Black Dog BJJ

No Gi vs. Gi Jiu Jitsu: Understanding the Differences

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that has two primary styles: No Gi and Gi. While they share the same fundamental principles, there are key differences that make each style unique. In this article, we’ll explore what sets the styles, helping enthusiasts understand the intricacies of each form.

What is The Difference?

As the name implies, it is practiced without the traditional kimono (Gi). Participants wear shorts and a rash guard. This lack of attire significantly changes the dynamics of the sport, focusing more on body grips as opposed to grabbing the clothing of the opponent.

Key Differences:

  1. Attire:
    • No Gi: Involves wearing shorts and a rash guard. This attire reduces friction and makes the sport faster-paced.
    • Gi: Practitioners wear a kimono with a belt. The Gi allows for a variety of grips and slows down the action, making strategy and grip fighting crucial.
  2. Technique and Strategy:
    • No Gi: Due to the lack of clothing to grip, it emphasises more on clinch holds, body locks, and leg attacks. This style often resembles wrestling and requires a strong understanding of underhooks, overhooks, and control of the opponent’s body.
    • Gi: Gi Jiu Jitsu offers a wider variety of techniques due to the ability to grip the Gi. This includes collar chokes, sleeve grips, and Gi-based submissions.
  3. Pace and Physical Demand:
    • No Gi: Generally faster-paced and more dynamic. It demands a higher level of athleticism, quick reflexes, and cardio endurance.
    • Gi: More strategic and methodical. The pace is slower, which allows more time for technical execution and planning moves ahead.
  4. Rule Set:
    • No Gi: The rules can vary, but generally, it allows for more leg locks and submissions that are not permissible in traditional Gi competitions.
    • Gi: Has a more traditional rule set, with specific Gi-based submissions and restrictions on certain leg locks.

Benefits of Training No Gi BJJ:

  • Enhances your grappling skills without relying on Gi grips.
  • Develops a better understanding of body movement and control.
  • Improves speed and reflexes due to the fast-paced nature.
  • Offers a different competitive scene with its own set of challenges.
  • See further benefits of BJJ training in our Blog Article: Top 10 Benefits of BJJ

Which Should You Choose?

The choice depends on personal preference, goals, and interests in martial arts. Many practitioners train in both to gain a well-rounded skill set, as each style complements the other.


Whichever route you choose, each offers unique challenges and rewards. Understanding these differences can help practitioners appreciate the complexities and depth of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a whole. Remember, the journey in BJJ, regardless of the style, is about personal growth, discipline, and continual learning. If you fancy giving BJJ a try, why not book a trial at the best BJJ club in Wigan? Black Dog BJJ! Book your free class and start your journey now

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