Ah, the martial arts uniform, aka, the gi... Is there any martial art image more iconic than that of a dozen burly dudes (and burly dudettes) punching and kicking in what appears to be their pure white pajamas?

That was then. Nowadays, the uniforms we martial artists train in can come in many different styles, colors, and weights.

Even a standard karate gi has numerous variations to choose from. However, while there are many different options, not all of them are created equally. Some have problems staying neatly in place or have sleeves that won't stay rolled up, while others perform perfectly and even accentuate every strike with a satisfying snap of the material.


Knowing that the martial arts world could benefit from knowing what is or isn't a good gi, I set out to review Century's signature Ironman Uniform!


The Good Gi

Look for info on the Ironman Uniform and you'll hear plenty about its extreme durability. After many days of wearing it, washing it, and doing various things every karate-ka does on the daily (not neglecting the extra stuff such as kicking doors around the house closed and bowing unnecessarily before entering regular rooms), I have found little reason to believe my uniform would break down anytime soon.

Six rows of stitching on the lapel and ten rows on the cuffs help keep everything together. An added advantage of the extra stitching at the end of the arms is that it is much easier to keep the sleeves rolled up if that is your preference.

For as durable and heavy-duty as the uniform feels, it does a good job at retaining comfort as well. Punching, kicking, jumping, and rolling in the Ironman Uniform never feels like a hassle. One of the ways this ease of mobility is retained is through the addition of gussets, patches of fabric strategically added in places needing reinforcement and/or enlarged areas.

One of my favorite elements of the uniform is the addition of a polyester gusset in the armpits of the Ironman Jacket. The breathable material wicks away moisture from the area of your uniform that often gets sweatiest (not least of all when wearing a top as heavy duty as this) and brings a slight element of stretchy maneuverability to the top, adding to the comfort and ease.

Speaking of comfort, one detail that makes life just a bit easier is the pockets that are woven almost imperceptibly into the pants. They are deep and can easily carry whatever small object a karate practitioner might need while training or teaching a lesson. If pockets aren't your preference, I wouldn't worry—the pockets are designed in a way that keeps them almost entirely hidden when not in use.

The drawstring carry bag that comes with the uniform's purchase is certainly a nice addition as well. A sleek lil' bag to carry your new threads in style.


What You Need to Know

I have very few complaints about the uniform. But I do want to present a few clarifications:

First of all, keep in mind that this is a heavyweight gi. This means that when you work out in this uniform, you will definitely work up a sweat. This is typical for any heavyweight uniform, but if you're not used to that build, don't say that I didn't warn you.

Due to the weight, it will also take a bit to "break in" the uniform. If you try to wear it without washing it first, you will feel like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz: mechanical and rusty. Simply give it a wash and you'll be back to moving with grace.

Exactly as its manufacturer claims, the product is wrinkle resistant. Wrinkle-resistant doesn't mean wrinkle-free. It doesn't mean that the product will never get any wrinkles, rather it simply means that it is less likely to happen. If you peel your sweaty uniform off and throw in in a wad on the floor and let it sit there over night, of course it will get crinkled. Take care of your uniform and it will take care of you back.

A little respect for your gi goes a long way!


Final Thoughts

A good training uniform is an absolute must for anybody who is serious in their martial arts studies. Different people have different preferences when it comes to what they wear when training. If you are looking for a good heavyweight gi, look no further than Century's own signature gi, the Ironman Uniform!

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Deep and nearly invisible pockets
  • Design allows for good mobility without having to readjust your uniform excessively
  • Extra lining on the end of the sleeves helps keep them up if you roll your sleeves
  • Armpit is gusseted with polyester, adding some breathable ventilation and extra mobility in the area

Cons

  • Not a con, per se, but if you're not expecting a heavyweight uniform, and don't know what you're getting into, this may not be the uniform for you

Durability: 10/10

Performance: 9/10

Design: 9/10

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

To purchase the Ironman Uniform and see how you like it, click here!

The Ironman is also available as a separate top or pants!

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