Using Size and Strength as Assets instead of Liabilities

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In my last class, both the instructors and some of the guys pointed out that I needed to use my strength and weight to my advantage when in side control and in north/south position.

They are right….

I have been so concerned with not letting my strength and size interfere with me learning techniques that I have not been using the proper leverage and strength required to carryout techniques properly.

So instead of ignoring my natural assets I will instead incorporate them with an eye on maintaining proper technique. I believe this makes sense. A flexible person uses their range of motion to avoid being tapped, to escape positions and to keep people in guard. A thin person is usually quicker and more agile and uses that as a tool in their defense. So why not use my strengths as well…..

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5 thoughts on “Using Size and Strength as Assets instead of Liabilities

    crosschoke said:
    January 5, 2008 at 11:04 am

    This is a fascinating post. I have the exact same conflict of technique vs. power. Sometimes I get barked at for utilizing “too much power” which sounds like the opposite of your problem. Personally I agree with you that you should utilize your natural assets. That’s one of the things I like about BJJ as opposed to say Tae Kwon Do. In BJJ there’s room for all body types.

    Steve said:
    January 5, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I’ve rolled with guys much larger and stronger than me. In one case I passed guard and was in side control. He used his strength to get a good position and eventually roll me. Another day while in the same position he grabbed my belt knot, bridged up and basically bench pressed me me over to my back. It was clear in the first situation that he didn’t “muscle” the technique, but in the latter our instructor was quick to admonish him to slow down and work technique.

    I don’t know the answer, but I know that your dilemma is a common one.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    January 5, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks Crosschoke. You are right that there is room for everyone. I am always amazed at how skill and experience always trumps raw power and aggression. That’s why I tried to focus on technique to my own detriment I suppose.

    I think the key is balance. I have to learn when it’s proper to use which.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    January 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Yeah Steve,

    In my ‘gym’ my instructors often tell the big guys to calm down a bit when they notice them using to much power. I have to admit at times it can be a little confusing.

    I have fought against the urge to bench press guys off of me before and every since I have been training I have had the akward ability (at times) to be able to just sit up when someone has me in side control. Guys often laugh in suprise when I do it, but it’s not something I try to do often because I wouldn’t learn the proper techniques.

    Steve said:
    January 6, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Just picturing someone just sitting up under side mount made me chuckle. I can imagine why that brings a few laughs.

    We’re lucky in that our coach is a 6’5″ 250 lbs black belt. He’s very big, but very technical. He sets a good example for the rest of the guys and nobody can muscle anything on him. We also have a 2 purple belts over 240 lbs. They keep everyone honest. 🙂

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