In this latest installment of "BJJ Tips for Small Guys", I asked 2 of my favorite competitors to watch - Cobrinha (who fights at featherweight) and Barata who fights at Roosterweight.
While they usually don't compete in the absolute divisions, of course they often roll with larger students at their own academies.
So let's get to it, first is Rafael "Barata" Freitas:
First he has some good tips on gripping and about the omoplata:
When I'm on the bottom playing with a big guy I try to look for strategies that will get me on his back or omoplatas. I like to apply the cross sleeve control holding the belt. For example my right hand grabbing his right sleeve crossing his arm while my left hand is holding the belt or pants to control the distance and to limit his movement. Especially when the big guy stays on top with his knees on the ground. This cross sleeve grip control helps to avoid the guy to use his weight and his strength against you. You will only have to fight one side of his body instead of being square and fighting his whole body. Just like the omoplata attack, you only deal with one side of his body and if you have a good control, it's really hard for a big guy to put his weight on you or muscle his way out of the attack.
Next Barata talks about speed and spacing:
When I'm on top of someone way bigger than me, I try to use my speed so I can bait him into my submissions. I don't like to play too tight by hugging him with my chest on his chest. If you just stay there hugging him and trying to keep heavy, it will make both of our bodies become one. If he bumps up and pushes you or moves himself in a very explosive way he will have a good chance to throw you off balance. Because of that I like to control the exits but give a little space so they can move their self without moving me. This will eventually bait them into my submission attacks!
And now the little cobra - Cobrinha!
His first tip is a very important one and one that many people overlook:
If you want to play against big guys you have to work on your flexibility. With flexibility you will be able to find more space to recover your guard where unflexible people won’t find it and also it will be easy to develop a guard like spider guard to maintain the distance with the feet on the biceps. As a result this will help you to avoid injuries.
And just like Barata, Cobrinha also has something to say about spacing:
When you play top, stay out of their reach and move softly to keep your balance.
Before I leave you I just want to encourage you to keep training often and stay safe.
It's good to train with all different kinds of body types but you might need to adapt your game.
You can roll with someone lighter than you much differently than if he has 100 lbs on you!
Are these tips helping you out? Let me know in the comments below!
Need additional training resources? Check out Barata's instructionals on the Baratoplata and his Favorite Moves!
And here are Cobrinha's instructionals on DVD & On-Demand.
Btw, did you know we now have over 50 instructional apps for iPhone & iPad?
Check out all of the titles here!