Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Techniques: Gi vs NoGi

If you’re looking to get into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, then you should know that there are two different grappling forms you can choose to practice. Though there is much discussion on whether or not one is better than the other, the only thing to really note when choosing is the difference in each practice. 

What is Gi?

The Gi is actually the name of the uniform used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so Gi training refers to the practice of Jiu-Jitsu while wearing the said uniform. For this form, the practitioner can use the clothing of their opponent when grappling. 

This is the more traditional way to start if you’re going to build up the fundamentals of the sport.

What is NoGi?

As the name suggests, this form of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is done without the use of a Gi uniform. Instead, practitioners wear a rash guard and shorts. In this variation, clothing cannot be used to grapple opponents. 

NoGi can still make use of a belt system but will impose different criteria for ranking.

What Are the Differences?

Aside from the obvious differences in outfits, there are various differences in training and technical aspects between Gi and NoGi.

For starters, certain grappling techniques will be off-limits to NoGi fighters because these are reliant on manipulating the opponent’s clothing. This means that Gi training involves finding various ways to hold and stagger an opponent as you roll and grapple. For NoGi fighters, things will be more about using the strength of your grips rather than finding a lapel technique.

Gi grappling is generally slower-paced than NoGi because there are various tactics that can be used to make an opponent submit. NoGi needs more fast movement because you must use your own natural abilities.

Both techniques train your ability to use force and leverage to overpower opponents. The main difference is in how these aspects are applied. Gi will have a focus on using advanced techniques, while NoGi hones natural strength and speed. 

Why You Should Choose Gi or NoGi

Certain factors may convince you to choose one over the other, which we will compare below.

If you want to learn skills that are easily transferable to the other form, it’s best to start with Gi. You will also be able to master various technical grips so you can properly manipulate the lapel and collar. If you want to strengthen your hands, arms, and chest muscles, Gi training will do the trick. It’s best to know that although it is slowed down compared to NoGi, traditional Gi Jiu-Jitsu will help you develop and advance quickly.

NoGi is the option for individuals who want to sharpen their decision-making and cardiovascular endurance because of how quick it is. It will use grappling techniques a bit differently since you don’t use clothes as a weapon. This is an excellent way to learn takedowns that can be used in situations where you are faced with an opponent that doesn’t have a collar or lapel you can grab. 


In the end, each style has its own pros and cons. So, it really depends on your own preference. Of course, you should note that many experts find that it is easier to transition from Gi to NoGi than the inverse. Either style of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has a lot of real-life use, and having knowledge in both techniques will make you a master in grappling. 

For guides on training and Jiu-Jitsu apparel, check out our content on Fight Gear Market. We are the ultimate online resource for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Browse our wide range of tips and reviews today!

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