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NOGI is often also referred to as Submission wrestling or Submission grappling. The term "NO-GI" usually refers only to the form of competition and training that does not require the use a "GI" or "kimono", the sort often worn with belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Judo. Not using a gi has a major impact on the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as there are many choke techniques which make use of the lapels of the gi, thus rendering them un-usable and controlling and pinning an opponent in general becomes more difficult when the opponent doesn't have a gi on due to lack of grips and friction.

The sport of NO-GI Grappling brings together techniques from Catch wrestling, Folk wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, Freestyle wrestling, Jujutsu, Judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Luta Livre and Sambo. Submission fighting as an element of a larger sport setting is very common in mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, catch wrestling, and others.

Submission wrestlers or grapplers tend to wear shorts, and skin-sticky clothing such as rash guards, and mixed short clothes so they do not rip off in combat. They are also known for using more leg lock submission techniques normally banned in other arts or competitions such as heel hooks, toe holds, calf slicers, and knee bars.