Gi vs No-Gi

A controversial topic amongst Jiu Jitsu practitioners worldwide is the debate about the effectiveness of Gi training versus No-Gi training. Traditional practitioners would suggest training in the Gi first to be considered a true student of the art. This is the case because Gi training requires a certain amount of patience being that there are so many intricacies involved with the Gi. Training No-Gi has become popular because of MMA’s mainstream breakthrough over the years, but many who practice Jiu Jitsu consider this unfavorable because training in the Gi heavily compliments No-Gi training. Training in the Gi is a slower pace, but No-Gi is a much faster pace. While each individual competitor has their own preference, there is no denying that training both Gi and No-Gi are essential to having a well-rounded ground game.

GI vs no gi - NO gi

Gi vs no gi training

Self Defense 

In terms of training Jiu Jitsu for self defense purposes, the talk of Gi vs No-Gi is not as controversial since both Gi and No-Gi techniques would be equally beneficial. When training No-Gi , the uniform consists of a rashguard, shorts, and/or tights. When training in the Gi, a Jiu Jitsu Gi top, Jiu Jitsu pants, and a Jiu Jitsu belt are worn and can all be potentially used. In both instances, the assailant in a life threatening situation would be wearing clothes that mimic this attire, giving a Jiu Jitsu practitioner a variety of options when forced to defend oneself.


When it comes to competing Jiu Jitsu Tournaments, Gi and No-Gi are on two completely different sides of the spectrum. When training in the Gi, one’s adversary has countless ways to control because more handles are accessible for gripping. The restriction that these grips cause is what makes Gi training a bit more technical. Escapes and passes need to be performed with precise technique in order to be effective. In addition to the numerous grips in Gi training, there are also magnitudes of sweeps and submissions that can be executed because the Gi itself can be used as a weapon. No-Gi competitors do not have to worry about Collar chokes and Lapel chokes, which can provide more leisure when training. No-Gi matches are fast-paced and full of scrambles as opposed to Gi matches. It’s not to say that Gi matches aren’t exciting, it’s just that Gi matches tend to be a bit slower and methodical because of the grips. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind the physical detriments of No-Gi training. Oftentimes when both competitors begin to sweat, positions and submissions become difficult to obtain. If one gets caught in a guillotine choke in a No-Gi match, they may be able to slip their head out easier as opposed to Gi match where sweat is absorbed by the Gi. When advancing positions in a No-Gi match, the slippery environment may be used to as an advantage being that one would have increased mobility during scrambling. Overall, training in the Gi gives one many more options in terms of attacking, but is the more slow-paced, methodical type of Jiu Jitsu. On the other hand, No-Gi training is a display of the fast-paced, intense type of Jiu Jitsu due to increased mobility and lack of grips.

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