Judo self-defense training:
Gi or no Gi?

It’s a lot of arguments and even statements that relying on judogi invalidate Judo self-defense training at its core. However, unless you got yourself into trouble in a gathering of un-contacted Amazon tribe or in a nude bar, you always have some cloth on your attackers and on yourself. Been naked makes modern human feel vulnerable (by the modern war experience its well known that even on a hot day no soldier should go into attack without shirt; exceptions rather rare and stand out mostly among tribes in African and South American wet forest arias).

Discussions about using cloth grab in combat and self-defense are nothing new and been around from early 20th century as Judo made inroads to the West. The conclusion always was “Yes, it should be used as it permits effective techniques and suitable for grapping cloths are always available in real-live situation, been it battlefield or just dark alley in a shantytown”.

However, this discussion has very relevant implications: as standard Judo judogi (a.k.a. gi) or SAMBO jacket have very particular physical properties and specific design, self-defense training should include no-gi training and training in non-gi cloth, as even on a silky Hawaiian shirt you can do functional grab, but you need to train it and to know its limitations.



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