ISHI - Unique Fight-Wear

I had the chance to talk a bit to the owner of Ishi (ISHI- HOMEPAGE), about timetravel, BJJ, and his  company.

Here you are:

So, who are you?

I'm Pete Pelkonen, the boss-man and only employee of Ishi. I'm 33, married and the father of two.

Brag a bit to me about your schooling?

I am a undergraduate. As a sower I am self-thaught. Not much to brag around with though...

Where did the idea to Ishi come from?

I had started sewing a couple of years before I started training BJJ, and it didnt take a rocket scientist to know what would be fun to make. Also, I thought that ”showing off” with your GI could fit the business - ”unique fight-wear” - especially as Im a very creative and artistic guy, than one that makes a hundred exactly the same.

What is your relationship with martial arts?

I begun with toddlertaekwondo at Hipko early 2010 with the kids. The bug of the arts bit me hard, and I begun BJJ a couple of weeks later. I have watched wrestling and boxing as a wee kid with my dad, and ofcourse ive been kicking trashbins inspired by ninja-movies, but other than that, it was a clean slate when I begun.

So how did you find BJJ in particular?

After the first toddlertaekwondo (by Ville Eskelinen) I begun thinking about what could be suitable for myself. From the wide range of classes at Hipko, the most appealing was crawling around on the mat. I went to one technique-training (with Jesse Malmberg), and one seminar with Lucio Linhares, and I was hooked, line and sinker.

Where are you going to be 21.12.2012

At work or studying. The next day is the celebration of the new era of the Mayan calendar.

Have you had any injuries training/sowing?

Yes. After a sour landing from a arm-throw, I came thumb first on the mat, which resulted in an Bennet-fracture, and a two month sickleave. Never before, or after have I spent as much time at the gym as with my hand packaged. I had time then.. Also a few smaller bumps bruises and strains.

What about your clientel?

Well, Ive just started, but I have already made Ishi famous with very high-end belts, which are fun to congratulate friends that get promoted. The downside is to be congratulated myself. The second congratulation was from Timo Räkköläinen's black belt, an Ishi-made broomstick-handle.
I have also had Judoka's and Taidoka's as customers.

Who are making these for?

For clients that do not want anyone to have a uniform like him/her. And ofcourse someone that wants a perfect fit!

If you knew the world was going to end in three hours, who would you want to play Kimble (Best Game EVER!) against?

My family.

Where do the fabrics come from?

As much as possible from Finland.

How much do you train?

Two times a week is the norm. On vacations and Master Lucio's seminars I train more, up to five times a week. On vacations Ive visited the Varadero Judo training center in Cuba. I try to find a gym to train every time I go abroad.

Have you competed in anything?

This is mostly a hobby, even though Ive gone'a'tapping at the Finnish championships, and the Finnish Team Championships. In my other hobby, target shooting, ive competed a few times.

If you had an time machine that would only take you one way, would you use it? And where would you go?

Sometimes I get the distinct feeling I am living in the wrong time, so living in history could be fascinating... But to stay? I dont know...

About how long does it take to sow a GI?

It depends on the Gi and the customizations, but five-six hours and up.

The Gi on your web-site, is the picture sublimated, sewn on or, hmm, drawn on with a magic marker?

The ”Sunset GI” on my site is made by screenprinting.

Which options are available for customization, except a tailored fit ofcourse?

More than the before mentioned screenprinting, emboridering, and application. Im constantly thinking of new techniques, but the two latter are suitable for competition GI's.

Earlier when we discussed, you mentioned shorts! Are they made of the same fabric, or what?Tell me a bit more about that thought? I love the idea of grappling shorts made of GI-pants material, for submission wrestling (and MMA). They would be close to eternal, right?!

Id make the shorts from the same material as BJJ-pants(the extremely durable twill) and the price would be lower, at about 70€ (depending on the customizations ofcourse). And the size of the customer is ofcourse a factor for price.

Are all prices open for negotiation, or do you have some set prices?

A BJJ Gi (Judo Gi, or any uniformn that uses the same fabric as a jiu jitsu jacket) goes from 299€ , (which includes the made for fit), and up depending on the customisations.
Lighter uniforms as for karate or taekwondo go from 199€ and up. Belts are 29€ and 59€ for black belt.

Tell me Pete, doe it feel like there is a gorilla that takes your back when there are days that cant roll?

Oh YES! And this particular gorillas name is Dayjob. It often takes my back during the dark time of year, when you have to fight a battle to get to the gym at all. But I do get a bit of withdrawal if I am not able to get submitted by the big guys once in a while...

Now, the floor is yours. Tell us something you want us to know. Give us some propaganda...

Ishi uniforms are NOT made by underpaid kids, or people in sweatshops. It makes me cringe to think that kids the same age as my own do long workdays 5-6 days a week, only so that someone here can buy a ”big-brand” uniform for 100€.
And I would like to give an special ”Thank You” to Timo Räkköläinen for the great mental support when I begun all of this.

After the interwiev we decided to customize me a pair of shorts for SW, to subject to my test, for durability, quality, and ofcourse looks! Oh, I can hardly wait... Ill keep you informed. ...Cant wait...

Also LIKE Ishi on facebook: Ishi facebook page

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