David Jacobs' BJJGround I am genuinely curious how the gi has helped you?

6/13/19 11:25 AM
7/30/03
Posts: 7042

I hear people say that the gi will make you a better grappler, particularly how it makes you a better nogi grappler. I am not interested in arguing if it does or doesn’t make someone better at nogi but I am interested in personal stories, especially from higher level grapplers, of what specifically grappling in the gi did for them to make them better at nogi. Hopefully I will learn something in this thread.

6/13/19 12:13 PM
12/25/15
Posts: 2282

I had accident in my gi one time and if it had not been for that gi it would have been very nasty situation for my traininer partner.

Edited: 6/13/19 12:30 PM
12/21/04
Posts: 1925
I only have the use of one arm. The gi allowed me to slow down and control the heavier and more athletic grappler who outweighed me by more than 70 pounds. It also provided me with more opportunities to choke. Consequently, over the years I was able to spar with people a lot heavier and stronger than me. I think this would have been much more difficult to do no-gi. Controlling someone no-gi with one arm is very hard, but the skill set I developed from my gi training provided me with an excellent foundation.
6/13/19 2:21 PM
2/14/19
Posts: 174
The gi has helped me learn how to cope with elbow tendinitis so bad that I can't even open a doorknob.
6/13/19 3:28 PM
8/17/08
Posts: 1081

it literally lets you train double since most schools split the days gi and no gi.  yeah maths!

6/13/19 3:28 PM
11/11/11
Posts: 22836

Gi forces you to learn nuances with pressure, snugness, and precision. The sweat in no gi really enables sloppiness because just exploding will get you out of way more.

 

With that said no gi can help you with those things if you dont allow yourself to be sloppy.

Both are important and compliment each other.

6/13/19 3:48 PM
3/18/02
Posts: 744

What TheBearStare said. NoGI allows you to do sloppy escapes and relying on slipperyness to help you out or by exploding. The Gi makes it so you have to use more technique. Also the Gi makes you more aware of chokes. Now that I am in my 50's and train 80% NoGi this has really helped me out since I usually need to slow down the pace and many times bigger younger guys put me in a bad position.

As an instructor I think it is better for a new student to start with Gi training. NoGi training is also important once you know the basics. For example if you can control someone in Reverse De La Riva in NoGi it becomes easier in Gi. Also for self defense purposes NoGi can be more helpful

6/13/19 4:37 PM
7/25/13
Posts: 10346

I’m a hobbyist; the gi has added a layer of fun/challenge to grappling for me. Because I am mostly grappling for the fun and challenge of it, this means a lot. 

6/13/19 5:43 PM
10/14/06
Posts: 955
TheBearStare -

Gi forces you to learn nuances with pressure, snugness, and precision. The sweat in no gi really enables sloppiness because just exploding will get you out of way more.

 

With that said no gi can help you with those things if you dont allow yourself to be sloppy.

Both are important and compliment each other.

I think you actually have to be more precise in no gi because you don't have the handles to rely on. Taking the gi off made me realized how poor my positioning was. 

Gi benefitted me in slowing the game down. It allows me to see the game slower in no gi.  My defense is better because I learned to fight against many more offensive weapons in the gi. 

6/13/19 6:09 PM
4/27/18
Posts: 920

I rewatched Royce vs shamrock 2 the other day. Or rather skimmed it.

Got me thinking, with the change in Bjj over the years how different would a mma match go today if it were no time limit gi vs a guy without a gi?

Seems to me holding people down is easier and wrapping up someone who is on top of you in your guard is easier? No?

 

 

Edited: 6/13/19 8:48 PM
7/5/12
Posts: 2114
If anything it has hindered my progress. Every benefit that's been said about the gi, I've found better ways to learn from no gi.

Getting better at escapes? Much harder in no gi against someone positionally sound where I have to constantly transition from one escape to another as opposed to someone trying to just death grip my gi.

More aware of chokes? Roll no gi with some D1 wrestlers that never stop snapping your head down and cranking your neck. Or someone that seems to get you in a head and arm choke no matter what position you're in.

