Gi or No Gi for MMA and More – Coach Zahabi


  1. Firas. I enjoy your posts immensely. Would love it if you appeared on Joe Rogan's podcast. You seem a wholesome person.

  2. Thank you, Zahabi so much for physio book tip on Kelly Starrett. You also gave a lot of meaningful tips towards the philosophy of the martial arts. Where is Tristar located ?

  3. I was surprised to hear John Danaher on the Matt Serra Podcast saying that he thinks a new student should start in the gi.

  4. Firas hit it on the head. I originally did both when I first started training about 7 years ago, and then ended up only doing no gi for the last 2-3 years since I was at primarily an MMA school and then a 10th Planet school. What I've mainly noticed is that you can't replicate the athleticism in gi that is normal in no-gi. Sure, gi slows things down, but I wouldn't say its more technical. I'd say no-gi is by far more technical because you're bringing in both athleticism, technique, and unpredictability (sweat, getting tired) to the match. If you can't stay active or your choke isn't tight or hit correctly, your opponent could slip out. With Gi, the friction does make it easier to pull off submissions from a dominant position and in a bottom position, it artificially helps you break down your opponent through grip leverage. Lastly, I'd say for MMA or self defense purposes, no-gi is way more realistic. You can do an armdrag, over/underhook, or grab the tricep on anyone with 2 arms, no matter what they're wearing… can't say the same for grabbing a sleeve, doing a gi choke, or sleeve based judo throw. That's why wrestlers who transition to BJJ or MMA are so successful now a days because they have those fundamental no-gi techniques you don't typically learn in a gi class. All they have to do is learn a few grips and chokes like Firas says and they'll be set.

  5. The gi is a pointless tradition, cus it always falls the fuck apart even in basic grappling matches. The belts don't hold the thing together and the collar is way too open. The whole thing is too loose fitting to be an actual reliable help in anything. Plus if it's white. You're going to have to clean that sucker with bleach constantly cus of all the blood.

  6. Glad to see you tell the truth about the gi.

    Even more than creating reliance on things that won't always be there, it also trains your muscles to be good at certain specific grips and movements. The concept of sports specificity tells us that you should do exactly what you'll be doing, not something that's close. It changes your muscles and if your goal is to min/max every single aspect of your body and training, that's the road to take.

    I think there's a lot of anger when you point that out, but the reality is that being good at using your body without the extra handles is just better.

    Like so many things in life, it's a matter of identity. So many people have made Gi BJJ a part of their view of self and that keeps them from seeing things clearly of even being able to say "Well, this might not be exactly perfect, but I love it and it's good enough for me."

    Love this stuff, Firas. Thanks a lot of sharing your expertise with all of us.

  7. love this world wide revolution of mma, raising the bar and sharing knowledge! never stop

  8. Soooo much great content on this channel. Isn't a suprise really. One of the best gyms in the world, one of the best mma coaches in the world… We need to maki it one of the most popular mma oriented youtube channel 🙂 Cheers

  9. about knive fighting i think that youre right if it goes duel like 2 guys with knives standing across and trying to slash each other, but it rarely happens, usually people get stabbed by suprised not even having a chance to grab your own weapon of choice. what im trying to say is that people willing to use a knive dont usually show knive just come across and stab stab stab. the one showing off the knive usually is not willing to actually use it just trying to intimdate. great video as always very hepful mr zahabi

  10. Wow, absolutely phenomenal insights. I cannot wait to apply these principles to my Bjj game and life.

  11. Tom DeBlass said singles legs are not good because they are too easy to defend, even once your leg is up in the air. He demonstrated the defense to a single leg takedown. Idk.

  12. My friend destroys me in the gi, using gi chokes, without the gi, hes not alot better than I am.
    I just dont see the gi chokes coming. In the gi, I survive by attacking lecglocks. (he's a 4 stripe blue under cesar, Im not ranked 5 yrs experience no gi)

  13. 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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