People often ask me,
“Frankie, why don’t you train Gi?”
(I do train Gi but it is very, very rare.)
I wanna tell you what I tell them.
I trained in the Gi for about 2 years achieving a Blue Belt 1 stripe
but then I stopped when No Gi classes were offered more regularly at my school.
I didn’t come into BJJ with hopes of being an MMA fighter.
I didn’t come in with a bias against the Gi
and I’m not against the Gi, now…
I just think it has its place.
From time to time at our school,
we had wrestlers train with us.
In the Gi (many with very little training)
wrestlers positionally dominated right up to the Brown Belts.
Out of the Gi, they often dominated almost everyone, including the Black Belts.
I saw the limitations of Gi Jiu-Jitsu (at least how we were being taught).
It was at that point that I realized that ground wrestling (not takedowns)
was missing from a lot of BJJ.
I wasn’t interested in having BJJ that didn’t have an answer for wrestling
and that’s why I advocate No Gi before Gi.
In No Gi, there are fewer positions to lever from
making it simpler to learn
but the lack of friction requires greater speed and feel.
I don’t think No Gi is simply for the young, either.
I’ve seen some very competent No Gi non-wrestlers in their 40s & 50s.
From time to time, I’ll put on the Gi to see how my Jiu-Jitsu fares.
As long as I fight the grip fight,
my performance is comparable to my No Gi Jiu-Jitsu.
So, here’s my challenge to you.
Take off the Gi.
If your No Gi Performance is good,
then keep doing what you’re doing.
If it isn’t,
consider training more No Gi.
Your BJJ (both Gi & No Gi) will thank you.