6 essential qualities to have success in no-gi Jiu-Jitsu according to six world champions

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gamenessThe 2015 World No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu championship is getting closer by the day.

Scheduled November 7-8, at the Long Beach Pyramid, the event is sure to be one of the highlights of the calendar.

As you probably already know, no-gi Jiu-Jitsu is quite different from regular gi action.

No grips means a lot of adaptations to the way you move on the mat.

So, we asked six world champions what would be that one quality one needs to have to be successful without the good old kimono.

JT Torres, Augusto Tanquinho, Yuri Simões, Caio Terra, Michelle Nicolini and Rafael Lovato Jr. shared their approach to the subject.

Before you read what they had to say, don’t forget to register for the 2015 Worlds No-Gi.

The deadline is Oct. 29. Click here to register now.

JT Torres – 2013 lightweight black belt champion


“It would have to be wrestling. In my opinion, you need to have takedowns involved with your no-gI game because takedowns will allow you to control the fight and the pace of the fight. Wrestling will also teach a fighter a whole different method of applying pressure. A fighter cannot pull guard without making contact so there is always a golden opportunity for a takedown and two points. As we’ve seen in the past, it’s usually the fighter on top who wins.”

Augusto Tanquinho – 2012 lightweight champion


“I believe you need to be versatile. In no-gi Jiu-Jitsu, a good wrestling technique makes the difference many times, but if you only have wrestling, it is possible that you will be defeated by someone with a really good guard game. So, I try to have a pretty complete game and also I try to follow my strategy, but I am also not afraid of changing it. In 2012, I decided to pull guard after eight minutes and I was able to win with two advantages playing from the bottom. In my opinion, being versatile saved me. If I had remained standing, I would have lost that match.”

Yuri Simões – 2014 ultra-heavy and open class champion


Patience. Once you don’t have the gi to hold on, the match is much looser and after just a few moments, the sweat makes things much more slippery. So, it’s easier to escape from positions you wouldn’t escape in a gi match. That’s why you need to be patient and make the right grips on the right time. You need patience to recover lost positions and event to restart the whole match when your opponent slipped out of a submission and is now on top.”

Caio Terra – 4X light-featherweight champion, 3X roosterweight champion


Technique! Always technique. With or without the gi, technique is the most important quality for an athlete to reach success. You need to be active and studying the art. You need to go to championships as a competitor or even as a spectator.”

Michelle Nicolini – 5X world no-gi champion


“I would choose agility. As the matches are much more slippery, the skill level is leveled between athletes, as well as the power factor. An agile athlete who is able to impose his rhythm to the match will always be steps ahead of the opponent, forcing the adversary to be on the defensive mode. Those fight on the offense with a lot of agility will always put on great matches for the crowd.”

Rafael Lovato Jr. – 3x world champion


“No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu is a completely different art. Of course you have to understand how to apply your game without being able to grip the gi, but as far as qualities go I think that precision is very important. No-Gi is much faster and it is very easy to scramble out of things and be slippery. A great No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu artist understands how important it is to capitalize on a good moment and they will be precise with their attack and not lose the chance. You might not ever have that opportunity again.”


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