Why should I use the gi?

The last weekend I atended a jackson Correira seminar, and he told me I should do some gi trainig as well as training whit out it so I can improve my technique. I'm more serious about teaching, training and competing than ever before. Royce told me the same when he gave me the blue whit a stripe. To be quite honest I'm not interested at all in competing in sport bjj. My main focus is subwrestling and mma, so please tell me you'r toughts on it. The last time I wore a gi was when I was doing judo and it left me whit the habit if trying to grab the clothes every time I sparred, it was kind of hard to let go of if but I finally have. So I do not whant to go back to that. So please post your honest opinions. I'll really like to hear what Marcos Avellan and Eddie Bravo have to say about this, please ttt.




I train mostly if not all no-gi at FFA (with marcos avellan) and heres my thoughts:

For alot of people gi training will benifit your positioning. Your ability to keep a tight sidemount, to work knee on belly, to understand the importance of position and learn them solid.

That said the same can be acheived with no-gi but it needs to be stressed more.

Basically I feel if you have a technical instructor you will be technical wheather you train in a gi, in shorts, or in a bathrobe. The key is to make sure you are working all the details. Make sure you stress positioning. The submissions will come. They are easy to learn. Positioning is key.

I feel thats why most people who stress the gi feel that way.


You better not use the Gi or Chris Brenna will show up and kick your ass! I'm emialing him right now. He'll be checking on you.

The Gi is warm. It has been -35c here for many days. The Gi is appreciated.

The Gi simulates clothing. In real life, people are seldom naked or in speedos, so knowing how to manipulate clothing is beneficial should you ever require any self-defense cross-over.

The Gi keeps sweat down. Being drizzled by sweat is not fun.

I train and enjoy both.


CharlesFFA/AFA: I agree whit you, on the other hand it is easier to escape a position whit out the gi so quite honestly I'm kind of confused, from the little I have seen in the videos of Marcos what he does is exactly the way I want to be able to perform. Going in hard for the takedown and seting the subs up by controling the head or body.

rene.r: I agree that people are dresed on the street most of the time you fight some one, but on the other hand if you know how to manipulate some one by controling his body it doesn't matter if he is wearing nothing or not because the leverages you'r looking for will be there.

After giving it some tought I agree in some part to wear the gi and train in it becuase of the sophistication it birngs to the game etc. But on the other hand I feel it is time spend on some thing diferent from what I want to achive. I mean, the more time I train whit out it the more proficient I'll become on my mma training. What do you guys think?


Here are my thoughts. You can be a very succesful mma/sub greappler without ever putting the gi on. There is no one right way. I personally love the no-gi game way more then the gi. But i make it a point to train with the gi once or twice a week.

I find that the gi really slows my game down. It really takes away a lot of natural attributes and forces you to rely more on technique. Now this can be done with no-gi, but I find that ego always gets in the way to sone extent and you end up using your other attributes no matter how hard you try to nullify them.

The gi forces you to use grips and positioning to keep leverage on your opponent. Now the grips go away when you take the gi off, but you can find the same points that you grip the gi with and it really tightens up your no-gi game.

I think that you can go to far with sport bjj and become reliant on the gi, and i tend to stay away from a lot of those techniques since I don't ever plan on competing in the pan-ams or mundials again.

I know some fighters don't ever plan on putting the gi on because they believe they want to train the way they fight and thats fine for them. I just believe that you take advantage of everything that can help your game. I look at gi training the same way I look at weight lifting, cardio training etc. As long as you train sport specifically, it can only help tighten up your game.

Just my thoughts.


Bigkiller, massbjj, goku: I find every thing you say whit in reason and agree whit most, that I thing is exactly why I'm confused.

I'll really like to hear from eddy or marcos if they think they would be as good and as proficient as they are in subwrestling if they had never put a gi on



the gi playsa smaller role than:

1. who you learn from

2. who your training partners are

3. how hard/long you train.

both are more technical in different ways, both challenging. Train in an environment that simulates competition. this is pure logic.

"lol@ ppl who think GI's simulate real life conditions...clothes are not GIs...the closest thing to REAL life is that the person you fighting WILL have limbs, but not necessarily Pant legs, or Jackets that will not stretch "

Well, they are much more likely to have pants legs than tight shorts.

In any case, neither gi nor no-gi perfectly simulate real life. Train both.

Heard Matt Thornton say that he wouldn't grade anyone higher than purple who didn't have a gi game, "for lots of reasons".

In Royler's new book he says to train gi first, and that he trains mostly gi, switching to no-gi before a sub-wrestling or vale-tudo fight.

Rickson says train half-in-half.

Goku, training with a gi becomes less attribute based than training without. This is great for big strong guys and is forces them to tighten their technique up.

It also makes your escapes much better because of the increased difficulty due to all the handles and lack of sweat.

There is more to think of as there are more moves to defend against. This can make you more aware of things like your posture and defence. This is a double edged sword because it can also hurt you by preventing you from placing your attention where it is needed for no-gi but generally looking at the big picture can be helpful.

Wearing a gi is very hot, this is great for your fitness.

These aren't arguments for training SOLELY with a gi BTW, these are things that can help you in your no-gi game. I just believe that is is benefitial to train with a gi at least a few times a month, the same as it's benefitial to train WITHOUT a few times a month. Of course your main training should be in the field you compete in.

don't make me go off again.

if you want to get good at no gi, then train primarily no gi and learn how to do the techniques without wearing one. basically all no gi techs, will work weather you do or dont were a gi. As were gi techniques will only work with a gi, but wearing the gi gives you more angles.

If you have time, train both...

Goku - don't give me that shit about people wearing shorts in Cali year round. I have lived here my whole life and you know that's not the case. Peeps don't walk around in speedos all day unless you live in Venice.

BTW - for real life sitautions I have seen a collar choke used with success and even one sweep where a teammate used the pant leg in an actual streetfight. They could not have been pulled it off without gi knowledge, so stop the hate.

I personally like to do both Gi & NoGi.

If you want to fight primarily MMA however, I see no reason to wear it unless you are looking to tighten up your positional game.

I don't like the logic of gi training to improve no-gi. For self defense, you need both, but for MMA or no-gi competition you need to train in the clothing you will be wearing in competition. Would putting on a gi help a wrestler improve his no gi takedowns technique?

Short answer, whatever your take on the question to gi or not to
gi, it IS universally accepted that's it easier to learn the gi first,
and then take it off, as oppossed to learning gi-less first, and
then putting it on. So I would say for that reason alone, train with
the gi first and you'll always have the option of taking it off later.
If you start without a gi, and want to put it on later, it will be
much more difficult. This might espeically useful in your case as
you've expressed an interest in teaching.

Eddie, I would seriously like to hear your opinion on one question.

Do you feel you would be as good a no-gi grappler today if you had never trained with a gi? Why?

"Do you feel you would be as good a no-gi grappler today if you had never trained with a gi? Why?"

If Jean Jacques was still my instructor, I would've been better at no-gi jiu jitsu if I never trained with the gi.

I would've been forced to develope the rubber guard alot sooner.

Would Randy Couture be a better Greco player if he had exchanged his first few years of wrestling training for Judo?