i need help with fighting a bigger opponent

Discussion in 'The Competitive Edge' started by fenix, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. fenix

    fenix White Belt

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    my friend weighs about 250 im pure muscle and i weight about 165
    he is really stong on puching and kicking he moves quick for a big guy and has average endurance
    in our last sparring match (we go full contact) i tried to keep my distance but i can win if keep my distance but if i get close it only takes 1 good punch in my face and i would get knocked out and i really need help
    i know i need to get stronger and faster but does anyone have any techniques or strategies or anything that would be good against a bigger opponent
     
  2. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    This won't help you in the kind of sparring you probably do with him, fenix... but if you were facing someone like him in a street conflict, I'd start with the following: no matter how much bigger and stronger he is than you, his connective tissue (joints, ligament connections) is just as vulnerable as yours. Develop a very strong low side kick and attack his knee laterally with it, and he's going to go down and maybe never walk quite right thereafter. His larynx is no better protected than yours is; train board breaks so that you can deliver serious power to a small surface area, and you'll be able to crush his windpipe just as easily as you could do to someone your own size. You can blind him by finger strikes to the eyes. His jaw is made of the same glass yours is....

    In other words, look at the points of vulnerability that don't change regardless of muscle mass or skeletal size. Joints and soft tissue: train to damage them severely and you'll be in the game against everyone and everything except maybe an Abrams tank. The problem isn't a lack of targets, f. It's more a matter of, just how bloody-minded are you? Train to impose maximum damage on an attacker, without pity or remorse, and your 165 lbs. will count for a lot less than your willingness to destroy your attacker. Which is where the MAs started, really...
     
  3. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    If he's got longer reach, then keeping away from him plays to his strengths and your weaknesses. You have to learn his distance and yours. And you have to learn to cross from just outside of his to inside yours quickly without staying in the kill zone.
     
  4. MahaKaal

    MahaKaal Orange Belt

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    Understanding the Kaal Kehtar (Field of Death) is the key in any martial art. You need to gauge the fighting distance so that you know exactly the distance your in where you can be hit and you can hit your opponent. At this point you are vunerable to strikes, and your friend will feel the need to start throwing kicks and punches. Anticipate his primary strike, secondary strike and tertiary strike (whether kick, punch grab etc), when this strike comes you will see the direction, momentum, speed and stregth its coming at. The first step is to evade the strike, but not by stepping back. When you step back you first need to stop an progress forward again to make a decent counter. If you step forward, your changing the target and reducing the distance between you and your opponent. Its at this point when in the middle of his strike you will hit him, where he the most vunerable. If he throws more then one strike, you will need to do multiple body shifts to avoid being hit but never move out of the Kaal Kehtar (Field of Death).

    The success of the above works when your timing is correct, not to move too early so that your opponent pulls back and readjusts or can track you. Being able to give him a clear strike and moving out the way just as its about to land, where he cant pull back and hes overstretched will guarentee more sucess.

    As he is a bigger opponent, he will give you more momentum to manipulate, use this to your advantage. Do not feed strength against strength, you will lose. Instead, where he pushes, you pull, as he pulls or retreats to regain balance you push him further. As he punches, absorb the punch by catching its momentum, as he pulls the punch to throw another you feed his arm back to him, adding to the momentum to ruin his timing.

    It seems a hard thing to do, but it is possible, and as your timing and technique get better the more strength someone uses against you manipulating it will be even easier.
     
  5. FieldDiscipline

    FieldDiscipline 2nd Black Belt

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    Now your talking. I like the board./throat comparison. That may be useful...
     
  6. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    Very good advice there gents, MahaKaal and Exile especially.

    In my time, I too have had the problem of how to deal with someone much larger than me. If it's a serious, life-threatening, confrontation then Exile's described approach is probably your best option.

    A friend used to say to me that in sparring he could handle me quite easily but he knew that if it was for real then stuff of his would start to break - not because I was a sadist but because I had no choice i.e. I couldn't fight like a gentlemen when I was so outmassed.

    If you're not fighting 'for real' tho', breaking bones and mashing joints is probably not going to be a viable training method :D. That's the time when you can begin to learn what MahaKaal spoke about. Essentially it amounts to removing the opponents ability to effectively use his strength and mass advantage. Doing that without getting into trouble takes some practice but it does work - most especially if you begin to develop that very misunderstood aspect of physicality called Ki.
     
  7. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    See, I've never been one to assume that a board break is a useful indicator of your Conan-the-Barbarian bone-crushing abilities; a number of previous posters have argued, in a way I find fairly convincing, that most bone is a lot harder to break than pine board, particularly well-dried pine board. But I think of breaking as simply a way to quantify how much force you're able to accurately and effectively direct to a target. It's simply a unit of 'martial force delivery' or whatever (I never could understand why people found Bruce Lee's observation that boards don't hit back to be the profound refutation of breaking as part of training that many people seem to regard it as—it's also true that free weights don't lift you back, but lifting both increases muscular strength and provides a measure of how much strength you've gained since, and as a result of, your previous workouts. Breaking's the same: as you get more technically more proficient, you'll be able to break more boards because your understanding of how and where to strike is better than it was before). And the thing is, you can often do a lot more damage, with a lot less risk, targeting soft tissue rather than bone. So if you take all that improvement in impact delivery that breaking can help you achieve, and apply it to the parts of the other guy's body that no amount of size by itself can protect.... what's not to like?? :EG:

    Exactly right, S. Sparring within a rule system poses its own challenges—namely, you have to play by the rules. And that can force you to train things like speed, balance and—this is often neglected—reaction time to a higher level. I've always thought that reaction time was one of the more neglected aspects of training—people don't always realize that it can be improved. If you go to a typical science museum, there'll be a test of reaction time somewhere in the building along with a bit about the neuromuscular basis for it, and they keep telling you in the display copy: the more you do this test, the faster you'll find yourself reacting, up to a point. I've tried it and it does work like that. I suspect that MA exercises such as kicking or punching a heavy hanging rope can help with that, as well as with accuracy in eye/hand coordination.
     
