To Gi or not to Gi: The BJJ Gi vs No Gi Jiu Jitsu Training

A big surprise was to me to find out, how much people are concerned about the gi and BJJ nogi training dilemma. For instance, Is no gi Jiu Jitsu good? And etc.

What is no gi BJJ and what does it mean in Jiu Jitsu?

The BJJ gi and no gi in Jiu-Jitsu are two forms of training in BJJ. When a person is training in Jiu Jitsu, they will often wear a gi. The jiu jitsu gi can be used as an extra layer of protection, but it also provides some padding for the practitioner’s joints and muscles.

In contrast to wearing a gi, there are instances where people will train without one. This is called nogi jiu-jitsu, no-gi BJJ, or just no gi.

In gi one can use the uniform for specific grappling techniques. The no gi does not use the traditional training gi uniform – jacket, pants, and belt. It’s a version of jiu jitsu that can be closely related to MMA without punches.

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What is no gi BJJ uniform?

The no gi BJJ uniform consists of no gi shorts and a rash guard that is very often combined with spats. Women usually wear a set of nogi jiu jitsu shorts, spats, and a rash guard or just spats with a rash guard.

By the way, more and more BJJ brands create nogi MMA and jiu jitsu outfits specifically for women. It gives an opportunity to wear a uniform with a good fit on the body, which is quite important for comfortable rolling.

tatami long sleeve rash guard womens for No Gi Jiu Jitsu
Tatami Long Sleeve Rash Guard Womens; screenshot from tatamifightwear.com
No Gi rash guards on Gi Store BJJ online shop for No Gi Jiu Jitsu
No Gi rash guards on Gi Store BJJ online shop
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Should you start with Gi or no gi?

The short answer is – it depends on you. But most likely, if you just start jiu jitsu, you will begin with gi training. Moreover, most BJJ gyms are practicing more classes in a gi than no gi. It just so happened. Unless there are academies where no gi training is main specific. For instance, the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu academy by Eddie Bravo.

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Benefits of the no gi classes

The nogi BJJ rolling is a way to improve grips and holds strengthening and rolling speed. The lack of the gi uniform allows for more flexibility and mobility.

For some fighters, the lack of clothing makes it easier to apply submissions and get close enough to use them effectively, and for some not.

In terms of training, it is recommended that you have a well-rounded skill set in both gi and nogi in order to compete at the highest level. Especially if you take part in tournaments.

Here is a great John Danaher BJJ video by BJJ Fanatics, where he helps to understand the no gi grappling open guard position:

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Is no gi harder than gi?

In Jiu Jitsu no gi rolling there are not so many grips or holds, as in gi, so it is important to remember to be aware of your opponent’s positioning as they may not be as limited as you are with your jiu jitsu gi on.

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Gi vs No Gi Conclusion

The debate on whether or not nogi jiu jitsu is more effective than gi has been going on for years. Some people think that it’s more effective because it’s more realistic to the type of fighting that happens in MMA and other combat sports without the gi uniform restrictions. Others believe that gi jiu jitsu is better because there are many different grips and techniques that can be applied when wearing a uniform.

I don’t see a need for sortition here – Gi vs No Gi or Go or No Gi. It’s about gi and no gi. Actually, the possibility of combining gi and nogi training is a huge benefit. Sometimes it happens you lose mood, attention, or desire to train, but changing the format of training resolves this frustration.

Not all martial arts have this option.

Enjoy watching the Flograppling video with the best match from No-Gi Worlds 2017, where Lucas Barbosa and Jackson Sousa met in the semi-finals of the absolute division:


We will continue to talk more about the nogi jiu jitsu topic to contribute more to our everyday Brazilian jiu jitsu fight progress.

Check other BJJ news and articles about jiu jitsu training, BJJ fighters, and MMA athletes. For instance, Female Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Fights against White Belt.

If you are searching for nogi jiu jitsu classes here is the link to Google Maps to help you to find the BJJ gym – No gi BJJ near me.

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