BJJ for vertically challenged

I'm new to both this forum and BJJ (4 months). My question is for those forum members who are short. I am 5'5 150 lbs. What specific areas should I begin to work on in my training to account for my lack of height and it's inherent strengths/weaknesses. For instance, I notice I have no problem getting a triangle on an unresiting opponent but can never do it in sparring (damn legs are too short!). On the other hand people say they have a hard time doing a straight arm bar on my stubs. So, any advice or principles to keep in mind as I learn the basics would be much appreciated. I do know that I need to learn the basics like anyone regardless of height but I am looking for some general principles and guidlines for my body type.

A closed guard just doesnt work for me well my short legs have a hard time closing behind my partners back.Climbing my legs up my partners back is also a problem.I use open guard most of the time. On the plus those short legs are pretty mobile and I can worm my way out of most stuff. Peace Bryan

It's going to vary, depending on the body type of the person you are fighting.

Another person your own height wouldn't be any different than a taller person vs. a taller person. If you are having trouble with certain subs (like the triangle) in sparring, but not in training, then have your teacher watch and see what you are doing wrong. Obviously if you can do it on a non-resisting opponent, your legs are NOT too short.... your either not completing all the mechanics against a live opponent, or your timing is off, or their defense is simply better than your attack! Can you pull it off on a newbie when sparring? Being that you are only 4 months into training, it is a bit early to be labelling ANYTHING as "not good" for you - give yourself a solid YEAR of practice before you make those kinds of assumptions, and always double check with your instructor to make sure you are doing everything correctly, as well.

In general, you should have an advantage in throws and takedowns (lower center of gravity), and a tighter top game. Escapes from the bottom will likely be easier as well (easier to get your knees in front of them with a short thigh bone). Playing closed guard is not as good as open guard for ANYBODY, in my lowly Blue belt opinion - unless your goal is to just hang on and stall. Focus more on sweeps like the scissors, rather than the elevator. Keep your knees and elbows close to your body, and you'll be hard to tap out. Learn to stay real close and tight to your opponent, and move that way - don't explode and create unnecessary space - and you'll be good in no time.

Just play around, more than anything. You'll learn with time and experience which things work for you better than others. Oh - and 5'5 at 150 pounds is not that uncommon. I've had a couple of students about that size. Tough to get down, tough to hold down, tough to submit!!

Stretch a lot.

Good post by AdamLaClair: Also, in a few months you might take some privates from a Black Belt built like you. There are several.

"Also, in a few months you might take some privates from a Black Belt built like you. There are several."

Thought I was on the OG for a second there. Yikes!!