About the Gi
My very first gi was a Fuji. After five years of intensive use, it's the only gi I did not throw away because it was broken or because of shrinkage. I had no room left in my suitcase when I came back from Brazil and left it there for the kids in the favela. I could use a new gi, I had been wearing that Fuji way too often. That's why I'm very happy to get the opportunity to review this gi. Because even now, I still miss that old Fuji from time to time.
In the review I will try to resist my nostalgic sentiments, and look at the following five factors objectively: price, comfort, fit, quality and looks.
Price: The price is € 94.95, slightly more expensive than most entry level gi's, and slightly cheaper than competitors like Zero G and Tatami Comp SRS. In Europe the gi is available through BJJ Fightgear via this link: Fuji All Around Gi - Black.
Comfort: The gi is very comfortable. It’s made out of 100% cotton and feels very soft. The fabric is sturdy but not too heavy. The pants are made of cotton and also feel comfortable.
Fit: The gi's that I have are A1 or A1L. After repeated use an A1 will usually shrink to where it becomes too small for competition, and A1L is usually a bit too big. Fuji does not offer intermediate sizes, so I picked the A1. The gi didn’t change in size noticeably after about 10 washing cycles. The fit is also a lot better than I could remember from my first Fuji, which was quite wide. This one is just right, tight enough to not look like a Judo player (no offense), and wide enough to get through the IBJJF gi check. The length also meets the IBJJF requirements.
Quality: As stated before: Fuji makes solid gi's. This gi feels the same as my first fuji gi, and after a few weeks of intensive use it’s still in tip-top shape. Also, trainingpartners who have been using the gi for a longer time informed me that the gi has remained unchanged after months of intensive use. The seams are all well finished, no loose stitches. The vulnerable spots (under the armpits, the flaps on the side) have been fortified. The cord is made of flat cotton, so no braided plastic elastic drawstring, which is a big advantage to me. In my experience the flat strings will remain tied way longer.
Looks: Clean. The Gi has a subtle logo on the back and on the shoulder, but other than this the gi is completely black. For patchlovers however, Fuji also has a solution: two loose patches are provided. For me, this is perfect, I'm not a fan of a packed gi, and this way I do not need to attack my gi with a knife to remove the patches. If you want to go for that Formula 1 look however, you need to get to work with a sewing machine. All in all, I think that Fuji makes a nice compromise that both camps should be able to live with.
Other than that: no contrast stitching, both the fabric and the stitching are black. No motivational texts on the inside, no rashguard fabric inside. Just black. Like it should be.
Overall judgment: An old-fashioned, quality gi. You pay a little more than you would for the average entry model gi, but this one lasts years. If it meets your preferences too (no contrast stitching, flat cotton cord, small logos, basic design) you can not go wrong with this gi. This version comes in four colors: white, blue, navy and black. So even when you’re wearing this Fuji for years and get bored of it like I did with my first gi, you can just add some variation with a different color.