The Seishin Gi has been created by the well known blogger, best selling author and teacher; Jesse Enkamp (also known as The Karate Nerd). It is crowdfunded, crowdsourced, and has been endorsed by Iain Abernethy, Patrick McCathy, Tetsuhiro Hokama 10th Dan and a number of other very high level and well known Karate practitioners all around the world including Okinawa itself!
So . . . . . . . I brought myself a Seishin Gi to find out what it’s all about! I have to say I like it. It is definitely comfortable. It is made from a 9.5 ounce cotton fibre, which apparently is unique and it is claimed, “makes it look like a traditional heavyweight uniform, but retains the feel of a snappy lightweight gi”!
It certainly looks like a heavyweight gi and it certainly feels lighter. Whereas Jesse describes lightweight uniforms as “snappy”, I personally feel that you get more snap from a heavyweight uniform. The heavyweight makes a bit more of a cracking sound with a good technique whereas I generally find that the lightweights make more of a “phewt” sound (that said, it’s many years since I’ve worn a lightweight). The Seishin gi however, still gives a good cracking sound when you do a technique well, so it has retained one of the best elements of the heavyweight uniform, despite being lighter.
Generally, I find with most heavyweight uniforms, they can be a bit stiff pulling the trouser cord to tie them up. However, the Seishin ties up more easily. It is designed to be “silky smooth”, compared to the almost canvas like finish of some uniforms, so it appears to cut down on the friction.
I have also found with most other heavyweight uniforms, that they feel a little bit like cardboard after they’ve been washed and can chaff slightly around the waist where the trouser pull cords are tightened. After wearing them for a while and moving about in them for a short time, they soften up. The Seishin however retained it’s softer feel directly after washing and was again more comfortable. Ok, ok; some of you are probably thinking, get some fabric conditioner, or something like that. What can I say, I’m a single guy I don’t know much about such things! 🙂
The sizes are taken from your overall height and set 2 inches (5 cm) apart. I did feel that mine was slightly on the short side, so if you measure half way between 2 sizes, I’d suggest going for the larger one.
They a little bit on the expensive side, but if you’re a serious practitioner, competitor or teacher; then I think they are worth the investment. It is probably the most comfortable uniform that I’ve ever had, it is smart and I’ll certainly buy again when I need a new one.
There is only one minor complaint that I might level at it though . . . . . . still no zip at the front of the trousers! 🙂