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Dealing with Bigger Opponents

Dealing with Bigger Opponents


Dealing with bigger opponents can be very difficult; things that may work on other people may not work on them.  There are specific movements, sweeps, and submissions that work better on larger opponents just like there are specific movements that work on smaller people.  Bigger opponents may be hard to deal with but if you have a game plan and know move that are higher percentage for them, you can easily manipulate their body weight and use it against them.

Being bigger can be a blessing and a curse.  Some bigger guys may learn how to properly distribute their weight and become extremely difficult to deal with, other may not be as able to distribute their weight and you can learn how to use it against them.  Check out our article on “High Level Fundamentals” to learn some of the key fundamentals to being dangerous from everywhere. To deal with bigger guys you have to learn how to use their weight against them, and you have to be able to pick a smart guard that allows you to control the distance, and be able to have good grip strength.

Using Weight to your Advantage and Picking a Smart Guard

Learning how to manipulate a larger opponent’s weight and distribute it properly so they can’t use it against you is very difficult.  It starts with picking the right guard to play.  You need to be smart about what guard you play.  You want to be able to pick a guard that doesn’t allow them to put their weight on you, and allows you to control the distance. 

Some great guard to play against a heavier opponent are Spider guard, De La Riva guard, Lasso Guard, and any guard that allows you to control the distance and force your opponent to stand and pass that way they can’t put their wait on you.  Half guard can be very good to play against bigger guys but since there is not much distance control you may have to get smashed again. Check out our article “Having a Complete Game” to learn more on playing multiple guards, also, check out this video of Claudio Calassans showing an awesome sweep from closed guard.

Having Grip Strength for Bigger guys

Having good grip strength is important for every aspect of bjj but when dealing with heavier opponents it is even more important.  Why is this?  Grips are what allow you to play these distance based guards like De La Riva, Spider, and Lasso.  So if you can’t keep the grips, it will be difficult to initiate these guards and play a distance based game.

Grips can be one of the most important things when playing these open guards.  For example, Spider guard is extremely grip dependent.  If you can’t control your opponent’s sleeves and hold onto them, your opponent will be able to get away from the guard and smash you.  Maybe they will force you to half guard and put their weight on you.  Check out this video of a cool arm lock from guard with Claudio Calasans.

If you want to learn how to beat giants get Claudio Calassans DVD set, “Giant Killing.”  Claudio is one of the best Black Belts in the world and is very small.  He has beat some of the biggest and best practitioners in bjj. 


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