Training with guys who are much bigger then you: Strategy?

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by MA Chick, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. MA Chick

    MA Chick New Member

    I've been taking BJJ class for a couple of months now, and I'm still the only girl who's consistently showing up. More to the point, I'm little (5'2", about 140 pounds) in a group of average to large guys (between 5'10 and 6'5", between 180 and 250 pounds). I have one guy near my size at 5'4", but he's still got a serious weight advantage on me and he can't always make class.

    I'm looking for some advice on what to do with these guys. My instructor has been trying to help, but he's a big guy himself and does not often find himself in a spot like me. I was rolling with a guy that was 6'0", about 200 lbs today and it was downright overwhelming. I was able to hold him off, but I never got around to anything offensive. I love my class and my classmates, and I don't mind being the only girl, but I need to figure out a strategy. I have an advantage if I can get their back, since my little arm just slides right under their chins, so there has to be more that I can try to take advantage of.

    Any suggestions? Even if it is 'bite their ankles' . . . :rolleyes:
  2. Oversoul

    Oversoul Valued Member

    I think you've got the right idea with taking their backs. It's easier said than done, of course, but I'd try to develop really good back-taking skills. I try to do it anyway, but I'm about 190 pounds myself, so it's not as big of a concern for me...
  3. Atharel

    Atharel Errant

    I am 150 or so (fluctuate up to 160) and here's what works for me:

    Pretend to be Marcelo Garcia.

    Armdrags. X-Guard. Omoplatas. Lots of setups to taking the back. BUTTERFLY GUARD (cannot emphasize enough). Learn to take the back off of half-guard, full guard, butterfly guard, off of omoplatas. Work your sweeps - it's easier to sweep someone bigger than you then work from top than to submit them when they can use their weight to stack you and smother submission attempts.

    I like letting them stand up out of guard then working sweeps - flower sweep, flower sweep attempt to kneebar (sweep?), flower to X Guard, (can you see I love the flower/windmill sweep?), De La Riva basic sweep, DLR to X, sitting up for a single...

    Once you're on top, work Big Boy Mount - if you aren't familiar with the name (haha bjj lack of naming conventions strikes again!) it's where you're offset with your butt on one heel and the other knee up, pinching them tightly. Gives you a lot of control and you're much harder to roll than regular mount. From here, there's everything from regular mount plus some novel chokes if you can get them on their side. I rarely use regular mount anymore - it's Big Boy if they're a lot bigger, S-Mount if they're not.

    just some rambling from someone that's had similar problems.
  4. Oversoul

    Oversoul Valued Member

    You get a gold star. So does Marcelo Garcia, for that matter.
  5. EternalRage

    EternalRage Valued Member


    Do you have any pics or vids of what "big boy mount" is... google search was pretty much useless for me.
  6. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    I'd like to know what that search did bring up :D
  7. Atharel

    Atharel Errant

    I don't have any pics or videos sadly.

    mm, more descriptions: It's similar to S-Mount in the way you're offset on a heel and kind of turned at an angle, but instead of the other leg wrapping around behind their arm and head, that foot is planted and the knee is up and you're squeezing a bit to maintain control.

    It's also kind of like a combat base where your front leg is extended out so you're trapping them under your combat base, and thus more weight than normal is on your folded leg.

    It's called Big Boy because you should have a bit of an opening under the leg with the planted foot if you're going against someone your own size. Against someone larger/tubbier, the space is very small.

    Using regular mount against some of the bigger guys in the gym, both of my knees don't even come close to touching the mat. So - from regular mount, settle back onto one side, turning a bit in as you do so, and turn the far leg up so it's planted and squeezing. About all of your weight should be on your bent leg under you.

    From Big Boy you have a lot of options.

    If they scoop your raised leg with just one arm (a lot of people that don't know the position do this), pull up on their head as they do so and let them scoop it around into a tight mounted triangle. If they scoop with both arms just float above them and swing your hips around to land in side control or you'll get rolled. Prevent the double scoop to begin with by controlling/blocking the near arm at all times.

    If you can get them onto their side, try to either turn them the rest of the way over for the back, or take the near wrist and try to wrap the arm around their neck. In MMA you are now free to pummel them with your free hand/elbow and there's really nothing they can do to stop you except spaz and hope to break your grip. In no-gi you can sneak your arm through the hole under their elbow (in the loop around the neck that used to be their arm ;)) and scissor your arms for a crazy tight no-gi choke. In gi there are gi choke options. There's a kimura and an armbar (maybe using the kimura grip). Basically I love getting to this position.

    more rambling ^
  8. JayKayD

    JayKayD Meet my friend PAIN!

    Great posts Atharel.

    I'm around the same size (150 to 160 pounds) too. When fighting bigger guys i'd really recommend butterfly guard (especially with gi), and i find halfguard is often a better option than full-guard if they are so big you can barely get your legs around them. I think the best thing you can do to start off with is work on getting a really good half-guard, from my experience size really doesn't matter all that much from this position.
  9. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    You people are all hilariously small.

