Jiu-Jitsu.Net Reviews MKimonos
Jiu-Jitsu.Net Reviews MKimonos
(www.Jiu-Jitsu.Net) - May 2002
I had the opportunity to correspond with Luciana Machado Simon about her company and the products made by MKimonos. Luciana personifies all that is radiant and beautiful in a Brazilian woman. Her charm and personality reflects the quality of her product and makes the process of purchasing a Kimono a pleasurable event.
The purchasing process through MKimonos seems simple and straight forward through their website. This is one part of the process I cannot possibly review because as a columnist and reviewer of this product, I know I will be treated differently. However, I do notice that Luciana is very active in the public forums and the Jiu-jitsu community, which is always a good sign. The MKimonos website may not have the flashiest design in the world, but it has an element of personality and friendliness that is backed up by Luciana in her prompt and thorough customer service.
Luciana Machado Simon
"I am not the kind of person who says things just to sell. I'm sincere and I really enjoy what I do and do always the best I can to improve quality and service. By the way, whenever you want to call me, feel free." - Luciana Machado Simon
The Machado's factory is located in Sao Cristovao, a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Luciana has two partners: Marcelo Machado (her brother, a Black Belt under Royler Gracie) and Conrado (a friend of the family). Luciana states, "I worked in the factory for three years but now I am working here in America. We've tried hard to improve quality in terms of fabric, cut, and everything. We hear our athletes and customer's advice to be able to change always for the better. We've worked on the pants that got a new fabric and it's much better than a few years ago..."
The Machado's products are endorsed by a number of top Jiu-jitsu fighters including Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira and Fabricio Morango. In fact, MKimonos has produced Kimonos for Royler Gracie (the start of the famous Gracie Brothers line) and Bad Boy.
My Hybrid Kimono arrived promptly from Luciana via UPS within a couple of days complete with a note on the outside of the box written by Luciana herself. Without any washing or wear, the kimono was a little larger than most A3's I usually wear from other companies (I am 6' tall and weight 190 lbs). I took the kimono to the Laundromat (actually, I threw it in with a load of laundry my fiancée was about to do anyway and gave her some quick instructions). I washed the top and pants together, but dried the top only and left the pants to hang dry because my legs are long and I didn't want to chance shrinking them. The next day, I wore the kimono to class and noticed the fit was just about perfect after washing it the way I did. The Hybrid weave is like a mix of the traditional single weave and a gold weave (the kind required in some tournaments) with a level of thickness falling somewhere in between a single and double weave kimono. It is very light (felt that way to me because I normally wear a double weave) yet extremely sturdy. I rolled with one of my favorite students, Justin (we call him Ram Man because of his build), to christen the kimono and test it's durability. The Hybrid weave fabric is very strong without the heaviness of a double weave.
I was initially concerned about the collar, as it appeared to be a little thinner than the ones I am used to. This concern melted away as I rolled in the kimono and felt no discomfort on my neck from the collar at all. The sleeves are standard Jiu-jitsu Kimono length, but the cuffs at the wrist are a little larger than some "top-game" players might prefer. This is all a matter of personal preference. Some prefer to have a tight fit on the sleeves to make them harder to grab, especially while trying to pass the guard. Others don't like the tight fit, especially people with muscular builds who need the extra room. Some Kimonos are actually very tight around my shoulders and armpits; this restricts movement and at times will pinch me. I didn't have this problem with the Hybrid weave by MKimonos and found it to be a very comfortable kimono in which to train.
The kimono jacket is sewn together without a skirt (like a judo gi or Atama), instead the kimono is sewn together in two parts with the dividing line traveling from the cuff of the sleeve on either side to the bottom of the chest on the front. I am assuming this is because there is a lack of tension in these areas during regular practice and this method of stitching reduces the risk of tear. This makes sense to me after seeing some kimonos separate at the stitching when sewn straight up the back.
The pants were as strong as MKimonos claimed they would be. The pants are doubled from above the knee right down to the "boca de calca" (mouth of the pants - cuffs). They are also comfortable, which is very nice after some bad experiences with companies who make their pants very tight. This is one part of the kimono you don't want too tight since complete mobility of your legs is so crucial while practicing Jiu-jitsu.
The prices at MKimonos are very competitive and if they decide to charge more in the future, it would still be a bargain in my opinion.