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Mastering No-Gi BJJ and Choosing the Right Jiu-Jitsu School

Martial arts is nearly synonymous with the Gi. Whether it’s Karate, Taekwondo or Judo, most popular martial arts have their own version. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is of course no different. Royce Gracie wore his Gi even when he competed in the UFC!

But there is more to Jiu-Jitsu than Gi fighting. If you’re interested in grappling and MMA, you’ll want to take up No-Gi classes too. 

To be clear, it’s not fair to call one style of training better than the other. Rather, they compliment each other and both yield important self-defence benefits. The exception to that is if you have plans to take up MMA fights, in which case you’ll want to be training No Gi almost all of the time.

You’ll want to make sure you pick the right Jiu-Jitsu School for No-Gi training, too. Some schools specialize in on style over the other, which is important to know. At Gracie Botany, our Jiu-Jitsu academy in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, we focus on both disciplines. 

gracie botany no-gi bjj classes beginners and advanced (16)

What is No-Gi BJJ?

It would be easy to say that No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu is simply Jiu-Jitsu without a Gi. But that doesn’t really encapsulate the fundamental differences you’ll experience in training the two styles.

When you train in a Gi, you become accustomed to gripping your opponent’s attire. That can mean holding their pants as you pass guard, the sleeves and collar as you play guard, and the collar when you go for a choke. In No Gi, you have none of that. 

Almost all of the principles of Gi Jiu-Jitsu translate to No Gi, and vice versa. The majority of techniques that work on someone wearing a Gi work in No Gi, you just need to know what adjustments to make. 

Benefits of Training in No-Gi BJJ

The first benefit of training No-Gi BJJ is obvious: self defense. If you’re entirely accustomed to defending yourself against people wearing a Gi, you’re likely to be thrown off in a self-defense scenario. 

Even training No-Gi once a week or a fortnight will teach you how to adjust your grips – grabbing behind the head instead of the collar, for instance – to make your techniques work on someone wearing a T-shirt or no clothing.

The other benefit is cardio. Gi training is slower and often more strategic. No Gi is more slippery, and involves more scrambles. Gi will sharpen your mind more, and No Gi will get you in better fighting shape. 

Finding the Right Jiu-Jitsu School

Choosing the right school is important, no matter what your BJJ aspirations are. You’ll find many MMA gyms that focus almost exclusively on No Gi. You’ll also find some traditional academies that don’t offer No Gi at all, or only very limited amounts. 

If you’re hoping to become a versatile grappler, you’ll want to learn from teachers who are proficient in both styles.

Why Choose Gracie Botany

Gracie Botany is part of the Gracie Humaita school system. As our name suggests, our lineage can be traced back to the Gracie Family. Royler Gracie, son of BJJ co-creator Helio Gracie, is the head of Humaita. 

Our coaches, led by black belt Sav Roberts, have learned Jiu-Jitsu from the source. We know the importance of No Gi grappling, and have spent years – or well over a decade in Sav’s case – honing skills in both Gi and No Gi BJJ.

No-Gi Training at Gracie Botany 

If you’re interested in trying out No Gi BJJ, come into one of our many classes. The attire is simple: grappling shorts, or tights, plus one of our rash guards. 

The class will feature 5 – 15 minutes of warmup. During that time we’ll put you through a series of Jiu-JItsu movements, including hip escapes, bridges and sit throughs. Then you’ll learn technique from one of our coaches, which could be anything from position escapes to armbar practice. 

Then the final 20 to 30 minutes is dedicated to rolling. Get ready to sweat!

No-Gi Class Schedules

At Gracie Botany we offer three No-Gi classes: Monday at 6:45pm, Tuesday at midday and Wednesday at 6:45pm. All classes are open to all levels!

If you’re interested in learning No-Gi grappling, or any kind of BJJ, feel free to book a free trial class at Gracie Botany