    From the bigger guys P.O.V. I would say that it's better to be smaller in class than it is to be bigger simply because you can benefit from the training a lot more and know that when you get a technique to work you know that it's good and not just you muscling it on.

    Anyway, enough of me whining about everyone else in the world being midgets, the techniques you want to work are ones that involve taking the back and attacking from there, personally I find that whilst guard is OK it is very possible to bully your way past it unless the person using it has a lot of experience (This is however in Judo where our guard work is nowhere near as refined as someone in BJJ would be).

    If you have got someone in your guard then it seems like the techniques that really work are the ones that are chained together, for example trying a sweep thenm moving to the back.

    Oh, one other thing, scrambling to the feet and pulling guard to armbar, kimura or guilotine choke is something that I've had worked on me a lot by smaller people, if you are lighter theres a damn good chance you can get up to your knees or feet faster than a bigger guy. In those instances where you have a sub set up, pulling guard is a really good technique.
  10. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    I'm still a n00b, so I can't give you *specific* techniques, but since I'm about your size (5'3", 130), what I do recommend is making sure when you roll you work your techniques. You also need to be able to keep moving. Don't get caught up in their game, you need to constantly change position until you're where you want to be. It doesn't sound like these guys are interested in killing you, so take advantage of that to experiment and see what you find most useful.
  11. bcullen

    bcullen They are all perfect.

    All men have a magic pressure point if you rub it long enough they will roll off you and fall asleep. :D

    I know it's easier said then done but try not to let them get you into a position where you are constantly having to defend yourself. Look for a hold to go after and make them change their tactics and defend the submission.
  12. Rhea

    Rhea Laser tag = NOT MA... Supporter

    MAChick, I'd have to agree, if you want to get a big guy off you, find the pressure point he hates most and use to your advantage! Great fun.
    I'm only 5'4 and 125 so I often give away 8st to some guys.
  13. Atharel

    Atharel Errant

    I find the most effective pressure point to be the carotid artery and the most effective way of attacking it to be a choke.
  14. Rhea

    Rhea Laser tag = NOT MA... Supporter

  15. MA Chick

    MA Chick New Member

    You guys rock! I'm just going to print this entire discussion out and bring it in to my next class. In particular, I want my instructor to take a look at the Big Boy Mount. I can pretty much visualize it, but I think I'm going to need a demonstration. If he has a different name for it I'll post it for everyone who's been looking for it.

    GangrelChilde is right, I'm probably getting sucked into the pushing game, since my large partners can just bulldoze their way through with me. Oh, and bcullen? The first time I was stuck in a guy's half guard and realized he was really enjoying my attempts to free myself was more then enough for me. But it would make me a popular choice for open mat . . . :p

    Big gold star for Atharel. I've actually been watching a lot of clips of Marcello Garcia, since my instructor uses some of the same defense. We refer to it as the Winnie the Pooh position when he sits there, legs out in front of him, tipped just a bit forward, nice and relaxed, and just waits to see what the beginners will do. All this time I've been trying to figure out how to get past it, maybe I should be looking at it from the other angle. . .

    Thanks again to everyone for all of the great ideas, and I'll let you know how my next class goes!
  16. Ghost Frog

    Ghost Frog New Member

    I'm a 5'4'' woman. I spent my first six months just defending, to be honest and I saw it as a victory if I just survived. Now I have quite a good defence and escapes so I can sit things out for a while and fight back to a good position.

    I'd recommend Roy Harris' "BJJ over 40" dvd as it has some good defensive and training strategies for smaller or older people who get dominated in rolling:

    Also, a lot of Eddie bravo's stuff is good for smaller people and less strength dependant:
  17. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    Personally, if I'm rolling with someone bigger (fairly common, as I'm another teeny person - 138lbs/63kg last time I weighed myself), that's a great time to really work technique. Because of the weight disadvantage, there is no way I can put any of my miniscule muscle into it, so that means if I've been relying on strength against people my size or smaller, rolling with a big person will make that very clear. Painfully clear. ;)
  18. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    Another trick I find works well, mainly as several classmates have commented on it, the set-ups for certain sweeps and escapes involves a judicious use of the elbows. Surprisingly, even big guys find having an elbow dug into their upper thigh annoying. Just a thought.

    I have Bravo's book, from what I've read thus far, I would recommend it.

    I also think we need to keep this thread going... good way to share ideas among the wee folk ;)
  19. MA Chick

    MA Chick New Member

    Wee folk unite! :D

    Okay, I've two new books to pick up (Thanks to GhostFrog and GangrelChilde for the recommendations). I like the elbows idea. I've been using my forearm across my partner's throats to force them up when framing. Doesn't matter how strong they are, they really don't like my boney forearms pressing against their throats and they'll usually move to make me stop. A little bit of a sawing motion seems to motivate them. Maybe this could be worked into my top mount escapes when I'm trying to get some space and bridging just isn't cutting it. Just dig my elbows in. Is there a rule about that kind of a thing?

  20. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    My classmates actively encourage it ;) I don't think there's a per se rule against it. At least none of the guys who compete at my school have said anything....

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