Saturday, August 13, 2011

Black Eagle Raptor Limited Edition Women's Gi

Raptor embroidery to shoulder and back
I have the good fortune to collaborate with a number of BJJ gi brands, including UK-based company Predator BJJ. Predator BJJ is the newly born, dedicated Brazilian Jiu Jitsu apparel wing of established UK martial arts brand, Black Eagle. Black Eagle/Predator BJJ is including a women's gi range as it launches its brand with earnest this autumn, including the lightweight competition gi, the Predadora, and the special edition Raptor which I'll discuss here.

The Raptor may be purchased by pre-order only and orders can be placed throughout August 2011 for a November 2011 delivery; the gi is priced at £99.99. Jacket and trouser sizes may be chosen separately and the gi is available in white/purple, black/red and white/black and with or without back patch. This pre-review is based on the white/purple F3 (top and bottoms).

The Look

Leoni Munslow & Meg Smitley in their Raptors
The Raptor is a heavier weight training gi, as compared to the lightweight competition gi Predadora, and includes a pearl weave jacket with 'rash guard' inner lining and heavier weight cotton canvas trousers. The women's Raptor boasts a lot of embroidery and detailing, which makes a strong impact. The purple is a more pastel shade on the red end (versus the blue end) of the 'purple spectrum', think 'a lavender mauve' versus 'an indigo purple'. The stitching, embroidered patches, drawstring and the piping along the hem of the jacket are all in this shade of purple. Ornate patches are included at the shoulders, the bottom of the right trouser leg and a 'mega patch' on the back. Cursive script with the words 'Special Edition Kimono' appears on the front over-lap and back skirt; here I might make a slight modification and ditch the writing from the back of the gi, but overall I think Seymour Yang aka Meerkatsu did a superb job designing the Raptor patches. Inside the jacket are further details, such as a sublimated version of the back patch on the inner lining and a bright 'royal purple' ribbon to hide the seam connecting the lining to the jacket.

Read the full review and watch the video

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