Over at the rather spiffing new BJJHacks, they’re promoting the virtues of the gi.They make three points. The first, that more matt-time is better than less, is obviously true. I wonder about the second and the third though:
2: If you can escape when wearing a gi, you can escape damn near anything when no-gi
Boxers hold weights in their hands when they shadowbox. When they drop the weights, their hands are a whole lot quicker as a result. It’s the same reasoning behind running while wearing a weighted vest, or dragging a sled. Once you take away the weight, your body moves a helluva lot faster.
Wearing a gi has much the same effect. The added weight and friction of the cloth makes it harder to move when you’re on your back, and you’ll learn how to escape tight submissions without relying on low-percentage explosive movements.
I think this is right so long as its taken as advice for beginner and perhaps intermediate level grapplers (which I hasten to add is all I am). But aren’t gi and no-gi grappling are fundamentally different animals these days? And doesn’t that mean that athletes are going to have to specialise more?
3: If it’s good enough for the best, it should be good enough for you
Do you know how many UFC champions, past and present, are black belts in BJJ? Fifteen. Yup, fifteen! If you don’t believe me, go take a look.
Is this not just a legacy effect of the fact that both MMA and submission grappling largely developed out of BJJ? Again, the fact that those sports all seem to be going their different ways to some extent suggests to me that the gi is going to start looking less relevant to MMA.