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David the Gnome
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 07 Mar 2010
Posts: 12

Styles: Uechi-Ryu, Wado-Ryu

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Seishin Gi Review Reply with quote

I was in the market for a new gi recently and kept seeing a lot about these new Seishin gi's. Unfortunately, most all of the reviews I could find were from people who were given their gi for free by Seishin and subsequently gave a glowing review. I decided to take these with a grain of salt and give the gi a chance. The price as of this review on Sieshin's website is $269.99. I was able to find one on Amazon for $240 and free 2-day shipping, which was good because I needed a new gi quickly and didn't want to waste money on a cheap gi just because I needed it quickly.

First the Pro's:
Materials: They use pretty high quality cotton to make these gi's and on first impression it looks like a high dollar gi.

Aesthetics: Aesthetically these gi's are very attractive (as long as you don't look at the small details, more on that later). The Okinawan style emblem on the back is very sharp and looks really good. The gi is lightweight and has a good snap to it.

Comfort: The lightweight material did make the gi cooler than my heavyweight Shureido gi's, a plus here in Texas. The gussets in the crotch and armpits do actually help air flow a little better. I find the pocket sewn into the gi jacket to be gimmicky, but maybe some people have a use for it (it doesn't close so I wouldn't keep anything valuable in there like a wedding ring or something).

The Con's:
Price: The price is the number one con of this gi, and maybe not for the reason you think. The price of this gi puts it in some lofty company. At this price range you expect a certain level of fit an finish that this gi simply does not deliver on.

Craftsmanship: This is a very cheaply put together gi. You can see the cost cutting in the stitching and the finish throughout the gi. You do not see this in other gi's costing $200+. I have added examples below of the various quality control issues on my gi. The label on the gi jacket was already coming off when I took it out of the package for the first time.

Fit: While the material of the gi makes it very comfortable temperature-wise, there are some odd design choices here. The fit is much smaller than most other gi's I've owned. The way the gusset in the crotch is designed makes it feel like the gi pants are riding up your backside the whole time. This was mentally distracting and uncomfortable. Also, the high waist, while initially very comfortable, inevitably began to slide down as the class went on and eventually folded over itself and felt like it was trying to tug my pants down the whole class.

Honesty: This one gets at me more than all the other cons I think (except maybe the price). I will quote directly from the owner's Indigogo page where they first financed this new line of Karate gi's:

Quote:
See, almost every Karate gi on the market today is being made by a faceless corporation that spits out tons of "Pakistani pajamas" (gi) daily, without any concern for the wants or needs of the enthusiastic Karate practitioner who is supposed to cherish the gi for many years - with blood sweat and tears.

Like you and me.

That's I-N-S-A-N-E!

And that's exactly why I decided to call my own gi "Seishin".


I looked long and hard on their website but nowhere on the site do they say where the gi is actually made (as of writing this on 10/24/17). Below is a picture of the label on the inside of the jacket. Notice that the country on the "Made in" is written in Japanese. Well, I decided to translate the kanji and surprise, it's made in Pakistan. This is obviously an attempt to hide the location where these gi's are made and based on the quote above I can see why they would want to hide that.

Now, I personally don't care where my gi is made so long as it is made well and of good quality materials. However, I do take exception when a company attempts to fool its customers into thinking their product is something it isn't. If you can't read Kanji (or don't know how to use your smart phone to translate the text) you would be completely forgiven for thinking this gi was made in Japan based on this label.

Conclusion: This is a good looking gi and if you are the right build (very athletic) the potential is there for it to be very comfortable also. However, the attempt to conceal where the gi is being made, the lack of quality control in the finish of the gi, and the premium price they are charging for it makes me absolutely not recommend this gi. If this gi was in the $150-$170 range and they were up front about where it was being made, I would recommend it, assuming of course you have the right build to be able to comfortably wear it. In the gi's current state I say stay away. You're much better spending that $270 on a high quality Shureido or Tokaido gi from Japan.

The Photos:

Here is the label where they write Pakistan in Japanese.


The label on the gi jacket had a busted thread and was already coming off. For the $269.99 price I certainly expected better than this.


The back of the busted label. You can see the holes where it was stitched at one point in time. If it's already busted it calls into question the quality of the thread.


Poor stitching, there are many examples of this throughout the gi but this was the worst.


Runs where stitching was just jumped over to the next row with no thought to appearance. This is all facing out as well, these aren't the backs of the hems where it would be hidden.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2359
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting. I was thinking about buying one to replace my Ronin heavyweight which keeps shrinking on me, even though I always wash it cold and hang dry it. Iíll save my money and buy a second Shuriedo K-11 instead.

Iím 99% sure I read that they were supposed to be made in Japan when they were in that initial fundraising stage. The sales pitch went something like this...

Most of the expensive Japanese made gis are made in the same factory, and the Seishin gi will be made their as well to Seishinís specs. Seishin is using a similar Japanese cotton as the big names, only blended to fit their own specs.

I distinctly remember reading that stuff, the only thing that might be off is if it was a different company, but I highly, highly doubt that.

