Small Man BJJ


Brown Belt
Sep 7, 2004
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Being relatively small, though strong for my size, I always root for the smaller guy when I see a fight on the street or when Marcelo Garcia kicks ass in ADCC for instance. With BJJ, all the techniques are pretty much the same no matter who does them, but small guys must adopt new strategies for bigger opponents. For example, when rolling with bigger guys in my class I try and take the back more often than if I were rolling with people closer to my size. What strategies or techniques seem to be more useful for those of us who can stay on the high seat of the see-saw without anyone on the other end?
Marcelo Garcia pretty much has the best strategy against larger opponents. Using an armdrag to get the back, then going for the choke.

Also, try to not let them stay in your guard for long, because chances are they'll get through a lot faster than someone your size.
Butterfly guard is great to use against bigger guys. It's great to sweep bigger guys so effortlessly.. It has it's cons though if someone has the butterfly guard scouted well. It's very easy for the other guy to disengage.
I like to stay on top with heavyer guys, they usualy don't like the guard as much. so I usually go with the quick sweep.. but I'm not that small though (1.77cm/5'10 - 83kg/183 pounds)
i play guard alot, open guard.
i like to take the back, i am a big guy.
small guys give me a lot of trouble when they play guard and wad up into a ball on thier backs, it sucks
As a VERY large 6'4, 250 pound man I can say that the most difficult guard for me and most other big guys to pass is De La Riva.
i hear ya, i am 6' 245lbs. it works well but i have a few good passes and i get to wear them down making them have to hold me real tight.
Against bigger guys I actually like to pull guard. Why? Because if the bigger man is a better wrestler then you, and you can't take him down, he is most likely going to put you in a vulnerable position. So I try to pull guard and I usually keep an open guard on them to move around more....and also to push his weight off of me because he could suffocate me. It's hard to get a sub on them right away but after working for it, you will get one, or move to a better position.
I'm a big guy too...6 foot 240 lbs.

I really like to be on my back for some reason. I think it's easier for me to catch a guy and roll him to a good spot for me. I hate being in somebody's guard.
I use armdrags a lot to take the back. I use my guard game against bigger guys but it's always a gamble unless I plan to just hold on and stall which I can be quite proficient at! So, I usually try and take the back. Another thing I do is leave one hook out, unless I'm able to triangle the body. The reason I do this is to prevent the escape where the guy sits on one leg and turns into you. It has worked for me so far.