VHTS Azure Classic
We’re back with another kimono from Very Hard To Submit, their second release the “Azure Classic”. VHTS has been busy little beavers and are already about to release a third kimono!! Growing fast is the company who started off slow but is now getting more and more recognition for their style and quality.
As you can see the kimono comes tied with a neat little piece of cloth that is blue and white and reads VHTS Fine Kimonos.
The VHTS Azure Classic doesn’t come in your traditional drawstring cotton bag, or even the plastic see through bags that a lot of kimonos come in. Instead it has this nifty little contraption. A blue polyester type of material on one side with VHTS very hard to submit printed on it, and the other side being see through with a velcro enclosure. A nice little handle adorns the top of the bag for easy carrying.
It’s a nice change from the cotton bags we’re used to seeing.
- 650G Blue Pearl Weave
- White Contrast
- Heavy, Ripstop Lined Collar
- Mash Side vent reinforcement
- 10 oz Blue Ripstop Cotton
- White Contrast
- 8 Rectangle Knee pad design
- Braided Rope Drawstring
- Five Belt Loop System
The Azure Classic is a rich blue with white contrasts and accents. It has one white embroidered logo on each arm and features the name tag on the bottom of the lapel like in their previous release only this tag is in a lime green. The back of the jacket is completely blank and perfect for team patches.
The 650g Pearl weave jacket doesn’t feel as heavy as the weight would suggest. It’s a full 200g more than most gi’s coming out right now but like I said it’s hardly noticeable. It breathes a little less than it’s 450g opponents but it makes up for it in other areas.
As you can see on the shoulders it has three single rows of stitching where as most other kimonos have the two rows of double stitching. I’m not sure if this effects the jackets longevity though.
The collar is super firm but not thick like you would expect from this firm of a collar. It is ripstop lined and the stitching is perfectly straight all the way around and on the inside. This could be the first kimono I’ve encountered that had PERFECTLY straight stitching on the collar. Also considering the collar is as firm as it is I’m even more impressed with the stitching.
The cuffs are also lined with a doubled over layer of ripstop to give them a little thicker than usual cuff.
The side split reinforcement material is a spongey mash material that is only seen in a few gi’s on the market right now. I’m guessing it is supposed to give your side a little more padding but I’m not sure, just a guess. I didn’t notice anything while rolling.
The pants are 10 oz ripstop cotton with white contrast stitching and accents. There is one embroidered logo on the left leg on the bottom of the knee pad and one small patch on the right hip.
There are five belt loops that hold a braided rope drawstring that I haven’t yet come across yet since training. It’s a newer rope that’s rather thick and stays tied well. It has a little stretch to it but not a lot.
The knee pads are are stitched to have 8 rectangles in the design. I’m not sure how well this will hold up in the long run but so far they’re doing quite well. I’m worried about the horizontal stitch going across the knee pad but it’s showing no sign of wear as of this review.
The pants have standard reinforcements across the gusset, side splits, and cuff openings.
Fit & Rolling Performance
Training partners hate this gi….for real. They groan when I come to drill/roll in this gi. The collar is that mean and the cut is that tapered in the sleeves and legs. There is little room for grabbing and the collar is hard to grip. The material is rough on the outside but soft on the inside, it’s a killer competition gi.
After all the washing the jacket (and my kids putting it in the dryer) has become a little tight all around, and has a slightly shorter skirt than most. My jacket is usually undone pretty quick while rolling so it frees up motion and it’s not restricting while the skirt is un-tucked. While standing and the gi tucked in I usually extend my arms as far as they’ll go so the sleeves will ride up and I can have even less for my opponent to grab, so that as well frees up some motion in the arm pits and shoulders.
The pants though are not restricting in the least bit and are quite roomy. They’re of shorter length which I like, and the knee pads cover the knees when crouching down. The knee pads don’t look that long when inspecting them but are placed quite well when wearing them.
The VHTS Azure Classic in my opinion is a steal at $130 (before shipping) as long as the gi fits you. It has a more odd cut to it being the gi is shorter in skirt and of pant length, but the rest is pretty true to newer sizing charts. This is an A1 and you see how it fits me versus other gi brands that I’ve reviewed.
The Azure Classic is a well made kimono that has a strong collar, classic design, and quality construction to it. There is minimal shrinkage to the jacket and almost zero shrinkage in the pants. Some bigger names are starting to wear these gi’s and I wouldn’t be surprised if they blew up overnight.
Look for big things coming from VHTS soon as they’re about to release their third kimono this year!!!!