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is there a bias against size/strength in grappling

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by devante, May 8, 2008.

  1. devante

    devante Silver Belt

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    i ask because soo many people state/comment to not use strength and focus on tech, but i never here the same being mentioned in the case of flexibility or explosiveness; nor do i ever hear a coach telling someone not to use their length or ranginess.

    all the aforementioned things allow u some success in grappling, wether ur tech is on point or not; a trainer or teammate or sparring partner will say use it in combination w/tech. But they won't ever tell u NOT to use it; i have seen guys be able to squirm out of subs, not cus of tech acumen..but because of their ranginess or length of arms/etc which made it hard for an opp to really finish or do an off/def tech because of their body type or explosiveness or flexibility.

    But when strength is brought in people say what if u run into someone who is stronger or ur just muscling, stop using it; well what if u meet a guy who is more flexible, more exp or has a more awkward body type.

    im not saying people should just power or use their size to dominate; but it is an asset or an adv and it should be used to the fullest, not leaned on solely.

    also on a sidenote i think at times its good to have a big strong guy who is gonna use big strong tactics; it can help smaller guys prepare for a self def situation or for an open weight competition where ur opp may have that adv and use it.

    i mean we all know u can't just depend on ur strength but some of the best wrestlers and grapplers have at one point or another used it to neutralize a superior opp in mma or in grappling event; it might not be able to win u all battles, but in the case of dealing w/a guy who has exp and expertise u have to use anything u can and if strength or size is it why not. If someone has such a hard time dealing w/an inferior opp or sparring partner, just because they are bigger or stronger; it would make me believe that person isn't as good as they think they are.

    thoughts/opinions
     
  2. Cardio King

    Cardio King Blue Belt

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    I firmly believe that a person who says they do not use strength at all and that they rely soley on technique is either a sandbagger or a liar.
     
  3. kenban judan

    kenban judan orange belt, i think

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    sure, it is technically bad form for bigger guys to muscle escapes, positions and submissions, but all these strong motherfuckers in my class do it anyways, with little or no mention of them bullying the taps from the smaller guys.

    i, on the other hand, am that rangy bastard that is hard to submit that you talk about. i should tap and move on, but that's where i get stupid too, just like you have pointed out.

    i remember one day in class, this bodybuilder dude muscled me into an armbar attempt, with very little technique, yet i was pretty stuck. so i kept shifting the position of my elbow, while he tried cranking. my instructor told us to start over. as i got up, he seemed kind of pissed, like "why didn't you tap?". we were both stubborn assholes that night
     
  4. georgejjr

    georgejjr Black Belt

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    The interesting point is that using strength is considered to be bad, but using speed and flexibility is good. It's interesting because it's much easier to train strength than speed and flexibility, and you retain your strength much longer as you age than you retain your speed and flexibility.
     
  5. YeahBee

    YeahBee Samdog Original Nine

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    My strength and size is my "strength" when it comes to judo, they think just because they are black belt that their technique is going to pull them thru, well it is not easy tryin to throw a 300pounds resisting YeahBee, even if you beat me to the ounch, if you fail the first attempt I counter

    I am not a huge lifter or anything but tbh most of the people in my weightclass are often fatasses

    I simplify techniques often because my strength can pull me thru, If they require flexibility I don't bother :)
     
  6. YeahBee

    YeahBee Samdog Original Nine

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    And as a big guy it takes little of my strength to defend subs, even if we are jsut doing newaza in train ign and going more like BJJ with 5min or even logner rolls, heck a triangle is a resting position for me, I will eventually pass it
     
  7. devante

    devante Silver Belt

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    exactly my point, it happens; an people hate the guy w/the muscle, but would commend u on ur ability not to tap or work out of subs when caught, which im sure u do alot.

    i understand dev tech; but don't shortchange the man's natural abilities, its not fair to him or to his opp who may face a guy like him who takes full adv of his abilities.

    secondly i have a question-everyone says what if u face someone bigger and stronger; well what the hell happens if u face someone who is better tech, as many guys have gotten tooled when faced w/a bigger/stronger guy. I have seen many more guys get tooled cus they arent as good as the person they are grappling; either the person is a diff belt level or is just better at that rank. JUST ANOTHER SIDE OF THE COIN.

