What is No Gi BJJ? | Simply Explained
No Gi Jiu Jitsu is quickly exploding in popularity.
In this page, we will explain what No Gi Jiu Jitsu is, the benefits of practicing No Gi, and how it's different from Gi Jiu Jitsu.
What is No Gi BJJ?
No Gi BJJ is a form of Jiu Jitsu where students use rash guards and shorts, rather than the traditional Gi uniform.
A rash guard is essentially a tight-fitting athletic shirt, made out of polyester or spandex material.
It is intended to prevent rashes (and mat burn) as well as alleviate sweat transfer.
We've made a guide detailing what to wear for No Gi Jiu Jitsu classes.
Benefits of No Gi
No Gi BJJ allows for more realistic scenarios as the grips used vs opponents include the wrist, ankles, necks, and additional limbs.
Since they don't use the traditional Gi uniform, they aren't able to use the Gi as an extra 'weapon' to set up submissions or even execute submissions using them.
The No Gi is thought to more likely resemble street fighting as the perpetrators usually will not be wearing uniforms.
With that being said, they can be wearing larger and warmer clothing where that same clothing can be used against them.
Transitioning From No Gi into MMA
One of the most recent and notable No Gi experts that have successfully transitioned to MMA is Garry Tonon.
Part of the Danaher Death Squad, he has won titles at the ADCC submission wrestling championship, IBJJF World, and Pan American championships.
Now he is 6-1 in ONE Championship with 5 out of 6 fights being finished.
Differences Between Gi and No Gi
Besides the clothing and grip aspects that we covered earlier, the pace of the fight is a lot faster in No Gi.
The reason for this is without the Gi, there are fewer ways to be held or stalled, and it's a lot easier to break the grip of your opponent when they have to rely on pure strength and stamina throughout a match.
With the Gi on, your collar and pants can be used against you.
There is a list of rules that differentiate between Gi and No Gi competitions.
Targeting the legs is very prominent in No Gi but something like leg locks are banned in Gi competitions.
The Downside of No Gi
It's a lot easier to learn Gi BJJ and then transition over to No Gi BJJ whereas the same can't be said for the other way around.
Training in a Gi is a meticulous process that takes a long time to learn due to all of the ways that it can be used against you.
Whether it's to be choked, to keep you in a certain position, or even to help you advance your position.
If you are not familiar with training in the Gi, you will have to be more cautious to not easily get caught in a compromising position.
How No Gi BJJ Can Make You Better With The Gi
Due to the high pace of No Gi, your mind will be trained to make quicker decisions and to always think a few steps ahead.
When you're training or competing in the Gi, the pace will naturally be slower which will allow you to make decisions with a clear mind.
On top of all of this, due to being used to the high pace you will be in better cardiovascular shape and your stamina will feel like it can last a lot longer.
Training Both Styles
It is a common belief that training and mastering both styles of BJJ is the best way to train.
By doing this, you will essentially receive the best of both worlds and you will be constantly learning.
Your mental problem-solving skills will always be challenged, you will have to adapt to the different paces of each match, as well as transition grips.
Having this training will prepare you for any real-world situation that can come up.
Having the comfort that you can handle any situation that is thrown at you brings great peace of mind.
Gyms Exclusively Teaching No Gi BJJ
Eddie Bravo runs 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu and they are known for exclusively teaching No Gi Jiu Jitsu.
He explains that it is his preference to emphasize clinching and using positioning vs relying on pulling and yanking the uniform of your opponent.
His gym was focused on using flexibility and unusual positions to submit and control opponents.
He also mentions that he believes this is the future of BJJ and that more and more people will gravitate towards No Gi.
From the current trend going on, it does seem like he has a case to be made as No Gi has grown in popularity over the years.
Something to note is that most gyms do not offer the 'No Gi only' approach and either offer Gi only or both the Gi and No Gi classes.