How to Roll with Big Opponents

How to Roll with Big Opponents

The life of a BJJ practitioner at 200 pounds seems to be you either get opponents that weight 50 pounds less than you, or you are stuck with the guys that weigh 50 pounds more. Neither of these are easy to do, because they are either much quicker or much stronger than you. Even though they say Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the art of technique and not strength, try saying that weigh you have an agile 260 pound goliath breaking your guard. Here are some tips to rolling with bigger guys.

Be First
Most rolls will start with the two people on there knees, and in some situations you may want to end up on bottom to work your game but this is not one of them. You cannot let a bigger opponent control you, because once they get their hands on you, you are going for a ride. You have to be first to attack so you can end up on top. If you do not you will end up on bottom which brings us to our next point.

Stay Off the Bottom
If you have a strong guard or half-guard that is great, but it does not help when the opponent weighs a lot more than you. Many moves from open guard fail when you have to hold 250 plus pounds on your body. You should constantly be working to get on top, or if you do stay on bottom you have to keep it where you can be in control. The problem is that if your opponent is so big that you cannot lock your guard you will have big problems. That is why it is better to just try and stay on top.

Always Be Moving
If you are able to stay on top then you always need to be moving. That does not mean that you move around like a mad man, because that will end in disaster with you being swept. What it means is you do not allow the bigger guy to get comfortable. Once they get comfortable they are liable to use their strength to sweep or just muscle you back to guard. Big guys are not without finesse, but the difference in size and strength makes it easy for them to just roll you over even from side-control.

Choose Position Wisely
Lastly, choose your position wisely. There is plenty of times I have rolled with a guy with a bigger belly, and I got to mount only to be swept over. Their guts are so big that is hard for me to maintain, and my knees may not even touch the mat. While mount is a great position, there is a time and place for everything, and that is why a place like north south could be better suited for a big guy. You can get your weight down on them, control them, cut off their sweeps, and you can still attack. These are just of the few ways to keep out of danger with a bigger opponent, but as with any move in BJJ they are not guaranteed to work. They are just the best chance you have at surviving.

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