890 GSM Poly/cotton - Jacket
11oz Poly/cotton - Pants
Yes - one of my favorites
Premium quality details
Made in Japan
I often get excited by new gi releases, but nothing like the RONIN Imperial. This gi is a beast and you won’t find anything like it on the market. Japanese construction, 890 GSM Poly/cotton Jacket, pre-shrunk, no patches, clean design. This is definitely an amazing gi.
Design / Style
The RONIN Imperial is a double weave and MADE IN JAPAN. It’s, at the same time, comfortable, heavy and elegant. This gi reminds a lot of the old traditional Mizuno Comp Judo gi. If you know this model I am sure you are going to be reading this review all the way to the end! The three main differences from a regular judo gi: the setsugi stitching on the middle back, which is absent here on the Imperial, the light-weight plain-weave fabric on the bottom part of the jacket, which is also absent, and the cut which is more fitted on the chest and the sleeves (for obvious reasons).
No silly patches or colors, the gi is plain white and everything on it is embroidered:
- Ronin brand on the lapel
- Crossed arrow logo on the shoulders and front corner of the bottom jacket
- Ronin/arrows details on the top back of the jacket.
That is it, and it’s awesome.
If you have ever read any of my reviews you know I like simplicity, and it’s no surprise that this is, in my opinion, one of the best looking gis you can get today.
If good looking wasn’t enough, this is one of the best built gis I’ve ever owned. The Ronin Imperial is made in Japan and the whopping 890gsm jacket is heavy and very comfortable. Its poly/cotton Japanese construction is amazing. It feels like you’re wearing a bathrobe that at the same time works like bullet proof armor.
Another nice touch is the inside of the jacket which has a different material than the regular weave on the outside. It’s softer and even more comfortable. This different material covers the inside jacket all the way to the sleeve cuffs. Speaking of which, the seams on the bottom jacket and the sleeves are covered with a thick white fabric that is not scratchy at all because it’s folded at both ends.
The whole jacket is made of a single piece of fabric. No joints or extra stitching. I like that most of the stitching from the embroidery is covered by a protective fabric on the inside jacket. I don’t remember seeing this before, it is great attention to details, quality and comfort.
The level of details on this gi is impressive. For instance, the flip side of the embroidery: you either do not see it (because it’s carefully covered with another fabric) or you only see the contours, because the thread colors are always matching the white of the gi (even if the embroidery is black). I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to make this happen specially considering that on the inside part of the jacket which nobody looks at it. I am impressed.
Finally, the pants are made of cotton, it has six belt loops, and the knee reinforcement goes all the way to the end of the pants.
I only wished they would have reinforced the gusset and knee area with the same fabric that was used on the jacket, instead of the 11oz cotton. Since being light is already out of question, a super resistant pair of pants would be great.
Speaking of heavy, this is the heaviest gi we’ve reviewed so far. It is 2627 grams of pure made in Japan awesomeness. This is almost twice as heavy as the Flow Pro Series 3!
|Brand / Model||Weight (g)|
|93 BRAND – Hooks||1493|
|Tatami Estilo 3||1708|
The most important thing you need to remember before getting your Ronin Imperial gi is that it’s preshrunk and if you wash in cold water and hang it to dry you’ll barely notice any shrinkage. I had an overall 1.4% shrinkage after several washes. This is the smallest number I’ve had so far. So, stick to your size and you should be fine.
One small fitting detail, the sleeve cuffs are a little smaller than I wanted them to be considering it is a BJJ cut. Perhaps, 2 – 3 cm extra would have done the job.
Price / Wrap-up
The Ronin Imperial retails for $259.95. It’s not the cheapest gi around, however it’s one of the most awesome gis you can get. If you like tradition, simple design and quality it’s worth every single penny. Having a gi made in Japan is different than anything you can get from Pakistan or China. I have known this for a long time, because it’s the same with Judo gis. The gis made in Japan are better quality and made with nicer materials. Even when you compare gis that are from the same brand, like the Mizunos we reviewed here, you can tell the difference easily from the one made in China to the one made in Japan. They have a better manufacturing process, materials and quality. This is why the price is higher.
I have no doubt that this gi will be one of my top 5 favorites for a long time. For me, a guy that came from Judo, this gi represents the roots of what Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu should be. It reminds me every time of the Japanese tradition, their heritage, their respect and what they stand for. The Ronin Imperial incorporates all that in a gi. I strongly recommend you to check it out because it’s not everyday that you can get something unique and awesome like this gi.
Awesome word count: 4
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