10 Tips To Improve Your No-Gi BJJ Skills

10 Tips To Improve Your No-Gi BJJ Skills

1. What is No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

No-Gi BJJ is a form of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that does not require wearing a BJJ gi. It is a more practical and realistic style favored by MMA fighters. No-Gi BJJ is considered realistic because it can be applied in most real-life situations. It differs from Gi BJJ in terms of rules and grappling methods. No-Gi is harder to learn because it demands a stronger build and grip strength.

As a form of self-defense, No-Gi BJJ or submission grappling is the best martial art.

1.1. Background

No-Gi BJJ was started by Eddie Bravo when he introduced a BJJ style without the use of a gi.

2. 10 Tips to Improve Your No-Gi BJJ Skills

As mentioned earlier, No-Gi BJJ is very different from Gi BJJ. To master No-Gi BJJ, fighters must have complete knowledge about it. To perform better at it, the following tips must be considered.

2.1. Add Wrestling To Your Game

  • Both wrestling and No-Gi BJJ require fighting at a fast pace.
  • Adding wrestling to your game will help you master submissions and takedowns.
  • Learning takedowns can give you an advantage over your opponents.
  • Wrestling helps you improve your defense. It is the best way to become physically fit and tough.
  • Teaches you how to put pressure on the opponent without lowering your guard.

2.2. Do Not Skip Training Sessions

  • To perform better, attend training sessions regularly.
  • Training regularly will give you enough time to rest and learn.
  • Training sessions will help you learn how to spend your time more efficiently. Skipping even one training session may cause you to regress.

2.3. Pay Attention to the Basics

  • Before learning the more advanced moves, focus on the basic ones first.
  • Most advanced moves are derived from basic moves.
  • For example, mastering basic guards will eventually help you master the butterfly guard, closed guard, etc.

2.4. Work on Submissions

  • The first type of technique to learn in No-Gi BJJ are submissions.
  • If a fighter only excels in submissions, his entire game can change.
  • Executing submissions will help you earn points in official competitions.

2.5. Learn to Defend Against Leg Locks

  • Leg locks are integral to grappling in No-Gi BJJ.
  • It is easy to grab the legs, especially the lower limbs, because of how exposed they are.
  • During a fight, the first thing many fighters try to do is grab the legs and perform a leg lock. It is essential that all BJJ combatants know how to defend against leg locks.

2.6. Increase Your Speed and Stamina

  • Combat in No-Gi BJJ happens at a fast pace.
  • The faster fighter tends to hold the advantage.
  • Wearing rash guards and spats or shorts which are made up of elastic fiber allows easy mobility.
  • Increased speed and stamina allow you to pull off fast sweeps and quick escapes.
  • Victory depends on the speed of the fighter’s reflexes when attacking or defending.

2.7. Goal-Oriented Training

  • Before stepping on the mat, make sure you have a goal.
  • A goal will help with a guideline regarding which No-Gi BJJ techniques you wish to learn.
  • Goal-oriented training lays out an outline for the rest of your training session.
  • Make a new goal every day and try to accomplish it by a certain deadline.

2.8. Fix Your Mistakes and Rest Properly

  • Work on techniques that you are having trouble with. The more you practice, the less often you will make mistakes.
  • Using techniques you haven’t perfected can cause you to lose. For example, if an error occurs while performing a submission, your opponent may capitalize on the opening.
  • No-Gi is enriched with sweeps and submissions. For example, if you are unable to apply submission, your opponent will decapitalize it causing you to lose.
  • No-Gi BJJ is full of excellent grappling techniques creating every possibility to achieve victory.
  • During a training session, make a checklist of the techniques that you need to work on.
  • Set aside time to practice them before coming back onto the mat to try them again.
  • Being enthusiastic about your game is good, but do not be overly enthusiastic.
  • Make sure to rest properly. If your nerves are not relaxed and exhausted from the previous training session, you will not function well in the next session.

2.9. Secure Your Grips

  • Grabbing the rash guards and spats is not allowed.
  • Fighters have to be quick when grabbing and maintaining a tight hold of the opponent’s hands and feet.