Skills like timing, positioning, and learning to transition at a faster pace are more important to learn than slowing the game down to a halt using all grips, especially in the beginning. My biggest leap in my progression came when I ignored the brainwashing and went primarily no gi and finally learned to move properly.
6/13/19 10:17 PM
2/9/09
Posts: 8963

Escapes, control, posture 

Edited: 6/14/19 4:54 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 34169

Geeze, where to begin? The gi has not just helped me, but my entire family...

My son is autistic and he finds talking to someone in a billowing martial arts uniform a lot less stressful than talking to someone in regular clothes.
 
I have used it effectively as an emergency animal transport stretcher when a Chow Chow was hit by a car right in front of our dojo
 
Also, truth be told, my wife and I have used the gi to "spice up" our marriage, employing it both in adult role play and as a leverage enhancing marital device.
 
I could go on & on.
6/14/19 3:17 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 13684
shen - 

Geeze, where to begin? The gi has not just helped me, but my entire family...

My son is autistic and he finds talking to someone in a billowing martial arts uniform a lot less stressful than talking to someone in regular clothes.
 
I have used it effectively as an emergency animal transport stretcher when a Chow Chow was hit by a car right in front of our dojo
 
Also, truth be told, my wife and I have used the gi to "spice up" our marriage, employing it both in adult role play and as leverage enhancing marital device.
 
I could go on & on.

LOL. Gold!
6/14/19 3:26 PM
9/7/17
Posts: 601
Calhoon - 

I hear people say that the gi will make you a better grappler, particularly how it makes you a better nogi grappler. I am not interested in arguing if it does or doesn’t make someone better at nogi but I am interested in personal stories, especially from higher level grapplers, of what specifically grappling in the gi did for them to make them better at nogi. Hopefully I will learn something in this thread.


At this point in time I probably do about 3/4ths no-gi to gi which is the most no-gi I've ever done. For most of my time (a decade and a half) I've done about 3/4th gi to no-gi but it's flipped in the past couple of years.

What I think has helped me the most in nogi coming from gi was being able to have things slightly slower which gave me more time to spend in most positions. Literally. So just having the game slowed down and learning how to think, process, act, and react during rolls I think was a helpful. If I had only been able to do no-gi I think I would have been overwhelmed at the pace being a little bit faster.
6/14/19 4:10 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 34171
mata_leaos - 
Calhoon - 

I hear people say that the gi will make you a better grappler, particularly how it makes you a better nogi grappler. I am not interested in arguing if it does or doesn’t make someone better at nogi but I am interested in personal stories, especially from higher level grapplers, of what specifically grappling in the gi did for them to make them better at nogi. Hopefully I will learn something in this thread.


At this point in time I probably do about 3/4ths no-gi to gi which is the most no-gi I've ever done. For most of my time (a decade and a half) I've done about 3/4th gi to no-gi but it's flipped in the past couple of years.

What I think has helped me the most in nogi coming from gi was being able to have things slightly slower which gave me more time to spend in most positions. Literally. So just having the game slowed down and learning how to think, process, act, and react during rolls I think was a helpful. If I had only been able to do no-gi I think I would have been overwhelmed at the pace being a little bit faster.

Honestly, that is a great point. 

6/14/19 4:39 PM
7/30/03
Posts: 7048
mata_leaos -
Calhoon - 

I hear people say that the gi will make you a better grappler, particularly how it makes you a better nogi grappler. I am not interested in arguing if it does or doesn’t make someone better at nogi but I am interested in personal stories, especially from higher level grapplers, of what specifically grappling in the gi did for them to make them better at nogi. Hopefully I will learn something in this thread.


At this point in time I probably do about 3/4ths no-gi to gi which is the most no-gi I've ever done. For most of my time (a decade and a half) I've done about 3/4th gi to no-gi but it's flipped in the past couple of years.

What I think has helped me the most in nogi coming from gi was being able to have things slightly slower which gave me more time to spend in most positions. Literally. So just having the game slowed down and learning how to think, process, act, and react during rolls I think was a helpful. If I had only been able to do no-gi I think I would have been overwhelmed at the pace being a little bit faster.

My grappling experience is very similar to yours in both time and the transition from grappling primarily in the gi to now grappling primarily nogi.