    An finally even if someone muscles they have to have some basic tech, an if they can use basic tech and strength to escape or sub u; then ur NOT AS GOOD AS U THINK U ARE...
     
  8. devante

    devante Silver Belt

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    i agree, i hear the bias all the time and im like u guys are crippling one guy by taking aways his adv and then supporting and cultivating someone else's.

    i think u should cultivate everyone's ability, not just guys who u favor or whos physical skillset suits ur style.

    i am not strong per se, but i do things to work on my grappling strength, overall strength cus increases, even minor ones, can make a diff when grappling. An i have been told so by diff instructors i trained w/or people i sparred who told me u feel stronger, sturdier; an that is really making it more diff to do the things im used to doing, even though my tech was the same or slipped a little..my increase in overall strength made a noticeable diff.
     
  9. FWTG

    FWTG Blue Belt

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    I hate it when someone comments oh your strong with regards to jiujitsu. Its basically an insult. Ive had guys who were like 40 pounds heavier say to me oh your strong after I armbar them or something. Not good technique but..oh your strong. lol

    Its like yeah man it was my strength that let me get you in that triangle even though it was obvious I was using little strength and my legs are weak as hell lol. Whatever I just say thanks and move on.

    Strength helps dont get me wrong but it only goes so far in jiujitsu. Technique, speed, agility and cardio are much more important IMO.
     
  10. armtriangle

    armtriangle Brown Belt

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    agree 100%

    flexibility is used as a crutch as much as strength. but for some reason its more jiu jitsu-y to use flexibilty.

    strength is a tool that some are born with and some must practice to acquire... exactly the same with flexibility. double standard.
     
  11. Muscleshart

    Muscleshart Blue Belt

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    I think there are times to use size and strength. I'm big and strong. I grapple like I'm big and strong, but I can still focus on technique. I use my strength and size for position, but I am careful to use good technique when I'm using a submission. If the guy has something he wants to work on, I'll adjust the use of my size and strength as needed. I would never improve on my positioning, and I would develop bad habits if I only relied on technique, and I never used size and strength. When I'm fighting or rolling with another legit HW I'll need to know how to use my weight to maintain position, and I'll have to be able to impose my will with my strength.

    Edit: I'm not saying that I always try for top position. I pull guard a lot, and I don't mind working from an inferior position, but you have to have balance.
     
  12. txfighter13

    txfighter13 Purple Belt

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    You should learn technique first because there is always going to be a guy who is stronger and faster than you in the sport of grappling. There is a time and place to use your strength, but technique should always be your first priority. Using only strength and speed you will wear youself out very quickly.
     
  13. devante

    devante Silver Belt

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    i think they are complimenting u in the fact they figured they would be able to manhandle u or muscle out of subs or just impose themselves on u. An found u were strong enough to withstand that or at least neutralize their adv; its a compliment, they recognize the tech, but if u grapple long enough u come across ALOT of tech guys in all shapes and sizes. But when it comes to strength, usually u can gauge it from looking and when someone is stronger than u expect it catches u off guard.

    i have had people say your stronger than u look, or ur awkward in ur grappling, i don't see it as a diss to my tech; i see it as them noticing something that stands out about me or in comparison to people they roll w/

    but strength is a tool; just like everything else and everything will only take u soo far and as stated strength is easier to dev and maintain much more than speed/exp/flexibility...

    i see ur point though
     
  14. devante

    devante Silver Belt

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    unless ur rickson or aoki, there is always gonna be someone who is tech better than u and thats a fact, not saying not to dev tech; but its the other side of the coin most grapplers ignore.

    sorry sad but true

    so if u are facing a guy who is tech better, ur only adv may be strength/speed or exp; an i suggest u use it and if ur club hasn't taught u how to use it w/ur tech, they are doing u a disservice and setting u up for failure..

    its like a guy w/ko power not using it and instead trying to be too cute or tech, when if he would just fire his shots and impose himself he could get the guy out of there; instead he tries to outbox a boxer or out slick a slickster and loses a dec.
     
