Over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of working with Predator BJJ Clothing, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu apparel wing of trusted UK martial arts brand Black Eagle, in the development of their women’s BJJ kimono. Black Eagle has been creating quality BJJ gi for some years now and sponsors male and female UK athletes (not to mention our Q1 London BJJ Women’s Open Mat); the development of the Predator BJJ wing of Black Eagle’s business represents a renewed and dedicated effort to create a wide range of men’s and women’s gi and no gi clothing. The Predadora women’s BJJ gi is the first step in this process as far as kit for the ladies goes. In collaboration with Predator BJJ and the readers of MegJitsu on Facebook, we’ve developed the Predadora, a lightweight competition gi tailored for women. I’ve had an opportunity to road test a sample of the Predadora and offer you this pre-review of the gi; a fuller examination of the wherewithal and cut of the gi will follow once we’ve got access to production quality versions (a sample gi gives an insight into the final product but by its nature isn’t fully representative of the tailoring).
Predadora: Who Is She?
The Predadora, named using the feminine form of ‘predator’ in Portuguese, is a lightweight women’s cut gi and will be offered in three colour options:
- white with turquoise lettering and silver eagles
- blue with pink lettering and silver eagles
- black with electric blue lettering and grey eagles
My sample gi is the blue version and you can check out Predator BJJ’s Facebook Page for mocks of the three colour combos. Predator BJJ made a huge effort to get the colours right with the option of the much-loved turquoise, a wee bit of pink and a poppin’ blue on white, blue or black backgrounds, respectively. The idea is to provide alternatives to pink that are feminine and fun to wear. The Predadora will be offered in women’s ‘F’ sizes with the option of buying jackets and trousers as separates. Expected retail price is £74.99 (white) and £84.99 (blue and black) and expected availability is September from the Black Eagle shop.
The Predadora is a lightweight uniform designed for competition and daily training, especially in the warmer months, and weighs in on my scales at 1.4 kgs. All versions are pre-shrunk and the blue and black versions are processed using a fast reactive dye to reduce and prevent fading. I have washed my blue sample on a warm 60°C wash three times, once with a white gi, without any significant loss of colour or shrinkage (full details on measurements when the production version is reviewed). The jacket is a soft pearl weave with detailing at the shoulders, lapel and rear skirt; in the production versions, all lettering will read ‘Predadora’ while the lettering on the rear skirt will be in the same colour as the lapel and shoulder embroidery. The trousers are ripstop and the ‘Black Eagle’ branding in the production version will be replaced with ‘Predadora’.
I’ve enjoyed a good two weeks ‘test driving’ the Predadora sample, and I am very excited for this sweet little number to be available! The pearl weave of the jacket is very soft and the blue and pink contrast is attractive but not over the top. Indeed, this is an understated gi, with some nice detailing on the jacket but a straightforward offering for business-like ladies who are less fond of ‘girlie’ designs or too much ‘bling’. Ever since getting my OTM SupaStar I have been a big fan of ripstop trousers, so this is a big plus of the gi, to my mind. Indeed, the cut of the Predadora is reminiscent of the SupaStar, with a very fitted jacket and somewhat voluminous trousers. The Predadora jacket fits me very smartly, with a great sleeve length and shoulder width and not a lot of gaping at the front, however the trousers are cut very generously in the thighs and bum; I end up with an unfilled balloon effect where my booty is supposed to be. This cut will, I believe, work for the majority of women’s shapes, namely the H, A and X shapes; a 2005 study at the of over 6,000 women at North Carolina State University concluded that 46% of women are H-shaped, 20% are A-shaped, 8% X-shaped and 14% are V-shaped. While the roomy bottom of these trousers will work for many women, if not a majority, it is less optimal for those with broader shoulders than hips. However, Predator BJJ is solving this problem by offering the option of buying as separates; for me an F3 jacket and F2 trousers works best and this approach should allow women of all makes to work this gi.
Big thanks to Steve Turner and the rest of the Predator BJJ Clothing team for getting me involved in their women’s BJJ collection; can’t wait to see how it evolves. Thanks too, to readers and FB ‘likers’ who helped set the direction of the gi. Hope you like it as much as I do!
 For reference, I am 5’4.5″/163cm, 130lbs/60kgs and have bust, waist and hip measurements of 34″/86.4cm, 27″/68.6cm and 36″/91.4cm; this review is of the F3.