“BJJ Techniques to Defeat Bigger, Stronger Opponents” recently hit #1 under the entire category of “Martial Arts” at Amazon.com, and it’s author – BJJEE writer Daniel Faggella – took the time to catch up about his process in training / interviewing that made the book possible. Dan is a writer for many major magazines, a No Gi Pan Am Champion, and interviewer of many of the most prolific names in MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Dan’s web and blog following far exceed 10,000 monthly readers.
Dan, you’re known around the internet as THE guy to go to when it comes to lightweight grappling strategies, where did all of this come from?
Dan: My whole Brazilian Jiu Jitsu career from day one has been me facing bigger guys and when I was new to the sport I was frustrated because I could be using near perfect technique and I was still getting beat. I was never the physically strongest guy so I had to think of new and creative strategies to be able to win against those bigger than me. Some of the stuff I cover in my book has been exclusively known just in my academy and I wanted to reach out to the rest of the community and share my knowledge and it’s come quite a long way from when I used to be teaching in the basement of an old carpet store.
In this journey, so too say, in BJJ you’ve had what has intrigued you the most?
Dan: Haha, asides from all the friendships and great times I’ve had, what really gets me is how we can scientifically break down the sport and maximize our potential by crunching those numbers. What I mean is we can analytically look at certain sweeps and submissions for example and see which work best and apply them to our game. Back when I first started getting into the absolute divisions I sat down and found the top percentage sweeps, takedowns, guard pulls, submissions, etc for little guys and I revealed all of those secrets in my book. It’s funny because I got the nickname the BJJ Nerd from a close friend of mine for all the work I put into crunching the numbers for everyone.
Could you give us an example of one these top percentage submissions?
Dan: Of course! Believe it or not I wasn’t always that great at leg locks and it wasn’t until one of my coaches at my academy got into them and then I fell in love with the art of manipulating legs. So, we all know that leg locks level the playing field in absolute divisions but only if done correctly. Statistically it is harder to hit a kneebar on a bigger guy than it is to hit a heel hook. Now why is that? They’re both leg locks? Correct but here’s what’s going down. It’s a concept I call small target submissions and it’s covered extensively in the book. Long story short, you want as much of you on as little of an area on them as possible when attacking. In the book I go into all the different set ups for these small target submissions and they’ll really revolutionize your game.
This book is all about beating bigger opponents, why should a bigger guy buy it?
Dan: It’s funny you should say that because it wasn’t until recently that I understood it. If these concepts work on someone twice your size, then there is no reason why they will not work on someone your own size. If you implement these concepts and training strategies you will be a more technical fighter than anyone on the mats and you will truly have an understanding for the game. We’ve been noticing more and more that these so called “little guy moves” are being used throughout all the weight classes due to their success. Just look at how Buchecha used a berimbolo while being stuck in Rodolfo’s X Guard to win the IBJJF Black Belt World Championship. It doesn’t matter if you’re Mr Universe, these concepts and techniques work.
That’s some great stuff Dan I hope to pick up your book soon! Thank you for your time it was nice to learn about all the things you are doing
Dan: It was a fun time, thanks guys. I’m sure hoping you’ll like it.
For anyone interested in learning the strategies Dan is giving away a Free copy of his “The Bigger They Are, the Harder They Fall” BJJ DVD on his website (www.MicroBJJ.com/David). In addition, you can grab a copy of Dan’s book on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/17R7lWM.