Gi vs No Gi – BJJ/Judo Fight Analysis & Differences


Gi vs no Gi, everything has its good and bad sides. Gi leads to many more various options in your repertoire, while no gi provides more dynamic into the fight.

There are many differences between gi vs no gi fight.

Unlike some techniques are limited when you have no gi, there are other things which might be beneficial.

You need to think of a good Judo or BJJ competitor who has more possibilities with more clothes.

On the other hand, gi might reduce your quickness, explosiveness, takedown and submission defense.

It’s a long discussion and we will briefly introduce you to the most important differences between these two styles of competitions in this post.

BJJ GI Specifications

A gi competition allows a bigger arsenal of chokes.

A t-shirt is good for choking and contact initiation, BJJ rash guard is better, but BJJ gi is the best – you have so many options.

You can use sleeve and lapel to your advantage, even the belt might become your best friend.

As much as you taught the gi will not help you much, you are wrong.

For example, you can use spider guard and butterfly guard with more efficiency since you can grab the sleeve.

On the other hand, any lapel choke, like bow and arrow choke, would be completely impossible with a BJJ rash guard only.

Additionally, Basic BJJ sweeps are ten times easier with a gi, especially if you are a beginner.

Unfortunately, the problem might be if you decide to compete in MMA or Sambo.

You might too much depend on the sleeve and lapel, and the opponent will rain punch after punch.

You need to consider that BJJ gi might be extremely heavy when it is loaded with sweat, especially if you have chosen a double weave gi.

BJJ No Gi Specifications

A no gi competition is usually harder and more dynamic.

Fighters need a lot more energy to try a successful takedown attempt, just as more skill on the ground game and during submission.

A transition is a bit more difficult when you and your opponent are covered in sweat.

A long sleeve rash guard is good for sweat retention but you will get sticky more and more as the opponent’s hand initiates the contact with you.

However, no gi competition has few advantages – armbar attempts, Kimura, chokes where you don’t use lapel and leg locks are easier to equalize.

When it comes to extremity isolation, your hips, armpits, or arms are a dominant factor.

Without a gi, you will be able to attempt it faster.

On the other hand, you will defend submissions more easily.

Gi vs No Gi - BJJ No Gi SpecificationsGi vs No Gi - BJJ No Gi Specifications

Takedown attempts should be equal.

Judo Gi specifications

When you wear a gi in a Judo competition, it usually means stronger grip and more options.

Judo fighters naturally hold one hand on your lapel, while the other one is on your hand.

It means many throws where you use the judo gi is allowed.

You can work on very effective throws, like:

You can stick to attractive and sacrifice throws with a gi.

According to new Judo rules, you mustn’t grab opponent’s legs, but gi still allows many attractive control positions and submissions.

Since Judo allows only armbar attempts, there is no much difference between gi and no gi.

Armbar, by nature, is the easiest to combine with a triangle or any sort of neck trap.

You can always grab the opponent’s forearm and you will remain sticky, non-dependent of the Judo uniform.

However, one big plus for competition is the ability to leave the crowd breathless and earn applause due to extremely attractive throws or submission attempts.

Judo No Gi Possibilities – MMA And Sambo

When you try to implement judo into MMA, Sambo, or self-defense, you will see there are a lot of differences compared to the competition.

However, some Judo techniques are still available without a gi, and especially if your opponent has winter clothes.

Consider one more thing – there are no Judo mats in the street fight, which means every throw will create more damage to your opponent.

Let’s analyze the situation when your opponent has a minimum of clothes (UFC fight).

In UFC, you need to be aware that you c
an control only opponent’s arms, body or legs.

Headbutts are not allowed, but be warned – an opponent can mount and rain you with punches, or he can utilize a knee or an uppercut off the clinch and finish the fight.

Which throws are effective?

Judo-style single leg or double leg takedown is a bit slower, but it is very hard to counter by a knee since it is hardly visible.

You can also utilize uchi mata, harai goshi, o goshi, ashi barai, osoto gari, ko soto gari… Any kind of throw where you don’t need to grab the opponent’s gi is useful.

However, you don’t have the possibility to counter with sacrificing throws like tomoe nage or sumi gaeshi, nor you can perform some super attractive throws like hiza guruma.

But there is one big advantage – you can use ashi garami to submit your opponent!

Any leg attack is allowed. UFC fighters are very vulnerable to ippon seoi nage off the clinch.

When it comes to Sambo or other competition where you might wear a rash guard or a T-shirt, these attractive throws are technically possible.

However, you cannot use a belt as a weapon, and if your opponent has a tight t-shirt, you will have a hard time for sure.

When it comes to armbar, there is no big difference and you can use this technique with ease.

Gi vs No Gi – In Conclusion

When it comes to gi vs no gi situation, be aware that each one has its own advantages and shortcomings.

While you will be a lot faster without a gi, your opponent will have a harder time if he has a gi or warm winter clothes – you will have more points of attack, which consequently leads to more options when it comes to throwing or a takedown.

Our advice is to determine the discipline you want to train and stick to it.

Sports specific training is the best way to progress.

However, if you want to be an ultimate fighter, train everything you can.

You never know which kind of situation might happen.

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Teaching, Friendly, Young, Passion. Always wanna go up & down. Hey, you gotta live, do you?  

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