Does Gi Make No-Gi Better? [Part 2]

We have already discussed here the Jiu Jitsu Gi vs No Gi Training [Part 1]. But we came across a more specific question, namely – Does gi make no-gi better? In other words – Does gi jiu jitsu help with no-gi and is the gi realistic?

Let it be our next part of the gi and nogi grappling talk.

There will be always something to say and to share.

Should I train gi and no-gi?

What I like in Brazilian jiu jitsu is that there are gi and no gi formats together in one martial art style.

Why is it good?

  1. It gives universal fighting skills
  2. The alternation of two different grappling styles brings diversity into the training process, so you don’t get bored.

For me, it’s definitely not the question “Should I learn gi or no-gi?“. It’s a statement – “Learn gi and no-gi”.

So, should you train gi and no-gi? Definitely, yes.

But, again, it will always stay a matter of preference.

Nevertheless, there is a lot of feedback from people, who used to do nogi grappling but after taking part in no-gi jiu jitsu competitions they admit their fighting skills lack gi practice.

Does gi make no-gi better?

The short answer is: Gi makes your no gi better and wise versa – the benefits of no-gi jiu jitsu help to improve your gi rolling.

What stands behind it?

Let’s sort it out.

Both – gi and no gi – develop in complex different aspects of moves and behavior. But if putting an objective view on each format – is no gi harder than gi or vice versa – we see a disbalance or simply said difference.

  • No gi is more about pace, timing, and developing reflexes
  • Gi is to apply pressure effectively, at the same time dealing with the pressure on you, and build strengthening through pulling and holding grips.

Gi vs No Gi Reddit discussion

The BJJ subreddit is a great place to find answers.

We use this practice to gather more opinions and useful advice on any subject, we write about.

We have researched the threads on the subject of no gi vs gi Reddit discussion.

Here are the results that we have structured in a format of short sentences with main facts.

Gi makes the defense better and no gi makes better the offense.
If you escape submissions very well in gi, you’ll be much harder to be caught into submissions in no-gi.
Learning jiu jitsu gi techniques encourage the development of fighting skills in general.
In gi, you can slow things down and have time to think out the situation and strategy.
There is less room for error with the gi that develops a skill to react to a threat in advance.
Cross-training between gi and no gi is a change of pace.
Gi is about finding ways for escape, no gi – finding the best ways for control.
Knowledge never hurts – train both.
Gi forces you to work technically and not just rely on athleticism.

Is gi or no gi more practical?

As we often do, let’s hear what the experienced black belts think.

Chewy from Chewjitsu YouTube channel answers the most common and not only questions coming from jiu jitsu beginners and advanced practitioners.

Is it better to train gi or nogi and does gi make no-gi better?

Should I train gi or nogi for MMA?

I’ve been watching MMA fights many times and what I quite often see, is that it’s easy to understand does an MMA fighter do jiu jitsu or not.

How is it possible?

When a fighter gets down and doesn’t even do the basic jiu jitsu positions to protect – guard, transitions to leg locks, shrimping, etc. He or she just lay down in a defenseless position.


Because he or she doesn’t know it.

MMA Fight Michelle Nicolini vs Iryna Kyselova on ONE Championship

Of course, nowadays something like this is rarely seen, especially in professional and high-level promotions like UFC or Bellator. Because MMA fighters diversificate their training expanding to different combat styles.

But in amateur MMA matches, you can watch it quite often.

It’s worth training both for MMA – gi and no gi. Brazilian jiu jitsu is a unique combat style with a tight combination of ground and stand fighting where gi and no gi are separate value units.

UFC gym gi training

We know UFC mostly as a striking nogi grappling. And we have less association with a gi fighting.

But you might not know that there is a UFC GYM fitness and BJJ gym network. It’s an extension of the UFC that was founded in 2009.

In UFC GYM there are jiu jitsu gi classes. All coaches are “elite athletes” who have to go through a UFC GYM certification process.

ufc gym gi
UFC GYM gi; screenshot

Is gi or no-gi more popular?

Statistically and overall, gi jiu jitsu training is more popular if counting the jiu jitsu class hours. Most of the gyms are doing more gi classes than no gi during the week. Even more, there are jiu jitsu schools that prefer only gi classes. At the same time, there are also BJJ teams that train only no gi.

Nevertheless, gi training prevails statistically. But in the last years, the no-gi trend gains on.

Bonus #1: No Gi Basics by John Danaher

A great video tutorial by John Danaher on the BJJ Fanatics channel, where he helps to understand the no gi grappling open guard position.

John Danaher is always worth listening to even if it takes some time.

He is a master to explain and expand the jiu jitsu techniques and details that you have never thought about.

There is more best no gi instructional by John Danaher on BJJ Fanatics.

Bonus #2: No Gi Highlights with the Best BJJ Fighters

In the next No Gi Highlights video, you can enjoy the fighting skills of the greatest jiu jitsu practitioners of our time: Ryan Hall, Lachlan Giles, Jeff Glover, and Marcelo Garcia.

Because, yes, BJJ black belt in no gi is still a black belt.

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