The smallest of the big guys/Jiu jitsu

I have been having a couple of breakthroughs in Jiu-jitsu lately as well as frustrating moments. See, I am the smallest of the big guys that we have in class. Technically, I can roll with the lighter guys, but when we pair up for drills the big guys always come looking for me. This is a mixed blessing. When drilling with bigger guys (6ft4′ and between 225-280) I am fine, but when we spar it’s always a fight for my life…. The biggest guy in my class and I are often paired up because some of the other big guys don’t come as regularly and when we spar it usually follows this sequence:

1. Him pulling me down 2. I establish guard 3. He breaks my guard and goes to side mount 4. He lays on me and I can’t breathe 5. He finishes me with an Americana (arm-lock).

As of late, I have sometimes been able to re-establish guard when he gets me in side-mount and last week I was able to get his back, transfer to a mount and control him for a good period of time so I know that I am improving. The blessing in working with him is that when I do wrestle smaller guys, it feels like I am wrestling with a non-resisting opponents. I am also becoming more technical because if I want to have a chance with bigger opponents I have to be.

This week I was trying to work on a lock-down maneuver from the half-guard. I couldn’t do it because my partner was too sweaty (we’re no-gi). However, I remember when reading Eddie Bravo’s book Jiu Jitsu Unleashed that he said he wears gi pants so he can pull off some of his moves and opponents can’t slip and slide out of them. I will wear my gi pants to class next time and see what happens. Oh, yeah I almost pulled off an omoplata in practice (my last one was about a year and a half ago), but the guy stacked me ‘pretty good’ so I gave it up….

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3 responses to “The smallest of the big guys/Jiu jitsu

  1. “1. Him pulling me down 2. I establish guard 3. He breaks my guard and goes to side mount 4. He lays on me and I can’t breathe 5. He finishes me with an Americana (arm-lock).”

    That’s very familiar. 🙂 My brother started training in BJJ a few months back. He really enjoys it, but said that he just doesn’t know what to do from guard. It went something like this:

    Me: “Randy, the only way to learn guard is to work from guard. You’ll never learn it from the top.”

    my Bro: “Yeah, but I always get passed.”

    Me (after a slight pause): “Well… you need to learn to work from under side control, too.” 😀

    Take care.

  2. I am the same guy at my gym. Blow off Eddie Bravo for the moment and get Matt Serra’s DVD’s.

    Learn side mount escapes there. It improved my game within a week.

  3. newjackprofessor

    Joe,

    Thanks for the tip…. Matt Serra seems like an excellent Jiu-jitsu instructor and coach (from his two seasons of TUF).

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