Beating the Big Guy (Again)

emily bow and arrow choke

Of all the questions I am asked, the most common question has to be how to beat someone who is much bigger than yourself…

I’ve already tackled beating the larger, stronger opponent in a previous article on this site but people keep on asking me for more tips and techniques to topple the Godzillas that walk among us.

The fastest way to beat a big, strong, INEXPERIENCED guy is to mount him and wait for him to try to bench press you off.

When he pushes your chest you pivot around and take the armbar. This strategy works great for the first few times, and then the the big strong guy figures out not to bench press you when mounted. What now?

If we’re talking about big, strong EXPERIENCED opponents it’s harder to recommend a specific submission strategy that will work all the time. Instead of a technique per se I will suggest a positional strategy: get behind him and take rear mount.

Rear mount is THE place to be when you are fighting someone who is 50 or 100 pounds heavier than you. If someone had just told me this on my first day of jiu-jitsu it would have made my life a lot easier!

It might be a little strange to take advice about fighting a big guy from someone who weighs in at about 210 pounds himself, but I do follow my own advice occasionally.

I’ve had the dubious pleasure of rolling with a skilled big guys ranging from 240 to 300 lbs. The last time I rolled with one of these man-monsters I got flung around for a few minutes, and then I went into survival mode by using my half guard to hold him off (albeit getting a bit crushed in the process).

The tables finally turned when I nailed a back climb from half guard, sank my hooks in, and finished the match with a rear naked choke. The rear mount did the trick, whereas I wasn’t having much luck from other positions.

P.S. If you haven’t already seen my Youtube instructional on sinking the Rear Naked Choke you can should check it out

P.P.S. While we’re talking about fighting larger opponents check out the 5 DVD set I filmed with 3 x World Champion Emily Kwok. It’s full of techniques, drills, strategies, and tips to Defeat the Bigger, Stronger Opponent.

Since I produced it I’m clearly biased but it’s really good and has gotten amazing reviews from grapplers large and small!

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