Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gi Review: Shoyoroll Batch 11: "The Count" Maeda Edition

Ladies and gentlemen, after 4 months of waiting, the newest Shoyoroll has been shipped to customers worldwide. I am not one who supports the idea of pre-ordering a jiu jitsu gi and having them take my money 4 months in advance, but Shoyoroll is notoriously hyped in the BJJ world as being a premier gi that fits like no other. So I bit the bullet. I don't spend my money on much, mostly because I'm a poor college student, but I was in the market for a new gi anyway. The biggest reason is because although I love my Keiko Raca Limited Edition blue gi jacket, the pants are awful. Seriously Keiko, where do you get off selling these crappy pants? Anyway, I digress. How does the new Shoyoroll measure up? Let's begin. And please note, these are POST-WASH measurements. I'll talk more about this later in the review.

The kimono top feels great. There was a small amount of bunching at the back shoulders, but the wash (warm) and hot, complete dry seems to have fixed that. Before the wash, the cuffs stopped about a half inch above my wrist. Post-wash (actually 2 washes later, since I rolled in it last night after the initial shrink), it's about 3/4" above the wrist. Quite honestly, it fits almost perfectly. One thing that I really like about the Keiko Limited kimono is the tapered collar that curves downward. It's a different style, and there's more material. Merely a matter of opinion, I would think. This shoyoroll is definitely lighter. Less material overall, and a different weave (pearl, compared to Keiko's gold). This of course also factors into the shrinkage issue. Here are some more pictures of the kimono.

Lining looks fancy. Stitching is a bit crooked.

Close-up of the trademark patch.

Let me quickly address the stitching on the kimono. Some others who reviewed the previous model shoyorolls have griped about the crooked contrast stitching. This model is by no means perfect, but it's pretty damn good, in my opinion. Nothing is too muffed up looking. The seam tape is also straight all around. I think Shoyoroll fixed any problems they had with previous manufacturers, which is good. Now, on to the pants!

I'll cut straight to the point: these pants are perfection. They feel custom made. There is no excessive bunching in the crotch area, and there is the RIGHT amount of material, given the size, at the waist so I don't look like I stuffed a pillow over my ass. The cuffs are slim and don't provide an excessive amount of material for easy gripping. The crotch is reinforced with a slice of gold weave gusset, and the inside of the knees, pictured below, are reinforced with a layer of gold weave for extra durability.

Post-shrink. Honestly, the cuffs lost maybe 1/4". I'm talking virtually zero shrinkage here. Enough for it to pretty much form-fit you.



Here are some stats for you. I'm 5'10", about 147lbs, and the gi size is A1L. This is apparently a new size from Shoyoroll that is made for taller, skinnier guys. As you can see, even out of the box the thing fits wonderfully. For those unfamiliar with the weave, "pearl" refers to a treated material that withstands shrinkage better than any other weave. From what I can tell, this is true. My Keiko is a gold weave that that thing is STILL making me paranoid to dry it, even 6+ months after I got it.

The Shoyoroll, on the far right, boasts the thickest collar. This could be attributed to wear and tear on the other two (blue is the Keiko, white on the far left is my pearl weave Alliance gi).

Final picture is the gi bag that came with it. I don't intend to use this, and it doesn't seem to be particularly durable. It took me a minute to realize the glaring typo here ("repsect"). I know it isn't the gi, but they should have made sure this didn't happen.

The retail price of this gi was $165 + $15 in shipping. On a scale from 1-10, I have to give it a 9/10. By comparison, given my complaints about the Keiko pants, I would have given that gi a 6.5/10. Shoyoroll needs to kill their waiting period and have gis ON HAND. I also expect a premium gi to NOT have typos on any part of the package.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave any questions or comments, and please subscribe to the blog for future gear reviews and more thoughts from a grappler!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

3/7/12- Gi

Let me just start off by saying that the new gym looks baller. The ring is badass and the Zebra mats are super nice. Plus the finish on the mats is such that I will never get mat burn again. Great success!! Even the old wrestling mat is pretty comfortable and it serves a purpose on the other end of the room as additional mat space.

Worked some wrestling with Johnny teaching. Went over pummeling for double underhooks, locking up your hands and getting them to the ground with really any kind of trip. Also drilled the over/under position with an inside trip on the underhooked side as well as the outside trip on the underhooked side. After this, we drilled technical armbars from guard, scissor sweeps, and then combo'd them together.

We have a bunch of new folks already which is pretty awesome. A couple guys my size and even smaller. One is Reid, about 125lbs and another new guy I met today named Brad, who's probably around 135-145. I rolled with Brad and although the dude was a white belt, he put on a hell of a fight. Pretty close to blue belt I would think. I pulled guard but he wouldn't let me close up and pushed combat base from the beginning. I struggled to make anything happen from half guard because he had good shoulder pressure and was doing everything he should have been. He wouldn't let me get the underhook there either, and he ended up passing my guard a few times. He wasn't particularly tight from there and I reversed him a few times and snagged a nice inverted triangle off a scramble. Second roll, he got swept off my butterfly hooks (I think) and tried for an armbar but I defended well, blocked his triangle transition and passed into side control and north/south and the round ended. Actually a pretty chill, super technical match with him. Looking forward to rolling more. Rolled with Johnny and got raped as expected. Closed out the night with Antony and a bunch of back and forth until the end minutes when he mounted a few times.

We actually have a bunch of people now but I've yet to see some of the other, more regular people.