We will be doing a video review of this gi in an upcoming issue that focuses on some of the design elements, so this article is a little additional detail after rolling in it a few times.
I've had a chance to roll a few times now in my new Ground Control Fight Gear Comp 350 series gi. I have to say right off the bat that I love it. The list price on the Ground Control website is $99 which makes it a fantastic bargain for the quality of the gi.
The first thing I noticed about the gi was how light it is. The A3 weighs in at a meager 3lbs 7oz (1.6 kilos for my metric friends). That’s light even compared to my other ultra light gis. You can wash this gi in the morning and hang it up in front of a fan and it will be dry for an after work class.
The pants feature some type of ripstop cotton that feels much different from traditional ripstop material. I don’t like the cheese grater feeling most ripstop pants give me. I have a scar from a knee reconstruction and non-cotton ripstop pants seem to take the top couple layers of my scar off, which always hurts like hell. These pants from Ground Control are soft and I haven’t had that problem at all.
The pants also tend to ‘form up’ to your legs after rolling for a few minutes, much like traditional gi pants do. They feature a flat cord made of the same ripstop material with an extra center belt loop that you can tie the cord around. This prevents the cord from coming untied during class, but it can be a pain to untie later.
The jacket has reinforced seams, a foam collar, and the same blue contrast stitching as the pants. Although the stitching isn’t quite as neatly done as some of the ultra premium gis in terms of cosmetics, I don’t see any functional difference.
This is the best fitting gi I have ever owned. The pants and jacket sleeves are the right length, there is enough room in the shoulder area, and the waist isn’t too huge. My shoulders have always been a problem and gis that are cut tight usually bind in my armpit...not this gi! The collar lies flat to my neck and doesn’t open up leaving gaps for easy grips. I 've had a real hard time finding just the right fit because I am built sort of like an overweight chimp. The gi I am reviewing is an A3 and my size is:
- height 5’9” - 1.75m
- weight 230lbs - 104kg
- reach 72" - 1.83m
- chest 46" - 117cm
- waist 43" - 109cm
- inseam 29" - 74cm
After a couple of washes with cold water/hang dry, the gi has minimal shrinkage. It feels great to roll in and there is very little stretching in the legs or sleeves during training.
I also love the logo embroidery on the gi. There is a medium size logo on both the left sleeve and the right pants leg. The first time I saw them it reminded me of Evel Knievel, the coolest man on the planet. So if anyone wants to send me this signed EK patch I’ll be happy to sew it on!
Bottom line, if you need a sturdy, well constructed, light weight gi, for under $100 bucks check out the Ground Control.
- Bill Thomas