Atama Mundial Kimono #5, White, Size A3
Retail: $130.00 @ Atama
Bottom line - the Atama Mundial Kimono #5 is phenomenal. Out of the box/bag it is the softest gi you will ever buy. The gi is light and strong and brilliantly white.
I sliced open the plastic bag containing the gi with a pocket knife, reached into the bag with my hand to remove the gi, and grabbed of one of the softest gis I've ever laid hands on. My first thought was, "This is awesome." My second thought was, because softness often equates to weakness, is, "This isn't going to last long." But upon closer inspection I could see that the superior Atama construction and material were going to make this gi last a long time. I've owned this gi for about 6 months now, wearing it and washing it 2 - 3 times per week, and it is not showing one sign of wear.
The gi top, from collar to tail is 100% Atama Gold Weave which is this gi's biggest attribute. It makes the gi both light and strong. The normal Atama Gold Weave gi has a skirt to it that is of a thinner material and makes for an unbalanced feel, which this gi does not. This gi is all Gold Weave, and lacks a skirt providing both balance and comfort. This gi also lacks a back seam typical to other Atamas, and is therefore more comfortable when moving off of your back. There is only one seam on the gi top which is in the lower chest area and connects with the sleeve seam under the armpit. The collar is typical of other Atama Gold Weaves - firm but comfortable.
When I open up the gi top and check out what's going on under the hood, I can see armor-like reinforcement material in the key areas. The upper collar area is reinforced in one continuous seam that wraps around the back of the neck and continues on to the other side of the lapel. The armpit crease is reinforced as is the hip-split area at the bottom of the gi top. A lot of time and planning went into making this gi top and it shows. It is soft and light, and is very durable with reinforcements in all the critical areas. Atama has always made high quality gis, but this one is at the top of the list.
The gi top is comfortable fitting and isn't too tight, nor too loose. It fits like a tailored suit. I am 5' 9" and weigh in between 186 and 191. I am big through my chest, shoulders and arms. By ordering the size A3, I am comfortable in this gi no matter what weight I am at - even if I go a little overboard. However, this gi required a minor degree of shrinkage in the wash when I first got it (see wash and care). Still, this is by far the best gi I have ever worn.
The gi pants are identical to the standard pants that Atama makes. They have a strong drawstring with two belt loops in the front and the Atama label on the upper right thigh. They are soft, yet strong and are reinforced from the lower thigh all the way down to the ankle seam. They are very durable and are perhaps the best all around pair of pants out there.
Wash and Care:
Atama always recommends washing their gis in cold and hang drying (click here to read instructions). I, on the other hand needed to wash it in hot water and dry it at a hot temperature in order to tweek the fit and shrink it down just a tad. Out of the package it wasn't far off, but it needed to be done. After I washed it on hot, I put it on (still wet) and checked the fit. This gave me a chance to stretch it if it was too small. It was still a touch loose for my taste so I dried it for 30 minutes on hot and checked again. This still gave me another chance to stretch it out if it was too tight. But, it didn't need to be stretched at either check point and fit perfectly after it was completely dried on hot. Once you wash it in hot and dry it on hot you can either keep following this regimine or revert back to the Atama recommendations. I now wash mine on warm and dry it on warm most of the time. But, even if I hang dry it, it's still soft. If any gi gets too small for you, get it wet and stretch it out. Then, wash it in cold and hang dry it from then on out.
The down side:
The only down side I have to this gi are the patches and the trim - which are mere aesthetics. The gi top has a small band of black trim that reads, "ATAMA" on it all the way around the bottom skirt seam. The gi pants have the same trim that follows the bottom seam of the ankle cuffs. The gi top also has a rectangular Atama patch on the left lapel. Personally I am not fond of the black trim on the gi top and bottoms. Some people I know like it and others are indifferent to it. However, it's too "flashy" for my taste. In my opinion, the gi would be perfect if it didn't have this trim.
Because I care more about construction, feel and performance in my gi tops, and inspite of the flashy accouterments of the black trim and patches, this gi is still my favorite out of all the gis in my training rotation. As Atama sells gi pants separately, I still wear the plain Atama pants when I wear this gi top and forgo the Mundial pants with the black trim - but this is just my preference. Remember, the two pants are identical aside from the trim. This is also my favorite gi for competitions and I highly recommend it to everybody that is looking for a new training and/or competition gi. You will not be disappointed in the feel, fit, construction, performance or color of this gi.
Blogging in my Atama Mundial.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Atama Mundial Kimono #5, White, Size A3