How to Tailor Jiu-Jitsu to your Body Type by Renzo Gracie

How to Tailor Jiu-Jitsu to your Body Type by Renzo Gracie

A Grappler’s game starts to develop after around 4 years of training or around a purple belt in BJJ. However, that doesn’t stop a white or blue belt from experimenting with different things. Finding your ideal BJJ game consists of five key elements. If you follow these, you’re sure to be more than fully able to find a unique BJJ game that works for you.

Body Type:
Are you short? Are you tall? Are you skinny? Are you buff? Are you fat? Are you tiny? Whatever your body type, it’s going to play a factor into what your Jiu-Jitsu game is. If you’re really short and stocky, you might not play a really big open guard game, or a spider guard game. You may be about deep half, or maybe you’re focused about being on top because you may be really difficult to put on your back. If you’re tall and long, you might want to play a spider guard, or a de la Riva type game. Triangles and omoplatas would work well for you because you have the length, and the good distance (Keenan Cornelius, Roger Gracie, or Braulio Estima type of game). If you are short and stocky, then butterfly guard, guillotines (Marcelo Garcia type game). Your body is 100 percent going to play a part in what your BJJ game is going to be, because you could have physical limitations.

Physical Limitations:
You have to know what your physical limitations are. Maybe you blew out your knee in high school playing football, and so maybe it’s not a smart idea to play a triangle or an omoplata game. Obviously, you may want to avoid bending your knees and putting a lot of strain and pressure on them. You may want to focus on your standing game, getting on top or using other guards that don’t put pressure on your knees. Your physical limitations go a long way. Maybe you’re flexible, and you could implement a little bit of rubber guard, or play high guard type stuff. Flexibility is great to have in BJJ, and should really be taken advantage of if you have it. If you’re not flexible, you’re going to have a bit of a harder time because you won’t be able to do other things. Physical limitations and your body type, will be huge factors in determining what your BJJ game can or can’t be.


Although he’s not very flexible, Renzo has found ways to make his guard into a nightmare. That is just one example of that fact that in BJJ, a fighter’s physical traits barely matter.

Renzo Gracie offers profound insights on how to customize Jiu-Jitsu techniques to match individual body types. His experience and expertise in overcoming physical limitations provide invaluable lessons for practitioners of all levels. Here are some key quotes and their underlying messages from Renzo’s video on tailoring Jiu-Jitsu to your body type.

Embrace Adaptability

“In Jiu-Jitsu, your physical traits barely matter. It’s all about how you adapt and make the techniques work for you.” – Renzo Gracie

Renzo highlights the essence of BJJ, which lies in its adaptability. Regardless of one’s height, weight, or flexibility, the focus should be on how well you can adjust the techniques to suit your unique body type.

Overcoming Limitations

“Although I’m not very flexible, I’ve found ways to make my guard into a nightmare for my opponents.” – Renzo Gracie

Renzo’s personal journey exemplifies that limitations can be turned into strengths. His guard techniques, despite his lack of flexibility, have become highly effective and formidable, showcasing the importance of innovation and perseverance.

Daily Applications

“The same logic we use in Jiu-Jitsu can be applied to daily challenges. Don’t let yourself be foiled by a limitation. Be creative and persistent; adapt and keep going.” – Renzo Gracie

Renzo extends the philosophy of adaptability beyond the mat. He encourages individuals to apply the principles of creativity and persistence in overcoming everyday obstacles, turning challenges into opportunities for growth.

Creative Solutions

“In Jiu-Jitsu, there’s always a way to adapt your body to the techniques and train with great performance. Be resourceful and find what works best for you.” – Renzo Gracie

This quote underscores the innovative spirit required in BJJ. Practitioners are urged to be resourceful, experimenting with different approaches to discover what works best for their specific physical attributes.

Renzo Gracie’s insights offer a powerful message of resilience and creativity, both in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and in life. His quotes serve as a reminder that success is not determined by physical traits but by the ability to adapt, innovate, and persist. By embracing these principles, anyone can tailor Jiu-Jitsu techniques to their body type and achieve excellence.

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