Product Review: 93 Brand x Gawakoto Gentle Chief Rashguard
I love character rashguards so much. Being a small woman, I’ve always been sad that they were never available in my size. At one point, I said "screw it" and tried to fit myself into one of Gawakoto’s other designs, the Kalabaw. Because it was sized for men, it was obviously big on me, but this new Gawakoto rashguard - the Gentle Chief - fits just right. 93 Brand Jiu Jitsu offer an XS sizing option in a few of its rashguards, so small people like me no longer have to go without.
According to artist Bong Abad, the Gentle Chief is a master of old school Brazilian jiu Jitsu. His technique and timing are flawless, although he’s only ever used his skills to defend himself. Until now:
“The Gentle Chief put his ear to the ground and heard the sound of hooves. His many years of experience let him pinpoint the direction they approached from, and the number of men riding together.
The sun and the years had turned his skin to the colour and texture of expensive leather. A smile formed on his usually complacent face.
As he waited patiently, he could feel his heartbeat steady as always. The sound of hooves grew louder, and his body coiled tighter with every passing moment. At the very last moment, when most people's ears would betray them into thinking they had missed the opportunity, he pounced. He lands on the cowboy with a perfect flying armbar, and the tap comes instantly. The snap comes shortly after.
No longer is he known as the Gentle Chief.”
- 82% Polyester, 18% Lycra
- 4x4 nylon flatlock seams (triple-stitched)
- Material is reportedly anti-bacterial, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant
- Fitted for optimal compression and torso/sleeve length
- Rashguard material is SPF 50 for UV protection on the beach, etc.
- Original, sublimated custom artwork by Gawakoto
- Made in America
Quality and Style
I love the brown color work on this rashguard. It’s a deep, rich brown at the the bottom and gradually lightens near the top. It looks really cool where the seam meets at the back of the arm. The artwork on the rashguard is comic-book style, with the weathered face of the Gentle Chief in full headdress on the front, and his attack on the cowboy depicted on the back. The made-in-America theme continues with stars at the lower back. I feel the stars could have been left out, but they still work with the overall theme. The graphics are sublimated, which means they are a part of the fabric and will not crack, peel, or fade over time.
Consistent with all of the 93 Brand gear I’ve seen so far, the Gentle Chief is flawlessly constructed. The 4x4 flat lock seams are designed for high-stress areas and create extra strength while retaining the flexibility required for grappling. The fabric isn’t as slippery as the one used in the Kalabaw, or as thick as the Mandrill 2.0. It’s a smooth, lightweight, but durable, ultragrade polyester/performance spandex. Although I’ve worn it for months, it still looks brand new.
The style of the shirt is borrowed from surf gear with a seamless armpit, which reduces chafing, and a low mock neck. The SPF 50 provides protection for those who wear it to ride the waves as well.
Fit and Comfort
As I also have the 93 Brand x Meerkatsu Mandrill 2.0 rashguard in size XS, I assumed I would also take size XS in the Gentle Chief. Based on Martial Arts Supplies’ size chart, my chest and waist measurements suggest I should take size small, however my weight suggests I am best suited for XS. The Gentle Chief feels a size smaller than the Mandrill though, and at first I wondered if I should have asked for a small. It feels very tight when I put it on, but as I warm up and the fabric warms with me, it becomes more comfortable and feels like a second skin. The graphics are not stretched out at all, and I feel the smaller size is likely the most effective in regards to compression.
You can follow 93 Brand Jiu Jitsu and Gawakoto on Facebook, and purchase the Gentle Chief rashguard at Martial Arts Supplies or the Gawakoto store. My experience with shopping at both stores has been amazing - personalized customer service and fast, inexpensive shipping. One of the things I love about the Martial Arts Supplies online store is its detailed sizing assistance, and the real-time inventory count displayed for each product. As of September 9, 2013, size small is sold out at Martial Arts Supplies but still available at Gawakoto.
I’m also in the process of reviewing Gawakoto’s first women’s rashguard, Kabuki Noh. Check out my blog for a preview with photos and measurements. A full review will be available soon on Breaking Muscle.
The 93 Brand x Gawakoto Gentle Chief Rashguard is available for $59.99 at MartialArtsSupplies.com.