Aesopian's 2011 BJJ Gi Survey
Aesopian has posted initial data from his 2011 gi survey:
As always, the results are REALLY interesting.
Without giving too much away, the distributions of the top 20 gi brands all suggest that the #20 gi can be ranked higher than the #1 gi. It isn't because the standard deviation is so wide, but rather that their means are so close together. They are only separated by about 0.4!
Go read the initial results (he will be posting more!) and see how your favorite fared and what brands are moving up/down.
Also, he does this for free so consider donating to him if you find this survey useful:
My thoughts (to start a discussion): we are seeing a converging of features/materials which results in a consistently higher ranked gi across multiple brands. Even the less expensive gis (<$140) have features that were only found in higher end gis just a few years ago. The expectations per dollar spent are going up.
I think back to Lucky Gis back in 2008 and how novel they were at the time (for $220+, you got screen printing, ultra light, tapered sleeves, super-lightweight pants, etc...). You can find all of that in a $120 or less gi now.
Last edited by Uncle Skippy; 12/19/2011 6:46pm at .
Thanks for the link; I've been forgetting to keep up with Aesopian's site. Now I feel a tiny bit better about choosing Padilla & Sons for my gear list (though it still looks like I won't be able to train BJJ).
I don't like bling on my gis, so the difference in materials is the main point of interest for me when looking for a new gi to either buy or review. So, it will be interesting to see how manufacturers that mainly deal in unorthodox materials (i.e., not cotton) will fare in future.
This survey indicates that some of those unorthodox manufacturers are highly regarded, like Kauai, who are known for their all-ripstop gi. However, two of the others, Datsusara (who make a hemp gi) and Lucky (who make a Bamboo gi, though unlike Datsusara they also make standard cotton gis) fared quite badly. Though that may have nothing to do with the materials: the stitching on the Datsusara trousers was pretty bad, while the Lucky Bamboo series has become notorious for ripping soon after the first usage.
To their credit, both companies have acknowledged the issue and are trying to rectify it - e.g., Lucky has been sending out replacements for the gis that ripped - but judging by the survey results, that hasn't helped their ratings much.
I'm also looking forward to seeing what Aesopian finds out in his follow-up questions, particularly the issue of the Gracie Barra gi. As I'm at a GB, the enforced uniform impacts upon my training, so I'll be interested to see what comes out of those questions.
Finally, I think it is worth highlighting how well Fenom did in the survey, coming in at #19 (though as mentioned by Aesopian, the margin for error indicates that any company within the top 20 could switch places with any of the others). They are a small company that caters solely to women, and they are also the cheapest gi in the top 40 at an average price of $80 (the only one cheaper is Woldorf at $72, which is much further down the list at #41).
I have been keeping hemp gis in the back of my mind for years now, and I think it was Coach Josh who first clued me into Datsusara; I really hope they improve on their problems so that my dream of founding Woody Harrelson Jiu-Jitsu can become reality.
I'm also interested in hemp. Been waiting for a couple years for the green gig to make it to production. I think it's a dead project, though.
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