Getting dirty in No-gi

My first ever No-gi tournament. FYI I’m the one on the right in the pink rashguard.
Photos are courtesy of BJJ Japanese Journalist Kinya Hashimoto
I’ve been taking my no-gi training a lot more seriously lately though I still maintain that I don’t like it much as Gi. Though I have to admit, I’m just a /little/ traumatized by No-gi… You see in my first ever no-gi tournament in my first match, I had the unfortunate luck to draw an opponent who is a Thai MMA fighter who’s been grappling No-gi for about 3 years. I read all that from Kinya Hashimoto’s blog and how she was suppose to go to Japan for a female MMA tournament called Smackgirl. That’s also where I got the pictures from. Hope he doesn’t mind me posting them here? T_T He also said I was heavy. I suppose in comparison to her (she’s like 45 kilos) I’m a giant. But still he said I was 58 Kilos when in reality I’m only 53 kilos. Uwaaaaaa… Am I bigger than I look? ;___; Hehehehe needless to say that match didn’t end well at all for me.

She caught my hand into an armbar and as you can see in the picture, my other hand is trying to stack her to save my arm but my base was pretty shitty at that point so she thrusts her hip forward, I fall back and bham she inverts the armbar to crank the submission. It’s a beautiful submission to look at I bet for the audience, just not fun to be in lol. Yeah can you say ouch? 😦 It popped my elbow but thank god it’s fully recovered with the occasional ache when the weather gets chilly (or as the Chinese like to call it “fung sap” or “rheumatism” in English). Well the good thing about it is that, I’m very aware of armbars now. My elbow twitches at the first ‘feeling’ of an armbar. Not to say I don’t get armbared now, but I think that incident just caused a hyper awareness to armbars. Or maybe my elbow is just scared shitless of them now lol.

Anyway, to get back to the topic of No-Gi, my apprehension to No-Gi probably stems from the fact that I just don’t ‘get’ No-gi quite yet and everything I’ve learned from Gi (controls, weight distribution) gets thrown out the window since there are no grips. =/ I feel like a total noob in No-Gi. I don’t really get how to play guard, I don’t really get how to pass guard, I don’t get where to grip, grips are totally weird and non existent once the sweat comes into play, etc…. It seems like a whole different planet or something.

Then there’s the whole issue of the ‘comfort’ zone. I’ve never had an issue with rolling with guys in Gi cause the Kimono Gi is so thick so there’s plenty of padding and stuff. But somehow in No-Gi since everything is so skin tight, I kinda feel sorry when rolling with the guys sometimes. Especially when I take their back and stuff….. I’m sure you all know where I’m getting at. It must undoubtedly feel uncomfortable since you have to remain very close to them to get the chokes and stuff so my chest is literally stuck right behind and well you know it ummm squishes lol. Heck it makes me feel uncomfortable to even type this. @_@ I wonder how you female no-gi grapplers deal with the comfort zone? Rolling with guys is a must since there’s so little girls in BJJ let alone those who train in No-Gi. Is it something you just get use to? Is it not even an issue and I’m just making a big deal out of it? Hmmmmm….

But you know, despite everything. I’m definitely going to stick and train No-Gi in earnest as I know it will improve my Gi game tremendously. It also encourages me to work on my conditioning because it’s very fast paced. The other benefit of No-Gi is the fact that I play guards I wouldn’t normally play in Gi such as Butterfly (ugh I hate butterfly sniff sniff ;_;) and the Sit-Up guard. Which is all fine and dandy since I shouldn’t have an over reliance on the Spider or the Knee Shield guard (both of which don’t work as well in No-Gi).

And you know going back to Ann (the Thai MMA fighter I was talking about in my first paragraph), if a girl her size and physique can take down much larger opponents with no problems at all…. I’m sure there’s still some hope for me in No-Gi.

Just got to train harder!!!!!! >_<


4 responses »

  1. Yeah, I’ve never been fond of no-gi. I don’t like the feeling that I no longer have much control over what’s happening, and that physical attributes like size, strength and speed suddenly become much more important (IMO).

    Geeza, the instructor at GB Bristol and a highly decorated gi and no-gi competitor put it well recently: “no-gi is my body versus your body, gi is my mind against your mind.”

    Of course, could just be a matter of familiarity. I’ve trained with the gi much more than without, so perhaps if that was reversed, I’d be similarly apprehensive about gi training.

    • Hi Slideyfoot,

      Thx for visiting! 🙂

      At first I had the same opinion till Ann promptly kicked my ass and proved that wrong to me. She’s 10 kilos lighter, a head shorter and she armbarred me in a minute. I’ve seen her take on some bigger guys too, that’s one case of technique vs size. She gives me hope that one day I can be just as good in No-Gi.

      But I know what you mean, when I roll I always feel that No-Gi favors the physical attributes (me being the smallest in the gym during No-Gi). Than I just remember Ann lol.

      But you know she trains exclusively in No-Gi. Don’t know how well she would fare if she dones a Gi on. So you’re probably right on the money in regards to familiarity.

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