I feel like I published this someplace before, but I can’t find it:
Man, if there’s one thing I’m sick of it’s people complaining about us “big guys” using too much strength or weight when grappling. I’ve heard and I understand the argument – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is about technique and skill, it’s the gentle art, blah, blah, blah. I’ve got a bit of news for you – that’s bullshit, or at least it’s either poorly translated or widely misinterpreted. BJJ teaches us to use mechanical advantage to win “fights.” If you’re falling back for an armbar with you’re arms wrapped around someone’s elbow you’re going to have a much more difficult time finishing than you would if your grip was closer to their wrists. That’s a simple concept. Leverage.
If I use the techniques of BJJ properly they will be executed with more force than if someone 100 pounds lighter than me did the same thing. Mechanical advantage works the same way for me as it does for some one who weighs 140 pounds.
A few points to consider:
1. I have no way to not use strength. I can’t measure how much force I’m using and set a limit.
2. If I did, I’d be using terrible Jiu Jitsu. “Playing light” = doing it wrong. If I go knee on belly and it’s not terrible for you, I’m doing it wrong, and teaching myself to do it wrong.
3. People should use the tools they have. They say, “the poor carpenter blames his tools,” right? Well how about, “The dumb carpenter doesn’t use his tools.”
4. When a little guy creates a lot of force they are said to have great Jiu Jitsu (“he makes terrific force!”). If a big guy makes the same amount of pressure they’re just said to be big and lacking skill.
5. People who complain about weight / strength are often very flexible. Let’s make a deal – I won’t apply any more force than you can if you don’t bend anything further than I can.
6. It would be absurd for me to not use strength or weight when it is available. If I have to pick something up that is of a weight I can lift, I don’t develop a complex system of pulleys and levers – I just pick it up.