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David vs Goliath: Five Things To Do Against Bigger Opponents


Rolling against bigger opponents in Jiu Jitsu can be a real eye opener, but absolutely essential. It doesn’t matter if it is rolling in class, or in an absolute division in a tournament. Sometimes people have unrealistic ideas on how good they are, until they run into someone that is bigger, taller and heavier than them. Certain techniques disappear, your will gets tested and you truly see what works on someone with different physical attributes. Here are five things you can do to be successful against bigger people in Jiu Jitsu…

5) Learn To “Float” On Top

One of the most important things you can do against a bigger person is to learn how to have a floating game on top. You won’t be able to hold someone down easy when they are bigger and stronger. Big folks can bench press people off with sheer strength. That’s when you should move from position to position, keeping your opponent behind your steps. Knee on belly and moving to different sides during side control works exceptionally well.

4) Play An Active Guard On Bottom

When faced with having someone much bigger than you in your guard, you MUST stay active. The moment you stop being active and aggressive is the moment, you will have your guard passed. Bigger folks can throw legs to the side and power into control positions. If you are actively attacking with sweeps and submissions, you don’t give that person a chance to dominate you with their strength. Great guard retention is also needed when a pass is attempted.

3) Employ Leg Locks

One series of techniques that always seems to work on bigger and stronger people are leg locks. Whatever biased opinions you have on leg attacks should disappear if you have to face large folks. Arm locks and shoulder locks are tough to get on people with strength. They can defend relatively easy and reverse the position. Yet, leg locks will work well. It is because of what the locks attack. Ligaments, and parts of the knee such as the ACL and MCL. No matter how strong, those areas will cause pain and will cause a tap. This definitely comes from experience.

2) Employ Chokes

As I mentioned earlier, some techniques disappear, but some will shine through. Chokes can be used to a fantastic degree in beating bigger and stronger opponents. Arteries are arteries. You cannot make them strong like you do with upper body muscles. A good choke will end a match. Once again, in my experience, baseball bat chokes, guillotines and triangle chokes all work very on big guys.

1) Train Your Cardio

While you won’t be able to out power or out muscle someone that is bigger, you can definitely out last them cardio wise. Not always, but usually when you face someone bigger, you can out last them with your gas tank. Carrying extra weight, either fat or muscle, will tire them out quicker. By running, doing jump rope and doing other cardiovascular activities, you can be a cardio machine. When you outlast someone, finishes become much easier to get.



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