Why No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu is Better For Beginners

Why No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu is Better For Beginners

Gi and No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu are two mainstream BJJ fighting styles. NoGi fighting style was founded by Eddie Bravo, the founder of 10 Planet Jiu-Jitsu. It is a non-traditional fighting style that is more thrilling to watch than Gi BJJ.

No-Gi is not just a non-traditional fighting style but also teaches the practitioners to fight in a real-life situation without relying on the lapels and collars of Gi. The usefulness of Gi and No-Gi remains the big debate among various coaches about whether Gi or No-Gi's grappling style is better. Let's have an open discussion about how Gi grappling style gives more opportunities for learning beginners.  

1. Difference Between Gi and No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu?

Gi training and No-Gi training have differences in uniforms. This uniform is referred to as a Kimono. Some fighters preferred to fight in that uniform. This type of BJJ is known as Gi Jiu-Jitsu.

Kimono is a special traditional uniform designed for combat sports like Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or Judo. The belt represents the rank of the practitioner.

No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu uniform includes rashguards, a tee shirt, and shorts. Various gyms are specialized for Gi and No-Gi training. But some offer both types of training.    

2. Benefits of No-Gi for Beginners

This is an interesting debate about the superior type of Jiu-Jitsu from the Gi and No-Gi styles. BJJ legends and pioneers have their opinions. Here we will discuss the benefits of No-Gi training for beginners. 

2.1. Leave Your Comfort Zone

In Gi training, competitors use Gi grips to control their opponents. Gi grips provide various attacking and defending opportunities. But in No-Gi there are no grips to hang on to, which makes the practitioners more vulnerable to submission attacks. That is why No-Gi BJJ is more exciting to watch.

On the other hand in Gi BJJ, fighters rely on the Gi grips for defense and even submission attacks like collar choke creating an extra element for both fighters to rely on. In No-Gi fights, fighters have to rely solely on their skills, techniques, and agility. So if you start with No-Gi, it will challenge you more and make you earn the win the hard way, honing and testing your offensive and defensive strategies in an ideal way.        

2.2. Build Your Techniques

In fast-paced, no Gi BJJ bouts techniques play a key role in determining the win and defeat. You must build your defenses and be prepared to either apply offensive or defensive techniques while hunting for points and submission. In No-Gi BJJ, there is another category of submission-only fights. There are no points and participants have to hunt for submissions or get submitted. No-Gi BJJ lets you down your guard and makes you vulnerable, increasing the difficulty level and this translates into better preparation and immaculate execution.    

2.3. Help to Develop Self Defense

Gi is a surplus element when it comes to training for real-life self-defense situations. Because what are the odds of finding someone challenging you in the street wearing a BJJ Gi. But most of the people wear tee shirts in the street. So training in No-Gi to build real-life self-defense techniques.

2.4. Training in No-Gi is a Better Start

NoGi training provides more liberty in movement and quick escape from the guards or submission. Due to less friction, a beginner can easily defend himself from the opponent’s control. NoGi training improves agility, mobility, and fast sparring. This aspect of NoGi is very beneficial for practitioners who just started their grappling career.

2.5. Reduce Gear Requirement

When you start BJJ training with No-Gi, it will reduce the requirement of buying expensive Gis. You can train in any tee shirt and shorts. 

2.6. Make Yourself Ready for Mixed Martial Arts

Let’s be real, participating in MMA style of fighting or UFC is the biggest dream of most of the mixed martial artists whether they practice grappling or striking martial art. No-Gi is far more similar to the MMA style of fighting than Gi BJJ.

  • There is no uniform in the MMA, fighters wear attire almost the same of No-Gi BJJ
  • All the No-Gi submission techniques and takedowns are applicable in the MMA style of fighting.
  • No-Gi grappling offense and defense is the crucial part of MMA training.
  • Just like No-Gi BJJ, MMA fighters are not allowed to grab or strangle the clothes of the opponent.

So if you are planning to transition to MMA, starting with No-Gi MMA is an ideal way to go.    

3. Pioneers of NoGi Jiu-Jitsu

Eddie Bravo is considered the Pioneer of No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu. He was the first who introduced the distinctive style of BJJ No-Gi submission grappling. Eddie Bravo’s grappling style is much more exciting for the audience as well as for the players.   

3.1. 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu

Eddie Bravo opened his first BJJ school named 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. This was the first No-Gi Academy. Now he has opened a number of schools in different regions of the USA. His schools are producing a great number of champions in BJJ and MMA. Eddie Bravo started 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu by saying this:

“Let me Build an Empire”

3.2. Founder of Twister and Rubber Guard

Eddie Bravo introduced his unique and new submission style “The Twister” after he submitted Royler Gracie in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship. Eddie Bravo and his spinal lock named Twister become famous and come into the spotlight. This Twister submission is only allowed in No-Gi competitions and illegal in Gi competitions like all other spinal locks. 

The Rubber guard also became popular due to its effective use by 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu students. Despite being introduced by Nino Schembri, it appeared in the spotlight due to the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu.   

3.3. Eddie Bravo Invitational

Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) is a No-Gi submission-only grappling competition. Eddie Bravo is the founder of EBI. He himself made a ruleset for EBI. 

4. BJJ Pioneers’ Opinions on No-Gi for Beginners

Various legends gave their opinion on both grappling styles, Gi and No-Gi. Some grapplers found it better to train with Gi as it is the base of BJJ. But some coaches disagree and they think it is better to start with No-Gi. It will be difficult for them to shift from Gi to NoGi grappling style.

Firas Zahabi and Dean Lister, both expressed their thoughts on NoGi training. According to them, it is better to start with No-Gi. Firas Zahabi’s words are

“People think that it’s better for a beginner to start with the Gi. I’m of the opposite thought. I think starting with No Gi is better.
If I start with the Gi and get really comfortable with these collar and sleeve grips, and develop a whole game based on grips and let’s say a spider. then I go to No Gi. My whole game falls apart because I don’t have my favored grips.

Dean lister also gave his opinion on No-Gi training in an interview. According to him, if you are training with Gi, no doubt Gi will give you the opportunity to handle and control your opponent. Gi helps you to escape and make your defense more solid.

But if you are fighting without a Gi, you are not relying on the uniform and you learn to be faster on the mat in front of your opponent. Here is the complete video in which he gave his opinion on the benefits of NoGi training.

5. Conclusion

Gi and NoGi, both are grappling styles that can be opted for by any practitioner. Kimono provides support to perform some techniques. While in No-Gi fights, fighters have to depend on their own skills. It is much better to utilize the energy of a beginner to learn a more complicated and MMA-suited fighting style.    

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