Your cart
Total: $0.00

BJJ Instructional Videos
John Danaher Leglocks
John Danaher Back Attacks BJJ
Down
Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video
GRAPPLING VS BJJ
articles/unnamed_17_9d5585da-0f57-4b00-add9-bf73b65199f5.jpg

GRAPPLING VS BJJ

,

In the world of Martial Arts it can be extremely common to see certain forms split into two separate categories. In terms of BJJ there has been a significant uprising in the No Gi or Submission Grappling aspect. With the recent popularity of shows like Polaris, Who's Number One, Submission Underground and ADCC, athletes like Tye Ruotulo, Andre Galvao, Gordon Ryan and Craig Jones are starring on the international circuit. The rise of No Gi jiu jitsu vs mma popularity is soaring exponentially, as many No Gi competitors are trying their hands in MMA competition.

 The original bad guy of grappling and MMA is here to share his secrets!

grappling vs jiu jitsu

Traditional BJJ is all about wearing a Gi, which has been around for a century. There have been many exceptional athletes achieve success in the Gi division, practitioners like Rixon Gracie, Roger Gracie, Marcus Almeida, Leandro Lo, Marcelo Garcia and Bernardo Faria have all excelled in the world Martial Arts. Many of these athletes have won IBJJF World Championships and other prestigious events wearing the traditional Gi uniform. 

What This Article Covers:

ARE YOU A BJJ FANATICS INSIDER? IF NOT, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!

Take a deep dive on one specific skill per month with the top instructors in the BJJ Fanatics family.

With your subscription you’ll get:

  • Private Lesson (Masterclass)
  • Preview of our Upcoming Daily Deals to better plan your purchases
  • Rolling breakdowns & more.

You’ll also get At Home Drills to work on, a Preview of our Upcoming Launches More!

FREE FOR 7 DAYS TRIAL

Learn More

THE ORIGIN OF THE GI  

The origin of the Gi in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu dates back to feudal Japan, where it started as the traditional outfit of the Japanese samurai. The samurai would wear different colored Gi's, as each colored Gi represented a specific clan. The Gi was worn underneath armor which made it significantly hard to be efficient in a real life conflict. As the samurai dissipated over the course of history, the Gi became more concurrent in various forms of Martial Arts.

As Judo began its development in the early 1900's the traditional samurai Gi was considered  unsuitable for the art. The famous Japanese master Jigoro Kano decided to design a stronger version of the Gi. The result was a tighter and shorter uniform that was sewn together in a more comprehensive manner than the traditional model. After Mitsuyo Maeda migrated to Brazil, his art and its traditional Gi became instrumental in the development of BJJ and Helio Gracie’s philosophy.

In the beginning of BJJ all practitioners had to wear white Gi uniforms, and all students were given a Gi before training and had to return it for washing afterwards. Helio figured that if every student wore the same white uniform it would help lower the impact of any social or cultural differences in the gym. Helio began to realise that there was little difference between jiu jitsu and karate Gi's so he then modified the Gi again, needing a more tighter and narrower version with short sleeves to optimize the ground fighting potential. The first colored Gi's emerged during the 1970s, as Reylson Gracie, the son of Carlos Gracie introduced different coloured versions with longer sleeves to suit competition requirements.

As competition in Jiu Jitsu began to rise, so did patches which allowed sponsors to become more prominent in the sport. With the growth of the competition scene, came an increase in financial demands for aspiring athletes. This led to advertisements of everything, as competitors wore patches to keep the funds rolling in. This practice became even more prominent during the 1990's as the growth of Jiu Jitsu and its global notoriety saw the emergence of various Gi brands. Today many high profile Gi fighters wear the uniform and the sponsors as they reach for international stardom.

THE HISTORY BEHIND NO GI

The history of No Gi Jiu Jitsu dates back to the early 1900’s when Mitsuyo Maeda began travelling and sharing Jigoro Kano's Judo and Jujitsu. Mitsuyo was always excited to face a challenge, as he jumped head first into matches against bigger and stronger opponents. His focus was not about winning fights but more about overcoming adversity. In 1908 he decided to compete in an unknown Martial Arts style which was a hybrid grappling sport that included submissions like choke holds, armbars and toeholds. There were also no traditional Gi uniforms, which made the fight interesting and challenging. 

