Being a Small Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Grappler Has It’s Big Advantages!

So the other day I was talking with a buddy of mine who loves him some video games.  I don’t dabble in them myself, but it’s intriguing what they provide these days!  My pal was telling me of this game he was playing where the characters were all locked in a room, and had to find a way to get out.

With all the doors bolted shut and nowhere to go, they noticed an air duct in the corner.  Once they were able to open it up, the smallest character was boosted up and into the duct, and eventually crawled their way to freedom by being able to open the door from the outside.

With that said, being a small BJJ player is like a video game.  Or, it’s more like being locked in a room with all of your friends and nowhere to go…wait, let’s try that again!

Being smaller in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has its advantages, because even when all seems lost, you’re able to find the silver lining!

Beating Big Opponents From Anywhere On The Mat!

A preconceived notion in BJJ—at least made by casual fans—is that the smaller you are, the more likely you are to get smashed by bigger opponents.

This couldn’t be further from the truth!

There are plenty of ways smaller guys can out match their larger foes.  In fact, allow me to break down a nice sweep transition that leads you right into some picture perfect leg lock opportunities!

  • In this scenario, we’re pulling guard.  As our opponent moves forward, they will probably post on one leg in order to make a move.
  • When they do, we want to fill that space under their knee!
  • As we place our shin on their shin, we then want to anchor their neck.
  • From here, fall away onto the mat, lifting their leg up in the process.
  • Now, extend your right leg, followed by clamping it down onto their hip.
  • Lastly, bring your knee to the mat, which will expose their heel.

And just like that, we found the proverbial air duct!

Lightweight BJJ Leg Locks

Leg lock techniqueIf you executed the above sequence correctly, then you have plenty of options to work with from here.  Their heel should be exposed, allowing you to hit all kinds of leg locks, and as you know, leg locks are BRUTAL!

The setup is wonderful and allows the heel hook, toe hold, and even the knee bar to be executed from here.

If that doesn’t sit well with you, there’s also an alternative to the leg lock.  Rather than going for the submission, you can scoop under their leg with your right hand and push off of their hips in order to score the x-guard sweep.

From a position where many people struggle to execute from, smaller grapplers can find great success with it and even win some big matches!

Dan Faggella

PS: Right now, my “The Bigger They are, the Harder They Fall” Brazilian Jiu Jitsu DVD is still being offered for just the cost of shipping. Learn the most effective submissions and escapes against bigger opponents here:

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