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#318735 - 01/28/07 10:53 PM Brazilain Ju Jitsu Go or No Gi?
Lokkan-Do Offline

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 1411
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hello all,

I know this topic has been brought up before but I have a new question.

Many American MMA trainers say No Gi training is better for self-defense because it eliminates the use of clothing and forces you to apply technique to a sweaty slippery opponent.

On the other hand those with deep Brazilian Ju Jitsu knowledge including the Gracie family themselves say that Gi training is more benefitial over No Gi training.

What are your thoughts?


#318736 - 01/28/07 11:58 PM Re: Brazilain Ju Jitsu Go or No Gi? [Re: Lokkan-Do]
BuDoc Offline
The doctor will see you now

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1067
Loc: USA and Abroad
While I have no definitive answer for you, here are a couple of thoughts, along with my take on the gi/no gi question.

First, as Helio Gracie says, "Brazilian jiu-jitsu is practiced with a gi". I tend to agree with this. If you claim you are doing Brazilian jiu jitsu, you should be in a gi. If you are not in a gi, you are doing submission grappling. Maybe it's semantics, maybe I'm a purist, but this is what I advocate(hey who am I to disagree with Helio )

Second. I do not know this to be true as I am a beginner, but many black belt BJJ practioners that I know (who compete in both gi and ni gi) say that you should really establish yourself with the gi first before you do no gi. The claim is that this makes your "game" more technical. And technique really is what it's all about.

The other part of that argument is that the guys at World championships such as the Abu Dhabi Grappling Challenge(which is a no gi event) is almost always dominated by guys with signifigant experience in the gi.

I prefer using the gi. In the few times that I have gone with no gi, I did very well.

I guess if you put me on the spot for an answer, I would say get a good foundation with the gi and get your technique down. Then switch to no gi and make it work for your own personal "real world"

I hope JKogas will weigh in on this. He has alot of experience and from my understanding does very little work in the gi. If anyone could give us the pros and cons of Gi/no gi it would be him.

Where ya at John??

Medical Advisor for the Somolian National Sumo Team

#318737 - 01/29/07 12:18 AM Re: Brazilain Ju Jitsu Go or No Gi? [Re: Lokkan-Do]
Taison Offline
The Forum Dragon
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3629
Loc: BKK, Thailand
Since this is the Judo forum;

I practice Ne-waza 40% of the time in my judo class (Which is a lot compared to most mainstream judo clubs), gi is mandatory. It allows for more technical foundation.

BUT! When you get up near dan grades, there should be less gi. Most of the time, I do judo with the senior students without gi. Just the gi-pants and we're off into our grappling world (and my groin grabs ).

No gi is a must at later levels. Most encounters are without gi, and your techniques becomes a lot more better without it. Gi gives too easy a grip. No gi gives you less grip and thus makes life harder on you. Gi is almost like an handicap for people who doesn't know how to grab their opponent.

-Taison out
I got two fists.. Don't make me use my head as well!

#318738 - 01/29/07 12:20 AM Re: Brazilain Ju Jitsu Go or No Gi? [Re: Lokkan-Do]
migo Offline

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 573
Loc: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Do both. Sometimes you'll be wearing a jacket you can grab onto, sometimes not. Sometimes you'll wear shorts, sometimes pants. Same for the other guy. You want to be able to deal with both situations.

#318739 - 01/29/07 07:39 AM Re: Brazilain Ju Jitsu Go or No Gi? [Re: migo]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Bottom line: do BOTH.

I do mostly no-gi. I've probably worn a gi for about 3 hours over the past year, and that was when training with one of my coaches. No-gi is just my preference.

However I would tell anyone to do BOTH if possible. Speaking only for myself, I would do gi 25% to 1/3 of the time and spend the rest no-gi.

I just believe you should learn how to grapple and control your opponent without using his clothing as handles. If you can do THAT, controlling him with a gi will be much simpler. That is looking at it from an offensive perspective.

From a defensive perspective, it's much harder to escape positions and submissions when wearing a gi. Thus you would want to wear a gi a bit to develop this area.

