By Guillaume (Gile) Huni, BJJ black belt and head instructor of Kimura Academy in Belgrade, Serbia.
There is always someone out there that is bigger and stronger than you. When we were white belts we would get easily beaten by smaller blue and purple belts.What were they doing that we were not? The answer is that they had skill and strategy and they knew exactly what you were going to do next. They knew how they were going to beat you. These simple tips may come in helpful next time you face a big bully on the mats:
1. Be quicker and more active.
This is a obvious first point. Bigger guys should normally be slower. Try to use your speed and explosivness to your advantage and take initiatives by attacking and being more aggressive.
2. Tire your opponent
Don’t let him rest at any point. Big guys carry around more weights and generally will roll by exploding in short spurts, where as smaller guys will be in constant movement. If you attack without stopping, you will deprive them of this rest and they will usually start gassing out, you will then be able to take advantage of the situation.
3. Take the back
This is a technical advice that I remember receiving from my coach. He said that the best way to beat the big guys was to take their backs as usually they can’t muscle out of that position. Holding a mount or side control against a stronger guy is riskier as they can always explode. the back is the safest. Usually the bow and arrow choke is the highest percentage submission from the back. So work on your back transitions and submissions from there.
4. Go for footlocks
BJJ guys usually don’t defend footlocks as well as other technique that’s why smaller guys that are specialized in footlocks are always dangerous. The ankle is not a part of the body that a big guy can really muscle so you should always look to attack his weakest links: ankle and writs.
5. Superior technique is the key
Off course the most important is to be technically superior. Think of the smaller blue belts that were kicking your butt when you were a white belt. This is why refining your technique through hours of drilling and live rolling is paramount.
6. If you find yourself underneath, be compact and don’t let your back be flat to the mat
Don’t let them spread you out and smash you. When you are underneath in half guard always think of being compact (like a ball) and never never have your back flat on the mat. Always look for a underhook and be on your side ready to bump out.
How to Defend Big Guy Attacks (and the Honor of Jiu-Jitsu)
Best Takedown vs Bigger Opponents?