So how do we best prepare to grapple in both worlds?

Not all of us can be full time BJJ practitioners training twice a day six days a week to master both of the styles. In fact many of us can’t make it to training even one time a day six days a week. What follows is my advice to the hobbyist BJJ player.

If you’re competing at an elite level I no doubt see the merit in spending all your time perfecting your craft at one specific style. If you have a run of no gi competitions on the horizon then it would be somewhat of a waste of time to learn how pass worm guard seeing that it is impossible you encounter such a scenario in your upcoming matches.

However for those of us who are simply jitsu.html” training to get better everyday, my personal philosophy is to develop a game that you can apply to both styles.

Underhooks, cross wrists, back control, and kimura traps are all very common tools in no gi that can be utilized in your gi game as well. De La Riva, deep half, butterfly, etc. are all good guards that can be made to work equally as effectively no matter the style.

When you’re in the gi just be cognizant of the fact that you have handles to yank on to assist your technique. When you’re out of the gi keep in mind you’ll be doing a little more scrambling. Make sure you adjust your submissions accordingly when switching from one to the other.

An omoplata is significantly more risky in no gi where you have very little grips at your disposal to prevent an opponent from simply posturing out of the hold.

Contrarily without the gi on it’s generally considered easier to sink in guillotine and darce chokes due to the lack of friction.

Each individual BJJ player is always going to have his or her own preference when it comes to wearing the gi or not. No matter what your preference, unless you plan on exclusively training in one style till the end of your training days, you should do yourself the favor of becoming familiar with all the tricks in both styles so you don’t end up confounded by the worm guard the new white belt learned off of YouTube last weekend.

About author
James Macferson is a BJJ blue belt, martial arts practitioner and a true health enthusiast. He mostly writes for, Budomate Magazine and, but always glad to share his knowledge with Jiu Jitsu community anywhere anytime.