Anyone go from no-gi to gi?


Purple Belt
Professional Fighter
Dec 20, 2001
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I just had my first gi class yesterday after training no gi and wrestling for about 3 years.I consider myself pretty good in no-gi,but when I put the gi on it reminded me of the first time I started wrestling cause I was more or less completely helpless.It's frustrating cause I know what I want to do,but I'm just not used to having someone hold onto my clothes and I dont really know any grips.Any advice?
Well I do both and I started with gi and then later on tried no-gi. The only thing you need to do is protect your neck more in all positions, any time they get one hand in your collar they are going for a choke.

Also it's a lot harder getting out of positions and I will be here all day if I wrote down all the grips used and proper hand placement in each position.

Just go with the flow and protect your neck.
I also went from no-gi to gi many years ago. In my opinion, going from no-gi to gi is harder than the other way around. I think you will find over time that training with the gi will make your no-gi game much stronger. Gi is a much more technical game with lots mor to worry about, no sweat factor to help you, and lots more to defend against - it will give you technical awareness that you can't get with no-gi training. Just keep working and have fun!
I started training no-gi for about 6 months. Then I was training about 60% gi / 40% no-gi thereafter (by necessity) for the next 3 months till today. It feels very strange at first, but all the no-gi holds still generally work. You just have to be much smoother and tighter with them - sometimes faster too. Gripping is pretty easy: they are pretty instinctual I think. Learn to break grips and to have good posture at all times. All in all, I think gi grappling makes you a better chess player, which greatly helps with no-gi grappling too.
I trained exclusively no gi for a while, and now train mostly no gi with some gi work put in.

Honestly, I never experienced a rough transition to the gi. I know everyone says people trained no gi can't adapt to the gi, but I have found that not to be true in my case. I trained no gi consistently for about two years before I went to the gi, and the first time I really trained gi I was able to tap some blue belts.

I don't like to think of gi and no gi as separate games. To me, all grappling is the same. Grabbing the clothing is just a minor detail. Grappling is about space, weight, and balance. That is the same no matter what you are wearing.

I think the best fighters are the ones who can do exactly the same things with or without a gi. Granted some moves are easier with the gi and some are easier without the gi, but most of the best guys I have trained with fight the same style no matter what the clothing.
Yeah.My game is based on transitions and and causing scrambles and the Gi game is so much slower.
there's definitely a lot less to be you, jk.

there's definitely a lot to learn about grappling with the gi, but i think all the additional moves available to you vs no gi are really cool - its all personal preference tho. learn and have fun man, it doesnt happen overnight. but you've been at it a couple years so im sure you know that already.
I really like to mix them up Gi's force you to be more technical and set up your subs better.
meh... imo training gi wont help ur no- gi game. some guy said " you dont have the sweat factor to help you" well that factor also works against you when applying submissions and trying to control your opponent.
Spoonman7 said:
I really like to mix them up Gi's force you to be more technical and set up your subs better.

really? id think just the opposite. You get use to the grip from your gi when applying submissions and the setups w/ the gi (which allow you control in spots you wont have no gi).

I train no gi w/ mostly shorts.. but recently I started trying out the gi pants in training and wow. I can pull off rubber guard shit and subs from the full guard significantly easier w/ the gi pants alone. So much more grip and aint so sweaty.
I'm a no gi grappler, just tried gi rolling for the first time on Sunday. I felt like a complete beginner again. I got choked out with my own gi like 4 times. After that I protected my neck. But man, it was tiring!

2 things I really like the gi for:

-2 of my instructors and I ran drills for about an hour, and the technique drills, especially armbar from the guard, were WAY harder with a gi on. There was so much friction between the gis compared to no gi, it provided resistance for my armbars. As a result, I was getting sore and fatigued from armbars. I like this a lot; I feel like my armbars are going to be slightly improved.

-In the winter, my MMA gym is FREEZING (for training anyways). I open it up on Sundays, so I get there before anyone else at 10:30 a.m., and it's tough to get warmed up enough. The mats get really cold. But in my new Warrior One double-weave gi, I was breaking a sweat in no time. Gi grappling is great for the winter when it's really cold.


-I've heard stories from either side of the fence as far as whether or not the gi helps you with no gi. The Gracies, and many Sherdoggers, say the gi will make you more technical, while a friend of mine on these forums who I will leave unnamed, and Eddie Bravo, believe that the gi is an anachronism and that it will only further complicate your game.

I have yet to see if gi training will make me more technical, but for the time being, it's going to be no more than a once-a-week thing to train with a gi. I have to focus on no gi grappling, takedowns, kickboxing, clinching, plus mixing that all together; gi training is going to be more supplemental.

The gi game is so different to me, because all my experience in grappling has come from wrestling and no gi. I'm very used to keeping things really tight, and using grips like overhooks, underhooks, arm drags, etc. The gi game is slower, you make more distance between yourselves, and you grip the gi a lot.
It's kinda funny I forgot who said it but it was something along the lines of "In no-gi the less technical man has a much better chance of winning"

I do believe that the gi makes you a better no-gi grappler. Yea it's grappling itself that makes you better but the small nuances of the gi really tighten up your game. Getting out of positions was disguistingly easy without the gi and there was a noticeable difference at submission attempts between no-gi only and guys who also do gi.

This is my opinion so far but every strictly no-gi guy I have wrestled they were really sloppy compared to no-gi guys that did gi.