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Gi Vs No Gi BJJ: What’s the Difference and Which One is Best for You

No Gi Jiu Jitsu

So what exctly is no gi jiu jitsu?

BJJ is one of the world’s most popular martial arts. It has grown extremely quickly in recent years.

This unique fighting style has captivated professional fighters, weekend warriors, children, and even celebrities. But what is No Gi Jiu Jitsu?

Well, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has evolved into two grappling techniques: 

  • Gi BJJ – frequently trains in a kimono known as “Gi”. Gi is a uniform that follows the traditional Japanese kimonos worn in judo and many other traditional Japanese martial arts. It is made up of a heavy cotton jacket, pants, and a colored belt that represents the owner’s rank.
  • No Gi BJJ – those who do not wish to wear Gi. Instead, they wear a tight spandex shirt made of a synthetic elastic material called rashguard.

Additionally, No Gi Jiu Jitsu is growing in popularity for a number of reasons:

  • It’s an effective form of self-defense because it focuses on techniques for controlling an opponent without using strikes.
  • It’s a great workout that helps you stay in shape.
  • You can practice it in a variety of settings.

Having said that, wrestlers can see benefits in No Gi Jiu Jitsu as it can improve their grappling skills and help them become more well-rounded fighters.

No Gi Vs Gi

Let’s take a look at No Gi vs Gi:

As previously stated, they dress differently. However, there are other differences.

In Gi BJJ, opponents both wear Gi. So, participants use them to grapple and throw each other into submission.

One of the most important aspects is the use of grips. It can provide you with a significant advantage on both offense and defense.

For example, the sleeve grip is an effective way to control an opponent’s arm, whereas collar grips can be used to control an opponent’s head and set up chokeholds. Both are used to create a variety of submissions.

On the contrary, in No Gi, grabbing the clothing is not allowed, so you must rely more on chokes and control positions and focus on your gripping techniques.

No Gi practitioners have to use their natural strength and speed. They have to rely more on underhooks, overhooks, and head control to transition to a dominant position easily.

However, if you’ve trained in Judo or Sambo, you’ll find it relatively easy to transition into Gi or No Gi training because both also emphasize throws and takedowns, submitting your opponent to win, and fitness.

Judo No Gi

Judo No Gi is a judo variation that is not using the traditional Gi uniform. But it’s still not common these days. Judo competitions are still practiced with Gi.

The rules of Judo No Gi are similar to those of Olympic Judo, though there are some minor differences.

In Judo, you wear a Gi, but several Judo takedowns, throws, and sweeps are still very effective in No Gi BJJ. How so?

If you don’t have the Gi to grab onto, you’ll have to control your opponent using leg locks and chokes to your advantage, including your weight and momentum.

Below are some of the most effective judo throws and sweeps for judo nog (that can of course be applied to no gi jiu jitus):

Ippon Seoi Nage
Hikikomi Gaeshi
Tawara Gaeshi

Which is Harder Gi or No Gi?

The answer is not as simple as it appears. Both Gi and No Gi have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. In the end, it all boils down to what you hope to gain from your training.

Gi training is probably the best option if you want a more traditional martial arts experience. To complete a submission, you must be more patient, precise, and technical in your execution.

No Gi, on the other hand, might be a better choice if you’re more interested in practical self-defense applications. It’s faster-paced and needs better physical fitness, both in terms of strength and endurance.

In short,  Gi BJJ is more complicated, while No Gi BJJ is more physically demanding. So, the best way to decide is to test with both and see what works best for you. In the end,  it’s just a matter of personal preference.

Should Beginners Focus On Gi or No Gi?

This is difficult to answer without knowing why you began Jiu-Jitsu in the first place. It all depends on what you hope to gain from jiu-jitsu.

For example, if you want to compete in tournaments, you should focus on Gi. This is because most tournaments require competitors to wear a Gi, and as a beginner, learning defensive principles such as neck defense is beneficial.

However, if you want to learn self-defense, No Gi training is ideal for beginners. Because they can’t rely on grips to pin opponents and finish submissions, it allows them to improve their offensive skills.

Is No Gi More Advanced?

No Gi is not necessarily more advanced, but it needs different sets of skills.

Because there’s no fabric to grab onto, No Gi practitioners must have a firm grip on their opponents. This can be difficult, especially if your opponent is trying to escape your grip.

Since there are no clothes to use as leverage, No Gi practitioners must be able to transition from one position to another quickly and smoothly.

Moreover, No Gi practitioners must be aware that they could be swept or submitted at any time. Because there are no boundaries in No Gi, this can be challenging.

Gi Vs No Gi Self-Defense

When it comes to self-defense, there are a few key differences between Gi and No Gi training. Most notably, the lack of clothing in No Gi can make it more difficult to control an attacker.

This is because there are fewer grip points available, making it more difficult to maintain a grip on an opponent.

Additionally, strikes are often more effective in No Gi because there is less padding to absorb the impact. In general, No Gi training will better prepare you for a real-life self-defense situation.

However, this doesn’t mean Gi is completely useless for self-defense. The Gi does have some advantages, such as the ability to control an attacker’s limbs using the fabric. 

Many of the techniques learned in Gi training can be applied in a self-defense situation. The same principles of leverage and body positioning, for example, are applicable to both Gi and No Gi.

Gi Vs No Gi – Conclusion

So, when asked about which one is best, Gi or No Gi, then the answer is it’s up to you. We’ve talked about the advantages and drawbacks of both Gi and No Gi BJJ.

Both are extremely effective methods of self-defense. Both are also ideal instruments for boosting your self-esteem.

It all comes down to what you want to get out of your training in the end. If you want a more technical game with a greater emphasis on submissions, Gi BJJ is the way to go.

But if you want a faster-paced, more athletic game, then, No Gi BJJ is the way to go. In either case, you’ll get a great workout while also learning self-defense techniques that could save your life one day. 

So, whatever you decide, make sure you train with the goal of developing a well-rounded game in mind. Go out there and work hard! Oss!

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