Thank God that most schools do gi AND no-gi anymore so it isn't always hard to find a good place for training both. I would be doing so but most of my guys don't have gis yet.

Once they do I will probably rotate sessions (every other one will be gi, etc).

Doing both is great. I used to hate the gi though. Damned things are HOT and uncomfortable. I think they're useful as a training tool however simply because of that. It's good to be hot and uncomfortable when training at times.

I disagree with the common notion that no-gi is less technical than gi jiu-jitsu however. That certainly doesn't have to be the case. That is just the same as saying that gi jiu-jitsu is always more technical, which it isn't. I've seen a LOT of sloppy, fast, and attribute based gi jiu-jitsu.


#318740 - 01/29/07 05:17 PM Re: Brazilain Ju Jitsu Go or No Gi? [Re: JKogas]
Fletch1 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 2218
Loc: Florida
Totally agree with JKogas (imagine that!). Do both. It will provide you a much richer experience and give you a much more balanced perspective of the art overall.

If you choose to specialize, do so. But don't get wrapped around the axle over which method is "better".

#318741 - 01/29/07 06:12 PM Re: Brazilain Ju Jitsu Go or No Gi? [Re: Fletch1]
Dereck Offline

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10416
Loc: Great White North
Both definitely. Whereas John is mostly no gi with some gi, our training is the other way around. In fact the majoriyt of our training is with gi's on with the exception of those that don't have gi's and they were their Taekwondo uniforms. The only time we train without gi's is after class amongst the few of us that put more into this type of training and if we do where no gi's in class it is only because a tournament is coming up to get practice in both.

Wearing a gi and training certainly allows for you to be tied up more with your opponent's uniform/belt not to mention better hand positions. However I totally agree that training without a gi is beneficial as grabbing on is a lot tougher as you are much slippier so if you can do that without a gi then your gi came should get better. Plus I like the no gi as it is a much faster game and you don't have to worry about it coming undone or getting stuck in your arm pits where it can twist not to mention your skin (ouch), nor getting choked out by somebody's belt or top, let alone your own.

#318742 - 01/29/07 10:16 PM Re: Brazilain Ju Jitsu Go or No Gi? [Re: Dereck]
Lokkan-Do Offline

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 1411
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks for sharing your views.

I was reading a book of which the contents was influenced largely by Rion and Royler Gracie..their argument is that "the Gi creates alot of friction and thus makes the simplest escapes forces you to rely less on your strength and more on technical knowledge", so in this context they meant it's a training/conditioning tool for escapes in particular.


#318743 - 01/30/07 09:13 AM Re: Brazilain Ju Jitsu Go or No Gi? [Re: Lokkan-Do]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
I have a question for anyone to answer. My brother and I are practicing jiu-jitsu and we are only learning the no-gi techniques. Wouldn't it be easier to learn and apply the no gi maneuvers and apply them to Gi, than learning the gi and applying them to no gi?

I think this way because when practicing no gi, I am not realying on lapels, sleeves, collars, and pant legs. Instead of am reallying more on my limbs or my partners limbs for the extra leverage. I suppose if I wore a gi I would use w/e was closest to let me grab a hold of.

As many of the grappling people on this forum know, I am learning through dvd instructions but that isn't the issue. I have chosen to use the no gi instructionals rather than the gi ones.
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da

#318744 - 01/30/07 10:09 AM Re: Brazilain Ju Jitsu Go or No Gi? [Re: TeK9]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA

Wouldn't it be easier to learn and apply the no gi maneuvers and apply them to Gi, than learning the gi and applying them to no gi?

Not in my experience. I started in no-gi JKD, and went to gi BJJ. Having the gi makes it a lot harder to escape when people grab hold, compared to no-gi. At least at my level.

I didn't like that we have to wear gi's for BJJ, but now I can appreciate the difference. It's like the differencce between boxing (no gi) and kickboxing (gi). Not that one is really easier than the other, but you have more options.

You can get really good doing either type. And moreso if you do both.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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