If you got your start in martial arts because you wanted to be just like Goku or Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z, you’re not alone. The series was a huge part of many people’s childhoods, and even as we grew up and had to start adulting, lots of us will never quite stop hoping that we’ll accidentally go Super Saiyan in the middle of a roll. Even though we’ll probably never shoot a kamehameha wave or send our enemies flying into cliffsides, one business is bringing us a small step closer to being just like our childhood (and adulthood) superheroes and villains.
JustSaiyan is a clothing company that sells products based on your favorite anime characters. They started off with the Dragon Ball series, but have since expanded to include outfits from Naruto, Digimon, Fullmetal Alchemist, and One-Punch Man.
They have normal t-shirts, but my obsession with them focuses around their performance gear. These guys sell short-sleeved and long-sleeved rashguards, spats, tank tops, and even sports bras. If you fly your nerd flag as proudly as I do, you’re going to love this stuff.
The company has some seriously humble beginnings, starting from when its founder, Mark, wanted what he thought would be a simple gift for his 26th birthday: a shirt that would make him feel as cool as the characters who inspired him (Goku and Vegeta). When he learned that no one was manufacturing what he had in mind, he decided to make it a reality for himself. He worked his butt off, contacting over 300 manufacturing companies all over the globe and finding a designer to bring his dream to life.
The work didn’t stop there, though. At the time, Mark was working a 9-to-5 job, and he had to wake up early, stay up late, and use his break time at work to place calls and send emails for his new project. “Working two jobs was hard,” he said, “But it’s what you do if you have a passion and a dream.”
Two years later, JustSaiyan has grown into a successful company with its own team and facilities. But no one there has forgotten what got them so far in the first place. “We’re really blessed to be doing what we are doing, and we are striving every day to make dreams become a reality for everyone out there,” said Mark. Despite being ridiculously busy running his business, he still takes the time to personally answer emails and takes a genuine interest in his customers’ needs and interests.
As someone who has practiced jiu-jitsu himself (but has recently needed to pause his training to focus on his business), Mark knows the kind of quality that needs to go into clothes that take a beating on the mats. JustSaiyan blends their own fabrics, and they know how to make color stick. Speaking from personal experience, I wear my Vegeta rashguard as often as I can, and after many months’ worth of rolling and washing, it still looks and feels brand new. The quality is awesome, and it allows me to focus on submitting my opponent rather than worrying about it riding up or becoming uncomfortable.
I should note that I’m not getting anything from JustSaiyan to write this post. I just adore my rashguard as though it were my firstborn, and since I’m constantly getting questions about where I got it from, I wanted to spread the love. I’m not alone in my obsession, either. A quick search on Instagram for #justsaiyangear will reveal hundreds and hundreds of athletes and “normal” people who love feeling as awesome as their favorite characters.
“The comments, pictures and videos we get sent every day blow my mind with just how epic JustSaiyan is. It’s so awesome to hear from all the people out there that are as passionate about our gear as the JustSaiyan team,” said Mark.
This is a genuinely great company with genuinely great stuff, and it deserves to be celebrated. The only (current) downside is that the time between placing your order and receiving it takes quite a while, but since they make all their products individually and ship them all the way from New Zealand, the wait is understandable . . . and totally worth it! They also recently implemented a faster, cheaper shipping option if you just have to have your stuff in time to show it off (and terrify your opponent) at an upcoming tournament.
The JustSaiyan team is working hard every day to dream up and create new products from different series, and you can help them out by voting on their site for which characters and clothing you’d like to see next. While most of them have to be kept secret for a while, Mark hinted that there might be gis available in the not-so-distant future. He’s also determined to make sure that JustSaiyan is unbeatable in the realm of customer service. But no matter how popular the company gets, he’ll never forget why he created it in the first place.
“For me, we don’t just sell t-shirts or workout gear; we sell happiness! There is this feeling you get when you put your gear on and you feel this childlike energy. [With] anything you apply yourself to when you are feeling like that, magic happens!”
As someone who feels like her power level hits over 9,000 when she steps onto the mats dressed as a Saiyan prince, I’m inclined to agree.