When Size Starts to Matter




Winning In Smaller Sizes

While not all of us was blessed with an “ideal” height to easily pin down opponents, Jiu-Jitsu  has the answer to what we call the “David and Goliath” conundrum. Let’s face it. If you’re up against someone who has the size advantage, what will be your game plan? What will be the techniques that you must pull off to win? Others will rely on their size to dominate opponents. We have to also understand that wider,  bigger opponents will always have the advantage when it comes to pinning down and taking the right position. It’s just the way it is. But Jiu-Jitsu always has the answer.

It is when size will matter.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of the little that you have. Enjoy! Credits to www.grapplearts.com for the inspiration for the article! Kudos!


Find a technique that works for you

To take advantage of your size, you must use it well. Find a technique that can turn a disadvantageous size to your advantage. I am an Asian that stands 5″9, and weighing around 90 kilos. I love my weight, and my height is somehow above average for most Asians. But in the mats, I dread smaller opponents. They have the uncanny ability to squirm out of holds. All because of practice. And all because they knew how to take advantage of a disadvantage.

Understand the Top Game

Yes. Be on top. As much as possible understand what makes the top position advantageous for you. Here’s an example: drive your weight to smaller joints and soft parts of the body. Like the belly and the sides of the torso. Putting the right amount of pressure in the spot is your advantage. Since a smaller frame is more mobile

Head and shoulders

One of the things that I also noticed about smaller fighters is that they have a very strong side control. Way better than mine actually. They use their shoulders and heads more to pin bigger opponents to the ground. It’s like grappling with a pit bull. Countering them is much tougher since the size difference alone is both and advantage and a disadvantage.

Height and Stance

There is much controversy about height advantages. What does a smaller guy have on a bigger guy on the mats? It’s the stance. Facing a guy on the mats which can stand more relaxed as compared to a bigger guy who has to anticipate being taken down.

Move Move Move

Moving constantly is the best defense against a bigger opponent. Avoid getting pinned by using your knees (if you need to pull guard). Pushing out your opponents and going for the sweep is one of the best tactics. I’ve grappled with smaller opponents who are great in pushing me out and not letting me pin them down. I’ve lost to smaller opponents as well.


Your small frame is not disadvantage. Remember that God will not introduce you to the sport if he thinks you will not succeed in this support. Everyone is created equal. With both advantages and disadvantages. Use it well and grapple well


Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone. Even for the small!



Comments are closed.