  15. Calibur

    Calibur Jiu Jitsu Snob

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    Man, I absolutely hate it when people say that to me.

    "Wow, you're really strong"= "If I were bigger, I would have won."
     
  16. FWTG

    FWTG Blue Belt

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    The thing is I have had people who were obviously stronger than me say it to me too. Its kind of like an insult in a way but I do realize they usually mean it as a compliment so it doesnt bother me much or anything. Its usually fairly new big guys that say it anyway. Either that or people who have trained longer than you or are a little smaller than you. Whatever. Like they say "just roll". lol
     
  17. blanko

    blanko Guest

    in theory there is no limit on how much your technique can improve, there is however a glass ceiling on how much stronger you can get. Stand up striking and grappling are two completely different animals and you can't really use stand up analogies don't really work. That's what makes jiu jitsu so different than most if not all marital arts. You don't need to be a physical specimen to be great in jiu jitsu.
     
  18. georgejjr

    georgejjr Black Belt

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    Actually that's probably not true anymore. Take a look at the guys who are winning ADCC, or guys like Jacare and Roger Gracie who are winning gi based. They're now all amazing athletes. The problem is that when technique is even, physical attributes make a difference. This is true in all sports. Judo and wrestling are also very technical ... when I wrestled in college our coach would have the smallest senior (about 110 pounds) scrimmage with the biggest new high school graduate. The small senior would win every time, which coach would then point out for the rest of the year to the freshmen - technique over physical ability.

    But by the time those big freshmen had a year or two of college coaching, they'd walk all over the best feather weights ... the technical difference wasn't enough to overcome the physical.

    Moreover, the glass ceiling on strength is higher than on speed (which is almost impossible to train past a certain point because it depends upon your ratio of muscle fibre types) and flexibility (joints only move so far). Depending upon speed and flexibility is more limiting than on strength ... you see this in older athletes. The strong guys last longer than the ones who based their whole game on speed, because strength doesn't really decrease until your mid to late 50's, while speed drops off in your mid 30's.

    Having said that, any even halfway decent coach is going to drill you on technique, technique, technique over strength and speed. Strength (and to a limited extent) speed you can pick up while you're concentrating on technique.
     
  19. blanko

    blanko Guest

    honestly i don't think that roger is a "great athelete" ala jacare. Jacare is a "great athete".
     
  20. Slithers

    Slithers Green Belt

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    the way I see it is that flexibility and speed are given the pass in jiu jitsu. the use of excessive strength is frowned upon. I think that as long as you use your natural abilities in combination with technique it is ok. But if you are using your natural abilities to compensate for your lack of technique it is wrong and will hinder your ability to learn. I believe that true jiu jitsu techniques do not require strength, speed or flexibility. None-the-less these physical attributes are obviously beneficial in a competitive grappling match or fight. I have never had my instructor say "ok for this next technique you have to be (insert physical characteristic) in order to properly execute this move." Timing, angles, leverage, etc are stressed as opposed to physical attributes.

    Many times a person will say "man you are strong" without realizing that it was superior technique, position, leverage that made that functional strength. In a weight lifting contest the person with the strongest individual muscles will win, but in grappling it is he who applies functional strength best by using technique. This is why a weaker person can armbar a stronger person. The legs, hips, abs, back, arms all put together are stronger than the stronger mans isolated arm. It seems like the weak guy is very strong, but that is only when he uses his whole body against one body part. That's my take, anyways.

    To be honest, though, I have people tell me both, "wow you are strong" or "man you are flexible." Watch me stretch before class, I am not that flexible. I am not super strong, either. I make it a point to roll very slow and deliberate these days. I try not to muscle anything or move too fast. Then they (lower belts) have nothing to say but "wow" or "man" at the end of the roll. :) I get asked about technique that worked against them all the time.

    Anyways, some people rely on their physical attributes such as strength, speed, flexibility to get them by. It is my argument that this will slow them down. We don't start off running and lifting weights as babies. We learn to balance, then crawl, then stand, then step, then walk, then run. Learn how to do things slowly and deliberately before speeding things up and adding strength and flexibility to the game. Thats my opinion.
     

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