Tuesday’s Class: Big Man Returned

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I drove to regular training this week and had a good time. Big Man (6’6 280) was back. I was glad to see him because I wanted to see if I had improved enough, technically, to counter his weight and strength advantage.


When we were going through drills I had to readjust to working with someone that size. The other big guy in the class (besides me), Big J,  is as tall as Big Man but he is 205 pounds. Having him lay on my chest was a workout by itself. At one point, the instructor was reviewing technique with him while he had me in side mount and I felt like tapping out from the pressure alone.

When we sparred, starting from our knees, he gave me a little shove and I hit the ground immediately. We both laughed as he pounced and I placed him in guard. I was able to use my hips at first and began attempting a lot of moves from the guard that I have been working on the past few months. I almost flipped him over with a butterfly sweep, but his elbow hit the ground and he postured up on it and I couldn’t make it budge. I attempted a Kimura, tried a omoplata and eventually he ‘chicken winged’ my leg and was able to obtain side mount. I didn’t want the same old thing to happen where he gets me in side mount and then works on a keylock so when he created a little space I exploded up and was able to flip him over. I obtained side mount, quickly mounted and tried to work for a choke. I held the mount for a while before he reversed, obtained side mount and obtained an armlock.

A similar scenario occured two more times.

I realized that in the absence of technique (smaller, more technical guys have tapped him), strength and explosive power would help me spar him. Often when I have him in guard or he has me in side mount I can not move my hips and sometimes my arms. At that point, I can’t use any techniques that I know. He can apply arm locks from any position if he has a grip on your arm from size and strength alone. Once I tapped because he applied a lock that put pressure on the bone in my forearm. I had never experienced that before.

I am going to keep working on technique but I am going to add strength training to the list of imperatives…


6 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Class: Big Man Returned

    Kacy said:
    March 14, 2008 at 3:25 am

    All very entertaining. Remember the bigger you are the heavier you fall and not forgetting – the smaller you are the further you fly.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    March 14, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Thanks Kacy,

    I’ll keep that in mind. I will also try to stay from under him when he falls as well…

    […] those of you who know of my battles with Big Man (former wrestler) in my class this is great advice. I give the book an A or two thumbs […]

    crosschoke said:
    March 18, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Howdy, I thought you might be interested in a blog post I just wrote about strength training vs. BJJ. I remembered your post on the topic from when I read it last week and thought it was a strange coincidence that I was writing about the same topic.

    Jiujitsu365 said:
    March 20, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Thanks Crosschoke,

    I’ll check it out…

    Joined a Gym « Jiu-jitsu 365 said:
    March 26, 2008 at 11:29 am

    […] Posted on March 26, 2008 by jiujitsu365 Last week after contemplating my struggles with Big Man in class, I really thought about the use of strength and conditioning in BJJ. Since I am the […]

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