Are you a Brazilian jiu-jitsu enthusiast looking to learn more about the different brands of kimonos out there? Then look no further! The team behind Kimono Monster has done the hard work for you and compiled all the information on their website.
In this interview, we chat with them to uncover more insights into their research process, advice for new BJJ practitioners, and what's in store for the future of Kimono Monster. Read on to find out more!
What is Kimono Monster?
We are a website that list BJJ gi brands. We also want to promote small brands and allow people to discover new brands.
What made you want to start Kimono Monster?
There are a growing number of kimono brands, so we thought it was a good idea to try and make a list as complete as possible.
What motivated you to compile a list of Brazilian jiu-jitsu brands?
We already had a small list. And then we got into the game of completing this list. It was fun to find new brands. We were really surprised to find so many brands.
How did you come across Submission Shark and what inspired you to include it in your website?
I think we found you on Instagram when we were looking to complete our list. We list all the brands that are active selling the kimono. We have therefore logically added you to the list.
But what struck us right away was your eco-friendly policy and the “1 order = 1Kg of plastic removed from the ocean”! It's really cool!
What were your goals when creating Kimono Monster?
Honestly, just to have fun! We had a little time and this idea in mind. The process of finding new brands, building a website, designing small monsters. It was great fun to do.
Are there any plans to add more BJJ brands in the future?
Yes, we add brands as soon as we find new ones. But we also rely on our readers to suggest new brands. Via our site, there is a form to add a brand that is not present on our list. So everyone is welcome to contribute.
What do you think sets Kimono Monster apart from other websites that offer reviews on Brazilian jiu-jitsu equipment?
I think our list is the most complete. There are other sites that offer gi brand lists but much smaller. For the moment we do not do gi review. Maybe in the future, why not.
What do you think has been the biggest contribution of Kimono Monster to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu community?
Some brands have gained global recognition and established themselves as industry leaders, while others remain hidden gems, waiting to be discovered. We would love to help those brands.
We want to be as complete as possible. But above all we want to help small brands to gain recognition.
The site has only been online for a few days. So we haven't done much yet. The future will tell!
Could you tell us a bit about the process of researching and compiling information on all those Brazilian jiu-jitsu brands for inclusion on your website?
We already had a small list as an Excel file. We started from this list. We added to it gradually. Looking on Instagram, Facebook and the major search engines.
In the beginning, we only had brand URLs. And then we’ve added the Facebook and Instagram accounts. That's what took us the most time.
We found plenty of other brands that are not listed. But we only included the ones that sell kimonos. Some are not active anymore or don't have a website for example.
What tips would you give new online business owners like yourself when starting their own websites?
We do not consider ourselves as “business owners”. As we are not making any money with Kimono Monster (we rather lose money). We are just BJJ enthusiasts who have built a list online.
But we could instead give advice to kimono brands ;-)
We have seen so many sites that we know what to do or not to do to sell kimonos.
About being a website owner, it's not new, but social networks are very important. If you want to bring people to your site you have to be present on social networks.
What advice would you give to someone considering trying out Brazilian jiu-jitsu for the first time?
Do it! You won’t regret it!
You need to find the right place to train based on what you are looking for. If you have the chance to live in a big city and you have the choice between several academies, it is important to choose the one that suits you. Do you rather want to do learn self-defense or to compete? Or both?
The atmosphere in an academy and the teacher also play a very important role.
The best is to do a trial lesson in several academies. It's easier to make a choice.
But above all, the main thing is to have fun! Because you have to train on a regular basis if you want to progress. It is a very difficult discipline. You must be persistent and put your ego aside. Which is not easy for everyone!
Technically speaking you have to focus on the basics. Nowadays, we see more and more academies where they directly teach beginners techniques that are too advanced.
Are there any life lessons that you've learned from BJJ that have helped with the process of running Kimono Monster?
Do what you want to do and what you have to do, and don’t listen to haters. Criticism is easy. Focus on yourself and try to improve.
The main criticism we have is "your list is useless, anyway all kimonos are made in Pakistan in two or three factories."
This is partly true. Most kimonos are made in Pakistan. However there are now more and more other manufacturers in the world. We can see that there are different qualities of kimono. And each brand brings its own touch, design, branding, cuts…etc
What has been the most rewarding experience for you in creating Kimono Monster?
The fun of building something from scratch. The fact of discovering incredible and improbable kimono brands! And getting in touch with more people from the BJJ community.
What are your future plans for Kimono Monster and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu community?
So far, we've just started. The site has only been online for a few days. At the moment we don't really have any ambition. We'll see how it goes. First we will add some content to introduce new brands. Make some blog posts and also post on Instagram to reach more people.
We hope that brands, big or small, will contact us. To highlight them or why not make a partnership.
Do you have any final words that you would like to share with our readers about Brazilian jiu-jitsu and what the gi represents?
BJJ is a really special sport. As you know, your personality and your behavior on the mat is a reflection of your behavior in everyday life. It really stands out, especially when you teach jiu jitsu. Different personality types are going to have different jiu jitsu style. And that’s beautiful.
With kimonos it's a bit the same. Some people will prefer a simple kimono.
Other will like a gi with lots of patch everywhere.
Some like colors, others will just wear white traditional kimonos.
Some will prefer a kimono with aggressive designs with skulls, dangerous animals...other like flowers or motivational quotes on the gi.
The list goes on and on. There are kimonos for everyone!
But in the end, we must not forget the main thing. We practice jiu jitsu. We're not doing a fashion show. Even if it's important, and it's part of the game, it shouldn't become an obstacle.
The trend that if you don't have the latest fashionable kimono from the most well-known brand, you're out of the game…that’s not cool. Unfortunately, we see this more and more.
That's why we want to highlight other brands. Which are certainly less known, but just as good, if not better!
You’ve found jiu jitsu and you practice jiu jitsu. It is the essential !