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As we countdown for this year’s event, scheduled Nov. 7-8, in Long Beach, we go back to one of the greatest of all times as he shares his views on the importance of no-gi training.
Xande Ribeiro is one of the two black belts to have won the open class division both at the Gi and No-Gi Worlds (the other one is Buchecha).
When asked why he trains no-gi and what he has gained from doing it, Xande went back to his beginnings in the gentle art.
“My history in no-gi starts at the times of the Taparia, the open-hand MMA sessions common in Brazil. We didn’t have no-gi classes back then. You’d only find no-gi classes at the Luta Livre (Brazilian wrestling) academies. Later on, with the increasing popularity of the ADCC and other submission events, the no-gi culture started to grow within the Jiu-Jitsu community.”
Xande goes on to say in what way training without the kimono helped him: ” It has helped me in two main aspects of my game – position and precision. Sometimes, the use of the kimono might hide some elements of the technique and you can use your grip a lot as a helping tool. When I started training no-gi, my pressure and precision with the gi on reached another level. Whenever I train no-gi, I think that if I had the gi I could pass or sweep. With time, I got more precise and learn how to position myself better. My pressure on the opponent got better as well.”