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Good Submissions for Smaller Grapplers

Good Submissions for Smaller Grapplers


Training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is always difficult.  Some say it can be more difficult for the smaller people, some say it’s more difficult for the bigger guys.  No matter what your build, age, fitness level, or health, bjj is going to be difficult.  Everyone will experience their own hardships along their journey.  One thing that can be consistent is that for small guys that grapple larger opponents, some submissions will work better than others.

Submitting larger opponents, especially of the same level can be daunting.  There are plenty of submissions that work extremely well, but today we are going to discuss three of them.  The guillotine, the ankle lock, and the wrist lock are all excellent choices for small grapplers to utilize against larger opponents.

The Guillotine for the Small Guy

The guillotine is an excellent choice when grappling a larger opponent because you are attacking the neck.  Not only are you attacking the neck but you are engaging several different muscle groups.  Like Helio Gracie said, “regardless of size, everyone has the same neck and arteries.”  It’s always wise for a small person to attack the neck. Check out this article on Claudio Calassans Guillotine here.

The guillotine is also a great choice because you can set it up from top, bottom, and even standing.  You can also capitalize on your opponents mistakes and catch the guillotine quickly.  Check out this arm in Guillotine from Blackzillians coach, Neil Melanson below.

The Ankle Lock for Small Guys

The ankle lock is another great choice of attack when grappling a larger opponent.  The reason is because there is not much muscle around the ankles.  For the most part, we all have the same ligaments, tendons, and muscles near the ankle.  If you get a good grip on your opponent’s ankle, no matter the size, they can’t use much strength to defend.

The ankle lock is also a relatively safe submission to use because even if you don’t finish it, there is not many counter attacks to the ankle lock.  Many ankle locks are set up from single leg X and this is a great guard as well.  Check out this outside foot lock from Dean Lister. 

The Wrist Lock from Smaller Guys

The wrist lock is a secret submission that is extremely effective.  Contrary to popular belief, the wrist lock is dangerous.  It is also a great submission when grappling a larger opponent.  This is for many of the same reasons as the previous two.  The wrist does not have much muscle around it, and you can attack it quickly and aggressively.  Regardless of size, they can’t use much strength to defend.

The wrist is a very fragile part of the body.  Check out this article on wrist locks “Wrist locks, the sneaky submission.”  Also, check out this great wrist lock below from Judo Olympian Silver Medalist, Travis Stevens.

As we said before, there are plenty of great submissions that small guys can utilize, these are just a few options.  If you want to add a bunch more options and you’re a smaller guy, check out purple belt world champion, Matheus Gonzaga’s 2 DVD set, “The Lightweight Guard.”

Enjoy reading about submissions? then consider checking:


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