Mitsuyo entered the middle weight and heavy weight divisions at the Catch Wrestling world championship in London, where Mitsuyo successfully used his Judo techniques like seoi nage, and ogoshi without the Gi uniform. Mitsuyo fought against a 297 pound wrestler, who was 140 pounds heavier than himself in the heavyweight final. Although he didn't win, Time magazine praised him by saying, “He put up great fights with amazing techniques”. Mitsuyo displayed the heart of a warrior fighting outside of his comfort zone.

Mitsuyo had developed a fortitude and spirit from these experiences that would later help him in Brazil. Mitsuyo was known for helping Japanese settlers who were cultivating their land and fighting against animals and human conflicts. Many of the settlers gave up due to life threatening adversity, but Mitsuyo kept on showing his true nature and supported them with a big heart. Mitsuyo would go on to meet Carlos Gracie Sr. as he passed on his fortitude, spirit, and his hybrid No Gi art to the future Brazilian Legend.

Nowadays the surge in popularity from the art of No Gi has hit an all time high. The distinctive split from the traditional Gi style has some resemblance of luta livre vs bjj in the early days of Brazilian Martial Arts. It also has similarities to MMA as the slick styling of Mixed Martial Arts has a No Gi edge to it. Many talented grapplers are chucking on a rashguard and searching for fame and fortune in the ranks of televised No Gi tournaments.

ARE YOU A BJJ FANATICS INSIDER? IF NOT, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!

Take a deep dive on one specific skill per month with the top instructors in the BJJ Fanatics family.

With your subscription you’ll get:

  • Private Lesson (Masterclass)
  • Preview of our Upcoming Daily Deals to better plan your purchases
  • Rolling breakdowns & more.

You’ll also get At Home Drills to work on, a Preview of our Upcoming Launches More!

FREE FOR 7 DAYS TRIAL

Learn More

WHAT ARE THE KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GI AND NO GI 

There are some extremely important differences between both of these disciplines of BJJ. As both styles have their own unique series of varied movements and have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Many practitioners will sit on either side of the fence when it comes to which style they think is better.

In the traditional Gi, there are a bunch of advantages just like bjj vs sambo, as sambo also has an advantage using the Gi. Wearing a BJJ Gi is like having a weapon around your body as the lapels are thick like ropes and can choke a student unconscious rather quickly. A Gi practitioner can use their own lapels to choke an opponent or they can grip onto an opponent's Gi to stifle or use the grips to advance their position. A practitioner is likely to get hot inside a Gi but to an experienced student this is of little concern. 

In the No Gi variation or otherwise known as submission grappling, they wear a rashguard and shorts, they can also wear compression pants underneath their shorts in most competitions. Compared to the Gi, No Gi competitors can become extremely slippery and hard to hold down. Without wearing a Gi it becomes considerably hard to get stuck in a position, making escapes or transitions easier in the No Gi art. Wearing No Gi attire makes a practitioner lighter and gives them more freedom, meaning there is less resistance or abrasions between opponents. 

There are significant differences between many of the movements in both arts. Although they are fundamentally the same, in No Gi a practitioner can not use Gi grips so they must rely on wrist grips, neck ties, overhooks and underhooks. In the Gi it has an easier set of handles to hold which can make it more difficult to escape wearing the Gi. There are a whole lot of extra maneuvers in the Gi, as practitioners can utilise Gi chokes and access all kinds of passes and sweeps using the Gi. They can also use many Judo techniques. No Gi will rely on more of a wrestling based control system and a faster and higher energy match.

ARE THERE RANKS IN BOTH ARTS 

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there is a significant belt ranking system. The journey begins in the kids division as there are 13 different coloured belts. Kids will start as a white belt before moving through the grey belt group, the yellow belt group, the orange belt group and the green belt group. Each belt group has 3 belts,  for example the grey belt group consists of a grey and white belt, a solid grey belt and a grey and black belt. Each student will earn 4 stripes on their belt before a new belt rank is awarded, and an instructor will award this through a slow progression and accumulation of skills.

