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No Gi Training at Kaizen BJJ Plymouth

At Kaizen BJJ Plymouth, we give our students the option of training no gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as well as with the gi.
Students Training No Gi BJJ

Students training no gi BJJ at Kaizen BJJ Plymouth.

No gi means that you are grappling without the gi or uniform, so you are wearing a t-shirt or rash guard.  When you are training no gi, you are not allowed to grab any of your partner’s clothing.  So this means that you lose over 50% of all the submissions, sweeps, and techniques that you have with the gi. Although there are variations of some gi techniques so you can do them no gi, there are many that you cannot do without a gi. Besides less submissions, there are also different controls to hold someone down or limit their mobility. In gi, you can just hold the fabric.  No gi you have to control the head, the arms, the legs, and position your body in different ways to control someone. One of the most respected Gracies, Rickson Gracie, was talking about a famous MMA fighter who was also a BJJ black belt- Vitor Belfort.  Rickson said that he could submit Vitor in one minute without a gi, and in 15 seconds with a gi.  So that gives you an idea of how many more tools you have with the gi vs. no gi.

No Gi For Self Defense

If you are training BJJ for self defense, it is important that you train without the gi as well as with the gi.  If you were attacked at the beach, where the attacker had no shirt on, you cannot ask them to put a jacket on so you can defend yourself.  You could also be in a situation where the attackers jacket or shirt came off during the altercation.

No Gi For Training the Art of BJJ

If you are a brown belt in BJJ with a gi for example, you should not be blue belt level without the gi.  And vice versa. Sometimes we get a student that has wrestled before, and they get frustrated training with the gi because they get choked more often, submitted faster, and they can’t move as freely because their partner is controlling them with their gi.  Sometimes these students avoid the gi classes. Over time their Jiu-Jitsu gets better, but they still have that weakness with the gi.  And the longer they wait, the harder it is for them to put the gi back on because there is such a difference in their skill levels. So we recommend for people that prefer no gi, or refuse to put the gi on, it is easier to start training with the gi from the beginning, rather than waiting until you are higher rank.

No Gi Takedowns

The main art used for no gi takedowns is Wrestling, which we incorporate into our no gi classes. As with all the other points about no gi, it is important to do gi takedowns as well- Judo.  Each has their strengths and weaknesses, and to be a well rounded grappler, it is good to know both. The stance in Wrestling is normally crouching forward with your knees bent.  One of the reasons is so you can “shoot in” on your partner, where you are normally going for a double leg or single leg. In Judo, your stance is upright with your knees slightly bent.  The reason why is that in Judo, throws are set up by off balancing your partner first (called “kuzushi” in Japanese).  The off balance is done by grabbing your partner’s gi and pulling them out of position.  Many of the throws are throwing someone forward, so if you lean forward, you are helping your partner throw you. So if you use a Wrestling stance for takedowns, and you have a gi on, you are making it easier for someone who knows gi takedowns to throw you. And if you adopt a Judo stance when doing no gi takedowns, because you are upright, you are more susceptible for people attacking your legs with double and single legs.

Occasional Problems With No Gi Practitioners

There are some no gi practitioners that develop bad habits training only no gi.  They rely on being sweaty to escape submissions.  This is most common with MMA fighters.  There are some MMA fighters that will use their speed and strength to get their arms out of trouble. The reason why is that when both people have a gi on, there is a lot more friction.  You usually cannot just yank your arm out of trouble, you have to use a proper technique to escape. As you get older, and to get better at the art of Jiu-Jitsu, it is better to rely on technique.  You can always add speed and strength occasionally.  If two people face eachother and one has speed and strength, and the other has speed, strength, AND technique, the one with technique will win.

Reasons to Train No Gi

Here are some reasons for you to train no gi BJJ: 1.  For self defense, attackers are not always wearing a shirt or jacket. 2.  As your gi Jiu-Jitsu improves, do not avoid no gi.  The longer you wait, the more pressure there will be on you not be embarrassed because you are weak in that area. 3.  You want to find ways to prevent people from using strength, speed, and being sweaty from yanking their arms out of submissions and controls. 4.  Some people feel that it is an even better workout because many no gi matches are faster paced than gi matches. 5.  You can double the amount of time that you train.  If you only train with the gi, you are limited to around 50% of the classes that we offer.  We offer a lot of classes at Kaizen BJJ Plymouth, but if you train both gi and no gi, you double the amount of classes that you can train in.  In the end Jiu-Jitsu is still Jiu-Jitsu. Most BJJ schools offer 80-90% gi, and the rest no gi.  Many do not offer no gi at all, or just one class per week. Check out our schedule to see the mix between gi and no gi that we offer.  Besides offering double the amount of classes that many schools offer, we give students the option to train in both parts of the art. And make sure that you sign up for the free introductory lessons and 30 days free to see if we are a good fit for you!

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