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Posted by David on Nov 1st 2016
Aoi products have a reputation for excellence. Having owned literally dozens of items I wanted to experience Aoi. The double weave dogi and 10000 stitch hakama are simply outstanding. The dogi is very soft and feels good against the skin. The stitching is strong with ample room in the shoulders. The hakama is pressed to perfection. The aizome smell is very strong, something I have never experienced with other brands.
Some may say this is an item for special occasions or gradings, but I feel we are to look our best at every keiko and this in itself is a discipline. I have purchased low costs dogi and hakama in the past as well but they are not with me anymore as they have deteriorated. The money spent on Aoi is an investment as the garments will age with more dignity, the aizome will fade yet retain character. For me, this is money spent once on quality rather than money spent often. I would highly recommend Aoi to anyone who is considering the ascetics As part of their overall kendo.