I think the optimal method is to start training in the gi but focus on learning universal grips and not relying on lapel or sleeve grips. Sure they will have to learn grip breaks but grip fighting is an important part of nogi as well and I don't think the two are that unalike. If you spend your first one or two years training mostly in the gi and getting held down it will teach you to rely on technique to defend/escape and not let you rely on athleticism or slipperiness. Ultimately I believe the two styles compliment each other. I agree though for MMA nogi is much more important once a sound technical game has been developed.
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