I just finished up training last night rolling with one of my favorite sparring partners. We must have rolled for about an hour. We didn’t go hard but we got some good work in. It was really good. We both catch each other, he usually catches me more, but it is always a good time. I just always get down on myself afterward because he’s a seasoned blue belt and I’m a brown belt. I feel like I should be better as if there is some sort of expectation on me because I’m a brown belt. Did I fail to mention that he is 210 and I’m around 155…that doesn’t make a difference does it?

We are constantly told training Gracie Jiu Jitsu that technique overcomes size and strength. The longer we train the more we expect our technique and skill to beat a larger opponent. But what happens when you’re dealing with someone who is also skilled and technical but happens to outweigh you by 50-60 pounds? Jiu Jitsu is great but it doesn’t create miracles.

Jiu Jitsu uses leverage and that is what makes it so amazing. The reason we train is to create a large skill gap so we can figure out how to use leverage and technique against larger and stronger opponent. But what a lot of people fail to understand is that leverage is a force multiplier. If there is enough of a size discrepancy the leverage of the smaller opponent may not overcome the strength advantage. Especially when there isn’t a large skill gap.

I’ve been training for a while and every time I feel I’m getting better I start rolling with someone a lot larger and stronger than me who is a colored belt and then I don’t feel like I am at all. Some of the guys I train with range from 150-270. As you can imagine I don’t always do as well as I hoped. All I can to do is create enough of a skill gap for the uneducated opponent so that if the time ever comes I can defend myself because that is the fight that matters.

So learn jiu jitsu and don’t worry about using strength in the beginning. Learn the technique, take the losses and grow from the experience. Remember that everyone on the mat is getting better with you, including the large, strong and young guys on the mat. Size doesn’t matter until it does.

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