Recently in my fundamentals class at 10th Planet Van Nuys one of the bigger guys asked about using his size to help his jiu jitsu. Being one of the higher ranking bigger guys in my gym this is a question I get a lot from new bigger guys.
My view of using your size has changed over the years. A few years ago when asked this question I would have immediately said to not use your size to your advantage. Now I am 100% ok with bigger guys using their size because of a question someone once asked me when we were discussing the topic. I told this person that I didn’t want to use my size to my advantage. Their response really made me think.
“Does the flexible guy use his flexibility to his advantage? Does the athletic guy use his speed to his advantage?”
Intrigued I asked them to explain. The point that they were trying to make is that we all have certain physical attributes that are unique to us. Others use them so why shouldn’t bigger guys.
For whatever reason being the bigger guy has become a physical trait that we are not supposed to use. Why is that? I can’t think of a good reason. It’s not like size = better technique. I have been pinned down by guys smaller than me and easily escaped a pin from a larger opponent. I have pinned smaller people without using my size and when I need to with using my size. I have been submitted, had my guard passed, and been put in bad positions by people of all sizes.
If size = better technique then we wouldn’t have seen Lachlan Giles last year win his absolute matches at ADCC. Good technique has nothing to do with size any more than it does a person’s speed, flexibility, or any other physical attribute.
So if you are the bigger guy reading this don’t worry about using your size. Remember other people use their physical attributes. Why should you be any different?