Product Review: Fuji Sports Women's Sekai Gi
For the past fifty years, Fuji Sports has worked with athletes to produce high-quality, functional gear for all martial artists. The product description for their newest women’s gi, the Sekai, states:
Sekai means "world" in Japanese. This authentic BJJ gi from Fuji Sports was designed for serious performance and as a tribute to the world of BJJ. Inside print features some of the most popular areas where BJJ is widely practiced. The women's Sekai also features the Japanese Kanji "Onna," meaning "Woman."
In addition to the Sekai gi, Fuji Sports offers the pink All Around gi and the Pink Blossom gis for women. Portions of the profit from those gis is donated to support breast cancer research. I’m not a fan of pink gis, but I’ve always kind of wanted the Fuji All Around Women’s gi, which was designed with the help of Olympic Bronze Medalist, Judoka Ronda Rousey. I’ve even recommended it in my article, The Best BJJ Gear for Women: No Gi, Gi, and Random Girl Necessities because it’s a perfect, pretty shade of pink. I never ordered it because the smallest women’s size bracket seemed too big, and I was afraid the largest children’s size would fit too small, like a lot of other brands.
I received the Sekai for review a couple of months ago. I was pleased to see that Fuji had made an additional size, W0, for women who needed a gi slightly smaller than their size W1. Fuji has also released a new rashguard for women that is available in black, blue, and white. The white one looks like it matches this gi perfectly.
- Lightweight fabric
- Custom embroidery
- World map illustration on the inner back area
- Stiff collar with extra rows of stitching
- Double layer of gi material at the chest and shoulders
- Ripstop reinforcements at the skirt splits and chest seams
- Ribbon trim on the jacket and pants
- Triple reinforced rip stop pants
- Four belt loops
- Pink stretchy rope drawstring
- Purple contrast stitching
- Women's cut (slightly tapered waist, sleeves, and pants)
Quality and Style
Fuji has a reputation for quality, and I can definitely see why. Although it is very light, the Sekai gi is built like a tank. There are multiple rows of stitching and fabric reinforcements at the shoulders, chest seam, cuffs, jacket side split, and the splits at the belt line of the pants. The pants have a double layer of ripstop from the thigh to the ankle to prevent rips at the knees, and the hems are triple stitched with a ribbon lining. Just the other day I saw a teammate’s pants rip at the cuff, but I doubt that will ever happen to a pair of the Sekai pants. One thing that is unique about this jacket’s construction is that the armpit reinforcement is invisible from outside the gi. There is a single seam from the skirt split to the cuff. There was a little fraying at the armpit reinforcement on one side, but nothing that would cause trouble over time.
What I worry about with this gi is the rubbery illustration of the world on the interior of the jacket. It looks perfect now, but I predict that over time it will peel off and make a bit of a mess on people’s skin and rashguards, especially for those who play off of their backs.
The pants are thin, but have been durable over the past couple of months. The extra layer at the front of the pants, which reinforces the knees, is a bit puffy looking. I wonder if the light weight of the material makes it harder to keep flat when layering. I also noticed a strong smell at the drawstring when the gi arrived. I’ve had similar issues with other brands who reported that the smell is a result of the dying process and fades away with washing. I found it took approximately ten to twelve washes to disappear completely.
The washing instructions say to wash cold and hang dry, but I have a history of ignoring instructions and suffering the consequences. I washed this gi on hot, and the color of the belt loops ran onto the fabric of the pants. A toothbrush and some bleach removed the dye, although the belt loops do look a little dull now.
Fit and Comfort
I had hoped the new, smaller size would be a perfect fit for me, since I’m near the top of the size chart for size W0, which is 5’1" and 110lbs. However, the Sekai felt as though it was a size too big. I washed it in hot water for the first few washes and dried it in the dryer, but it never did shrink enough to fit perfectly. At the beginning of class, the sleeves hung past my wrists about an inch and as class progressed and the gi got sweaty, it stretched out a little more. Because it was a bit too long for me, I noticed the front lapels hanging between my legs when I was in a squatting position, which could have made me more vulnerable to certain sweep techniques. Other than the fit, the jacket was comfortable against my skin. I am confident that if the jacket was a little smaller, I would have nothing to complain about in the comfort department.
The pants were also pretty baggy on me, but because they’re so soft, I never noticed them during rolling. The length seemed perfect, and they are definitely at the top of my list for overall favorite gi pants. What I love about them is they don’t get that stiff feeling that some ripstop pants get during training. They do become transparent like most white gi pants, but I wear shorts under my gi pants so it’s not a huge issue. Regarding the drawstring, I’m finding that I prefer regular ripstop over the stretchy rope that most pants come with these days. The ropes never stay tied for long and there are times during rolling that I have to stop and retie it so my pants don’t come down. I think the only good thing about the rope is that you can easily trim it if it’s too long, which I did with the Sekai’s drawstring.
I was sent the gi for review, so I didn’t experience typical customer service. Fuji Sports ships to Canada for about $41.00 and $17.00 to the United States.
Follow Fuji Sports on Facebook and Twitter and visit their website to see everything they have to offer all martial artists. If you check them out on Facebook, you may see what I just saw: Fuji Sports is offering a 10% discount on all retail purchases to celebrate reaching 10,000 fans, so be sure to use code 10K at checkout.
The Fuji Sports Women's Sekai Gi is available for $169.00 at FujiSports.com.