The Adult belt ranking system is slightly different to the kids as there are only 8 belts with usually only 5 of them attainable. Adults begin with the white belt before moving through the blue belt, the purple belt, the brown belt and then the black belt. The last 3 belts are extremely rare as usually only Gracie clan members or pioneers of BJJ will be able to earn coral belts or a prestigious red belt.

In the No Gi division they do not wear belts when they compete. During competitions practitioners usually wear a ranked rashguard, which consists of 10% of their belt colour on the sleeve. In terms of rank, all belts handed out in the Gi are translatable straight into the No Gi division. There are some grapplers that do not train in the Gi, and for a lot of academies they will not hand out a belt rank unless they train in the Gi. It is however becoming more apparent that certain gyms will hand out ranks to pure No Gi grapplers, Eddie Bravo's 10th Planet is a prime example. With the notoriety and expert skill levels that No Gi practitioners possess, then it is a fair aspect within the Martial Art.

ARE YOU A BJJ FANATICS INSIDER? IF NOT, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!

Take a deep dive on one specific skill per month with the top instructors in the BJJ Fanatics family.

With your subscription you’ll get:

  • Private Lesson (Masterclass)
  • Preview of our Upcoming Daily Deals to better plan your purchases
  • Rolling breakdowns & more.

You’ll also get At Home Drills to work on, a Preview of our Upcoming Launches More!

FREE FOR 7 DAYS TRIAL

Learn More

THE COMPARISON BETWEEN GI TRAINING AND NO GI TRAINING 

When students train in the Gi they will become accustomed to wearing a stifling uniform. Having a bunch of grips can be an easy way to keep up a good defense. During a Gi lesson, students will have an opportunity to learn countless Gi techniques like chokes, passes and sweeps. Using grips on a training partner's pants makes it extremely hard for them to keep the guard on. Students will have access to a larger fountain of knowledge which can translate into real life, as attackers will often have jackets on. Although a student may go home with more bruises and Gi burns on their body, most students that wear the Gi have a love for doing so. 

Training in a No Gi class has an element of freedom attached, as there is little to stifle an opponent with. No Gi may be lacking in Gi chokes but the imagination of many recent developers of the art, have an abundance of slick and trustworthy techniques to learn from. Submission defense and escaping from positions is a lot easier wearing shorts and a rashguard, as the sweat on a practitioner's body will make them extremely slippery. There are also some significant submissions a practitioner can use in most No Gi divisions, like clever leg locks including heel hooks, kneebars and toe holds. Training in No Gi can be extremely fun and in some ways more challenging than wearing the Gi.

Let UFC veteran Chael Sonnen share his recipe for Gangster Grappling!

jiu jitsu vs grappling

WHO WOULD WIN BETWEEN BJJ AND GRAPPLING 

There are many factors to consider when weighing up who would win this fight. Just like jiu jitsu or krav maga the fight will be close but there is always a style with an advantage. A traditional Gi competitor will be able to utilise their lapels to wrap up a No Gi competitor. Wearing the Gi will make it hard for a No Gi competitor to slip out of submissions as the Gi competitor will have a tighter grip. The No Gi competitor does have an even greater advantage, as they can use their opponents Gi to stifle them. They will be able to use grips and they will have a broader range of chokes to use on the Gi competitor. So even though the traditional Gi practitioner has a long history as the number one version of the art, it would be hard to look past the freedom of the No Gi competitor. Grappling will beat BJJ as they are fruits from the same tree, just No Gi has a greater advantage in terms of attack.

If you enjoyed this piece, consider checking:

ARE YOU A BJJ FANATICS INSIDER? IF NOT, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!

Take a deep dive on one specific skill per month with the top instructors in the BJJ Fanatics family.

With your subscription you’ll get:

  • Private Lesson (Masterclass)
  • Preview of our Upcoming Daily Deals to better plan your purchases
  • Rolling breakdowns & more.

You’ll also get At Home Drills to work on, a Preview of our Upcoming Launches More!

FREE FOR 7 DAYS TRIAL

Learn More

Half Domination by Tom DeBlass DVD Cover
Catch Wrestling Formula by Neil Melanson
Butterfly Guard Re-Discovered Adam Wardzinski DVD Wrap
Judo Academy Jimmy Pedro Travis Stevens