Controlling a larger,

I would like to get some opinions on the best methods of controling a larger, stronger opponent from your guard,(be it open or closed) when that opponent is trying hard to posture up, and create distance. From breaking arm posture, to grips, head and arm control etc. I guess I want to hear from some of us lighter guys, but all input will be valued. I fear Im burning too much energy trying to keep them close. (by the way Im a blue belt) Thx

Hey bro, I'm 5'7" 160#. I find that trying to hold bigger and stronger guys in the closed guard is not always a smart thing. I work my open guard, control my breathing and really work the techniques that get my opponent off balance. Spider guard works really well for me because the grips are tight and I don't find myself forcing my opponent to move. Being quicker than the bigger guy is an advantage that you should use to make him react instead of you reacting to his moves and trying to keep him close or in the closed guard. Make him react to your game, not vice versa... JMO

In the close guard before sweeps, submissions etc there are 2 easy things to remember to do

1) Dont let him grab anywhere on your gi. Obviously he will eventually grab something but if you keep attacking his hands and armdraging etc he wont be able to posture.

2) Contantly pull your knees to your chest.

Because there are so many options in the closed guard sometimes its easier to really cut down what your going to do.

I'm a small/medium sized guy who fights against a lot of really big guys.

My advice, though it doesn't quite align with your question, is to use the butterfly guard more than the closed guard.

Against guys who are much larger than you, it will allow you to threaten them with off-balancing much more readily and consistently. You can do much more from here to stop a big guy from passing.


I think that twinkletoesCT gave one the best advices here, although I would personally use more half guard and half butterfly guard than butterfly guard, as a matter of preference. With the half guard, it feels (to me) easier to keep my opponent from bailing away from me than with the butterfly guard. And from half butterfly guard I sometimes go to X-guard.

Basically, from your guard against a bigger opponent, you want to concentrate on sweeps and taking the back more so than submissions. Don't forget about submissions, but don't focus on them too much, IMHO.

Excellent advice guys. Pls keep them coming.

I agree with jonpall. Halfguard is a great way to neutralize a size difference. I prefer to play with the under hook and my legs figure foured around the opponents, when he drives into me I will shoot him past using a knee bump and my underhook to drive him up. Works well for me as long as I keep off to the side on my hip. His weight isnt on me and I can take the back or get to my knees behind him. Watch Soneca use his halfguard against bigger opponents.