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David Versus Goliath aka The Jiu Jitsu Way

David Versus Goliath aka The Jiu Jitsu Way


The story of David and Goliath has many theological meanings.  But the battle between the stronger, Goliath and the smaller, weaker David has taken on a more popularized and secular meaning and is used to describe any scenario where a smaller, perhaps weaker individual triumphs against the odds and becomes the victorious underdog.  This metaphor can be seen as the over arching theme of the entire history of jiu jitsu.

The story goes that one of the pioneers of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Grandmaster Helio Gracie was one of the smallest and weakest of his brothers and adapted the teachings of judo and Japanese Jiu Jitsu to develop the origins of the art as we know it today.  Time after time, Helio Gracie would pit himself against strong, formidable opponents to prove the effectiveness of his techniques.

In the early 90's his son, Royce would be chosen, not because he was the strongest or most talented of the jiu jitsu practitioners of the Gracie family, but instead because he was built the most average, coming in around 175 lbs.  By choosing Royce, the family allowed jiu jitsu to take center stage in the battle against other martial arts, instead of letting the physicality and technique of perhaps Rickson Gracie from taking the credit over the art and techniques themselves.

Pedro Sauer Vs The Bodybuilder

In the famous match below, Pedro Sauer, who is today one of the most popular and sought after jiu jitsu instructors, takes on Mr. Utah Lance Batchelor a steroid infused bodybuilder who outweighed him by about 100 lbs.  Though the ending is very controversial and the video of the fight is not of the best quality, the audience is still left with the takeaway that by using the techniques of jiu jitsu, one can level the playing field when it comes to strength and power.

The Playful Jiu Jitsu of Jeff Glover

The video below is a great example of the use of technique, speed and flexibility to nullify an incredible size and strength advantage.  Jeff uses his masterful ability to flow around and through his opponent's defenses to put an an amazing match. 


 Marcelo the Backpack

In one of the more legendary ADCC matches in history, one of the best competitors of all time, Marcelo Garcia takes on former UFC and grappling Goliath Ricco Rodriguez.  Using his amazing skill and his ability to avoid the pressure of the much larger Rodriguez, Marcelo epitomizes the underdog clawing his way to victory.

If you want to explore Marcelo Garcia's amazing back control in more detail, check out the BJJ Fanatics article on the topic here.


 The entire foundation and history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is built on the premise that the weaker opponent can persevere and through the use of technique and leverage, can overcome that stronger opponent.  Helio said to always imagine that there was someone out there stronger and better than you, so no matter what your size is, sometimes you can be the Goliath and sometimes you can be the David in your training.  It's important to recognize and learn from both and always to work to keep your technique as pure and free of brute strength as you can.  To overcome and persevere in the face of nearly impossible adversity is the jiu jitsu way.

And  the end of the day, It doesn't matter if you are a smaller jiu jitsu practitioner or if you're pushing the pesado weight classes, you can learn a great deal from the smaller, technical fighter.  And right now is a great time to check out "The Lightweight Guard" Two DVD set from Matheus Gonzaga, only $39 right now.











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