For the first 7-8 years of my Jiujitsu journey, I was strictly a gi player. Training at SMAA/Humble Jiujitsu for me was a more traditional approach. Honestly, I felt it was literally a waste of time to train without the gi.
I came from a traditional Martial Arts background. I began my martial arts journey, like most, coming up through a really strict Taekwondo/Karate school that had instructors that were very serious. You bowed in and out, you learned traditional Korean and Japanese forms and techniques. You recited honor codes and phrases in Korean and Japanese. There was no point sparring. It was tough. A lot of tough guys, serious but humble.
So, when I started training Jiujiitsu, it was a little difficult at first. The guys and instructors were so laid back. No bowing in or out. No "Master SOLIS" or Sensei... No freakin KIAI"S. WTH!!!
I soon came to realize that the laid back approach was nice. No one yelling or screaming at me. It was good. The training was still tough. The guys were seriously tough. And Alvis new his sh@!!! So on we went.
I still had my traditional ways though. No way I was training without the gi. Humble Jiujitsu/SMAA had no-gi training usually on Wednesdays so I avoided training on that day naturally. At that time Robert Soliz was running the no-gi program and I knew from the gi classes, this guy was legit. So out of the blue, I decided to hit his class, and man were my eyes opened. Being a bluebelt at the time, I really didn't know any leg attacks, and this is Roberts specialty. From that day forward, myself and no-gi will forever be intertwined.
From the change in grips, to the faster pace of the training without the gi, I loved it all. This now opened my game to leg attacks, arm triangles, darce, anacondas, banana split, calf cutter, bicep slicer, twister...The list goes on. For this, I am truly thankful to Robert.
People always ask which I prefer more Gi or No-Gi. The answer is simple. Both. From my prospective and training, both games tend to compliment each other. You definitely get a more traditional and technical side of Jiujitsu with the gi. The fast pace wrestling application of no-gi only adds to your array of weapons. And there is a serious technical side to no-gi as well.
Of course, this is all my own personal opinions and views from training at SMAA/Davis Martial Arts/Humble Jiujitsu. But both the gi and no-gi training definitely have influenced me over the years. (16). So, in my opinion which is better...???
Come in and train and ask yourself the same question!
Train hard. Train for life.
Remember-"Practice Makes Permanent"
Davis Martial Arts Academy
Owner and head instructor of Davis Martial Arts Academy in Humble Texas