What Is the Difference Between Gi and No-Gi Jiu Jitsu?

jiu jitsu gi vs no gi

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a fantastic grappling martial art with two training styles. Besides, BJJ practitioners can train while wearing a Gi (kimono) or just a rashguard and shorts (no-gi training). Indeed, there is always a debate between GI vs. No GI BJJ training. So, what is the main difference between gi and no-gi jiu-jitsu?

The most noticeable difference between Gi and No-Gi BJJ training is the clothing. In jiu-jitsu gi training, practitioners wear a gi uniform consisting of a heavy cotton jacket, pants, and a belt. On the other hand, in jiu-jitsu no-gi training, practitioners wear a rashguard and shorts or a spat.

As we progress through this article, we will reveal more incredible differences between Brazilian jiu-jitsu Gi and No-Gi training. As a result, you have more information to select the ideal grappling type for your needs. Stay tuned!


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Clothing Differences Between Gi and No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu

The Jiu-Jitsu Gi and No-Gi are excellent grappling styles where practitioners dress differently. Honestly, you’ll get a fantastic training experience whether you train in the Gi or without the Gi. 

In BJJ Gi training, practitioners dress in a uniform with a jacket, pants, and a belt. There are several great gi brands for Brazilian jiu-jitsu out there, such as Fuji BJJ Uniform, Venum Contender 2.0 Gi, Sanabul Essentials, etc.

To read more about the best Gi for Brazilian jiu-jitsu; Click here.

On the other hand, no-gi training is done with just a rashguard and shorts. In the world of jiu-jitsu grappling, there are many different brands of rashguards to choose from, like Hayabusa Fusion, Elite Sports Rash Guard, Gold BJJ Rash Guard, and others.

To read more about the best rashguards for Brazilian jiu-jitsu; Click here.

Game Differences Between Gi and No-Gi Grappling

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu Gi and NoGi disciplines have similarities in game-playing and competition matches. Let us look at a few examples:

  • Both gi and no-gi BJJ fights or matches start from a standing position to take down the opponent or pull guard. Then, every fighter tries to get himself in a dominant position to submit his opponent on the ground.
  • In both grappling disciplines, game positions are the same such as the guard, back mount, full mount, side control, etc.
  • With a few tweaks, almost all gi BJJ techniques are applicable in no-gi BJJ. Otherwise, some of those techniques are very effective without the gi (RNC, etc.). However, others techniques are fatal when employing the opponent’s gi (Gi chokes, etc.). 
  • If points scoring is enabled, both disciplines reward the same number of points when a competitor achieves particular positions. For example, reaching the full mount position (4 points), back mount (4 points), passing the guard (3 points), successful takedown (2 pts), etc.

On the other hand, there are some differences between the No-Gi BJJ grappling and Gi in competition matches. Let’s take a glance at a few distinctions:

  • Some no-gi tournaments (like FTW) only allow submission to win the fight; no points are awarded for this type of match. While in Gi jiu-jitsu, both points and submissions are allowed since the start of a fight.
  • Other tournaments (like ADCC) allow accumulating points after a specified amount of time. Even yet, the fight ends at any time if submission occurs. 

Griping System Differences Between NoGi and Gi BJJ

bjj gi vs no gi

In a grappling or BJJ match, the fighter begins by establishing solid grips (points of control) on his opponent. Therefore, he will gain an advantage over his opponent while performing the desired techniques.

Good grips indicate reasonable control over your competitor, which increases the likelihood that the practitioner will have greater leverage to complete the game. Let’s take a glance at some gripping distinctions between Gi and No-Gi Brazilain jiu-jitsu:

It is permissible to grab the opponent’s clothing (Gi or kimono) in the Gi BJJ game. On the other hand, holding the opponent’s clothes in No-Gi grappling match is not permitted. Still, you are allowed to place your grips directly on the opponent’s body in NoGi.

A Gi practitioner prefers grips to complete choke submissions or play guards such as Dela Riva, spider, full, half, and others. On the other hand, a No-Gi practitioner will usually go for leg locks, guillotine, RNC, d’arce choke, and other BJJ submissions.

Differences in Game’s Speed and Mobility Between Nogi and Gi

The No-Gi BJJ grappling allows the fighter to move more quickly and efficiently while executing the various techniques and transitions on the mat. On the other hand, the Gi may cause the jiu-jitsu practitioner to move more slowly.

Competition Rules Dissimilarities Between Nogi and Gi JIu-Jitsu

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Between the gi and no-gi grappling disciplines, there are specific differences in the regulations of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

For example, the Gi competition does not permit the heel hook submission technique. On the other hand, this submission is acceptable in most NoGi events, including the ADCC (most famous No-Gi grappling competition).


In summary, Brazilian jiu-jitsu Gi and No-Gi are fantastic grappling martial arts disciplines that offer you plenty of benefits. As a practitioner, you should practice both styles to develop into a tough fighter like Felipe Pena. He is a fantastic role model for a world-class competitor in NoGi and Gi.

Speak your mind; What do you prefer more No-Gi or Gi BJJ training?

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling martial art where practitioners wear shorts and rashguards (tee-shirts). So, it differs from traditional jiu-jitsu, where practitioners wear a gi uniform.

What’s Better Gi or No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu (Gi and No-Gi) are superb grappling martial arts disciplines that provide a plethora of benefits to their practitioners. Training with a Gi may be preferable to training without a Gi, and vice versa, depending on your ultimate objectives. For MMA training, BJJ No-Gi is preferable to Gi-based training. On the other hand, BJJ Gi may be preferable for self-defense or street fighting applications.

Which Is More Challenging Gi or No-Gi BJJ Training?

Escapes techniques are more challenging in Gi jiu-jitsu because the Gi grips make the game slower and technically demanding. However, in No-Gi, finishing submission techniques are more complicated than in the Gi because grip holds are quickly breakable, and the game is fast.

Which Is More Popular, No-Gi or Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Nowadays, No-Gi jiu-jitsu got more popular because of mixed martial arts contests. But, also Gi jiu-jitsu training is more established as one of the most prominent martial arts.

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