2.10. Work on Mastering No-Gi BJJ Techniques

Rear Naked Choke

  • In the rear naked choke, one arm of the fighter is under the opponent's arm while the other arm is on the opponent’s shoulder.
  • The fighter locks his both hands so that the opponent can not rotate.
  • The opponent will try to break the lock by pressing his/he chin on the fighter’s hands.
  • The fighter can stop the opponent from doing so by strangulating the opponent's neck.
  • For strangulation, the fighter traps the opponent's neck by using his arms.
  • One arm traps his neck and places his other arm behind the opponent's neck. In this way, the opponent can not grab the fighter's hand.
  • Cutting off the opponent’s air supply will force him/her to tap out.

This technique can be executed in many positions, whether on the ground or standing.

  • Another way to perform it is by the opponent's back.
  • Being a blood choke, it hinders the blood flow to the brain.
  • Eventually, it leads to the opponent being unconscious.
  • If too much pressure is applied, the opponent taps out.

Triangle Choke

  • The opponent’s head is trapped in a triangle formed by the fighter’s legs.
  • The opponent’s wrists are tightly secured. It prevents him from securing grips.
  • The fighter applies pressure on the opponent's neck by using his/her own legs along with one of the opponent’s shoulders.
  • It is used to stop the opponent from throwing strikes.
  • After applying pressure on his neck, the fighter must explode his hips upward. It reduces the space between the opponent's neck and your butt.
  • The opponent’s head must be controlled because in this position he will most definitely flinch.

Arm Drag

It is the most effective technique in No-Gi BJJ. It provides the fighter an upper hand as after applying arm drag the opponent has to come out of it instead of implementing his own move.

They are great because they allow other attacks and submissions.

The arm drag is a technique where a fighter hooks and pulls the opponent’s arm, forcing the opponent to leave his side and become vulnerable to an attack.

  • To perform the arm drag, the fighter must grasp the opponent’s waist with one hand.
  • The other hand is used to grab the opponent’s elbow.
  • To ensure the opponent cannot escape, the fighter also wraps both legs around the opponent’s head. It gives him no time to escape and hence he is trapped.

There are other ways to perform an Arm Drag.

  • The fighter grabs the opponent’s hand by utilizing his same side hand.
  • The fighter grabs the opponent’s neck by applying force on the back of his/her as if chopping the opponent’s neck.
  • After that, the fighter pushes his opponent’s hand and hooks his triceps.
  • The fighter pulls his opponent towards him and grabs a hold of his waist.
  • The fighter brings the opponent to the ground and restricts his movement.


The underhook involves the fighter maneuvering his/her arm underneath the opponent’s arm. This gives the fighter control over the opponent's hand movements and also traps the legs.

  • The best time to execute the underhook is when your opponent is holding your neck and steps forward with the foot on the same side as the hand holding you.
  • When the collar tie tightens, this is the best time to execute an underhook.
  • If your opponent tries to use the overhook on you, your arm will probably be against his/her back.
  • If the opponent fails to execute an overhook, you can tighten your hold with an underhook.

Leg Lock

Leg locks prevent your opponent from moving his/her legs, keeping the trapped on the ground.

Fighting style can vary according to the physique of the fighter. Sometimes, fighters with long legs are more adroit in leg locks than fighters having short legs. But that does not mean that there is any kind of limitation on the fighter having short legs.

There are many ways to apply a leg lock.

  • For applying the straight ankle lock, a fighter needs to hook his/her forearm over the opponent's foot.
  • The fighter uses his foot to apply pressure on the opponent's ribcage.
  • In this way, a fighter secures submission.

3. Conclusion

No-Gi BJJ is all about strong grappling techniques, and being one of the most well-known submission martial arts. Unlike Gi BJJ, there are more chances to apply aspects of No-Gi BJJ in real life. To improve it fighters need to work on their techniques. They must regularly attend their training sessions. Fighters must have a strong hold on their grips along with a fast pace.

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