sakura: ornamental cherry tree indigenous to many Asian states including China, India, Japan, and Korea. ~ Wikipedia
The ‘Sakura’ women’s BJJ gi is one of two women’s kimono recently released by premium gi-maker Storm Kimonos. Storm has collaborated with Angelica Galvao to develop their new women’s line and they have brought a couple beautiful, feminine, sophisticated gi to the market. The Sakura is a crisp white gi accented with deep magenta pink patches and embroidery; this is a strong ‘big girls’ pink, rather than a powder puff or bubblegum pink. The construction is robust and the 550GSM jacket and ripstop trousers are kind to the skin while offering sturdy reinforcement at stress points. The Sakura is a competition-ready lighter weight gi and comes in at 1.4 kilos on my scales. The Sakura is a luxurious, well thought out premium gi and retails at $199.99.
This is one of the most feature-packed women’s gi I have encountered. Storm describes the Sakura:
Jacket is made of Ultra Comfortable 550 gsm Golden Jacquard Weave Fabric 100% Cotton Pant is made of exclusive 240 gsm STORM Breathe Tech Military Triple Weave CVC Ripstop Fabric Zero Warp collar Zero Hold Technology inside Sleeves High Definition Embroidered Detailing Hidden mouth guard pocket Anti-Microbial Treatment Steamed and Highly Pre Shrunk Anti-Odor
This concise summary really doesn’t do justice to the full extent of the gi’s features, which include:
- two small pockets for mouth guards, music players, ID or any number of small items particularly handy for keen competitors, one inside the trousers and one inside the jacket
- forearm lined with ripstop as part of ‘Zero Grip Technology’
- Storm branded taping reinforcing the jacket vents and trouser top
- triple stitched reinforcement with a matching pink fabric at trouser cuff, skirt hem, inner arm and sleeve cuff
- elaborate cherry blossom embroidery at right shoulder and left thigh
- embroidered Storm lightening logo patches to left shoulder, above jacket vents and lower right leg
- embroidered Storm patch and script to back of jacket
There’s been quite a bit of buzz among BJJ women over the Sakura and her sister gi, ‘Night Shade’, and having had the opportunity to see, feel and train in Storm’s women’s kimono, the hype is well-earned. While I appreciate there are a significant number of BJJ women that won’t touch a gi with pink, to me, the shade used here – a magenta, fushia, purply-pink – doesn’t have the infantile, girlie connotations some folk attach to more pastel pinks. This is, of course, a matter of personal taste, nevertheless, the styling choices are much more on the fierce and feminine end of the spectrum rather than the cute and saccharine. The cherry blossom embroidery is very well executed, unique and undeniably ‘classy’. The embroidered Storm lightening bolt logo patches combine with the floral elements to impart a tough edge add a ‘super heroine’ vibe.
This review is of the F3 and the Sakura has comparable dimensions to many other women’s cut gi. I can confidently report that this gi will accommodate a range of women’s shapes as my shape has changed dramatically over the last 17 weeks (and is due to continue this trend for the next 23 weeks), and yet this gi works with my new dimensions just fine; while I am normally a ‘V’ body shape, I’m more of an ‘O’, presently.(1) The overlap can accommodate a fuller chest and the trousers have space for a good amount of booty without pinching. The jacket has a more ‘traditional’ cut than some women’s gi, and while it has reduced bulk in the shoulders it isn’t tightly tailored and short cropped like the OTM ‘SupaStar’, Predator BJJ ‘Predadora’, or Black Eagle ‘Raptor’. In this respect, the Sakura reminds me of the cut of the Fenom ‘Lotus’ jacket and has a longer skirt and a more generous overlap than more fitted cuts. The Sakura is pre-shrunk and stays very close to its original dimensions even after a warm 60°C wash, losing just a centimetre from each sleeve and the jacket length and only 2cm from the trouser length; if this beauty fits like a glove before washing, she still will after a good scrub.
|Measurement||Pre-wash (CM)||Post-wash (CM)|
The Sakura is a comfortable gi and functional to train in. Though I’m not sparring at the moment, I was able to join in class’s side control drills to road test the kimono. The top fit snugly enough that it wasn’t flopping open and in the way, but with enough movement to feel unhindered when applying my ‘shoulder of justice’. Likewise, when transitioning hips and moving from bent or extended legs, the trousers worked with me rather than against me. The styling held up well to washing and no loose threads became apparent after a machine wash. Likewise, the strong pink used in the embroidery and taping is very colour-fast and neither bled onto the gi nor perceptibly faded after a warm wash.
The Sakura is a finely-crafted and highly detailed gi. While packed with features and beautiful finishing touches, Storm has managed to keep the overall look of the gi fresh and minimal rather than busy and fussy. This is an eye-catching gi that excels in its styling and boasts embroidery that is unique and outstanding. The attention to detail in terms of reinforcement and hard-wearing construction will appeal to regular competitors and consistent practitioners alike.
All reviews are based on independent observations. We have no formal qualifications, we are not sponsored by any company and we do not endorse any one brand. If you chose a gi based on this review, please let the manufacturer know that MegJitsu persuaded you. This will not benefit us financially, but can help us to get more gi to review. As always, thanks for reading.
Thank you to Storm Kimonos for supplying the gi. You can find them on Facebook
(1) For reference, I am 166cm/5’5″. My pre-pregnancy measurements are 60kgs/130lbs with bust, waist and hip measurements of 86.4cm/34″, 68.6cm/27″ and 91.4cm/36″. My current measurements (at 17 and a bit weeks) are 66kgs/145lbs with bust, ‘waist’ and hip measurements of 96.5cm/38″, 85cm/33″ and 98cm/38″. This review is of the F3.