BJJ for the Un-"Ideal"

Tailor your game to your body.  You cannot wear clothes that don’t fit. =)

If you are struggling with your own growth and find yourself wishing that you got them legs as long as a Victoria’s Secret model, or as tall as a skyscraper, then I would suggest that you keep calm and read on.

I would like to see BJJ not as a self-paced program where anyone can just be good at it and dabble it in during one’s free time. I would like to see it more as a process. It’s a path/process. There is a path to take. A process to learn. Even for those who may believe that their bodies are not ideal for the sport.


For me, there is a path for each BJJ artist, a journey that could ultimately lead to personal development and growth. There are different routes to take to get to an end point. There are hundred ways to skin a cat, should I say. There are many ways to be good at BJJ. It’s about the mastery of the right techniques.

Tailor your game to your body. Be honest.

BJJ for the Short

14735504865_63966541bf_zYes. The physically short. Guys who may have not been endowed with a taller frame can benefit from taking advantage of their stature. Guards should work like a charm. It need not only be good. It needs to be stand-out and high level. A small guy’s guard will be his bread and butter as will his ability to escape mounts and sweeps. One technique is also to take the back! If smaller guys can’t mount and keep control, might as well swivel and go for the back mount!

Short Legged? 

My legs are short. They are Asian and stumpy. I love them nevertheless. It saves me from my typical Wednesday “leg day” routine to the gym. However, I cannot pull off a good triangle even if my girlfriend’s life depended on it. Probably if I was grappling with a six year old, I could. But coming to terms with my own limitations, I focused on my upper body. My arms are “alright.” Kimura’s, chokes, and guillotines became my bread and butter! I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do a life-saving Triangle choke like Anderson Silva, but I know I have the upper body strength to choke someone. And so I started drilling on those submissions. Success I did find.

15015182555_71bb5e6493_zFlexibility in question   

Not everyone is born equal. And we are not born flexible. Let’s be clear on that. At least physically speaking. Starting in BJJ is a not-so-flexible-guy’s nightmare. If you feel that you are not flexible, I want you to forget that belief. Everyone can become stretchable. But you have to do the work to get there. Here’s a technique I used… I moved my couch to my garage and replaced it with mats. While I watch TV, I stretch. Any way that I could. I did this for months! My body got used to it!

Nilo Valle Chinilla