Today, we’ll answer the question: Can BJJ be used against bigger opponents?
I compete at 79kg (175 lbs). Whenever I visit a new gym, I always find guys lighter and heavier than me.
It’s always been said that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will teach you how to defeat a bigger, stronger guy if you have better skills, but is that the case?
Yes and No. I struggle with guys who are not my skill level but are 10-15kg heavier than me. Many techniques that work against smaller guys or guys my size don’t work with them anymore.
But if somebody has no clue about fighting, I could defeat them with my BJJ.
So you see, it’s not easy to answer, but let me explain in this post.
Reasons Why BJJ Works Against Bigger Opponents
BJJ focuses heavily on technique, leverage, and body positioning. If you perfect a technique, it works against a person of any size.
I have often seen the much smaller guy defeating the bigger guy just because he was so skilled.
In Jiu-Jitsu competitions, you also often see open-weight class competitions. And the smaller guys can stand their own there, too!
I have always been told: “By the time you reach blue belt level, you can defeat any untrained person on the streets.”
So yes, BJJ works against bigger opponents, but you have to be much more skilled than them. If you are a 4-stripe white belt competing against somebody 20kg heavier than you, but they are a 1-stripe white belt – I think it’ll be a tough match for you.
So yes, size and muscles do matter in BJJ. You cannot deny that.
Concerns About Using BJJ Against Bigger Opponents
The reality is – bigger, stronger guys will always have an advantage. If a UFC fighter who weighs 125 pounds competes against an untrained but muscular 250-pound guy, I think the bigger guy would win.
This is the sad reality…But don’t be discouraged if you are a smaller guy. You can defeat bigger opponents, you just need to train for that.
With bigger opponents, you cannot play closed guard or knee-shield. They’ll be able to crush you. You need to use your agility to get to positions where size no longer matters – such as back control.
The rear naked choke works against anybody – no matter the size difference.
So yes, BJJ can defeat the bigger opponent, but you have to be 1.5 – 2 years more experienced than them to work.
Can BJJ Be Used Against Bigger Opponents: Final Words
I feel less threatened whenever I roll with more skilled guys who weigh less than me. I don’t feel like they can submit me.
I can use my size to get out of positions. I feel more threatened with bigger guys with less skill level than me. It’s just a harder roll, and I have to use more strength. But maybe that’s because I’m doing something wrong.
Anyway, my experience is that you can defeat the stronger guy, it’s just hard to do. I think BJJ gets too romanticized as the martial art that negates all sizes. But that’s simply not true.
BJJ has the ability to do that, but it depends on skill level and size difference in any martial art.