including the really cool taping inside the pant leg) has held up beautifully.  I really put these pants through the ringer as well, not only for normal classes and training, but also for extra 2 hour drilling sessions that I started doing on Saturdays.

ctrl industries the rook pant leg embroidery

ctrl industries the rook pant leg embroidery

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Rolling

As mentioned above, the Rook was a joy to roll in.  It will definitely stay in my regular rotation.  I had full range of movement, but without giving up a bunch of extra material.  The gi top felt very similar in size to my other A3 gis, including my Shoyoroll Americana and Black Eagle.  Also, the gi held up really well and didn’t come untucked easily, despite liking to wear my belt very low.  Also, I did not notice either the jacket or trousers stretch out during rolling despite my partners playing a lot of spider guard and de la riva guard (which tend to really stretch out sleeves).

Conclusion

I own a lot of gis and only a few make it into my regular rotation of 4-5 gis (which also change depending on time of the year).  It’s honestly been difficult to not wear the Rook for every class after having worn it for this review.  Due to the fit, durability, and style of this gi, I think it is definitely worth the $160 price tag.  Despite offering pre-orders, CTRL Industries always tries to keep the Rook and their other gis in stock and have sold them on Budovideos in the past.

There are a lot of small gi companies popping up every day and some of their gis are hit or miss.  CTRL has been spot on with their gis since day one and the Rook is no exception.  I implore you, especially if you are built like I am (big back, and large thighs), to grab one of their gis as soon as possible.  Also, if you are my height, but a bit thinner (read: you can abstain for taco binges, which I can’t), they will likely be offering an A2T size in the future!

ctrl industries the rook that hat

A few more pictures of the Rook by CTRL Industries

ctrl industries the rook sleeve and shoulder

ctrl industries the rook skirt

Guest Review of CTRL Industries The Rook Gi

by Joshua Barrow (Thanks again Josh!)

I got my Gi as a Christmas gift. This was pretty cool as I wanted Ctrl Industries The Rook but didn’t know if anyone was ordering it. For Xmas day I opened a box that had a picture of the white competition. So I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Upon opening the bag, and obviously being excited knowing this is The Rook – the first thing that hit me was the packaging. I have ordered almost every Shoyoroll since batch 6. I didn’t get the yank, but every one since. I can tell you this was the best packaging yet.

Opened the clear snapped bag, and the smell almost choked me. I don’t know what that is, but immediately I thought this was very recently made. I thought this better not be crap.

ctrl industries rook gi joshua barrow

I grabbed the gi. Pretty heavy feeling. Not weight but just fabric integrity. Seemed a harder thicker fabric. I opened it up went over the stitching. MUCH better than the last three gis I have bought. The seams where the checkerboard is, are clean and strait. This gi is made well. Not thrown together.

I put it on. A little big, but I am slightly too fat these days for my a2h SYR.. So I expected this. No big deal.

I put it on, and was surprised. The top wasn’t that big, I think a few minutes in a dryer over the course of its life and it will be just like my favorite gi – the koral mkm army green.

I cant wait to train in CTRL Industries The Rook gi. Its been vinegar soaked and washed once. I will retake pics and put them on after just an initial wash to see how it shrank.

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**Big thanks to Josh for his thoughts on CTRL Industries The Rook.**

ctrl industries rook 3

ctrl industries gi review

ctrl industries rook 4

Click here to visit the CTRL Industries website

Add your thoughts on CTRL Industries The Rook below!

About the Author Brendan

Brendan is the Founder and mastermind behind Gireviews.net. He is currently a Purple belt training in both gi and no gi. By day he is a elementary school teacher, by night, a jedi gi reviewer!

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7 comments
Tyler Johnson says April 14, 2012

Awesome! I pre-ordered the Rook two weeks ago and am now super excited to get it! I’m 6’1 and 205lbs and have the same build as the reviewer and I ordered an A3. Glad to hear it fits well!

Reply
Dustin says April 15, 2012

Could you get a weight on the gi?

Reply
Update 4/24/12 | trainingBJJ says April 24, 2012

[…] be the last night, for a while, I wear my Fuji gi. Recently the guy from GiReviews.net posted a review on the Rook that made me really excited. He said it fit him better than any other gi he owned and […]

Reply
Dan says June 9, 2012

Just saw “The Knight” pop up on the right side of this page, a dark blue version of “The Rook”? Yes please!

Reply
    Brendan says June 9, 2012

    yeah, if you like the rook, you’ll love the knight. click through the link to check it out. very nice gi by CTRL

    Reply
Ian says March 4, 2013

Do you know how much the rook weighs?

Reply
    Brendan says March 6, 2013

    I believe the jacket is 450gsm, but other than that, I’m not sure.

    Reply
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