Technique - big/small guys

beamlord

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This post has two parts, first one is an example from today's training and at the same time a bit of a rant so flame on : D Second is related to someone recently posting something along the lines of "big guys don't have technique they use force and don't have to learn the subtleties of bjj".

So as usual my sparring partner is lightweight (well at least for me), he's one of the bigger guys at around 220-230bs but not really challenging strenght-wise. I'm going for an armbar from side control, and I'm (as always) taking it all easy and not applying a lot of force, and somewhere along the process I almost lose his arm, he's able to pull it away and now I'm holding the arm somewhere around his elbow and it's all sloppy and not really an armbar. Now I could still use some pure strenght and rip his arm out of his body (almost literally) but obviously I'm not , so I'm letting him go and he's sort of trash-talking how cool he is and how he got away bla bla. So the rant part of this example is:
- many guys don't even realize I'm really (I mean *really* holding back and giving maybe about 50-60% of strength) when rolling with em. Because otherwise I would injure them. And they don't appreciate that fact at all. Oh well, screw that. I can live with it.

Second part is the actual message:
- my armbar was sloppy. It wasn't done correctly and lead to him being able to escape. That's the sole reason of it failing - because it wa technically bad.
- the fact that in a regular training, the big guy *has* to hold back in order not to harm people, he has to execute stuff really perfecly for it to work. As a result, he *does* learn perfect technique. In the next round I went for another armbar and it was maybe not perfect but very good and it worked.
 
gotta use what works bro..doesnt have to look pretty!
 
I agree 100%. On top of that, my instructor usually pairs me with higher belts to roll with, so I *have* to develop better technique for that reason, too. I'll get the "you're so heavy/strong" argument occasionally, but when I get it from a higher belt I take it as a compliment - it means I'm using my pressure correctly.
 
I agree 100%. On top of that, my instructor usually pairs me with higher belts to roll with, so I *have* to develop better technique for that reason, too. I'll get the "you're so heavy/strong" argument occasionally, but when I get it from a higher belt I take it as a compliment - it means I'm using my pressure correctly.

Exactly, when my instructor can't escape and/or says "no way out, stalemate" (even though I can't pull any decent submission on him), it's the fact that I'm applying the pressure effectively.
 
Great post/thread
 
You have a point but I guess it is only true for submissions and top position. Most of the time people try to muscle their way out of a submission or bad position if they have the strength for it. When I think about it wouldn
 
Not all big guys are like you though OP. Alot of them don't try to play it technical like you, alot of them just go for it BAM with everything they have got, weather its an armbar or a pass or a sweep.
It's rare to find a big guy who rolls soft and tries to use technique when they start. usually the bigger guys get to reallize that this is the case but that comes after probably a good 6 months of training, which by then its real hard on the ego to go soft and "lose" per se.
 
Not all big guys are like you though OP. Alot of them don't try to play it technical like you, alot of them just go for it BAM with everything they have got, weather its an armbar or a pass or a sweep.
It's rare to find a big guy who rolls soft and tries to use technique when they start. usually the bigger guys get to reallize that this is the case but that comes after probably a good 6 months of training, which by then its real hard on the ego to go soft and "lose" per se.

Seems to be universally understood by beginners but denied by more advance people...weird I agree though nice post
 
I'm with you, TS. I've been striving to roll with technique, and I start every roll by pulling guard, only switching to standing or combat base if my partner also pulls guard. Don't get me wrong, as a big guy I feel very strong in top position compared to the majority of white belts in my gym. But I figure I'll benefit in the long run by having a good sweep/sub game from guard to get me to top position, where I can happily proceed to squish my opponents, knowing that I've earned it.:cool:
 
Not all big guys are like you though OP. Alot of them don't try to play it technical like you, alot of them just go for it BAM with everything they have got, weather its an armbar or a pass or a sweep.
It's rare to find a big guy who rolls soft and tries to use technique when they start. usually the bigger guys get to reallize that this is the case but that comes after probably a good 6 months of training, which by then its real hard on the ego to go soft and "lose" per se.

As a bigger guy & a brand-new purple belt I can say that losing the newbie ego was not really that hard, but trying to figure out what speed/pace to go at with different size people & belts was really challenging. I'm 6-2, 215 pounds but deceptively strong for my size (I compete in powerlifting & Scottish Highland Games). Understand that EVERYONE (smaller or larger) that I train with (except for black belts) will go 100% against me if we're rolling. If they are smaller than me, I have to regulate how much strength I'm using. I just try to focus really hard on perfect technique during those rolls and try to make sure that even if I'm going light from a strength perspective, I'm not going light from a quickness, pressure or technique perspective.

Anyway, long post - bottom line is that its a difficult line to learn to walk & I'm still learning.
 
It annoys me if a big guy uses all his strength to stick his knuckles in my face or dig his elbows in my thighs or whatever. If a big guy uses all his strength to pass I'll just be learning how to defend it.

I like rolling with big guys that when swept/back taken etc actually have a bottom game. Sadly it's rare because they often find it to so easy to dominate in size from top due to lack of sparring partners. But I love it when I see bigger guys who have a challenging guard.
 
It annoys me if a big guy uses all his strength to stick his knuckles in my face or dig his elbows in my thighs or whatever.

There are probably just as many big guys who will deliberately avoid using those kinds of grey techniques, as well as using much pressure in their crossfaces and KOB against smaller opponents. I'm ~220 and usually err on the side of being too light against smaller players, although I'm getting a bit better about increasing my "dickishness" a bit after one of our 145 lb. much more experienced blue belts complained to me that I needed to stop treating him like he was fragile.
 
As a bigger guy & a brand-new purple belt I can say that losing the newbie ego was not really that hard, but trying to figure out what speed/pace to go at with different size people & belts was really challenging. I'm 6-2, 215 pounds but deceptively strong for my size (I compete in powerlifting & Scottish Highland Games). Understand that EVERYONE (smaller or larger) that I train with (except for black belts) will go 100% against me if we're rolling. If they are smaller than me, I have to regulate how much strength I'm using. I just try to focus really hard on perfect technique during those rolls and try to make sure that even if I'm going light from a strength perspective, I'm not going light from a quickness, pressure or technique perspective.

Anyway, long post - bottom line is that its a difficult line to learn to walk & I'm still learning.

^ This.
Minus the purple from my end.

I also have a real tendency to hold back on pressure from top. I have zero killer instinct and hate making training partners/friends uncomfortable.
 

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