Fushida Icon Gi Review – 1 Year Later

Post by Jason

One year ago I started taking judo much more seriously. My first step was to stop training in BJJ gis, or hybrid BJJ/judo gis and get a serious double weave piece of judo armour.

I've now owned the Fushida Icon gi for a year and it has seen four competitions and about 4 hours or more of practice a week. The heavy double weave fabric and reinforcement lead me to believe the gi was based on the famous Mizuno Eurocomp, however, Fushida has updated the gi with a modern cut and a soft interior. So far it has been a and it is a fantastic gi for a fantastic price, and the favourite in my gi rotation.

Fit

A judo gi is very much like a mans suit. It can be expensive and made of fine materials, but if it doesn't fit, it looks like shit. When you take solid beatings day in day out you need anything you can get to lift your confidence a bit, that's where a well-fitting judo gi comes in.

The fit and finish is very similar to the famous/infamous Mizuno Eurocomp. The Eurocomp was the gi which lead the way of making tighter, leaner, and rougher 'armour-like' gis a standard for international fighters in the 90s and early 2000's. The Fushida is not as rough as the Eurocomp, but certainly can be if you wash it a certain way.

The thing about Mizuno though, is they are notorious for short sleeves and long skirts. Fushida has taken the best aspect of a competitive gi and modernized the fit for today's competitor cutting the skirt to the right point and keeping the arms long enough for the corresponding size. Also, Fushida describes the fit as a “European” cut, which a leaner tighter fit for those with an athletic build (no more swimming in your gi). This is perfect for the long lean guys who have long-ish arms in relation to their chest and core size. The torso area is just right for judo as well, it doesn't billow out unnecessarily from the top of your belt, but isn't skin tight like a BJJ gi either. If you are a bit bigger in the stomach area than it might be tight, but even so, it's still a judo gi.

Measurements / Shrinking / Information

The gi does shrink but this is taken into account on Fushida's sizing charts. I found that after two hot washes

and two hot tumble drys that it did not shrink any further. You'll also notice the pants shrink a lot, but again, this is taken into account and they come very large. Once they shrink down, though, they fit much nicer. See the bottom of the page for size 4.5 chart.

Gi type: double weave judo gi

Made in: Pakistan

Price: $140 + shipping

Weight (sz 3.5): 4.9 lbs (2.2 kg) and the pants at 1.1 lbs (0.5 kg)

Total weight: 6 lbs (2.7 kg)

Gi Quality and Durability

The first thing you will notice about the gi when you get the package is its weight. It's fairly hefty with the gi top weighing in at 4.9 lbs (2.2 kg) and the pants at 1.1 lbs (0.5 kg). The second thing you will notice is the thickness and feel of the material. It's heavy and somewhat coarse but not sandpaper like, although you can get it rough if you wash it a certain way.

The skirt has an oversized vent so you can move around properly. Sometimes gis will have a short vent and a long skirt making it hard to move your legs. As you can see, after a year the Fushida label has some loose threads.

Once you take a look inside the gi you will start to get an appreciation for the craftsmanship. All the seams inside are taped for extra comfort and durability. The inside of the gi also features a brushed cotton feel, it feels almost like fleece when it's new, now that the gi is a year old it's not as fuzzy, but still softer than most gis.

The lapel area and shoulder areas are double ply with lots of extra stitching. This makes the gi strong and hard to grip.

The lapel is very thick and quite stiff. It's a bit heavy on the back of the neck but makes it hard to get a high collar grip. So far the lapel has held up very well, no signs of wear. It does take long to hang dry though because it doesn't have the rubber cores like a lot of BJJ gis will.

The setsugi on the back side is 5 stitches thick and completely taped on the inside. So far it hasn't caused me any real discomfort, though some people (on the Internet) complain about this. You can see how thick the shoulder area is.
The cuffs are taped and triple stitched, the sleeve seam is also triple stitched. Are you starting to see why this gi weighs over 5 pounds?

Extra reinforcement around the side vent.

So far the gi top is the best one I've had, I've only had a few double weaves (Mizuno Shiai, Mizuno Eurocomp). No major loose threads just yet except for very recently I've had some of the rice grain fabric loops start to come loose on the sleeve. I'm not actually sure how this happened either.

