Why Training Jiu-Jitsu in a Gi is a must to be the best grappler possible
There is always someone who will ask “why do I need to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a Gi when I will never where a Gi on the streets”.
After getting that question so many times, I have decided to answer that question with some logic behind my answer instead of just saying “Because the best grapplers do”.
I want you to imagine a hard training session without the Gi… You are sweaty, your opponent is sweaty and there is a lot of fast paced action without any “handles” to grab onto. The fact is, if you get caught in an armlock there is a good chance that you can rip out of it with “speed and sweat” and not a whole lot of technique required. (With that said I understand that many time you can NOT just rip out of a submission but the chances are MUCH higher without the Gi).
Now, Imagine the exact same training session but WITH the Gi on. When you get caught in an armlock or a submission the Gi creates friction and slows you down from being able to “explode out”. On top of that, there is more grips for your training partner to grab onto and not allow you to use your speed and explosiveness. So you have no other choice than to have PERFECT TECHNIQUE to escape the armbar or submission hold.
That is what the training with the Gi allows (slowing the pace and perfecting the technique). I will also argue that training in the Gi will allow you to develop more balance and a better base. You see, when you can learn to stop a ton of technical sweeps from advanced guard positions like the spider guard, de la riva guard and leg lasso positions then you will have a much easier time when you go train “No Gi” and your training partner or opponent does not have those grips to use against you.
NOW ON THE FLIP SIDE…. I will also say that you MUST train without the Gi as well. Here is why….
For the same reason that sweat will allow your training partner to escape easily, it will FORCE you to make sure you have everything tight and “technically correct” so that your partner can not escape by exploding out.
The fact is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is very effective and at the same time VERY technical and it takes a long time to get “good”. To be the very best Grappler you MUST train in the Gi and also train without the Gi.
As a beginner I would put 90% of my focus on Gi training because it does slow things down and allow you to truly grasp the technical aspect of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. However, the most important thing is to just be on the mats as much as possible, train with a good and technical instructor, surround yourself with great people who all strive for the same technical perfection that you do and most of all have fun.
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