 

I am concerned with coaching others is why I ask about the benefits of starting in the gi. The benefits I could think of in starting in the gi were building a strong base with posture. I could see how being tugged and jerked with the gi grips could help you think posture when in nogi. You do make a solid point though on slowing the game down but I’m curious if you feel like slowing the game with grips makes a newer student reliant on the grips and even more importantly games that are grip reliant, especially open guard. When I consider the benefits of starting in the gi vs the downside of it here is what I can think of.

 

Benefits

 

1) Builds posture

2) Slows the game down

 

Costs

 

1) Prevents students from learning fundamental guard retention and open guard in general without the gi.

2) There is not enough time to learn a solid game in both gi and nogi for most students.

 

 

# 2 is a concern for the following reason. Most students are training probably an average of 3 days a week. If they are wanting to get good at grappling without needing clothing then does it make sense for them to spend their limited time learning games like spider, lasso, worm, etc and time learning how to pass those games or would they be better off spending time simply learning nogi games like a complete half guard sitting guard, single leg, slx etc?

 

There have been some solid points such as yours but I still can’t decide if splitting time between the two is best for the average student. What do you think?

 

 

 

 

Edited: 6/14/19 5:09 PM
7/30/03
Posts: 7049

Shen,

 

I have read your posts saying its best to divide your time between gi and nogi.

 

I have also read your posts saying that your game is pretty fundamental.

 

Honestly I think that’s the answer is new students or students with limited time to train should focus on a fundamental game with basic half guard, basic open guard, and a closed guard game. That kind of game crosses over well between gi, nogi, and vale tudo. A gym full of those students would be ideal but how do you create that environment? How do you keep the students with the YouTube guru on the side from deviating down rabbit holes?

Edited: 6/14/19 6:25 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 34178
Calhoon - 

Shen,

 

I have read your posts saying its best to divide your time between gi and nogi.

 

I have also read your posts saying that your game is pretty fundamental.

 

Honestly I think that’s the answer is new students or students with limited time to train should focus on a fundamental game with basic half guard, basic open guard, and a closed guard game. That kind of game crosses over well between gi, nogi, and vale tudo. A gym full of those students would be ideal but how do you create that environment? How do you keep the students with the YouTube guru on the side from deviating down rabbit holes?

 

I agree with you, in theory.

But, I also recognize I have no ability to control what students watch. 

I have a few students who average LESS than one class a week.  What makes the most sense for them to get better is often not what they are attracted to. A lot of times they want to play with something they have seen on youtube. Yes, they SHOULD keep it very simple --I tell them that-- but often they're just not wise enough to do that. People are gonna do what they're gonnsa do.

Also, the really casual students are just not that into the art. If they were, they would train more. 

Ultimately, I can only give students my opinions and teach them what I teach them. If they have minimal levels of dedication, they're never gonna learn jiu jitsu no matter what.

 

 

6/16/19 10:30 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 64355
Training gi can make you better at no-gi, but you know what will make you better at no-gi even faster? Training no-gi.

You don't see olympic greco wrestlers throwing on a gi for training because it's "more technical" or some shit.
Edited: 6/16/19 2:07 PM
8/15/07
Posts: 16000
The idea of the gi making someone a better grappler comes from the old days when almost all of the really skilled BJJ guys trained in the gi. You have to remember, the start of BJJ in the US really coincided with Royce's appearance--in the gi, of course--in the early UFCs. For us back then, the gi was BJJ. The gi is where you found technique and real BJJ knowledge. There weren't any viable options for ground fighting without it. Wrestling had not come onto the scene in a big way yet, and the few wrestlers who showed up in MMA had no knowledge of BJJ and thus fared poorly. Sambo was something Oleg did that involved lots of bleeding and the occasional leg lock attempt. Luta Livre looked like less effective BJJ. Judu and sumu had little to offer in the way of groundwork.

If you wanted to train real, effective BJJ during this time period, you trained in the gi. There was very little no gi training by knowledgeable instructors--if you were training no gi with someone, odds are you were learning incorrect techniques from an unqualified instructor (the equivalent of a white belt watching a video on YouTube and then trying to teach it to a class, only YouTube didn't exist then, so you can imagine how much worse the reverse engineering was for these moves).

