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25 Tips for Rolling With People Bigger Than You

bigger opponents in bjj

Here’s at 25 tips for rolling with larger opponents as provided by the awesome fans and friends of Ok! Kimonos.

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What would you add to this list? Leave a message in the comments below!

  1. Be mobile. Also, don’t be afraid to be selective. Bigger partners can be great for learning, but (much) bigger people who lack control aren’t worth the injuries.
  2. I’m 155 pounds and I’ve rolled with 300 pound guy. All I have to say is don’t let them Americana or kimura. And learn to breath with a bunch of weight on you hahaha
  3. Butterfly guard (works for Marcelo) or lapel drags to back to take advantage of their slower reaction time (hopefully).
  4. Get used to being on the bottom.
  5. Try your best to play top.
    Generally Leg locks and chokes are your best options.
    Learn to control your breathing, especially on bottom.
    Shrimp, shrimp, shrimp! Be mentally tough.
    If all else fails, Tap
  6. Play the top move fast do not get put on the bottom.. If so you’re definitely going to pop a rib
  7. Make space, lots and lots of space lol
  8. I’m a bigger guy (6’3″/280)and I think sometimes bigger guys have reservations about rolling with smaller guys. Admittedly I do at times.
  9. At the gym: keeping it friendly
    At the comp: speed is your best friend
  10. Footlocks
  11. Tap
  12. As someone who usually qualifies as “people bigger than you”, ankle locks tend to put me in more trouble than most other things. Triangles, on the other hand, are practically useless unless you have very long legs. Our size tends to make us less mobile and makes it more difficult to retain your guard, so going to half-guard and trying to slip into rear mount is a fairly viable strategy. Just don’t let us trap your head or arm as you move. You aren’t likely to get it back, and that means we wind up in side mount.
  13. Got to be mobile, and everyone has a neck… Choke it!!
  14. Tickle them
  15. Do it any time, every time. The only way to learn to deal with it is work against it.
  16. Structures. Our gym is full of big fellas, so I have found that structures work as long as they are set early and before you catch their weight.
  17. Elbows in and protect your chest from the weight! If you let them get that far:)
  18. Stay tight
  19. Play deep half guard
  20. Keep the distance
  21. Speed kills
  22. Get on your side
  23. I think maybe recognize opportunities and developing timing
  24. Find their weak points
  25. I feel good playing bottom HG and spider guard against bigger guys

As you can see, there’s a lot you can do! What would you add to this list? Leave a message in the comments below!

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About the author: Lover of Jesus, Bowties, and BJJ. Founder of Ok! Kimonos.

1 comment… add one
  • Ian

    don’t go 150% to compensate, chances are the bigger guy is going lighter to keep it safe.

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