Hayashi are a growing German brand that specialize in sport karate.
They have kata gis, kumite gis and protective gear, and are a popular choice for everyday karatekas (since they are good quality uniforms at an affordable price).
Their products are also quite popular on an international level, with many professional karatekas wearing Hayashi’s uniforms, including the likes of Luigi Busa and Noah Bitsch.
Once on YouTube, I even saw Rafael Aghayev try one of their kumite gis.
The Champion Flex is Hayashi’s current top of the range kumite model.
This gi has been my training uniform for the last year and a half.
I like to wear kumite gis in training, as I do a lot of sport karate and train in hot conditions.
In training, you pretty much do everything, so this gi has been through the works.
I have used it for kata, kumite, basics and bunkai during hot conditions and cold conditions, used it during fitness sessions, self-defense sessions… I think you get the idea.
Over my year and a half of owning this gi, I have developed a solid opinion on it.
The gi itself is pretty comfortable.
The fabric is smooth, and has what Hayashi call “Mesh Inserts,” which act the same as dimples, they prevent the gi from clinging to your skin and help air flow. I found that the mesh inserts did their job pretty well.
The gi is also very light, so using it for kumite is not a problem.
The Material is 96% polyester and 4% spandex. The spandex enables the uniform to have a slight stretch, which is supposed to help with “freedom of movement.” I didn’t really have any problems with “freedom of movement,” but then again, the stretch wasn’t that noticeable during normal training.
One thing I found unusual, was that whenever I had any sort of cut or scrape, the fabric would irritate the scratch to the point where it was uncomfortable to train.
The structure of the gi was good, meaning I couldn’t find any issues.
The sleeves and pants weren’t long and weren’t short, and were neither narrow nor large… they were just right.
The slit of the gi was at a pretty good height, but I would have preferred it if it was a bit higher.
At least it was an improvement over the Hayashi Deluxe gi, which had a ridiculously low slit.
One feature of the gi that I loved, was how it had a thin collar.
I am a big fan of thin collars.
The Champion Flex also had meshed areas under the armpits, running down the back, in the crotch and behind the knees.
I thought it was a slightly unusual how they had meshed areas behind the knees, but I guess that area could get sweaty?
The mesh areas allow for air flow and wicks away sweat, which ultimately keeps you cool.
The uniform was initially white with a slight blue tint, but I found that in my case, it got discoloured to a light grey.
Usually I don’t bleach my gis (and really discourage it), but since it was getting so discoloured (and wasn’t one of my good Japanese gis) I decided to use bleach.
Like I hoped, it reverted back to its original color, but it always got discoloured really easily. This is probably because I wear it every night, since it is my training gi.
I am being really picky here, you can see in the pictures that the gi isn’t too discoloured, but the difference in colour from when I first bought it is quite noticeable.
The stitching of the gi was great (even of Japanese standards), as there were no inconsistencies with the stitching and nothing ever tore.
The only thing I disliked in this area, was how the gi had shiny seams, I thought this looked a bit unusual.
Overall, the Hayashi Champion Flex was a good uniform. It did what it was designed to do, but it was nothing special.
I rate the Hayashi Champion Flex:
I hope you have enjoyed this review.
I am currently testing a Shureido Waza, so I will write a review on that soon.
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