Among the most interesting developments over the last year has been quite literally the growth of Gordon Ryan. Young Danaher Death Squad senior member has changed tremendously over the past year.
Danaher recently talked about how to deal with the challenges of bigger opponents in day to day training:
Bigger opponents: Probably the single biggest problem that beginning students will face – and one which will continue to be problematic through their entire jiu jitsu career – is that of dealing with bigger opponents. The game is hard enough already, but becomes significantly more difficult when your opponent enjoys a size advantage. There are a great number of methods that can be employed to lessen the effects of size difference in grappling, but the two I put the most emphasis upon are back positions and ashi garami. These are the two positions where a bigger opponent will find it more difficult to employ his weight advantage over you. In the case of ashi garami, your opponent’s weight goes into the floor rather than directly down on to you. Success or failure in the ashi garami position is almost entirely a question of who knows more about the subtleties of leg and foot positioning. Due to the fact that bodyweight cannot be used by either player in this position to pin the other, knowledge of limb positioning becomes the rubric of success rather than size. Bear in mind however, that this good feature comes at a price. By it’s very nature ashi garami, prevents you (as well as your opponent) from using bodyweight to pin him, so it tends to have a very different form of control from that typically used in jiu jitsu which takes a lot of getting used to. Moreover, it entails a much greater degree of exposure to counters than the more standard attacking positions of the sport and thus requires a very deep knowledge of safe and unsafe positioning if it is to be used successfully at higher levels. Once students learn to get around these issues they quickly learn that the various variations of ashi garami, along with back positions, represent two of the very best means of reducing the effects of bodyweight disadvantage in grappling.
Here’s what John Danaher had to say on the matter of Ryan’s tremendous transformation and the changes his new physique has ushered:
“In jiu-jitsu we’re supposed to say strength doesn’t matter – it does. There’s a reason why there’s weight divisions “