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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

13 May 2019

Gi Review - Tatami Hokori (Tatami Fightwear)

Short Review: Comfortable, clean design and affordable, this is the entry level gi I recommend to my students. If you've liked previous editions of Tatami beginner gis, then this should appeal to you too. Available for around £60 on the Tatami website, you can also find them in the usual places like Amazon.

Full Review: Since I started my BJJ club, it's become increasingly difficult to make time for reviews. Hence why I do so few now, as they take me aaaaages. This is therefore likely to be the last gi review I do for the foreseeable future (though I can still get my students to review gis for me, which is what I've done a few times when people were especially keen to send me something). I'll finish on a high, as the Tatami Hokori is an excellent gi from an excellent company.

I have long recommended the Tatami Nova to my students, as it's a reliable entry level gi. Tatami gis tend to shrink a fair bit if you're not careful, but that's easy to avoid by sticking to 30 degree Celsius washes. The Nova has since been replaced by the Hokori as Tatami's entry level option, hence why I was interested in checking it out. If I'm going to keep recommending Tatami to my students, it makes sense to have a good understanding of their budget offering.

The gi originally arrived at my house in January 2018. Out of the box, the jacket had a wingspan (sleeve cuff to sleeve cuff) of 159cm, while the shoulder to hem measurement was 81cm. The trousers were 95cm long. After the first 30 degrees celsius wash, the wingspan shrunk to 153cm, while the shoulder to hem dropped only slightly to 80cm. The trousers became 92cm. A year's worth of washing later, almost all at 30 degrees (there were a few 40 degree celsius, mostly when I was dyeing it silly colours :D), my Hokori measurements now stand at wingspan 147cm, shoulder to hem 79cm and trousers 90cm.

In terms of feel, the Hokori is similar to the Nova and the Sub Zero. I no longer have a Nova, but by comparison to the SubZero (which I do still own), the weave is not quite as tight. It is also slightly heavier (1.3kg, compared to the SubZero's 1.2kg), which possibly is why it feels thicker and more difficult to fold into a tight package. Branding is restrained, no shoulder patches (one of the few bling elements I'm still not keen on, I've embraced just about everything else). This year I also pulled my SubZero out of retirement and gave it a new lick of dye, meaning the comparison is apt at the moment.

The reinforcements on the trousers are distinct from most other trousers I've seen previously. Rather than the standard rectangle, the extra material reinforcing the Tatami Hokori trousers has a diagonal cut at the top and bottom. It's an unusual design feature, demonstrating that Tatami are continuing to try and innovate rather than simply repackaging old gis under a new name.

I can happily continue recommending Tatami Fightwear to my students, as this is another solid gi from the pre-eminent UK gi company. I like to come up with at least one disadvantage, but after over a year of wearing this regularly, I can't think of any. I suppose it isn't as light as my travel gis, but then that's not it's intended purpose. In terms of a regular training gi, for beginners on a budget this is tough to beat. Available for around £60 on the Tatami website, you can also find them in the usual places, like Amazon.

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