Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
BJJ is traditionally done with the gi, or uniform. The gi can be used to do chokes, for takedowns, and for control.
Many feel that gi training is the core of Jiu-Jitsu, and that people that don’t train with the gi are not practicing the pure art. One reason is that many MMA fighters learn just enough Jiu-Jitsu to not get submitted. They’re not looking to become good at Jiu-Jitsu, they just want to survive on the ground when one of their fights go there. These fighters often rely on being sweaty to get out of submissions. They use their strength and speed to explode out of submissions.
The goal of Jiu-Jitsu is to be able to survive against a larger and stronger attacker, and if possible, submit them. To do that, you can’t use athleticism, strength, or speed, if the attacker has more than you. You have to use technique. Gi training forces you to use technique because there is so much friction when both people are wearing their uniforms.
It also absorbs sweat, making it less likely for someone to slip out. If you watch the early UFC with Royce Gracie, he wore a gi. His strategy was simple: he can use his own gi to choke people (using ezekiel choke for example), people will be less sweaty for him to submit them, and people will be more likely to grab him because of the gi, which is exactly what he wanted.
We Offer Gi & No Gi Classes
Living in Michigan, 7 or more months out of the year, people are wearing jackets and coats– similar to a gi. So in a realistic self defense situation, if your number one takedown is a double leg (from restling- no gi), and someone grabs onto your coat, you can’t execute your double leg. You would have to break their grip (a gi technique), then you could do your double leg.
But you could be at the beach, or an attacker’s shirt could rip or come off, and you still have to defend yourself. So we offer gi as well as no gi classes. We want our students to be prepared for any kind of self defense situation, and to be well rounded in the art of BJJ.
At most Jiu-Jitsu schools, you can’t get ranked in BJJ by training only no gi. The reason why is that you would only understand part of the art. For example, let’s say that there’s a very good purple belt who submits most other purple belts in no gi. If they don’t train with a gi, they may get submitted by lower level blue belts in gi training who could use gi chokes and gi controls, and they would be frustrated because they can’t move as freely as they normally can without the gi.
The two best options for learning how to use and defend takedowns is Judo, for gi takedowns, and wrestling for no gi takedowns. Many Jiu-Jitsu schools do not teach takedowns, but we feel that ground grapplers need to be able to take someone down to the ground with and without the gi.