The Howard Combat Kimonos Competition Single Weave
For those who don't know, HCK doesn't just make Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Kimonos.
They make armor.
Armor intent on protecting you while pissing off your opponent. The Competition Single Weave we were provided for review is no exception.
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Although I felt the top wasn't wide enough in the torso for me, the fitment of the Gi, a “5” (HCK does not use the traditional A1-A5 sizing chart) was otherwise great in regards to cut, likely a size 6 would have been a better bet for me for my weight and height of 205lbs 5'10”.
E. 16 (it's a stretchy elastic waist band, it fit my 35inch waist no problem)
Pant Length from Crotch: 25
Chest width: 20.5
Trying to get a grip on the collar is no easy task. HCK reinforces the seam of the collar with extra material (same material as the trousers) that gives the collar a more ridged feeling than other collars. They don't do fancy spanzy seam tape, they reinforce the seam in the wrists with very comfortable and sturdy material. No scratchiness, no flash, just business.
I'd suspect 185lbs to be the top weight for someone around my height (5'10”) for the Gi top. I was never bothered by the reinforced seams in the back of the jacket (and never have been by their other products) during rolling. This Gi is going to last its purchasers a very long time.
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Like the HCK Ripstop Lite trousers these use an elastic waist band for securing. The system works exceptionally well and I never have to adjust my pants during class which is an extreme delight.
There is a rope (non-stretchy) kind on the inside of the pants that I never use, but is available for people to fasten down the pants even more. It's the same type of rope you'd find on sweatpants. The pants are very comfortable, not too wide or baggy and didn't impede my grappling at all. There was no scratchiness to be found at the seam tape locations.
As stated, the only issue I had was with the cut/size of the jacket, it was just too small for me, but the quality is definitely there and at 205lbs I would jump on a different top size next time around. When buying HCK you are getting a long lasting, quality gi that is backed by very good customer support. For the folks looking for a virtually indestructible gi that will last this is a great choice.
Whenever I wear this gi I am flooded with a sense of nostalgia as this is more similar to the “old school” gis of the past. I'd also highly recommend this gi for Judo guys making the crossover to BJJ, it will feel more familiar to them while introducing to them the similar sleeve cuts of normal BJJ gis. Quality wise, there isn't much to say, the stitching is always superb on the HCK gis I've encountered, this gi is no exception.
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This is not your run of the mill kimono and is on another level in regards to durability.