This has been a good topic of debate for many people on both sides of the fence seperating gi and no gi bjj practitioners. Since I started bjj with a gi, I may have a biased opinion. To me, starting out with a gi and growing into a no gi training regime is the way to go.
By starting with the gi, you learn the fundamentals of jiu-jitsu. You learn how to base, you learn the bread and butter mechanics of the majority of the subs you’re going to adopt in your game. I found though that when I switched over to no gi, my game noticeably improved. The reason, as I see it, is because I no longer had the gi to depend on. Without the ability to hold on to a sleeve or collar, I couldn’t muscle somebody into a sub if my technique wasn’t perfect or they happened to escape. I had to increase my speed and improve my technique because no gi is inherently faster paced (at least in my experience). Ive also found that transitioning from gi to no gi is pretty difficult Read the rest of this entry »