What Is No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

What Is No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

No-Gi is one of the two forms of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (combat jiu-jitsu it another form) where you don’t wear the traditional uniform. Instead, you wear more comfortable clothing, such as a shirt or a rashguard. In addition to that, a few changes to the sport’s rules are set in no-Gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu, especially in competitions.

What is no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

If you’ll browse a few photos or videos on the internet about Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you’ll notice that there are fighters who don’t wear Gi but are still allowed to play the sport. It turns out, there are actually two forms of the said sport: Gi and No-Gi.

In No-Gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you don’t wear a Gi, as its name suggests. Instead, you can simply wear a pair of comfortable clothes, such as a rash guard and a pair of shorts.

And because you’re not wearing any clothes that are as durable as the Gi, you are not allowed to grab your opponent’s clothing. Hence, you can’t use other fighters’ clothing to your advantage while rolling.

What are the differences between no-Gi and Gi in Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

What are the differences between no-Gi and Gi in Brazilian jiu-jitsu

No-Gi and Gi are the two forms of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. At first glance, one might easily think that the clothes are the only difference. But, there’s more to it than that. If you’re new to Brazillian jiu-jitsu, let’s take a closer look at its two forms to understand them better.


In No-Gi, aside from the apparel, the training is also different. In this form of BJJ, the training is more fast-paced. This is due to the fact that not wearing a Gi leaves fewer opportunities for the fighters to stall or grapple each other.

Here, you rely more on control positions and chokes rather than clinching and over-hooking. Hence, you’re forced to focus more on your gripping techniques. Speaking of technique, in no-Gi BJJ, you can improve your natural strength and speed.

When it comes to the rule of the sport when played professionally, fighters are not allowed to hold their opponent’s clothing.

Typically, the rules are also less strict. In fact, the heel hook technique is allowed in numerous No-Gi competitions.


In BJJ with Gi, the training is usually slow-paced. This is because the uniform causes more friction. Hence, slowing both parties.

For that reason, rolls or competitions with Gi make fighters focus more on their technique. This includes taking down your opponent by using their uniform.

BJJ with Gi is also similar to karate as it has a belt system. Here, there are five primary belts. And to be able to move up, you must gain stripes for each belt.

When it comes to the set of rules in BJJ competitions, the events with Gi have stricter rules and guidelines. Also, the heel hook technique is often banned in GI competitions, especially thoe that the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) oversees.

Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of the two to better understand their differences.

Uses a uniformNo uniform required
Players can utilize the Gi to their advantagePulling an opponent’s clothes are not allowed
Has a belt systemDoesn’t follow a belt system
Competitions follow strict rules and guidelinesCompetitions’ rules are less strict

But, both Gi and No-Gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu use rolling and grappling techniques to make the opponent submit.

If you’re new to the BJJ scene, its forms can be quite confusing, making you wonder what is No-Gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu. But, once you get used to both forms, it’s easier to tell even at first glance.

About Carla

I'm a journalist passionate about extreme sports. I love writing and reading stories about those brave people that are going beyond the limit of their physical capabilities.

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