My Favourite Karate Gi: Seishin (Part 2 of 3)
The Seishin brand is arguably the fastest growing karate sensation. It is a venture into the modern era utilising crowdfunding, social media and public endorsements to spread it’s awareness.
Created in part by Jesse Enkamp, internets famous Karate Nerd™, the Seishin Karategi seeks to push the positives and reduce the negatives of a top quality Keikogi.
Unlike other companies, which perhaps only change the fabric or cut, the Seishin Karategi sought to also innovate be adding extra parts that perhaps you wouldn’t consider.
I have owned one since it first came out and was also very fortunate to be provided with another during my stay in Okinawa as part of the Okinawa Karate Nerd Program.
It is a favourite of mine, but personally not my most, and let me explain why.
The Seishin Karategi has attempted, and succeeded, to recreate the feel and snap of a heavy weight Keikogi, whilst also being lightweight. Being WKF approved means it’s an excellent one-stop option for Kata and Kumite competition.
It contains several ventilation areas on the leg and jacket which actively help to cool the practitioner during practice.
It has all the sweat wicking capabilities of other Keikogi but it also seems to dry quicker than a conventional heavyweight one.
It is also far easier to iron if that’s your thing.
It also has a handy little pocket inside, good for keeping a phone, stopwatch, small change or mouth guard inside.
It feels great and is sturdy enough to last through those more intimate classes. (Throwing, gripping, etc.)
It also looks like a high quality product, which for the cost is what you want, with added features like the beautiful embroidered Seishin badge, the rip off size tag, the premium packaging and the japanese style certificate of authenticity - certainly makes you feel like more than just a number on the order form.
If you are not a big fan of heavy weight Karategi but still want to look sharp then I highly recommend it.
As I said in my previous post we all grow up to be different shapes and sizes, vertically and horizontally.
Without a doubt this is the only sticking point for me as one size was a bit tight for me whilst the size up was just too big.
The pants fitted well, albeit I am not convinced by the waist design as I appear to only comfortably tie it either at the upper hip below the gut or around the navel.
With other Karategi I always tie at the actual waist (the part that sits just above the lower six pack), as this is how they are designed to be worn so as to increase movement in the legs as it reduces that baggy crotch between the thighs.
(Try it out, it might actually help you deepen your stances and reduce the urge to “shift up” the pant leg before every kick)
When it comes to the jacket it was either a bit tight in the circumference or too baggy but still without much hanging below the belt as i’d like.
What this means is that during class I’d find myself shifting and adjusting constantly as I couldn’t get the Karategi to fit right.
I also found that at times the fabric would grip onto my skin which can be a nuisance when throwing out a technique.
Now arguably I have since lost weight which I had gained whilst in Okinawa which can be a major factor in the fit; however, my other Karategi seemed far more capable at adjusting to my bodily changes without feeling uncomfortable.
Then there is the cost factor.
Straight out of the packet it costs £220 and that is without any tailoring and adjustments you’d like to make, as I often do to the legs and arms of my Keikogi.
You are paying much more for what is less fabric overall but this can be easily remedied through the various discounts on offer throughout the year from Seishin.
Also, who am I to understand the inner financial workings of the business.
As it was important for me to have two Keikogi whilst in Okinawa I kept my Seishin for Kobudo training as it was ideal in reducing the weight as well as being hardy enough to take a few scrapes from my Sai.
I will add that the Seishin also seems much easier to fold up to fit into luggage making this an ideal Karategi for travel.
If you can, try one on before you consider buying.