Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pros and cons of gi vs no-gi grappling

In Japanese martial arts like judo, the required uniform is called a gi. Some newer forms of grappling arts, like Brazilian jiujitsu, make wearing the gi optional. Some clubs have specific gi classes and no-gi classes. There are advantages and disadvantages to grappling with and without a gi.
gi pros:
  • wearing a gi facilitates modesty - I know I wouldn't wrestle if I had to wear a singlet like the Greco-Roman guys. I don't mind grappling in sweats and a teeshirt but tearing teeshirts up wrestling gets tiresome - which brings us to our second benefit of jacket wrestling...
  • the gi is more durable than teeshirts and sweatpants.
  • wearing a gi limits the gross factor - Nobody likes rolling around in another dude's sweat. The gi absorbs a lot of this and makes wrestling less disgusting.
  • wearing a gi allows for ease of gripping, improved leverage, and a wider range of techniques
  • wearing a gi is warmer, which might be an advantage several degrees of latitude north of Mokuren Dojo
no-gi pros
  • nogi grappling can be a closer simulation of street conditions
  • nogi grappling has greater similarity to amateur wrestling, which might suggest a crossover or transferrence of skills.
  • nogi grappling is less expensive
  • nogi grappling tends to equalize participants somewhat. A judo black belt wrestling without a gi jacket is somewhat out of his element.
  • nogi grappling is definitely cooler, which is important in the summer around here!

1 comment:

  1. Some good points. Although I come from a Judo gi training background, for the last few years I have plenty no gi training.

    I have found that apart from certain chokes, many Judo technqiues can still be performed using grip variations and good technique. I think Judo Ka should practise no gi from time to time to get the feel of it.


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