Gi vs No Gi BJJ: Which is Better for You - Martial Arts Supplies Aus

Gi vs No Gi BJJ: Which is Better for You? (2024 Comprehensive Guide)

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has exploded in popularity, with a market size of $4 billion in 2022. As more people flock to this martial art, a common question arises: Is it better to learn Gi or No Gi BJJ? This comprehensive guide explores the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of each to help you make an informed decision based on your personal goals.

What are Gi and No Gi BJJ?


Gi BJJ involves wearing a traditional uniform known as a gi or kimono. This outfit includes a heavy cotton jacket, pants, and a belt that denotes rank. The gi allows for various grips on the fabric, facilitating different techniques and submissions.


In No Gi BJJ, practitioners wear rashguards and board shorts or spats. This attire doesn't provide fabric grips, making the style faster-paced and reliant on body control rather than gi manipulation.

Technical Differences

Grips and Friction

Gi BJJ offers a variety of cloth grips, slowing matches and allowing for complex techniques. No Gi BJJ relies on direct body control, resulting in faster-paced matches.

Speed and Movement

No Gi BJJ tends to be more dynamic due to reduced friction. Gi BJJ allows for a more methodical approach with its added grip options.

Pros and Cons



  • Enhanced defensive skills
  • Wider range of submissions
  • Develops patience and technical understanding


  • Slower pace
  • Less applicable to MMA



  • Faster, more dynamic style
  • More applicable to MMA and self-defense
  • Improves athleticism


  • Fewer submission options
  • More physically demanding

Which is Better for Beginners?

Many experts recommend starting with Gi BJJ to build a solid foundation. However, No Gi can be beneficial for those with MMA aspirations. A 2019 study found that both styles significantly improved physical fitness in beginners over a 16-week period.

Gi vs. No Gi for Self-Defense

Both styles offer valuable self-defense skills. Gi techniques can be applied to clothed attackers, while No Gi focuses on direct body control, crucial in various self-defense scenarios.

Gi vs. No Gi for Competitions

Gi competitions often have more restrictive rules but allow for gi-specific techniques. No Gi competitions typically permit a wider range of submissions and encourage a faster pace.

Expert Opinions

"The best practitioners should be proficient in both Gi and No Gi BJJ. Each style offers unique benefits and can complement the other."

- John Danaher, Renowned BJJ Instructor

"For those interested in MMA, prioritize No Gi training, as many Gi-specific techniques don't translate well to MMA."

- Firas Zahabi, MMA Coach

Recent Trends in BJJ (2024)

According to the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, there's been a 15% increase in No Gi tournament participation since 2022. This trend reflects the growing influence of submission-only formats and the crossover appeal with MMA.


Both Gi and No Gi BJJ offer unique advantages. Your choice should align with your personal goals, whether they're self-defense, competition, or MMA. Many practitioners find value in training both styles to develop a well-rounded skill set.

Ultimately, the best approach is to try both and see which resonates with you. Remember, consistency in training is more important than the style you choose. Whether you opt for Gi, No Gi, or both, regular practice is key to progress in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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