Member Since: 12/1/00
To me, there is this annoying fascination that the no gi game is so much different that the gi game, the meta game is different, etc...imo what ultimately wins in the long run is just good grappling- strong takedowns, sweeps, guard passing, back takes, chokes and armlocks- not your fancy honeyhole/411 subs.
This has all been said to death- but here's my new controversial statement - in my opinion, 10th planet, John Danaher's DDS, etc- they all could have been just as successful in no gi competition if they implemented gi training as well as no gi training.
10th Planet started in 2003, and brought over 70+ competitors to this past weekends ADCC West Coast trials...like the East Coast trials that followed several months earlier, they did not have a winner.
John Danaher's squad- I give them the upmost respect, and think John is a genius with his different coherent BJJ systems- but he has also been teaching in NYC since at I started there in 2000 and took his beginner classes at Renzo's. He has produced and helped many amazing grapplers and UFC fighters- but it wasnt until Gordon won ADCC in 2017, has John produced an ADCC winner. Yes, you could say he hasn't really had competitors until recently- but the fact is, he's also been teaching in one of the most populated city for 17 years before producing a No Gi World Champ.
I honestly, think, had all these guys split up there competitor's time and trained in the gi as well, they probably could have reached the same amount of success as they have had since 2003 (for 10th planet), and 2000 (for Danaher).
JT Torres and Felipe Pena both won ADCC in 2017. They both did not even start training BJJ until at least 2003-2005- well after 10th planet and Danaher started teaching. Why did they succeed at the highest levels? Was their No Gi meta game so different than their gi game? How is there honeyhole/heel hook game?
My opinion is just that- and I'm sure many people will think I'm a hater of 10th planet or of heel hooks, but until ADCC 2019 proves me wrong, I still stand by my "archaic" beliefs.
PS- And, I do not think any strictly no gi competitor- 10th planet or DDS will win at ADCC this year (if Gordon doesn't compete that is). But, I'm always happy to be proven wrong.
tl;dr - Train gi to get good at no gi. There isn't proof that no gi specialists are better at no gi.