BJJ for Bigger Guys

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by RedBiird, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. RedBiird

    RedBiird White Belt

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    First off I am a white belt. Been training BJJ since Mid-July of this year. I am closing in on earning my first stripe. But enough of all that, I was wondering if bigger guys(I'm 6'2" around 235) had trouble at first developing a "game". I hate thinking that I'm just some bigger guy trying to smash on dudes, I want to develop technique and be known for using that instead of strength.
     
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  2. chubbman

    chubbman Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Work guard a lot, the general consensus is big guys don't have good guards. Be the big guy with a good guard.
     
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  3. These Two Hands

    These Two Hands Our revenge will be the laughter of our children

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    I'm pesadissimo, blue belt. Couple of observations - firstly, competition wise basically first guy to get and hold a solid top position is gonna win. Nine times out of ten, anyway, and bear in mind there is an exception to every rule but this is just generic advice for most super and ultra heavy competitors. Fast explosive side-control escapes are critical, don't let them stabilize or you're fucked. Don't anticipate a high level of guard retention, just smash pass or over under pass, get to side control and switch between there and scarfhold if he keeps trying to get out, snatch a sub when it comes up. That ought to get you through early days competing in white belt super- and ultra-heavy anyway. Shit's gonna change up quite a bit at blue, especially against higher level blues. And every time I watch the purples and up at my own weight class (pesadissimo/ultra heavy) their Jiu Jitsu for the most part looks as dynamic and fluid as any other smaller guy's does. So this is my advice specifically for where you're at for the next year or so basically. Learn how to constantly give directed, concentrated pressure from various top positions and use it all the time. Get to top, take the wind out of his sails, attack him when he's tired, collect your medal.

    Take it with a gram of salt too, I'm only a blue belt competing in regional and local events, not some world-class expert or nothing.

    Jiu Jitsu wise, overall, I personally like to spend tons of time developing an effective, fluid and dynamic guard. I'm now starting to use some stuff in competition and getting comments from other guys in my division that they'd never have expected it or seen it coming. I like to play bottom positions as much as possible when rolling smaller guys, and especially shite like "pass or sweep" with the really nimble guard passers. Pretty much constantly work the weak areas in your Jiu Jitsu, and get away a bit more from the "big/small guy" game mentality there, at least that's what I think... I like to take a more holistic approach there.

    Off the mat, key focus areas are flexibility/mobility/fluidity, aerobic cardiovascular base, and explosive/dynamic anaerobic work. I find that that combination, when kept on top of as part of an overall fitness regimen, helps me best utilize the natural attributes of my size and strength, while making up for or correcting some of the weaker areas in my natural attributes.

    I don't know if any of this will help you or not, but I hope something in there does.

    Oss.
     
  4. These Two Hands

    These Two Hands Our revenge will be the laughter of our children

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    Yeah I'm seeing a lot of these bigger purple belts and up playing crazy guard games, when I roll them at the gym it's fantastic. A big guy with a good guard is a dangerous man to roll!
     
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  5. Concrete Whale

    Concrete Whale Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    big guy here. Forget that stuff TS just crush. Make the little guys phear your powah.

    You can develop a full game when you are consistently training with guys your size. Or at least if you are specifically training seriously for a comp. Meanwhile if you want to play from your back you will have to insist.
     
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  6. AEMD

    AEMD Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    use your weight and size to your advantage. and being 6'2 235lbs is kinda lean anyways. just go for it.

    the biggest issue for big guys is CONDITIONING. you are going to get tired faster than the small guys. the more conditioning you have the more techniqies you can try in a roll and the better you tech gets the faster you get higher belts. this is why small guys belt up faster than small guys. WORK on your conditioning.
     
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  7. RedBiird

    RedBiird White Belt

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    I appreciate the feed back. I am not concentrated on competing at this point. There is a local Naga coming up in November but I'm going to wait for a spring time tournament. And for tournament purposes I think I can drop under that 225 weight limit so I wont have to be super heavy. As for playing and developing the guard game a lot that seems to be the feedback I tend to get. I guess I'll just have to get to more mixed level group classes and learn different guards/ways to play them.
     
  8. RedBiird

    RedBiird White Belt

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    Yeah that's my problem, the gym I am training at doesn't have a big amount of bigger guys. There are nights where there's only like 2 of us to partner up. I don't get any flack for being stronger and using the strength in rolling. I still get beat by smaller guys regularly. I was just trying to coax an answer on how developing your game went and how long it took as a larger person training in BJJ
     
  9. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Smashing on dudes is what bigger guys were made for. Don't be afraid of it. If you're using good technique it's okay if it's smashy. My passing game is mostly about steamrolling through peoples' guards, it's not pleasant for them at all but it's definitely technical. Strength is not the opposite of technique, it's enzyme of technique. I would say however to not assume you'll always be on top because that won't be the case against people your size, try to develop a guard game. But don't expect it to look like the LWs, there are exceptions but most bigger guys don't spend all their time inverted. A problem some bigger guys have is expecting that their games will look like lighter guys' games, and feeling like they're not technical if they don't. That's not the case, technique =/= fancy. You can do simple, smashing things in a very technical manner.