 

Pants

Pants on judo gis are, in general, are just absolute shit. It's a shame seeing as so much work goes into the quality of the gi top that the pants seem like some kind of afterthought.

Fushida pants though, are actually not bad, probably one of the best in the business at this price range. After a year they've held up really well, without even a stitch loose, and I spend 50% of my practices on the ground.

You can see all the extra reinforcements in right places, aaaaand 4 DRAWSTRING LOOPS!!!! This is a long way from the usual 1 in the middle.

Triple stitched cuffs and double ply cotton from the knee to the bottom of the pants. The pants are sort of like a khaki type of thickness, or maybe a bit thinner, but not quite the heavy denim like HCK pants.

 

Comfort

I mentioned these points above, but once donning the gi you'll know what I'm talking about with the fleecy type of interior. This works quite well if you don't wear a rash guard, but it does wear out over time.

Because of the thickenss, and the tightness of the weave probably the next thing you will notice once you get going, is that the gi is hot! If you are not used to heavy double weave jackets you will know right away what I'm talking about.

The jacket has FIVE rows of stitching on the back, but the setsugi on any gi never bothers me. If the setsugi bothers you on lesser gis than this one will probably bug you a lot.

Performance

A lot of the guys in our club have either the beginner Fuji single weave, or a double weave Mizuno that has been softened over time, once you get used to this it's hard transition to fighting someone with the battle armour of a Fushida Icon gi. When you are wearing the gi you won't realize what it's doing for you until you fight someone else wearing the same thing… Any high grip, neutralized!

1 year later

I've had the gi for a year now and it is more or less the exact same as the day I bought it asides from some sweat stains in the neck area, and a few minor loose threads. The shrinkage stopped after the first two hot wash and drying cycles. The gi shows no real signs of wear, and I use it approximately 4 hours per week.

The Fushida gi is a crowd favourite at our dojo with more and more people ordering them. There is definitely a reason this trend exists and it's because Fushida offers a gi competitive with the top end names for a very fair price. I would not hesitate to buy another one, and in fact, I'm ordering a blue one very soon!

 

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27 responses to “Fushida Icon Gi Review – 1 Year Later

  1. I own both a blue and white fushida. I have to say the white shrunk more or less the way you describe. You will find the blue has a lot less shrinkage then the white. I especially notice this in the pants. After owning mizuno, mikado, and some other less then stellar types I absolutely love the fushida gis.

    • I was pleasantly surprised by the gi, that’s for sure. Do you have the Fushida Icon, or the Tournament? How different were they in shrinking, is it significant? If it is I might order a size 3…

  2. I have the icon. I would say it is a .5 difference really. I have them both in a 4 and now i know 3.5 would have been perfect for the blue.

  3. Great review. I’v been looking for a new gi. The Icon looks and sounds brill. What weight and height are you , if you don’t mind me asking. I’v tried contacting Fushida directly for exact sizing, but haven’t got anything back. I’m 5’10” and about 160-165lbs. Size 3.5 would be alright wouldnt it ?

    • Hey Mark, glad you found the review helpful. It’s a really good gi, I’ve been really happy with it. I’m about the same weight as you and just a bit shorter, Ivan’s the same height as you and just a bit heavier and we both wear 3.5, so that should fit you. I’m surprised Fushida hasn’t gotten back to you, has it been quite a while?

      • Thanks for the help. Was kinda unsure whether to get a 3.5/4.
        The site was going through some updates, so I put it down to that. Its been a couple of days, since then I’v seen the Prestige V2 also. I prefer a lighter gi,Its still a double weave, I’m fast and flexible so the lighter gi would make a difference.

  4. Hi. Thanks for the great review. Would you recommend this gi for a bjj practitioner? I’m really interested in getting the icon, but i’m concerned with the cut. Thanks.

    • Glad you liked the review!
      Most competitors I know who started out with judo wear their older, shrunk down double weaves for BJJ comps and the BJJ guys HATE them lol. They are just nasty to grab, thick, rough, and the lapels! dont get me started. Double weaves are just designed to be that way. Also, judogis are designed to meet judo size refulations and are fairly baggy compared to bjj gis. So if you were going to get one strictly for BJJ I’d go at least a half size down or possibly more, the only thing limiting factor being the arm length and maybe the skirt. Have you tried double weaves before?

