Thursday, March 28, 2013

The eternal debate

While we all train jiu-jitsu with the belief that it has to be useful in a real self-defense situation, the jury is still out on the gi vs no-gi debate. There are various arguments for each being better suited than the other, so let's examine some of my favorites.

If you want to be good in no-gi, train only no-gi, right? The adcc, arguably the highest level no-gi competition in the world, which is frequented by grapplers of various disciplines, is dominated by bjj guys who train in the gi, year after year. These professional athletes choose to train in the gi most of their time, only switching to no-gi a few weeks before the competition. And they do well. Too well.

People don't walk around in gis, do they? Training exclusively with the gi develops bad habits. People get too dependent on the grips. They develop specialized games which simply fall apart without a gi. As a result, people have the burden of developing two distinct games to be successful.

While people don't walk around wearing gis, they don't walk naked either. A simple t-shirt is more than enough to choke someone out a few times, especially if it rips a little bit. That is, unless the person wears a shirt which just happens to have a collar, or a good coat.

In closing, you have to make up your own mind as to which style suits you better. Some may argue that no-gi training is still much much better than not training at all. Your call.

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