One of the oldest traditions in Jiu-Jitsu is the Gi. Royce Gracie wore it in every UFC appearance, and the Gracie Family stands by the use of the Gi in Jiu-Jitsu. Eddie Bravo on the other hand, who pioneered 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu trains practitioners strictly in no-gi Jiu-Jitsu, which has brought him criticism from the Jiu-Jitsu community.
Now, MMA mastermind, and TriStar gym head coach, Firas Zahabi explains why he doesn’t like the use of the gi in Jiu-Jitsu, in an interview with BloodyElbow he explains why.
The Achilles’ heel of jiu-jitsu is, one, that they insist on the gi. Every attack has to have a counterpart. I always tell my students, let’s play rock-paper-scissors. You’re not going to be allowed to use paper. I have the option of rock, paper and scissors, [and] you have the option of scissors and rock. I’m going to beat you 90 times out of 100. When I do jiu-jitsu with the gi and then I take it off, you’re taking away my paper.”
If you look at Jose Aldo, he adopted this philosophy. He doesn’t play guard — he gets up — and when guys try to hold him down, then he uses the guard. Sweep, submit or get up; he doesn’t just try to sweep or submit, so he has rock, paper and scissors.”
He’s not just a grappler — he can wrestle, too — but he uses his jiu-jitsu in reverse, where 99 percent of the jiu-jitsu community believes that you don’t do that… His jiu-jitsu, I would say, is number one, because he’s used jiu-jitsu in his fights. He uses jiu-jitsu in reverse. Why don’t more jiu-jitsu guys do that? Why is it that only wrestlers are smart enough to use their skill in reverse? I’ll give you my answer to that question, because I’ve thought about it intensively.”
One, BJJ guys are s— athletes. No offense to the BJJ world. I love BJJ; I’m a BJJ fanatic. I just think that their counterparts — the wrestlers — have outdone them in the physical realm. Two, the wrestlers are better strategists. Why? When you wrestle, you have three rounds, so you start thinking about strategy as importance. In jiu-jitsu, it’s one round. When the wrestler starts in MMA, he’s thinking, I’ve got to win two out of the three, minimum. That’s the minimum for victory. It’s not what I’m looking for, but it’s the minimum. A jiu-jitsu guy will do something crazy at the end of a round he was winning. Maybe he goes from top position to the bottom looking for a fancy armbar and gives up the round or gives up the position. They make more strategic mistakes than the wrestlers. Wrestlers use their wrestling in reverse; jiu-jitsu guys, no. Third, jiu-jitsu guys, when they roll, when they train, it’s too far from the reality of what happens in the cage, whereas if you look at the training at Tristar, we have to sweep, submit or get up. If we get up, it’s my turn to wrestle you, and we wrestle.”
Wrestlers are learning jiu-jitsu, and jiu-jitsu guys aren’t so open-minded to the wrestling. They don’t understand that wrestling is as technical as jiu-jitsu. It’s jiu-jitsu standing up, why are you not in love with it? Why doesn’t it fascinate you?”
Zahabi certainly makes some interesting arguments against the Gi, what are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments section!