Gi x No Gi – Part 2

In the first part we discussed how accomplished grapplers manipulate the gi to their advantage because of better game understanding, and how gi also allows people to be sneakier with chokes. Let’s continue.

I can attest first hand to the fact that these techniques and guards are all quite effective. I can also attest to the fact that when you first start getting caught with them they do very much feel like tricks.

You start to think to yourself “there’s no way I would get caught by this person if they didn’t have the gi helping them with these moves.” Which may be true, but is not the right way think about the gi (or leglocks in nogi for that matter).

Jiu Jitsu is often referred to as <a href=”http://www.graciesydney.com.au/gsa- blog/the-benefits-of-the-gentle-art-can-bring-to-all.html”>human chess</a>, if that’s the case these aren’t “tricks” so much as they are your opponents using all the pieces available to them, some of which being pieces whose movement you don’t understand.

It’s easy to label things that seem so-simple-they-never-would-work, as gimmicks when you get caught in them but those techniques require perfecting the same way as an armbar does.

Just because you don’t understand how to use the knight piece in chess doesn’t mean that your opponent’s mastery with the piece cheapens his victory.

<strong>So the question still remains which is the more effective style of training, gi or no gi? </strong>

My personal answer (as well as many other’s answer) is neither. If you are going to become a complete BJJ player you should understand the differences between rolling in the gi and without it.

I just went on ad nauseam about little things gi players do to trip up their no gi focused foils. But you could flip the script just as easily with attacks that reap the knee.

When a traditionally gi only player rolls into a gym where all leg attacks are allowed at all levels you can see the hesitation in their game clear as a pizza stain on a white shirt.

The attacks are all foreign to them, their leg is compromised in a way they’ve never felt and now all of a sudden it is the no gi player who possesses the mastery of the pieces on the board necessary to pull off “tricks”.

So how do we best prepare to grapple in both worlds? I will answer it in the third part.

Stay tuned.

About author:
James Macferson is a BJJ blue belt, martial arts practitioner and a true health enthusiast. He mostly writes for http://budomate.com, Budomate Magazine and http://jabcrosstshirts.com/fight-gear/JabCross Blog, but always glad to share his knowledge with Jiu Jitsu community anywhere anytime.

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