To Gi or not to Gi


A common question I am asked by beginners is whether they should train gi or nogi.  My answer is always the same…both.  I always tell them that the gi will transfer over and help your nogi game tremendously; however the same cannot be said the other way around. If you ask any high level BJJ practitioner I’m pretty sure they will tell you the same thing.  With the popularity of MMA, a lot of schools focus mainly on nogi and there are many people that simply don’t want to do it for whatever reason.  When I started BJJ over a decade ago, classes were always gi and once a week there was an optional nogi class.  Little by little more nogi gained popularity and more classes were added.  The same change took place at tournaments.  Gi divisions were always first followed by the slim nogi divisions and today it’s the other way around.  As I was making my outline for this blog, I was writing down the pros and cons of training in the gi, but in reality, there are no cons.  Below I will discuss some of the many benefits of training with the gi.

Slows the Game Down

The many grips involved in gi training allow one to slow things down and think.  Nogi is definitely fun, however it is very fast paced and difficult for many beginners. When the gi is put on it tends to weaken some of the physical advantages such as athleticism and strength.  Anytime something new is trying to be learned, the slow approach is always going to be more beneficial in the long run.  The fact that you are able to grab your opponent/partners uniform allows you to slow down their movement and in return take a little longer to plan your next movement or attack and learn at the same time.

Teaches Control

As mentioned above, the grips allow one to slow down their opponent/partner, which is showing they are in control.  They are controlling resistance, space, and leverage even if they don’t realize it right away.  This control helps recognize the momentum changes taking place as two people are rolling.  These shifts in momentum are what set-up the many moves involved such as passes, sweeps, and submissions.  As people gain more practice and mat time they will start to become more technical and knowing when to execute a certain move base on their opponent/partners movement.

Become more Technical

You always hear about how BJJ is like chess, which is indeed true.  The battle is always back and forth until someone simply out smarts the other or catches a mistake.  With more practice you start to see and feel what the other is doing based on how they are grabbing and trying to control you.  Based off of this you are able to figure out how to counter their objective and create your own.  This is the beginning of becoming technical.  The gi not only teaches you proper grips, but also proper hand placement which is how it will help in nogi or assist any MMA fighter.  You aren’t just grabbing and pulling for no reason trying to muscle your way to victory..  There needs to be a specific reason to why you are placing your hands in a certain position and why you are trying to make them move a certain way.  When one knows these reasons they are then becoming more of a technical fighter.


The gi is not only a great learning tool, but also allows one to make-up or figure out new techniques on the fly.  This is something that can take place at all levels of BJJ.  There are so many different variations and set-ups linked to one move.  Just because you learn a move a certain way doesn’t mean you have to do it perfectly that way all the time.  Depending on who you are rolling with you are going to have to change things up sometimes.


This is one of the biggest advantages for training in the gi.  It resembles everyday clothing which can come in handy in a self-defense situation.  I feel that the techniques learned in gi will help in these situations to not only help keep one safe, but also restrain the attacker without using any strikes.  This is definitely beneficial for any police and law-enforcement personnel since they deal with these situations on a regular basis.  In the heat of the moment your instinct and training will kick in and hopefully prevent anyone involved from serious injury.

Overall, the gi is a beneficial tool for any martial artist whether your train as a hobby or for competition.  I hope this blog opened up the minds of those who were turned off by the gi and get them to either put it back on or even try it for the first time.  Remember, everything takes practice.  If you don’t like it a first, you soon will down the road.  Always keep an open mind and don’t get stuck in doing what you are used to.  That’s how you  will evolve your game as a martial artist.  If you don’t have a gi, checkout for their selection of amazing gi’s and get your learn on!


Recent Posts

Scott Jorgensen Returns to 135
Combat Corner Professional Scott Jorgensen returns to the UFC Bantamweight Division this Nov 21st for the TUF Latin America 2 Finale. Jorgesen has had a rough year battling a MRSA infection in his ribs, suffering a MCL tear all, which climaxed with a loss to Gamburyan. But the Combat Corner Professional is ready to return to
Combat Corner Team Wrap Up
It was a busy week as Combat Con 2 was under way, and 3 Combat Corner Professionals also fought over the course of 2 days, and at 3 different promotions. At UFC Fight Night 77, Corey Anderson dominated Fabio Maldonado. The Combat Corner Professional has improved vastly in each fight. With his crisp and clean striking
Tuesday Striking Tips with Duke Roufus
Tuesday Striking Tips from the Duke Roufus Striking University with UFC Fighter, Alan Belcher. As Duke breaks down a proper defense to, and some inside tips on countering. Watch the video below for a more in depth guide. Stay tuned for more videos! For more info visit  
Combat Corner ECO 3.0 Series Gi Continues to Receive High Ratings
The Combat Corner ECO 3.0 Series Gi continues be one of the most affordable and highly praised from various Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. Consistently receiving high ratings on websites, and blogs. Not to mention ranked #9 top 10 Gis in 2014, and moving up in rank in 2015 to the #3 spot. Along with an older review
Mike “Biggie” Rhodes Extends Win Streak
Combat Corner Professional, Mike “Biggie” Rhodes makes a return at the Prestige Fight Club after making quick work over his last opponent. Rhodes extends his win streak with a Rear Naked Choke over Taki Uluilakepa in the 3rd round showing Rhodes isn’t ready to quit. A big congrats to the Combat Corner Professional, and great
Pad Holding Tips with Duke Roufus and Scott Cushman
The first official installment of the Duke Roufus Striking University on the Combat Corner Blog. This week, Coach Duke Roufus and Coach Scott Cushman show more tips on proper pad work. Also Duke Roufus wants to hear what you want to see in the next video. Just comment on his Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram account

Combat Corner

Combat Corner Professional is a martial arts equipment manufacturer founded by professional fighters in 2007. Using only the best raw materials, innovation and cutting edge designs we supply many of the most respected fighters & teams in the world. With our eyes, ears & fists in the gym we are able to stay connected and relevant to the needs of all athletes beginner to pro. Who’s in your Corner?

(888) 991-8789 | N56W16865 Ridgewood Dr Unit 200 Menomonee Falls, WI 53051