Over time no gi became more popular, and you could begin to find no gi instruction from legit guys. Now combine this with a much better integration between BJJ and wrestling and fast forward to today. The technique level between gi and no gi at this point is non-existent. When the good teachers only taught in gi, that's where the skill was at. Now that most of them teach in both, the skill is evenly distributed between the two.
Edited: 6/16/19 7:07 PM
3/17/10
Posts: 888

I have choked people out in real life encounters using their own collar from everything to jackets to a polo shirt. Would not have been able to do that if I didn't train with a gi. 

6/16/19 7:12 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 13573

the gi is a train8ng uniform. If you use it in a manner that trains your technique in a broadly applicable manner you are very functional. No-gi has always been part of traijjng....as is VT or the fighting defensive applica5ion of jiujitsu.

 

It is the fault of practitioners and instructors 5hat have made jiuitsu the fuckijg monkey fuck it is today

6/16/19 7:40 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 13574

another thing.....if  only no-gi, are you training jiujitsu? IMO, no. Call it somethijg else or brand it somehow, but it isnt jiujitsu.  Of course my opinion is if you not learning fighting, you also dont do jiujitsu, but wtf do i know.

 

6/16/19 8:01 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 13575
Calhoon -
mata_leaos -
Calhoon - 

I hear people say that the gi will make you a better grappler, particularly how it makes you a better nogi grappler. I am not interested in arguing if it does or doesn’t make someone better at nogi but I am interested in personal stories, especially from higher level grapplers, of what specifically grappling in the gi did for them to make them better at nogi. Hopefully I will learn something in this thread.


At this point in time I probably do about 3/4ths no-gi to gi which is the most no-gi I've ever done. For most of my time (a decade and a half) I've done about 3/4th gi to no-gi but it's flipped in the past couple of years.

What I think has helped me the most in nogi coming from gi was being able to have things slightly slower which gave me more time to spend in most positions. Literally. So just having the game slowed down and learning how to think, process, act, and react during rolls I think was a helpful. If I had only been able to do no-gi I think I would have been overwhelmed at the pace being a little bit faster.

My grappling experience is very similar to yours in both time and the transition from grappling primarily in the gi to now grappling primarily nogi.

 

I am concerned with coaching others is why I ask about the benefits of starting in the gi. The benefits I could think of in starting in the gi were building a strong base with posture. I could see how being tugged and jerked with the gi grips could help you think posture when in nogi. You do make a solid point though on slowing the game down but I’m curious if you feel like slowing the game with grips makes a newer student reliant on the grips and even more importantly games that are grip reliant, especially open guard. When I consider the benefits of starting in the gi vs the downside of it here is what I can think of.

 

Benefits

 

1) Builds posture

2) Slows the game down

 

Costs

 

1) Prevents students from learning fundamental guard retention and open guard in general without the gi.

2) There is not enough time to learn a solid game in both gi and nogi for most students.

 

 

# 2 is a concern for the following reason. Most students are training probably an average of 3 days a week. If they are wanting to get good at grappling without needing clothing then does it make sense for them to spend their limited time learning games like spider, lasso, worm, etc and time learning how to pass those games or would they be better off spending time simply learning nogi games like a complete half guard sitting guard, single leg, slx etc?

 

There have been some solid points such as yours but I still can’t decide if splitting time between the two is best for the average student. What do you think?

 

 

 

 

"Benefits

 

1) Builds posture

2) Slows the game down

 

Costs

 

1) Prevents students from learning fundamental guard retention and open guard in general without the gi.

2) There is not enough time to learn a solid game in both gi and nogi for most students."

 

Posture is important m9stly in the game aspect of jiujitsu.

 

Yes, friction slows things down, 5his is a pro&con defensively&offe sively, and realistic in most peoples lives.

 

Gi training does not prevent learning guard retention and open guard.....that rests on the instuctors objectives of training and 5he curriculum they implement.

 

"Solid game"....define that. Sure if you define that as the ability to play boolshit for tourney, ok. But if you define jiuitsu as a broad grappling based style AND of fighting system, 5hen no, 3Xs week traijjng wi5h gi and no gi mix quite adequete.

Jiujitsu nowadays is focus3d on competition....competition is defined by serious amateurs and pros....how&why the hell are the average joes supposed to use that shit as their standard of training. So why 5he hell should the cometitive environment and tech iques define the obvjectives of training?!?!