If you’ve seen the no-gi class on the BJJ schedule here at Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu in Reno, you may have wondered what makes it different from our regular classes. Or maybe it seems obvious – no gi, right? Right you are, but there’s more to it than that. Today, we’re sharing a quick-and-dirty primer on no-gi grappling.
The differences between gi and no-gi grappling
Yes, the clear difference is that no one wears a gi – the standard outfit of Brazilian jiu jitsu – at a no-gi class. The gi is a pants-and-jacket combo, pairing thick cotton pants with a drawstring and usually reinforced knees, and a heavy cotton jacket with a notched hem and a thick collar. One side of the top crosses over the other, and it stays in plays with your belt. It’s common to wear undergarments like rash guards, sports bras or compression shorts, but it’s not unheard of to wear the gi alone.
In no-gi grappling, people wear the rash guards and compression pants or board shorts, without the gi on top.
- Technique & Strategy
When an opponent is wearing a gi, you have options. It’s common strategy to gain or control your position with elements of the gi, like the collar, sleeves and pant legs. Take away the gi, and you take away those options. Generally, using clothing isn’t allowed, and people use the body – wrists, elbows, knees, hips, neck – to gain control. Of course, you do the same in gi grappling, but these are optional strategies. During no-gi grappling, you have no choice. Heavy sweating, without the gi’s heavy cotton for absorption, also has an effect on the round. It can be easier to slip in (and out) of position.
The rules also vary from gi to no-gi competitions. Certain techniques and moves may be considered acceptable in one, but not in the other. Usually, it’s a safety issue, as certain movements in the gi can become simply too difficult to defend. Points awarded can also vary.
So what’s your preference?
We offer both gi and no-gi grappling at Guerrilla here in Reno, and you’re welcome to sit in and watch them both. It can be fun to look for differences in technique, pacing and strategy. Feel free to stop by, and learn more about our getting started offer as well.