How on earth did I end up with 4 gis in my first month and a half doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Because Korea is hot and humid and I’m into female empowerment.
My first gi was a crappy gi from my school. I was going 3 days a week, but it was iffy as to whether or not my gi would be dry by the time I got to class. I have a washer but no drier. So I hang things to dry. But it’s so humid that thick gis take DAYS to dry. CURSES!
So I bought a BIG FAN. I would hang up my gi and turn on the a/c to dry out the air, then have the fan blowing on it. It would get fully dry within a day and a half.
Then I started going 4 times per week. Now came the dilemma. I couldn’t go back to my apartment to get my gi before class, so I couldn’t wash my gi and wear it the next day. So I took a gross option for 2 weeks. I wore it Monday, febreezed it, wore it Tuesday, washed it, wore it Thursday, febreezed it, wore it Friday, washed it.
I know, gross! Also, after having been on http://www.jiujitsuforums.com long enough I knew it was super unsanitary, ring worm, staph, etc. But what’s a BJJ junkie to do? Get another gi, clearly!
Catfight Gear’s gis looked slick. From their website:
SUBSTANCE & STYLE
CatFight Gear is committed to providing our customers gear with a unique design ethic. We stress substance as much as style:
They have cool looking gis in a wide range of colors, with things like cats with crossbones underneath it. The plain, white gi was $130, or $165 with the fanciest design. Different color combinations could cost as much as $265, so it MUST be good, right?
Then I noticed the absolute lack of technical information about their gis. Beyond their description of stressing “substance as well as style” I found a profound lack of substance. Not a single shred of information about their gis beyond size, color and style. But their size chart listed A3 as fitting 5’11” – 6’2″ and 190-220 lbs. I am 5’4″ and weigh 200 lbs.
Fenom’s site had, gasp, technical information about their products. Plus, my God, they actually had a mission statement:
Our mission is to support and nurture the fighting spirit in women on the mat and in life by;
Working hard to create a brand that inspires women.
Constantly seek ways to manifest the Fenom spirit in our products. Products for women by women.
Act as stewards of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by educating women on the benefits of practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Nurture the next generation women by carrying the message to young girls.
Sponsoring non-profit initiatives with the purpose of empowering women.
They had the mission, the information, and their gi was only $75! But then I noticed the sizing: A3 5’9″ – 5’11” 160-190 lbs So now I’m a bit worried that their product won’t fit me.
I sent emails to both companies on June 27 at 9pm. I asked Catfight Gear for technical information about their gis and sent Fenom my measurements, asking if the A3 would fit me. Fenom wrote me 3 days later. Triin said they would fit my waist but would be long in the arms and legs. Catfight Gear got back to me on, oh wait, never. Really. I have yet to hear from them.
I am really irritated by CFG. They CLAIM they care about quality products for women athletes, yet ONLY give information about colors and “cool designs” <sarcasm>PLUS, they use the word “GRRRL” which we ALL know means they’re, like, TOTALLY AWESOME.</sarcasm> The chicks they have on the site are all tiny, hot chicks wearing booty shorts and rash guards. Actually, at this point I felt the GRRR in me rising. How insulting to women athletes to say you care about quality and supporting women and yet your site is basically like a BJJ version of FHM magazine? SHAME ON YOU CFG.
Fenom, on the other hand, hosts women-only BJJ conferences, actively works to promote BJJ for women, is well respected in the BJJ community, and their customer service is tops.
So I ordered 2 black gis from them, one for me and one for my friend who joined with me. Guess what, CFG, you lost $300 in sales! Except that Fenom only had 1 black A3 gi in stock. So I ordered the one and asked to be notified when they were in stock again. I then noticed they had white, lightweight gis AND they were in stock. Korea=hot and humid. Me=addict. So I ordered 2 more white gis, canceling the second black gi. Then another email saying “Can you please send me a white belt and 2 patches?” Triin emailed to let me know she’d already sent out the black gi and put the white belt and patches in it. Triin, you made a customer for life.
The gis got here very quickly, but not quickly enough. I was still going 4 days a week to BJJ with only one gi, so I bought another gi from my school to tide me over until the Fenom gis arrived.
Very happy with my Fenom gis. Getting one hemmed and 3 patches put on=$10. Not bad! I’m hoping to convince the gals at my school to buy gis from Triin. Her company is ABSOLUTELY worth supporting.
So there you have it: 4 gis in 1.5 months because Korea is hot and humid, I’m a feminist, and Fenom has kick butt customer service and supports women in BJJ. My addiction, let me show you it.