You never would expect to find a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Kimono company in Missouri, let alone a good one if you did come across it but alas my fellow grapplers….there is in fact one by the name of Kozen Fight Gear and they have some pretty good products as well. We did an interview with the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Anzelone (you can read that here) to find out about the company and we were allowed to do a review for the brand. How are the products coming from Kozen? Lets look…
At first glance of their products you can see that they have a great style to them, white with red contrast stitching always looks good and is a pretty bold choice for a first offering. Most people come out with a plain white or plain blue one just to get the ball rolling but not here…not Kozen. They wanted to show you that they’re not playing around when it comes to releasing kimonos. They’re entire plan of releasing gi’s is quite sound and if you take a look at their edition matrix page on their site you will see that. They’re even doing private label gi’s for academies like Gracie Humaita in St. Louis, which can be seen on their facebook page here.
After looking at the price you can also see that they’re VERY competitively priced in a market that has a lot of options out there. $139 for a kimono is a great price when new companies are releasing a lot of gi’s with a beginning price at $160 and up. First impressions are pretty high, Can they meet the high expectations?
- 450 GSM White Jacket
- Red Contrast Stitching
- Ripstop EVA Foam Collar
- Embroidered logos
The jacket is the standard 450 GSM that is very popular among companies right now. 450 seems to be the perfect balance for a competition/training gi and this one is no different when it comes to that aspect. Kozen has provided ripstop lining on their collar, bottom skirt, and cuffs for their taping as well as an additional aesthetic taping.
The only spot I’ve found that was a little under par was the one Kozen logo on the sleeve where it had a few tiny spots that weren’t filled in all the way. Considering they’re just starting out, if that’s the only issue I’ve found with the jacket then that’s very good. I didn’t see any loose threads, popped stitches or anything else and the jacket is very sturdy when it comes to craftsmanship. There also was no weird odor like a lot of companies are having right now when their products are coming out of Pakistan.
- 10 oz Ripstop Cotton
- White with Red Contrast Stitching
- Gold Weave Gusset
- Six belt loop system
- Rope drawstring
I love ripstop pants, simply love them. As long as they’re made right. You know that waxy, stiff, and not very breathable rip stop that some pants are made of? Highly uncomfortable and you dread wearing them in training let alone a competition?
Yeah, these aren’t those ripstop pants. They’re soft but not too soft with no waxy feeling at all. They’re made very well and have no busted seams or loose threads in the stitching. They are breathable but they’re sturdy at the same time if that makes sense.
I like the added gold weave gusset in the pants, it does provide more friction when performing arm bars or triangles and gives you a little bit of an edge in doing so in my opinion. I’m always worried when there is a pearl or gold weave gusset on ripstop pants because ripstop is a thinner fabric than the drill cotton most companies would go with thus meaning you would think that it would be weaker on the seams. The triple stitching along the gusset seams hell bent on keeping that gusset there with no ripping. I hope it will.
As you can see in the pictures below, at 5’9 and 160 pounds the fit is great for competition. Barely legal in all the right spots like your sleeve length and pant length. The pants are exactly how I like them.
I only got to use this gi in training one time but it performed very well the time I got to use it. The pants were super hard to grab because they were shorter and the sleeves were just as hard due to their length and tightness.
It was a little warmer than usual while rolling, I’m assuming because of the tightness of the kimono but it wasn’t overly hot like I was wearing a rash guard under the gi. The jacket opened up quickly due to the being a little shorter in the skirt length but that’s no biggie, it kept me cool and was easy to use my lapel for attacks.
As I stated before the pants were super hard to get a hold of and provided me ease of motion while rolling. They were breathable while rolling and had no restrictions while inverting or berimboling.
Kozen is storming out of the gate right away with a low price of $139 for their white model, and they also offer this kimono in Black with red contrast stitching as well at $149. Speaking of offering other models, they’re releasing kids gi’s as well in a white/gold color scheme that has all of the same features as the adult models.
Like I said in the beginning, they also are doing private label gi’s for academies as well. All of these can be purchased on their site, or a quick facebook message.
Now as for the reason why I only got to use this gi once is because of a shrinkage issue. As you could see the gi was already barely legal for me and after the first wash it did shrink about an inch to an inch and a half in the sleeves so I could no longer use it afterwards. The pants did shrink about a half an inch as well.
After talking with Vince and Krista about this, they offered to send me another gi as they had never encountered that problem with any of the other gi’s they’ve sold. At most they had reports of half of an inch of shrinkage in their products. Vince and Krista’s customer service has been extraordinary during this and I have had zero complaints as far as that goes. When you’re a smaller company it pays to have awesome customer service and Kozen definitely has that. The husband and wife duo are doing a great job at running the company while working and training as well.
I have seen Kozen gi’s at some local tournaments and spoken with the people who were wearing them and none of them had a shrinkage issue like I had.
I passed this gi on to a training partner who has been using this gi and he has had ZERO complaints on it and it fits him like a glove. He doesn’t want to be shown on the internet but has had nothing but great things to say about Kozens gi. In fact he liked it so much he is going to purchase the black one as well.
Here is a small quote from him
It really is a nice gi and I’m glad it shrank on you haha. It fits very nicely and is great to roll with. The whole gi is light and looks great as well.
A man of many words he is. Had the gi not shrank like it did I would still be using it regularly with no second thoughts about grabbing it out of my very heavy closet.
I would still highly recommend you check out the company if you’re in the market for a new kimono, as they are also coming out with some new products I that I am pretty stoked for and can’t wait to see!!! Website Facebook