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Ever wonder what kinds of submissions would maximize your opportunity of finishing a guy that is clearly larger than you? What advantages and disadvantages does being short and underweight provide? What techniques work best? This article is for the little guys. The average Joe that got picked last in pickup basketball. The guy that is 130 pounds soaking wet. The guy that can find decently fitting clothing in the kids section.First off, the small BJJ practitioner knows some problems very well. That is, it is difficult to maintain a top position as they may easily be bumped off mount and bench pressed out of side control. Passing is  difficult on a larger opponent with comparable skill. And getting smashed is a common place occurrence. This almost forces smaller guys to develop good guards, sweeps, and attack from the back.

Marcelo Garcia and Robert Drysdale

Also, there are some submissions that would be naturally difficult to complete on a larger opponent. One being the triangle. This submission tends to require long legs such the back of your knee can easily and snuggly close on your ankle and NOT just the foot. On top of that, the guy you are trying to submit has a larger neck and possibly shoulders. Both add difficulty to the submission.

So what would be a good submission for a smaller guy? Submissions from the back would be the best. The reason for this is it doesn’t take strength or size to ride someone’s back. Also, the attacks from the back do not require natural physical gifts like long arms or legs or big biceps or whatever. The RNC is a good example. And choking should be favored over a joint lock for the reason that an opponent may continue to fight even with an injured arm. The choke renders even the most difficult opponents unconscious.

Jeff Glover vs. Sergio Farnes
Jeff Glover vs. Sergio Farnes

Floating top control may also be a valuable tool for the smaller guy. This is because smashing and attaching one’s body to a larger opponent allows them to use strength to then control or off balance you. If the larger guy rolls, the small one will naturally roll with him if all points to control (grips) are attached. This brings us to the most utilized “floating” top control technique: knee on belly. Small guys can successfully use this as a top game technique because they can apply downward pressure without anchoring their body to the larger body.

Technique is of the utmost importance as larger and consequently stronger guys have…well… strength to rely on.

However, not matter what body type you have, short, small, tall, lanky, fat, one leg, stocky, etc, BJJ is about finding out what works for you. Obviously, not all techniques will work for everybody. It takes trial and error and lots of mat time to determine your bread and butter moves, when to use them, and when not to use them.

Do you guys agree or disagree on the analysis? Let us know in the comments below!

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BJJ For the Small Guy

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