    Using your weight properly is a big part of having good technique. The fact that you have more weight than most is a bonus, using it doesn't make you bad at BJJ. Small guys aren't going to stop using speed and flexibility, so smash with what your mamma gave you.
     
  10. RJ Green

    RJ Green Black Belt

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    there's technique in smashing. leverage feels like strength, because it is.

    there are ideal techniques that suit people's physical abilities, and those techniques will be the easiest to use/refine.

    this is a hobby and you're doing this for fun. play your game. everyone has an opinion and everyone knows what's best for you. that's not to say you should close yourself off to advice or reason, but don't let anyone tell you what your jujitsu should be.

    that includes me. don't listen to me at all.

    there's this circle jerk in combat sports over what's basically the big fuckin' hero complex. you're gonna hear all sorts of tall tales about smaller men beating larger men and 'on the streets' and horseshit about japanese battlefields and it's basically all an echo chamber of fanboy compensatory horseshit. stories so kids keep signing yearly contracts and masturbating to fantasies about themselves while watching videos in the street fighting subreddits.

    don't *just* fuckin smash people, you know? you can be a hyper-aggressive dickbag if you're a reasonable trained athlete and shitstomp most white belts and shlubby blues but you're not gonna learn much. at the same time, don't feel like you have to learn the whole alphabet of guards or spend a year refining platypus guard or preparing for some magical encyclopaedia testing like the TKD kids do. it's not like that.

    but yeah, fuckin smash people. and don't listen to me.
     
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  11. Gorillajjitsu

    Gorillajjitsu White Belt

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    I know This thread is super old. But wanted to chime in. Any tips for getting better at open guard/guard retention? I’m not a white belt (half way to purple) but it seems to be my biggest weakness. Shits rough. Lol.
     
  12. nefti

    nefti Red Belt

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    Pressure is technique
     
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  13. nefti

    nefti Red Belt

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    Being big allows you to work on your guard game.
     
  14. Gorillajjitsu

    Gorillajjitsu White Belt

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    Very true. For my size though i can Move pretty quick. I like To try to take the back when possible. But just wanting to be able to have better technique on bottom.
     
  15. nefti

    nefti Red Belt

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    Work on back takes, submissions, and sweeps. I tell all big guys to start from the bottom and get on top.
     
  16. Gorillajjitsu

    Gorillajjitsu White Belt

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    That’s funny you say that because people always complain about size. So I start bottom first and always tell them “if i get On top i earned It!” Lol.

    Right on thanks for the help man!
     
  17. GoodbyeBlueSky82

    GoodbyeBlueSky82 White Belt

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    There is a stigma about big guys not being good guard players, and there is some partial truth there but it is misleading too. Being big often means being less flexible and mobile, so you aren't necessarily going to invert and play spaghetti leg guard games that some lanky people do, sure. That said, being big often means stronger grips and leg strength. Lately I have been using open guard combinations (feet on hips with collar & sleeve grip, lasso, spider guard) to set up sweeps and not minding being on bottom. When I am on top, I use more pressure passing type strategy versus more fast paced passing. So regardless of position, trying to find ways to use my size where it equates to an advantage and not a handicap.

    Being around 235 like the OP said he was, I still would like to lose a good 20 pounds though, cardio is a struggle when you are bigger.
     
  18. shunyata

    shunyata Red Belt

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    Some of this advice is three years old but for real.

    IT IS ALL ABOUT PRESSURE

    Ok maybe not all, but what is leverage if not specifically applied pressure combined with torque and balance disruption?

    For years we had a running joke that followed this format.

    Q: this technique is not working for me.

    A: did you apply enough presh?


    Bruce Lee called it.

    Be like water.

    Water spills, slips, takes any shape.

    Water can also smash, crush, drown, and drag you into the depths.
     
  19. beat...people...up?

    beat...people...up? Orange Belt

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    Chiming in really late, one of the things I like best about the bigger guys in BJJ is that they actually also know when to go light and just play around. Some of the larger men I know have some of the best control, because they have to, or their training partners would die. Weirdly, it reminds me of how some of the very smallest people need to learn to use technique as well.
     
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  20. berimBOWLoh

    berimBOWLoh Silver Belt

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    Being big is an advantage. Use it. You will figure it out.
     
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