Being one of the larger Jiu Jitsu players over at 10th Planet Van Nuys I am constantly having to grapple with guys who are smaller than me. When I show my friends pictures of my training partners they always think that I smash everyone. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many of them use the the every day logic that the bigger guy wins due to size. Little have they forgotten the story of David and Goliath. If you forgot it as well please do me a favor and google it…..Go ahead. I’ll wait.
While sometimes I can use my size to my advantage I personally choose not to. My personal philosophy is that I would rather use my technique and skill to win a match than my stomach. My stomach is for food not Jiu Jitsu.Now I wont lie, sometimes I do use my size to gain an advantage. I normally do this when either a) my opponent is close to my size, b)I want to try out a new move and need to use size to buy me time to set it up properly, or c) when I’m tired and want to gain the upper hand and control the roll more.
To me a larger opponent who uses his size to dominate others does not understand the true concept of Jiu Jitsu. I have always heard people say that Jiu Jitsu was created to give smaller opponents an advantage. Having rolled with numerous smaller opponents I have to say I completely agree with this concept. The other night I rolled with a guy who weighs around 160 and is 5 feet tall. We rolled for about a solid 20 minutes in what was a nice back and forth battle of technique. I caught him. He caught me. Most importantly we both were putting what we had learned that night in class to work. Yeah I could have easily sat on him and played school yard bully…..but what would I have learned. Instead I choose to play his size and found a weakness in my Kimura game that I need to work on. If I had decided to play bully I would still have this hole in my game.
In part 2 of this article I am going to discuss some of the ways that I learned early on how to not use my size to my advantage. I’ll also talk about some of the advantages I gained from taking this approach. Until then please enjoy the video below that clearly illustrates my point that size does not matter.