bjj with gi

BJJ With Gi vs No-Gi – Which One to Train?

Should you train Brazilian jiu-jitsu with Gi or without Gi? That is the question we are focusing on in this post. In short, what matters the most is to start training, whether you do it with gi or without gi, is up to you. I will go through different things to consider when making that decision, let’s get started.

What is no-gi jiu-jitsu?

When talking about no-gi jiu-jitsu or no-gi-BJJ, it is referred to Brazilian jiu-jitsu trainer without gi. Gi is the clothing set that comes with jacked with strong collar, trousers made for BJJ and a belt.

In no-gi-BJJ, you don’t have all that. Because of the lack of a belt, trousers to grab from and a collar, no-gi-BJJ does not include all the technqieus BJJ with gi does. No-gi-BJJ is often trained with grappling shorts and rash guards.

Is No-Gi BJJ more realistic?

People who train without gi often say that training without gi is more realistic. However, it depends on how you define realistic. In MMA, people don’t have clothes with collars and such, so if your goal is to train MMA, no-gi is probably a better option.

If you are training BJJ for self defense purposes, think about this. People most of the time have their clothes on. They have trousers, shirts with collars, even ties and such. When training with gi, you get to know all the chokes that include using your opponents’ clothes as a weapon.

The debate between gi and no-gi

It seems like there is a huge gap between gi trainers and no-gi trainers. At the end of the day, we are still talking about the same sport, just with different equipment and a bit different set of techniques, since without gi, you can not perform collar chokes, for example.

Both, gi and no-gi let you in on this amazing sport called Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Whether you choose to train it with gi or without, it is up to you and one is no better than another. It all comes down to your preferences.

Should you train both, with gi and no-gi

Whether you should train both, with gi and without it, depends again on you. You can get started as a hobbyist with just one, but you can try out the other as well.

Training both will without doubt give you more perspective, since you know how to use your opponents clothes against them, as well as make them tap without any help from the clothing.

Do you need a gi for Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

You don’t necessarily need gi to train BJJ. First of all, when you first go to a class to kind of see what it’s like, most of the time, you don’t need gi to begin with. You can introduce yourself to the sport without any bigger investments such as the gi.

Another option is to train no-gi BJJ, which doesn’t include gi. This is another option if you don’t really feel like training with gi for some reason.

Final thoughts

So, which one to pick, gi or no-gi? It comes down to your needs from the sport. If your goal is to be an MMA fighter, no-gi is probably the better option, since in MMA, you seldom have collars to grab your opponent from.

If MMA is not your main goal, you can go for the gi-BJJ as well. It comes with a bit more techniques including collar chokes and other moves that include grabbing your opponent from their clothes. This can be a better alternative for self-defense or just hobbyist purposes.

The price difference between the two options is not that big. I have done a post comparing the costs of starting and training BJJ with GI and no-gi. You can read it here.

In the end, the choice is yours. Both of the variations offer a great set of techniques to learn and I think they are equally as effective. Other BJJ-related posts can be found here.


What is Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art that focuses on ground fighting. This means it focuses on taking the fight to the ground and finishing the fight with joint locks or chokeholds. Brazilian jiu-jitsu was developed around 1920’s, and was modified from judo. Nowadays, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is an essential martial art for MMA.

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