The No Gi class adds an extra element of challenge and helps students improve balance and control, enhancing their overall skills. In no-gi grappling, practitioners wear rash guards and shorts.
Gi and no-gi grappling differ in strategy. In gi grappling, use of the gi – sleeves, collar, pant legs – figures prominently in gaining and controlling position, as well as in applying submissions. Practitioners can execute collar chokes, or use the sleeve or the hem of the gi to tie up a partner’s arm or hand.
In no-gi grappling, on the other hand, grabbing the clothes is generally not allowed. Instead, practitioners can try to control an opponent by gripping the body’s natural handles: the neck, the wrist, the elbow, the knee, the hips, etc. This is also allowed in gi grappling, but is the only option in no-gi. The lack of heavy cotton cloth to soak up sweat in no-gi grappling also tends to affect the pace of a match and the ease with which an opponent can slip out of a bad position.