Essential Rules for No-Gi BJJ for Beginners to Know

Essential Rules for No-Gi BJJ for Beginners to Know

We all know traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is performed wearing a Gi. BJJ Gi comprises a jacket, pants, and a belt. The Gi is used for controlling grips in the BJJ. There is no gi in No-gi grappling.  The athletes wear shirts and shorts for fights. The ruleset is that you cannot use clothes for gripping the opponents. No Gi consists of its own controlling techniques and grip set. In the street fight there are no additional clothes to grab the opponents. If you want your grappling art being acknowledged then practice No-Gi grappling.

1. IBJJF No-Gi Rules

International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is an organization that arranges and hosts the largest BJJ tournaments in the world. IBJJF follows strict guidelines when it comes to sports grappling. If you are a beginner in BJJ then you must understand the attire requirements before stepping on the BJJ mats for training.

2. No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Uniform Requirements

The approved No-Gi uniform regulations comprise grappling shorts and a Rash Guard. Let's discuss in detail the No-GI uniform and IBJJF requirements.

2.1. Grappling Shorts

Grappling Shorts are also named MMA shorts or Fight Shorts. The material of Fighting shorts does not slide off easily while grabbing and pulling the opponent. No metal objects are attached that may harm anyone due to the body contact. Fight shorts are long enough to cover the thighs but they are no longer than the knee. It is essential for the No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu fighters to wear fight shorts to ensure:

  • Convenient Movement during Application and Execution of Techniques
  • Flexibility In Grappling, Striking, and Kicking

Fight shorts can be in board style which is loose or Spats that tightly fits with the grapplers body. BJJ Spats are mostly worn by women. It is allowed to wear Gi pants in No-Gi BJJ competitions but this will favor your opponent to take you down easily by grabbing.

Board Style Shorts

The board style shorts are:

  • Comfortable
  • Covers the Whole Body

The manufacturing of board style shorts requires a lengthy amount of fabric as compared to compression style shorts, they become costly.

Compression Style Shorts

The compression style shorts are granted the best shorts for No-Gi competitions

They are:

  • Cheaper
  • Less material for Grip Available
  • Helps In Muscle Recovery

Compression shorts contribute to the better performance of the players. The chances of risks are reduced, it stabilizes joints and boosts post workout recovery process.

2.2. Rash Guards

Rash Guards T-shirts are manufactured from spandex material that tightly fits with the fighters body. They are often worn under the GI.  Wearing Rash Guard is essential for the fighters due to the following benefits

  • Wipes Away Moisture
  • Gives Cooling Effect
  • Thermal Insulation allows air to flow
  • No Skin Burns, Cuts or scrapes

Moreover, it limits the spread of skin diseases like ringworm and staph. Rash Guards are sometimes preferred to wear in Gi fights to restrict the Gi burns. The long sleeved Rash Guard protects the fighters from the bacteria found on the BJJ mats and there is less compression of muscles for Gi fighters. The IBJJF requires you to wear a Rash Guard which is 10% of your Belt color and a shirt with 100% athletes rank color is allowed. No embroidery or patchwork is allowed on rash guards and pants.

Men can wear white or black or both color rash guard or the athletes rank color and shirts under the Gi.
The color of the pants and spats can be black or white or both or according to their belt ranks.

For females, the headcover should be white, or black, black and white both or the color of the athlete's belt.

2.3. Protective Gear

Your sparring partner cannot be perfect while executing any technique during fights. Major damage or loss may occur due to unintentional attack on the sensitive area. Wearing protective gear saves you and your partner from a mishap.

Mouth Guard

In No-Gi fights, there is no striking, punching or kicking. Simply the fighters are takedown or mounted for submissions and a variety of choke holds are applied. Wearing a mouth guard protects your teeth from elbow strike, knee or leg.

Groin Protectors

According to IBJJF rule groin Protectors are not allowed in No-GI BJJ competitions but for training purposes and for the beginners, they are highly recommended to protect the sensitive part of the body during sparring and rolling. During No-Gi training, like passing the guard, any slip may target the sensitive part resulting in a serious injury. In other words, It prevents you from the worst position that may crush you. Wearing a groin protector eases your mind that your genital organ is safe.

Head Protector/Gear

Head Gears are mainly worn to protect the head and ears from chokeholds. If you feel that during training your ear is feeling tender or some pain or becoming sensitive then start wearing Head protectors to protect your ear from serious injury. Cauliflower ear develops during BJJ fights. The friction or force applied to the ear can cause the skin to separate from the cartilage bone and the blood pools from your outer ear. The result is ear deformation which is not only painful but can impede hearing. Cauliflower ear is a status symbol for BJJ masters.

It is not allowed to wear in No-Gi BJJ competitions but trainers, if you think your ear is becoming sensitive then HeadGear is the only option.

Knee Pads

Knee pads are helpful to save knees from bruising. Whether you are practicing Gi or No-Gi BJJ, rolling will put strains on your knees. Knee pads and braces prevent popped knee caps and help to conveniently execute No-Gi BJJ techniques.

Gear Bags

All Gears need to be placed in a gear bag to carry safely. Gear bags come in a variety of styles and are manufactured with cotton and nylon material. The two types of Gear bags are:

  • Duffle Bags
  • Backpack

The duffle bags are quite spacious as compared to the backpacks.

3. Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC)

The Arabs of Middle East take keen interest in BJJ and they developed a different league from IBJJF known as ADCC.

ADCC favors competing without Gi by only wearing shorts, rashguard and spats. This organization supports the combat players who think competing in the Gi is hard as a beginner.

ADCC is held worldwide at regional and continental levels. You can join ADCC tournaments as a beginner ( White Belt ), intermediate ( Blue and Purple Belt ) and advanced category ( Brown and Black Belt).

4. Match Structure

ADCC comprises complex match structure. A match is based on two parts lasting for a total of 6 minutes in the qualifying round and 8 minutes in the final one.You can win the first part of the match by submissions but no scores are marked. The points or scores are introduced in the second part but here we must not miss the point that negative scoring starts in the first half of the match. So, you can say that an equal number of plus and minus are gained here.

If the match is tied, additional 3 minutes are given in the qualifying round and in the final match 4 minutes are given to decide the win.

5. No-Gi Scoring System

NAGA has different scoring criteria for No-gi matches.

Position/ Maneuver Scores
Takedowns 1-2
Submission attempts 1-2
Sweeps 2
Side Control Variations 2
Mount 2
Back control 2
Knee on belly 2

Takedown scoring depends upon the quality of the takedowns and the defense strategy of the opponent.

  • Two points for the attacker if he remains at dominant position for 2 seconds
  • One point if the attacker performs takedown but the defender rolls quickly and leaves you at the bottom.

Successful side control attempt grants two points. In case of submissions:

  • Two points for submission if the defender is in danger zone and taps out
  • One point for submission if the defender is safe

6. Conclusion

Rules for Gi and No-GI BJJ differ but overall grappling is fun. Only limitation in no-gi IBJJF is that you cannot perform with white belt rank. However, go through the rules before deciding Gi or No-Gi BJJ.

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