I'm not going to lie:
There's a tonne of different gi's out there to chose from, making it pretty damn hard to decide which one is right.
One gi that stands out from the crowd is the Tatami Nova MK4.
Is it worth the money and should you buy it?
Throughout our Tatami Nova MK4 BJJ Gi review, we'll be looking at what makes this gi special, who it's meant for and whether or not it's worth considering.
Lets get to it.
Tatami Nova Mk 4 BJJ Gi Review: Overview
Summary: The Tatami Nova MK 4 Gi is Tatami's cheapest model and is designed for beginners looking for a high quality gi, without breaking the bank. Available in white, black, blue and navy, the Tatami Nova MK4 boasts a minimal design alongside high quality manufacturing.
What we Like:
What we Don't Like:
Tatami Nova MK4 Gi Review
Who is the Tatami Nova MK4 Gi Meant For?
To be honest, the gi is meant for absolutely anyone who practices BJJ. That being said, due to it's low price tag, it does seem to be far more common with beginners than it is with people who've been doing BJJ for longer.
I personally always recommend the Nova MK4 to anyone starting out as you really can't go wrong with a reputable brand like Tatami, especially for that kind of price point.
I understand you haven't got all day and if you just want the facts and no opinions, check out this video by BJJ Fightgear, who quickly run through exactly what the Nova MK4 Gi has to offer.
Tatami Nova Mk4 BJJ Gi Review: Design
This Gi isn't going to be winning any awards in terms of it's style, but at the end of the day, you shouldn't put style over substance, and the Nova MK4 really does have a lot to offer.
2 Tatami branded patches are featured across the shoulder areas of the gi.
This is a fairly common location as it's a commonly gripped area and having patches tends to make gripping a little bit harder. A cheeky thought I know, but hey, any advantage you can get, you may as well take.
The pants also feature a small, Tatami branded patch alongside the drawstring area. If you don't like it, don't worry as the bottom of your jacket will cover up the patch anyway.
The Tatami Nova MK4 is a fairly lightweight gi when compared to some other models, which makes it great for training in hot weather and any competitions that require you to wear the gi when you weigh in.
The jacket features a hybrid weave with a 425GSM (GSM = Grams Per Square Meter and is basically a measurement used to determine the weight of a fabric).
Inside of the Tatami's collar is also rubberised, which helps prevent the build up of bacteria and odour. Even with this, all gi's end up smelling eventually. I usually hang my gi up when I get home before putting it away, just to air it out a bit, which I find helps massively.
Tatami have also made a slight modification to the pants in their MK4 version, which as you would expect, is the 4th generation of the Nova Gi.
The MK4's pants now feature a 9oz poly cotton blend material, as opposed to the 10oz twill cotton fabric used previously.
This of course means the new pants are lighter, and even more durable than before.
An external rope draw string is also used to keep the pants in place around your waist. This is slightly different to some of the other gi's that I own, however does a more than adequate job.
Most of my other pants have the rope built into the pants themselves, however this isn't really too much of an issue, just sometimes a slight annoyance if it gets caught.
The rope is slightly on the long side things, so you may need to tie it in a double not in order to prevent it from getting in the way.
Another slightly annoying thing is that the gi pants only feature 2 belt loops, which is a lot less than other gi's with an external draw string.
I prefer having more loops as it helps to keep the string in place and I find it also helps to stop the rope from coming caught when I'm rolling and coming undone.
As with a lot of their other, more expensive gi's Tatami have used triple reinforced stitching alongside all the major stress points of the gi.
Tatami Nova MK4 BJJ GI Review: Comfort & Feel
When you're looking for a BJJ gi, comfort is a pretty big deal.
The last thing you want to be in discomfort during all those hours on the matt, especially because BJJ isn't exactly an easy going sport.
Fortunately, the Tatami Nova MK4 BJJ Gi is pretty darn comfy, especially when you take into consideration the price.
I've found that other, cheaper gi's tend to be a bit stiff and sometimes even itchy.
You can wear the Nova Gi with a rash guard underneath, or even a t shirt, and it still feels comfortable.
Actually, this is one of my favourite gi's to wear a compression top/ rash guard underneath due to the fact it's fairly thin and light weight, meaning I don't overheat, even in summer. With some of my thicker gi's I can end up getting way too hot.
This is especially useful if I've got a no gi session back to back with a regular class, as I can just stick the Nova Gi on top and I'm ready to go.
It's probably worth mentioning here that the Tatami Nova MK4 BJJ gi does shrink slightly more when washed than other brands. Before you panic, this only happens on the first wash, it isn't going to get smaller and smaller until it could fit your teddy bear.
If you're on the fence as to what size you should buy, I would recommend getting the larger option, as you can shrink it down to the right size with a bit of careful washing and drying.
Free Belt... Say Whaaaat!
One other thing I almost forgot to mention, the gi comes alongside a free belt. Admittedly it's a white belt, and a fairly thin one at that, but still - it's a real nice touch from Tatami, especially considering the gi's cheap price tag.
As I mentioned earlier, this is definitely one of the cheaper gi's out there and is absolutely perfect for beginners looking to get their gi collection up and running.
Despite sporting an incredibly modest price tag, the quality of the Tatami Nova MK4 Gi is incredible and is 100% the best value for money gi on the market right now... until the MK5 comes out perhaps.
Tatami Nova MK 4 Size Chart
Check out the chart below to determine which size is correct for you. As I mentioned before, if you're on the fence between two sizes, go for the larger option as you can shrink the gi down to fit.
But wait! Who're Tatami?
Probably should have started with a little background about the brand, oh well, better late than never.
Tatami - which basically means matt in Japanese, is a martial arts brands that supple a whole range of equipment across a number of different disciplines. They are most likely known for their high quality gi's for both BJJ and Judo, however do have a number popular ranges for boxing and MMA.
Tatami Nova MK4 VS Tatami Nova +Plus: What's the Difference?
You may have noticed that there's two versions of the Nova gi, the MK 4 and the Nova +Plus, both are pretty much the exact same, however the Plus version is slightly flashier.
The Tatami Nova +Plus features the following:
Tatami Nova MK4 BJJ Gi Review: The Verdict
So, we've made it to the end of our Tatami Nova BJJ Gi review; leaving us with the big question:
Do we recommend the gi?
100% yes we do. This is the ultimate BJJ gi for beginners and is by far one of the best value for money gi's you're going to find.
I hope that you've found our review of the Tatami Nova MK4 helpful, if you've got any questions or gi's you'd like for us to review, drop them in the comment section below.
Product images courtesy of Amazon.com