I'd have to say I prefer rolling in a gi a lot more fun. When I first started MMA i preferred no-gi grappling like a lot of beginners since I found the different grips frustrating, but after being persuaded by my head coach to take up gi as well, I just fell in love with it.
I really do believe that while no-gi is an integral part of grappling, you never really learn the beauty of BJJ until you learn in a gi. A lot of my sweeps, submissions and set ups come from a high inside collar grip and gripping the cuffs on either the trousers or the sleeves, and lets not forget those sneaky gi chokes!
And one of the most important bits i found in training in a gi is that it makes your defense so much tighter. Since there's so much friction in a gi, you can't just slip out like you can when youre rolling no-gi, so you have to have your timing and positioning on point.
while i seem to advocate gi rolling, i really do have fun in both and I'd encourage anyone to have healthy dose of both like i do with my own students.
Now that I'm a blue belt I can say I love the gi work, sweeps are way more fun in a gi. I still prefer no gi but the gi is great.
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,
I enjoy both, and think they complement each other, No Gi you can get a away with a lot, just by being sweaty! Wheras in a Gi you might have to be more carefull. Gi helps develop your grip strength where I feel you have to play a much more dynamic game without one.
So again I like both, and think both styles will benefit from the other
Its not about how hard you hit, its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward
Good points. The best way to learn BJJ is to start with the Gi. The best way to learn how to grapple... is to grapple either Gi, No-Gi or both. Gi teaches you to protect your neck and slows the game down with friction and emphasizes technique over physical attributes, especially with bigger, stronger, faster and "younger" opponents.
Loc: upstate New York
Pardon an outsider commenting: If you want "fun", have fun by all means. If you are more after self defense, remember most people do not wear Gi on the streets. It would be better for you to get used to responding to an attack done by someone wearing street clothes.
Edited by iaibear (11/03/1309:57 AM) Edit Reason: typo
You haven't grappled with a sweaty person obviously lol! They can be hard to control. Say someone has been dancing in a club etc... not an impossible scneario. Additonally even with rudimentary aikido/judo/bjj breaking wrist grabs/arm grabs can be easy enough, even without a gi.
Another point is it's easy to grab someones skin and cause pain. The question is: how much resistance are they giving you? Look at no-gi BJJ comps, you will struggle to see people tapping out because of the pain someone caused by pinching their skin. You will also see people regularly escaping various grabs.
Another problem is if you aren't training gi grabs, what are you going to do when someone grabs your own clothing and starts pulling your waist coat over your head (just one example I witnessed in real life to a bouncer!!).
Final thing, training with the gi strengthens your grip, which helps even for gi-less grabbing.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food"