Here we are with out bjj gi review from Groundwork Kimonos. Not to be confused with the kimono company of the same name but different spelling, Groundwork is out of Michigan and is releasing their first line of kimonos. Their Tag line is “The Paradox of War & Play” and I’m not exactly sure what they mean by this so I’ll let them explain.
Jiu Jitsu is a paradox. You play and have fun while you flow roll, not worrying about a winner or loser you just see where it goes. On the other hand when you step across the mat from your opponent, shake the refs hand then your opponents, and the ref motions you know it’s going to be a war… there will be a winner and a loser. That is why Jiu Jitsu is “the paradox of war and play”.
- Sturdy Construction
- Two Pairs of pants
- Great embroidery
- Minimal shrinkage for jacket
- Newly designed bag
- Cotton pants crotch cut too high
- Too big for me even after shrinking
Here is the bag that the Groundwork Kimono came in. A mesh fabric on 3/4th’s of the bag with a small pocket on the inside for your phone or MP3 player with a hole that your headphones can come through. Perfect for tournaments. Sturdy fabric with metal eyelets on the corners for the straps to go through. It’s a great design and fairly practical opposed to other cloth bags that kimonos come in.
Only thing is it’s slightly small and barely fits the jacket and pants, but they do fit.
- 550 GSM Blue Pearl Weave
- 1pc, no back seam
- EVA Foam Collar
- Custom taping
- Black Contrast stitching
- 90% Preshrunk
- 10oz Blue Drill Cotton & Ripstop
- Stretchy Rope drawstring
- 6 belt loop system
- Black contrast stitching
- Custom Taping
- Black Pearl weave gusset
The Groundwork jacket has great construction, but has a few stray strands of thread. Those said strands of thread were taken care of quickly with a pair of scissor and a lighter though.
The Groundwork logos that are embroidered on the sleeves are phenomenal. No out of place threads or blank spots. The text that is on the left lower lapel looks like wasn’t stitched well but that’s just the way the logo is. You can see it on their Facebook page as well.
The reinforcements are standard with circle fabric in the armpit and on the side splits. The side split stitching on the outside of the kimono is in a circle pattern instead of your standard rectangle. Two rows of stitching on the sleeve cuffs and skirt. Triple stitching on the chest and arm seams.
The taping is a little scratchy on the edges but after a few washes with fabric softener it gets a little better. There is an underlying thicker fabric on the sleeve cuffs and bottom of the jacket where the taping is. It’s a nice addition and a good touch.
The collar is thick and the stitching is straight and even all throughout the inside and out of the lapel. It seems to me like the stitching is getting better on the collars. Kudos Pakistan….kudos.
Two pairs of pants….TWO PAIRS OF PANTS I SAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!
One ripstop, one cotton. Both 10oz in weight.
Double stitching on the pant cuffs, triple stitching running up the leg into the pearl weave gusset.
The six belt loops are strategically placed low enough to where the belt doesn’t ride up.
The knee pads are curved at the top and go all the way to the bottom of the pant cuffs. The taping on the pant cuffs have the same style of taping and underlying fabric as the jacket top.
The Groundwork logo on the left pant leg is done well like the jacket logos and the Groundwork text on the right pant leg seems to be cleaner than the jacket logo.
Fit & Rolling Performance
For me at 5’9 and 160 pounds, the jacket is way too big and the cotton pants crotch is cut too high. Even after drying the jacket repeatedly it hardly shrank for me which could be considered a good thing since there was minimal shrinkage. The ripstop pants were a little looser in the crotch and fit a tad better.
The length of the pants is nice, they’re of shorter length.
I gave the kimono to a guy who is 6’1 and 160 pounds, the jacket fits him perfectly but the cotton pants are too short due to shrinkage. The ripstop pants are a little short but are passable.
We’ve also been passing this gi around the gym and another guy who is slightly taller than me but has a bigger upper body fits this kimono well.
Rolling in this gi is a pain in the arse for me due to the jacket being so big and the crotch being uncomfortably tight in some positions.
Structurally I see no weak spots or stretching while rolling. It’s a well made kimono with excellent reinforcements, it’s just not a good cut for my body. That is the only negative thing I can say.
The collar is great and rolling against the kimono with the person I gave it to, it’s a bit of a pain the arse to grab as well. The sleeve cuffs are tough to keep a hold of and the collar is slick.
I love the fact it comes with two pairs of pants and a pretty cool bag as well. Unfortunately for me, the cut wasn’t very flattering. I would say I could go down to an A1 and the jacket would fit great but then the pants would be way too small. I’m not sure if there is a mix and match option but I will find out.
Cut aside, the kimono was made extremely well and structurally it’s fine. I see no problems that will occur and since I’ve passed the gi on to a team mate he’s had ZERO problems with it other than shrinkage in the cotton pants. He’s washed and dried it repeatedly and there’s been minimal shrinkage in the jacket though.
If you can fit this kimono comfortably then I say grab it. It’s perfect for the bigger upper body and smaller lower body in my opinion.There are tons of guy/girls who fit that particular body type so if this is you then by all means give them a shot.
- Fix the cut of the kimono unless that’s your target grappler
- Clean up the Groundwork text embroidery