When I felt was getting closer and closer to being promoted to Blue belt, I started to research what type of belt I would like. My Gameness white belt still wasn't broken in, even after a year and a half of wearing it.... so getting another one of those was out of the question.
The way I always figured it, your belt should be a special item. Some people are content to tie any old belt around their waist but I am not one of them. In BJJ you really only will have 5 belts in your life (maybe 6 ... if you start really young.) Why not splurge a little?
Originally, I got a War belt. They had high praise, are semi-hard to find, and are constructed of gi material. Perfect. I lived in harmony with it for several months, until I read this from Meerkatsu.
Ummm... Why not "invest" in a custom made belt? It's not all that much, and I was growing a dislike for the width of my War belt. The War belt is only 1.5" wide- not what seems to be the standard of 1.75", so it looks a little thin...especially on a big guy like myself.
|For those of you just skimming over the article...This is a pic of my WAR belt.....I had a guy at a tournament once tell me this belt looked like a "ship rope"|
I had seen an excellent review on Sherdog by "StoicDude"of a Kataaro vs Eosin Panther, and based on the quality and clear, concise pictures of that review... I decided to get an Eosin.
Eosin Panther is a company based in Kennesaw, GA. They have been making belts since 1974, (for what I can gather it has been mostly for the Taekwondo and Karate Industries). I believe they have just recently started making full blown Brazilian Jiu Jitsu belts. The company representative "Mira" has been helpful during each phase of my order, and answered any questions I had.
In anticipation of writing this review, I wrote Mira an email quizing her on the company history. Her detailed response was:
"Our company first started back in 1974, in Clifton, NJ. We are a family-owned company, and Vincent Yi is the owner and the master craftsman of the company. His passion for hand-crafting and embroidery dates back to more than 45 years now, when he first learned to sew and embroider by hands. He’s always loved making things with his hands, and this opportunity led him to explore his creativity and talent...
"...He now operates his company out of Georgia, with the help of some others, and among them are Linda Yi, who is in charge of manufacturing and Mira Ta, who is in charge of sales and customer service. Last but not least, we can’t leave behind our most entertaining employee and our biggest fan, “Clover,” a white lab who is now 15 month-old..."
"...We’ve been going strong for almost 40 years now, and we take great pride in the fact that we provide our customers a very special, custom hand-made belt – made right here in U.S.A.- that they can be proud to wear.”...
There are three areas on the Eosin Panther website where BJJ belts can be ordered from. The "Standard", "Deluxe", and a dedicated page just for their Black belts. Their stock photo of their belt didn't look so great, but I put it all on the line anyway, and ordered myself a deluxe BJJ blue belt.
The belt specs are
1 x Jujitsu Color Belt Deluxe 2 (JCD02)
Width : 1 ¾” [12 Rows]
Size : 6 1/2 [123"]
Firmness : Soft
Fabric : Cotton
Embroidery : No
Production : Regular without Embroidery (1-2 weeks)
Special Instructions : Please make the black bar 5" long and 1" from the end.
I waited patiently after ordering for almost a month while they handmade my belt and shipped to Canada.
This is what showed up...
|Greetings from a happy dog named "Clover"|
|The Belt all wrapped up|
|I am a big fan of Clover and her work...lol....she does an excellent job as the company mascot. The card is included to help provoke feedback of your new belt and a "like" on Eosin's Facebook page|
|The Eosin logo on the tape is a nice touch|
|A nice dark "Royal" blue|
|This belt is 100% cotton twill|
|It seems that the promotional bar is sewn on last, and then re-enforced with 12 rows of stitching....same as the belt|
|Can you find a single loose stitch? or crooked line?..I am blown away by the workmanship that went into my belt.|
|Another close up of the stitching....straight as an arrow!|
|In the special instruction section of the order page, I specifically requested that the promotional black bar be 5" long and 1" from the end. I have seen too many BJJ belts that look funny with a 3" long promotional bar that is 4 inches from the end. That is how my War belt originally was until I had a seamstress fix it. Note: The beautiful square pattern in the stitching at the end of the Eosin Belt.|
|12 rows of stitching...count em :)|
|Up close and personal with the Eosin label on the opposite end from the promotional black bar|
|This belt has a folded over seam on one side. I read somewhere that you're supposed to place this seam down when tying on your belt.|
Eosin Panther makes one hell of a belt. If it is good enough for Marcelo Garcia, then I think it will do just fine for me.
Regarding the quality, I could not find a single loose thread, stitch, or seam and the lines are ruler straight. I went with the "soft" option when ordering and find the belt to be a little firmer than I would say the run-of-the-mill BJJ belt is. The order process is quick and painless, with great customer service along the way. After rolling in it just a couple of times, all the creases from being folded during shipping are completely gone, and it is on it's way to breaking in beautifully.
There is a significant hurdle to overcome with the price ("base" price is around $60....3 times the price of a regular Koral belt) though there is the handmade, one-off, "cool" factor to soothe your empty wallet. Quality absolutely oozes from this belt in a way that makes me proud to own it. I know it will not help my BJJ game one single bit, however if I am going to own three more BJJ belts in my time, then I will make sure they are of this caliber.
Eosin has filled a niche with high quality "color" belts, not just black belts, though check out the black belt..... Who DOESN"T want that one?
Some "belt in action" pics
This review represents my own opinions. I am not an expert by any means in cotton, garment construction, or fabric stress. I am just a regular BJJ student who loves Jiu Jitsu. I consider myself as independent and impartial as one can get. I am not sponsored by Eosin, and I paid for this belt out of my own hard earned money If you have any questions about this review, please comment below or email me at lifevsjiujitsu@gmail(dot)com. I hope you enjoyed the large detailed photos I included; it is something I think many reviews are lacking. Thanks for reading.