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Why I Like No Gi BJJ: A First-Hand Perspective

Introduction Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art and combat sport known for its effective ground-fighting techniques. Traditionally practiced with...


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art and combat sport known for its effective ground-fighting techniques. Traditionally practiced with a Gi (a jacket and pants), BJJ has gained popularity in both the martial arts and mixed martial arts (MMA) communities. However, another dynamic and exhilarating aspect of BJJ lies in "No Gi" training. As a dedicated practitioner with years of experience in both gi and no gi settings, I can confidently say that there's something unique and captivating about the no gi style. In this article, I will share my first-hand perspective on why I like no gi BJJ, highlighting the benefits and exciting elements that make it a must-try for any BJJ enthusiast.

Freedom of Movement: No Gi BJJ Unleashed

In the Absence of the Gi

One of the primary reasons I enjoy No Gi BJJ is the unrestricted freedom of movement it offers. Unlike traditional Gi training, where grips and collars play a significant role, No Gi BJJ enables a more fluid and fast-paced grappling experience. The absence of the Gi eliminates many of the friction-based techniques, encouraging practitioners to focus on using their body movements and weight distribution efficiently.

Dynamic and Fast-Paced

In No Gi BJJ, the intensity is turned up a notch, making every roll feel like a thrilling exchange of techniques and transitions. The emphasis on speed and agility challenges me to think on my feet, react quickly to my opponent's movements, and capitalize on opportunities swiftly. This dynamic nature of No Gi BJJ keeps me constantly engaged and eager to improve my timing and reactions.

Physical Attributes Matter, but Technique Reigns Supreme

Leveling the Playing Field

No Gi BJJ often places a greater emphasis on the use of physical attributes such as strength, speed, and athleticism. This aspect appeals to me as it provides an opportunity for practitioners with different body types and physical abilities to excel. While having strength and athleticism can be advantageous, technique remains the ultimate equalizer. In No Gi BJJ, the significance of technique is amplified, as relying solely on physical attributes without finesse and strategy is likely to be less effective.

Empowering Technical Growth

As a BJJ enthusiast, I am always looking for opportunities to improve my technical skills. No Gi training has played a pivotal role in honing my techniques. Without the gi grips to fall back on, I have had to focus on precise body positioning, timing, and leverage to execute submissions and escapes effectively. This emphasis on technique has not only improved my No Gi game but also transferred positively to my gi training.

Intensifying the Mental Game

Adaptability and Problem-Solving

No Gi BJJ is akin to a chess match on the mats. It has sharpened my ability to adapt to different situations and opponents. With less reliance on grips, I often find myself in unfamiliar positions, requiring me to think creatively and solve problems on the fly. This mental aspect of No Gi BJJ has translated into increased strategic thinking in all aspects of my life, making me a more agile problem solver both on and off the mats.

Increased Focus and Awareness

In No Gi BJJ, maintaining control and achieving submissions demand heightened focus and awareness. The lack of the Gi as an anchor forces me to pay closer attention to my opponent's movements and anticipate their next actions. This level of attentiveness has had a profound impact on my overall BJJ journey, enhancing my ability to stay present and focused during training sessions.

A Versatile Complement to Gi BJJ

Cross-Training Benefits

As a BJJ practitioner who enjoys both Gi and No Gi training, I have experienced the mutual benefits of cross-training. The skills developed in one style directly contribute to improvement in the other. No Gi BJJ has improved my understanding of fundamental techniques, body mechanics, and timing, making me more well-rounded as a martial artist.

Expanding Your BJJ Arsenal

By embracing No Gi BJJ, practitioners can expand their repertoire of techniques. While many submissions and positions are shared between Gi and No Gi training, each style offers unique opportunities for exploration. Adding No Gi BJJ to your training routine not only diversifies your skill set but also provides new challenges and avenues for growth.

What to Wear to No Gi BJJ?

When participating in No Gi BJJ, practitioners typically wear rash guards or T-shirts, as well as grappling shorts or spats. These garments provide comfort and freedom of movement during training and competition. Unlike the Gi, which can sometimes become heavy and restrict movement when soaked in sweat, No Gi attire allows for better ventilation and a more lightweight experience.


In conclusion, No Gi BJJ has been a vital and exciting aspect of my martial arts journey. The freedom of movement, focus on technique, mental intensity, and versatility make it a compelling and rewarding style to practice. Whether you're a seasoned BJJ practitioner or a beginner looking to explore the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I highly recommend giving No Gi BJJ a try. The experience of training without the Gi will undoubtedly enhance your overall understanding of the art and elevate your skills as a martial artist. So, step on the mats, embrace the sweat, and get ready to experience the thrill of no gi BJJ!

About the Writer

Tom is an avid martial artist with years of experience in training MMA, BJJ, and Muay Thai. He frequently travels and visits gyms around the world, making him an integral part of gym culture and the global combat sports community.


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