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!

It didn’t take long for me to find Gis for Girls online, nor to realize that the two top contenders for women’s gis are Catfight Gear and Fenom.

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.

SEXY BLACK!

Thank you, Fenom, for feeding my addiction!

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 let me support Fenom by giving you more links:
Women’s Jiu Jitsu Championships, a women’s only tournament that Fenom helped found.
Fenom’s Facebook site.
Fenom’s Blog
.

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.