WEEDS IN THE MAT PT 2
Unlike the 'stripe' issue, this is something that comes up every now and then that takes a lot of athletes (if they are in this position) time to understand.
We've all heard this complaint; "I'm too small and everyone is too big".
Well, lets fix it and make it a positive experience!
In the early days of BJJ, there was a saying that size didn't matter and that the sport was designed for a smaller weaker opponent to beat a bigger and stronger one.
Umm, yeah right.
It may have been true 30yrs ago if the athlete was playing against someone who didn't know how to grapple/wrestle. That's why the Gracie challenges were so popular.
This statement is debunked time and time again. Even a smaller 5'6" blackbelt at 60kg plays against a 6'2" blue belt weighing around 100kg, will find it very difficult.
So how do you get around it then?
If you are the smaller athlete and you pick the big athlete, you have to be ready to yield to them.
Spazzy white belts are super difficult to roll with and that is where the most injuries will occur.
I reckon that a spazzy white belt should stop being spazzy around the 'third' stripe as they start to string their movement together and understand basic concepts of leverage, and SHOULD know when to tap.
Look for athletes that are roughly your weight or within 10kgs if you want a good roll.
There is also another saying that goes like this; for every 10kgs add a belt level, and for every 10yrs the athlete is younger than you, add another belt level.
So if we go back to our example of the 60kg black belt wrestling the 100kg blue belt, it is almost an even match. Albeit the black belt will have way more tricks up their sleeve.
Now flip the coin.
Lets say your a 6'4" blue belt weighing around 120kgs, you could easily say they are too big and you don't want to wrestle with the 'little' people.
Training with smaller, weaker opponents is actually a fantastic learning experience.
Firstly, don't try and muscle your way around them. Treat them like they are as big as you are and start to use smaller more precise movements.
Yep, sure you could submit them with just your weight or bicep curl them when they put an arm lock on but you're not going to gain any experience by doing this and the little people won't roll with you again.
So, how do we do it then, small or big?
If you're a little person, just be sensible about who you roll with and tap early. What ever do, don't even think about beating them.
Work on your defence and escapes. If you can, NEVER start from the bottom (i.e. don't pull guard).
If you're a big person, pretend the little people are as big as you but don't use your weight or strength. Work on refining your technique. If you have to muscle your submission, don't do it.
If both little and big people look to training this way, both athletes will actually start getting better, learning and enjoying the challenge more because;
It doesn't matter where you train, this problem will be the same where ever you go. It is too easy to use the excuse big will always beat small and you'll never enjoy the sport.
So let's turn our mindset around so that both big and small can make the best of their training!
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