From Big to Small- Adjusting Your BJJ Game as You Lose Weight

So I’ve lost some poundage recently for tournaments and such, and as I’ve been training I’ve noticed a side effect that’s both amusing and just a little frustrating: there are some positions where I have to re-adjust because what was there, well, isn’t there anymore. There’s less body for me to use, so I have to adapt to the body I now have. I have to readjust my position to use my weight to the best of my ability, particularly because there is less weight for me to work with.

Honestly, it’s a surprising change I didn’t anticipate. I thought for the most part everything would stay the same- really because I didn’t think the amount I was losing would create that much of a difference, but it does make sense- if your body composition changes enough, you have to adapt and adjust accordingly.

Has anyone else experienced this recently? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “From Big to Small- Adjusting Your BJJ Game as You Lose Weight

  1. I have seen people (consciously or not) tank their weight loss because they weren’t able to throw their weight around (in a couple different contexts, but BJJ being one of them). The psychological resistance to change is a tough barrier to break through.

  2. I’ve gained roughly ten pounds, and most of it isn’t lean. My abs aren’t what you’d call “visible” anymore. It hasn’t slowed me down at all, though, and actually made my side control more suffocating! I’ve concluded burritos, Double Stuff Oreo’s, and jalapeno cheese sticks have benefited my game tremendously. I wholeheartedly recommend and endorse this diet.

  3. FatGuyBJJ

    I am an extreme example of this. 5’10’ 320 lbs the day I got my blue belt (7 years ago). Since then I have lost a little weight (currently 205). I had to completely change my game. The old “smash, pass, then smash some more” game plan stopped working. All of a sudden I could do things I could not do before (like butterfly guard). I still suck in closed guard (really big guys can’t close their guard, so never really practiced it) and still sometimes revert to positional dominance/fear of losing top position game (legacy of not wanting another 300 pounder on top of you) but my game has completely changed. BJJ is much more fun when you can do all those move the little guys can (still no berimbolo, I am built like a kangaroo).

  4. I’ve had my weight go up and down about 20lbs… And I definitely think I’m different at each end. The advantage to being smaller is… Being smaller. I can get into and out of smaller spaces. But it’s harder to keep good pressure and I have to have even better positioning not to get flipped. And even then, it happens. I’ve been asking my partners lately – “can you breathe?” – when we’re drilling, to check my position. I want it to be right where I need it to be. And so I’m learning that small people can definitely put a ton of pressure on too. Yay!

    Good luck figuring it out. Kind of fun, if annoying!

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