From what Iíve heard, Shuriedo is made in Okinawa by Shuriedo themselves, and the other Japanese big name gis are made in a single factory in Japan. The companies specify the material, cut, specs, etc., and that factory does them. That factory seems like a pretty high quality factory, so Iím not knocking them.

The Pakistani factory seems similar to. Iíve heard KI, Ronin, Tokaidoís non-Japanese made gis, and Kamikaze are all made in a single factory in Pakistan. Again, the company gives specifies the material and specs, and the factory makes them according to that. This was told to me by a vendor.

Perhaps that initial run of crowdfunded gis were made in Japan, then production shifted to Pakistan afterwards?

Iíd send Jesse-san (as he calls himself) a message asking him whatís going on. If youíre truly unhappy with it, Iím pretty sure theyíve got a decent return policy.

Iím sticking to Shuriedo. I canít say enough good things about them. Their only issue becomes supply at times, but I guess thatís what you get with a small volume specialist manufacturer.
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Bulltahr
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 609
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume they offer different models and cuts? Do they offer a premium grade gi?
That stitching is terrible for such a "high end" gi.

Speaking of Ronin, I must say that I am happy with my blue label gi from them. 10 months use so far and still has the blueish hue to it, shrinkage was significant at the first few washes but has settled down now. I might do a review of it if it would be of interest.
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for taking the time to post the review! I suspect you got a knock-off. Doesn't the Seishin gi have an embroydered crest on the back? Yours looks like it's silk-screened.

While I can't afford $240+ for a uniform now, I've certainly investigated these (and I noticed the price difference on Amazon, too.) The price difference makes me think there's something fishy going on.

All this being said, my Meijin gis has mostly the same features as the Seishin (no high waist, no crotch vent and no fancy label on the back.) It also has some similar issues with the finishing touches - treads not looking tidied up and what not... but I paid about $240 total for the both of them, after shipping.
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(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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mushybees
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 16 Nov 2014
Posts: 196
Location: UK
Styles: Wado ryu

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
Thank you very much for taking the time to post the review! I suspect you got a knock-off. Doesn't the Seishin gi have an embroydered crest on the back? Yours looks like it's silk-screened.

While I can't afford $240+ for a uniform now, I've certainly investigated these (and I noticed the price difference on Amazon, too.) The price difference makes me think there's something fishy going on.

All this being said, my Meijin gis has mostly the same features as the Seishin (no high waist, no crotch vent and no fancy label on the back.) It also has some similar issues with the finishing touches - treads not looking tidied up and what not... but I paid about $240 total for the both of them, after shipping.


That crest is from the inside where it's screen printed, though with such poor stitching I'd question whether it's legit too.
I've had a Seishin direct and though the stitching wasn't as bad as David's it was still less than I would expect for the money.
The vents for me are a gimmick and I don't find it any cooler than my Hirota medium weight. The high waist is very comfortable but not unique to the Seishin, I'll be opting for one whenever I get a new Hirota in the future.

It's certainly a nice looking dogi but nothing special. At least my one wasn't, I suspect the initial run were very high quality and it's been paired back for more mass production. That's fair enough but it should be reflected in the price.
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David the Gnome
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 07 Mar 2010
Posts: 12

Styles: Uechi-Ryu, Wado-Ryu

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
I suspect you got a knock-off. Doesn't the Seishin gi have an embroydered crest on the back? Yours looks like it's silk-screened.

The logo on the back is indeed embroidered. The only part of the gi that is silk screened is the label inside the jacket.

As I said in my review before, it's a good looking gi from a distance, it's not until you get up close and see the fine details that you can tell it's cheaply made. It's like having an expensive luxury car but it's been assembled by a high school shop class.

I do intend to keep the gi, I paid too much for it to get rid of it. I have restitched the label where the thread busted and I can live with the rest. It's just a real disappointment to pay that much money and get a product that feels like it should have cost $100 less.

As far as the price difference. Based on my research the price has been steadily increasing on this gi, which would explain why someone might have stock of these for less than the current retail. Seishin was also selling these for a reduced price when purchasing multiple gi's so it's possible a bulk order would net you a lower than retail price.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David,

I would have to agree with you but I can't say I have first hand experience. A friend of mine bought one, probably thinking if it's expensive it must be high end quality, and had similar issues.

Price does not always mean quality.
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pdcarberry1981
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 25 Oct 2017
Posts: 3
Location: Boston, MA USA
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:29 pm    Post subject: Seishin Reply with quote

Wow, those defects (label, cuff stitching) are total cause for contacting customer service. Have you thought about returning it and going with Tokaido or Shureido?
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Bulltahr
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 609
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I inquired on the Seishin facebook page and they replied that there were only 2 models, mens and womans and that they are designed on Okinawa and manufactured in South East Asia.
FWIW....
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"We don't have any money, so we will have to think" - Ernest Rutherford
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mushybees
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 16 Nov 2014
Posts: 196
Location: UK
Styles: Wado ryu

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Seishin also has "made in パキスタン" written on the inside and it came from an official uk distributor.
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