Wearing a Gi or No Gi? What is the best choice for training?
Ever heard a grappler talk about going to “Gi” or “no-Gi” class? Gi and no Gi are the two forms of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Gi Jiu-Jitsu is grappling with the use of a traditional Gi, which allows you to grab the clothing of your opponent. No Gi is grappling without the traditional uniform, instead you wear shorts and a rash guard. In no Gi you cannot grab your opponent’s clothing.
Do they differ in ways that make a difference? The first, obvious difference between Gi and no-Gi grappling is in the fashion statements. In Gi grappling, practitioners wear – you guessed it – a Gi. A “Gi” can also be called a “kimono” and consists of a pair of heavy cotton drawstring pants, usually with reinforced knees, and a heavy cotton jacket with a thick collar and a hem that is notched on either side. One jacket lapel crosses over the other and the whole lot is kept closed with the belt. Men tend to wear either a rash guard, a t-shirt, or nothing under the jacket, and perhaps compression shorts under the pants. Women might wear a sports bra, a rash guard, and then compression shorts as well.
In no-Gi grappling, practitioners wear – you guessed it – no Gi. Instead, they usually wear attire associated with surfing, specifically rash guards and board shorts. So there are a variety of options, though straight grappling academies tend to prefer students to cover up on top.
Another difference between Gi and no-Gi grappling has to do with strategy. Most no Gi tournaments have slightly different rules from Gi. IBJJF rules do not allow heel hooks for Gi and ADCC (biggest No Gi tournament) allows them. In Gi grappling, use of the Gi – sleeves, collar, pant legs – figures prominently in gaining and controlling position, as well as in applying submissions.
While and Gi and No Gi are very similar, the way both styles evolve are very different. In Gi, the numerous grips and Gi material mean that a lot of set ups are based on using the Gi material, which is impossible in no Gi. In no Gi, you look more at taking your opponent’s back because mounting in no Gi has limited submissions.
It is hard to say what is more technical as both styles are different. However, we suggest training in no Gi because of the practical application that can be used in the possibility of protecting yourself away from the practice facility. This training would give you the ability to defend yourself without the need to use a strategy connected with clothing.