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NOGI to GI Transition


Blue Belt
Feb 25, 2008
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I'm really finding Gi grappling a lot of fun. A few things that i've noticed so far...

1. my fingers hurt the next day from all the grabbing. I never knew!
2. I end up on my back a lot. this i knew.
3. I never knew how frigin hot it gets in a Gi...summer is coming..oh joy!
4. Some people know how to use the Gi like a third arm! I did expect that though.
5. It's safer than Nogi. meaning that i would constantly get injured nogi. while Gi seems (so far) safer. It probably has to do with the Gi being more technical than Nogi. Just my opinion.
6. Gi grapplers tend to be more relaxed and easy going people, while Nogi grapplers tend to be more aggressive and short tempered. Another observation of mine.
7. Most important...Gi grappling is fun! =D
I think your observations (#5 and #6) have to do with the fact that in the gi, generally the game becomes a bit slower.
I prefer nogi but gi has some cool stuff you can do. However i don't get into any complex stuff like de la riva or spider guard as i still try to stick to my no gi grip game wherever possible.

It's definitely slower and more frustrating as you can't slip out of stuff, but then that's the most beneficial part for me as i have to actually use technique, lol
Defending Gi-chokes is a bitch.

Remembering going for Gi-chokes aswell.
I love how GI forces you to use technique. I agree gi-chokes are a bitch and they are gay.
I love how GI forces you to use technique. I agree gi-chokes are a bitch and they are gay.

The only time I ever get choked is with GI chokes. being one of those no neck types, I never get caught in RNC or triangles. That said on of my best chokes (sleeve choke) requires a gi.
I am with you. I have been training no-gi at a few places for a few years...mostly doing no-gi in MMA gyms to supplement muay thai.

After going to Draculino's I realized how different the level of jiu jitsu is compared to the level in "MMA" schools. I used to tap out all my training partners in some of the MMA gyms I trained, they typically came to me for techniques...then a few years later I ended up at Drac's and damn...blue belts were giving me fits. There is really no comparison between the technical ability at most MMA type grappling students and pure BJJ schools.

It really is eye opening...I've been training at Drac's about 2 months now I believe and I have done all Gi the whole time...but 6 months ago I shit talked all about gi and how useless it is...

My eyes are open now. :)
I am on the mats every day with the gi on, and when I make the switch to nogi I think it is a lot easier. David Camarillo has a great section in his book about the technicalities of training in the gi.
I would suggest training in the gi because it gives both the fights a lot more options when it comes to grips, when in nogi training you are very limited. As well as defending and applying gi choke can add a whole different level to ones game, that was not there with nogi.
No gi is so much better IMO! BUT I have to admit that my gi game made my no gi better so I enjoy the fact that I am training both.

But when I compete I much perfer no gi! And I never miss my tuesday and saturday no gi class! I do two of both a week!
I always considered myself a quick learner but switching to gi from no g was a bit tough for me, though now I understand it better and feel that I am improving in a gi. I never go for gi chokes but am slowly changing that. Plus your defenses are a lot better when you learn how to defend submissions in a gi
personally i prefer no-gi much more than gi...ironically... i train gi 4-6 times a week while training no-gi 4 times a month if im lucky...ironically once again... in no-gi i fair much better against my training partners than in gi however in my game, although i know tons of gi chokes and controls, i rarely use them