Grappling w/heavier students

I was wondering how some of you train with students who are considerably heavier than you are. I rolled with a guy last night who outweighed me by at least 30 lbs. I expected to spend the majority of the time on my back, but both his weight and experience in training took a toll on me.

I'm looking for any suggestions you all could give me.

Loki knows something about this one.

[edited for spelling]

i often train with a couple guys (you know who you are) who are
over 100lbs heavier than me. i will always try my best to get top
position and keep them on their back, preferring N/S while
underhooking both arms very deeply for control. I'll also
frequently look to attack the neck or bait movement and take the

when i find myself on my back either from being put there or from
pulling guard out of exhaustion, i'll always look to take the back
(often from half-guard), perform a sweep (butterfly guard sweeps
or flower sweeps if i don't have butterfly), or attack the closest
target which is usually the neck (and because it's harder for them
to "power" out of).

since i'm the smallest guy at the gym, taking the back has become
a major goal of mine. though i get really happy when i'm able to
finish a straight arm bar which is rare largly because of the
strength difference... i like chokes for this reason.

of course now they know my strategy... so i'll have to think of
something new to do...

hope it helps.


Being on your side with a foot on his hips and tight arm control definitely helps against bigger guys that try to squash you or even choke or armlock you in your guard. Check out my armpit triangle choke thread for more ideas on this subject.

with bigger guys its all about survival. i personally hold nothing back they usually dont give me a hard time, unless they are equally skilled and just much stronger.

Hip bump sweep from the guard, I love doing this to big guys when they sit up on me. In general, just relax, understand that you are going to need to work pure technique, and have fun. If you spend the whole time on the bottom, just make sure you're getting better while you're doing it.


i'm usually the bigger guy. 215lbs. i am hella strong, but i don't use it when rolling w/ lesser belts in class. i want them to get better at technique, as well as me get better at it. i don't like to use too much of my weight or strength.

I once rolled with a guy who was literally DOUBLE my size. I was 140 (I'm about 5'9") and he was 280 (roughly 6'3"). I went for a kneebar (we were drilling moves) and couldn't finish because his thigh was the same circumference as my waist, and his hamstring was as strong as my back.

Nowadays I'm about 155-160, most of the guys I roll with are *only* 50-100 pounds heavier than I am. I do get to roll with a local judo instructor who is slimming down to 275, though.


Im sitting at about 126 right now and Im super weak. There is one guy at my club my weight but much stronger. Luckily my instructors are both around 135 so I tend to work with them alot. I usually dont roll with people bigger than about 160.

Keep moving and if you think that person is going to pass your guard go to your knees.

Pretty much everybody I roll with on a regular basis has at least 30 pounds on me. I say just suck it up and ignore the difference and it will probaly do nothing but improve your fighting in the end anyways.

Thanks for the responses! I'll definitely be looking to use them.