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Summary: The Tatami ‘Terere’ Gi is based on Tatami’s super-popular Estilo model, but with slightly longer pants and a LOT more bling. It has an awesome rashguard lining on the top and some very cool patches throughout.
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Introduction: My Tatami ‘Terere’ Gi came directly from Tatami Fightwear . I e-mailed back and forth with Tatami owner, Gareth, regarding sizing and he and his team were really helpful in helping me pick out the correct size. I wasn’t sure because with the longer pants, and I wanted to make sure I still fit in an A3. If you live in the U.S., you may prefer to buy a Tatami Gi from Budovideos or Fighters Market, but if you live in the UK or in that region of the world, definitely order directly from Tatami.
Fit: I really like the cut on the Terere / Estilo gi. It’s definitely different from a lot of the gis that I have worn in the past, like the Ronin or Predator, in that the front of the skirt does not fit flush across the front as it would on other gis. It’s also a bit slimmer around my midsection and my ribs. This is nice as a lot of other gis tend to be a bit wide in that area.
Design: I’m not sure what to say about the design. I love it. I loved it the second that I first saw the gi. The orange and blue looks amazing. The brightness of the blue has faded a bit with repeated washings, but that’s to be expected after having worn the gi for two months straight. Despite that, the orange contrast stitching still pops and looks amazing.
When I first got the gi, the leather patches looked perfect, but they faded over time (as you can see in the pictures). I am not sure if other people have experienced this as well, and it may have been due to me accidently leaving it wet overnight once.
The patches are bold and this gi is really made for people who either love bling gis, or are huge fans of Terere (and of the TT team). Luckily, I’m both. This is not the gi for you if you want to stand in the back of the class and blend in.
Jacket: As my friend Neil Williams said, you could sleep in this thing. The jacket is really that comfortable. If you’ve never had a gi with a rashguard lining before, you have no idea what you’re missing. As I mentioned above, the jacket’s skirt doesn’t fit flush across in the front, but I didn’t have any issues with it coming untied, despite the fact that I like to wear my belt pretty low on my waist. The Terere seam tape on the inside of the sleeves didn’t bother me at all and was a nice touch (in fact, I’m glad they kept it inside the sleeves instead of the outside as on the preliminary pictures).
Trousers: The trousers on the Tatami Terere Gi are a great length for me. At 6’1”, some A3s can get a bit short on me, but these were a bit longer and made for a great training gi. I tend to like my pants a bit shorter when I compete, so these would be perfect for a taller or longer limbed athlete. I wouldn’t suggest the Terere Gi if you’re under 5’10”, but the Estilo model should fit just fine.
The belt loop system and the stretchy drawstring both held up just find and added yet another bit of flair to the gi. As noted above, the leather patch faded over time, but still looks pretty cool on the gi. The trousers felt very secure and I never had any issues with them falling down, despite extended rolling and drilling sessions.
Rolling Performance: Training in this gi was a pleasure. The collar is thick enough that my training partners couldn’t have their way with me and the jacket was very comfortable. As my review was during the winter months, I had no issue with overheating due to the thickness of the jacket; in fact, it was really nice to have the extra layer without having it stuck directly to my skin like a sweaty rashguard.
The only note that I will make was when I got it, it smelled a bit like mothballs. I had never experienced that before, but having gotten a few newer gis since then, I have noticed it happens from time to time. I have talked to other gi experts and have come to find that the smell is just from a process done to the gi prior to international shipping to protect it. It washed out after a few washes, but when I first got the gi, I couldn’t wait to use it so I wore it to class right away. The next day, I had this post on my Facebook wall:
“Dude, when I got home today I smelled like an a– whoppin and mothballs.” – John
Conclusion: I’ve never had more compliments on the look of a gi ever before in my life. This gi definitely stands out, and for good reason. It is incredibly high quality and very well designed. At only $160 this gi is a steal. Tatami could easily charge $200 or $250 for such a well-done high end gi. If this gi is your style, definitely don’t hesitate about picking one up.
If you’re built like I am 6’1” and 200-210lbs, but don’t prefer so much flash, I would recommend looking into getting an Estilo 3.0 or even a Zero G if you are in need of a lightweight competition gi. The cut on this gi is one of the most ‘athletic’ cuts that I have tried on and I’ll definitely keep this gi in my personal rotation for a long time to come.
If you ever have any questions about this gi, please e-mail me (brendan.gireviews[at]gmail[dot]com) or get ahold of Tatami Fightwear on Facebook. They’re very responsive and, given their track record with the Pinup and Terere gis, and the future release of the Honey Badger gi, they will continue providing flashy and fun gis to compliment their stellar standard line of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu kimonos.
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!