  5. Excellent review to which I fully agree with all your points. Although only 6′ (215lbs) I ordered the 5.5 with size 6 pants. I have longer arms so I when against the normal size options which suggest that I use a size 5. The top was a perfect fit, and its an excellent gi top to train in. I use it for judo and bjj. The slightly longer skirt comes in handy for me.

    The biggest problem I have with the kit is the pants. The size 6 pants I ordered where too short for my the leg length, too wide for my waist and too long between the groin and the waist. These pants seem to fit tall fat men with no legs and an extra long body. Searching for judo pants since the ’80s…..

    • Glad you liked the review, Playing Judo!
      I’ve got the long arm thing going on too, I think my wingspan is almost a foot more than my height lol!
      So many questions for you:
      -why do you like longer skirts for BJJ???
      -it seems like the ultra baggy judo pants are just too squat for your shape. Have you tried BJJ pants such as justgipants.com or anything like that?

      • I like the longer skirt because it comes in handy for some chokes in BJJ. I really like this gi top because it does fit my wing span and I can use it for both sports. I given up on BJJ gis in general, due to their light weight construction, which leads to a short life span.

        I haven’t tried justgipants, but I might. Yes these judo pants are too squat, however, I’ve been trading a friend whose 6’5″ for his gi pants. He orders a 195 cm gi and typically the pants are too long for him, but fit me find. So does his Gi top, by the way, even though I’m only 183 cm. Who would have though?

  6. Hi, just a quick one. Based on the information you have given me I have decided to order the icon in blue in a size 3.5 – now, I am 5’11’ and 78kgs however I am very slim around my waist and midriff & based on the shrinkage you have mentioned I have gone with the 3.5 rather than the 4, mainly because I don’t want to be swimming around in my gi! Would you say that this is about accurate. I hope to god that it is as I’ve ordered this all the way from the (not) sunny UK!

    • That should work out as long as your arms and torso aren’t abnormally long. My friend who is 5’11” 66kg (super trim) just ordered a 3.5 and it seems to fit pretty well.
      That’ll be a unique one in what I imagine is a sea of Fighting Films Gi’s!

      • Thank you for the reply!
        Christo got back to me and I ended up entering all of my vitals onto a form, along with pictures of myself in my current gi (Green Hill Master) with a space for me to critique my current gi and where I’d like to see improvements and he recommended a size 4 off hand. I think he may have been looking into amalgamating various kits together for me! or maybe there are ‘leaner’ versions of the icon?
        You are very correct, I’d say around 60% of all competitors over here own an FF gi

  7. Hi,

    Nice blog! I am considering getting the same gi, but am unsure if I should get a size 3 or 3.5. Do you know anyone else who has the same gi in those sizes?

    • Thanks! Glad you enjoy it!

      Mizuno has similar sizing (I wear a 3.5 in both) but I find the skirts are longer and sleeves shorter on them. This is bad for me because I have a short torso and long arms.

      Did you try comparing the measurement chart of the 3.5 to a gi that you already own?

      Also, if you contact fushida, Christo (owner of fushida) will usually help you out.

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  10. Great review! I am 5’10” and ~73kg and I measured my two arm length as 61″. I’m really interested in the blue tournament gi now. Do you think the sleeve length for 3.5 would be legal length for me? (does the sleeve just covers the wrist bone for you?) I am also hesitating between 3.5 and 4. I’d prefer a slightly shorter and tighter fit rather than a baggy one but at the same time worried I might not be able to use it in tournaments (not serious ones).

    • Glad you liked the review! Im about the same size as you but my arms are slightly longer and the 3.5 fits me great.
      I just bought a new blue Fushida Icon and the new 2014 and on models are slightly tighter in the body and the skirt is slightly shorter than the older one, so I’m pretty confident you’ll like it.

          • Just an update: after multiple usage and hot washing/drying, size 3.5 fitted me very well. Sleeves are long enough for judo competition regulation as well. Great purchase!

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