  8. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    You like tackles/takedowns?

    See that's the coolest thing about taller opponents--his head and shoulders might be on a different height plane than yours, maybe he has the reach to make it harder to reach them--but your FEET are both on the same ground, oh yes they are. :D
     
  9. CuongNhuka

    CuongNhuka Senior Master

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    One board is about speed, two is about strength, three is about perfect technique. three inches of pine is about equal to human ribs.
     
  10. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    I guess we're all agreed. You have to have a better command of distance.
     
  11. Taiji_Mantis

    Taiji_Mantis Orange Belt

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    I guess I would ask your trainer what to do to overcome these issues, Its easier to be shown in person than be told online.
     
  12. Shadow tkd

    Shadow tkd Yellow Belt

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    Remember that size is not a factor to be to hevily considered in a fight weather it sparring or a real fight I can say that form experiance.Train your power and speed thats what matters in a fight if your stronger and faster than him and you have better technique you can destroy someone much larger than you thats from experiance dude.
     
  13. kidswarrior

    kidswarrior Senior Master

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    Add: Attenuated by timing, and I'm in. :D
     
  14. ben

    ben Yellow Belt

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    Position and Timing.

    It doesn't matter how big he is if he's not in a position where he can use his size/strength.
    It doesn't matter how fast he is if you're already there.

    Move more, not just in place but cover distance. Make him do all the work of getting to you.

    No matter how long his reach is you will be able to attack his limbs before he can reach your body. Every time he sticks a fist out there make him regret it. (the type of hand protection you use may limit the effectiveness of this.) Let his punches and kicks find your elbows and knees. He is not kicking and punching you He is offering you his hands and feet. Use these gifts.

    The better you are at controlling the space around you the better off you will be and the easier it will be to lead him into a bad position. Use this to transition from outside his comfort range to inside it.
     
  15. allenjp

    allenjp Brown Belt

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    Learn how to fight on the ground and take him down. If you keep close enough to him he'll have no power to hit you with. Groundfighting knowledge is the ultimate equalizer...but only if you are sparring. Me personally, if I am in a real fight against someone that much bigger than me, I am going to do everything I can to escape. If he is faster than me, or I can't just run for some reason, I'll throw dirt in his eyes so I CAN run. Or choke hin out while he's blinded. But then again, when I'm out in public I am rarely found without some kind of weapon. And of course the brutal tactics and use of distance and timing are crucial if you HAVE to go toe to toe unarmed with the guy in a real SD situation.

    But for what you are doing with him (sparring) grappling is your best option IMHO, especially if he doesn't know groundfighting...
     
  16. jlhummel

    jlhummel Yellow Belt

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    Well since we seem to have lots of smaller guys giving advice how about some from a bigger guy. I have always been the one in my age group that is bigger then the rest, so the advice of keeping your distance and understanding how to gauge stricking distance is very true and good advice. As to the suggestion of going to the ground, unless you are obviously a ground guy and your a very good ground guy, that is very bad advise. take it from a big guy for a smaller guy to go to the ground with a big guy you have to be alot better at it than him and if he has any wrestling experience at all he will use his size and weight to his advatage. There is a reason there are weight classes in the ground game sports. Your best bet is to stay away and learn how to counter punch and kick and work on your speed of movement in and out of stiking distance. If your friend is smart he will do what i do and start to try and set u up and time your entrance to sriking distance, he might even be willing to take some damage to sucker you close and then put in that one or two shots that you mentioned to knock you out. stick and move because if you are close enough to hit him you are also close enough to get hit or worse get grabbed and taken to the ground and really get pounded. I have beaten more experienced and better martial artists because I do know how to use my size to my advatage, let alone street fighting. the advice given above on a street fight is very good, eyes, throat, groin, knees, hit fast, hit hard and get out of reach.
     
  17. allenjp

    allenjp Brown Belt

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    In a real SD situation, getting on the ground is a bad idea no matter what (though you better know what you are doing down there if you get taken down despite your best efforts). And I agree with everyone else on timing, distance, misdirection, and brutality of attack.

    But...in a sparring situation I stand by what I said, and if you don't believe me, just go to youtube and watch the Gracies submit one after the other of wrestlers AND strikers who are quite a bit bigger and stronger than them. Superior ground technique is king in sparring or sport fighting situations, period. Now, if the guy is bigger than you and is also a groundfighting expert, it might be a bad idea, but I can give most guys that are bigger than me fits on the ground because their size and weight makes them less flexible and manuverable and quick than me...

    And as far as a knockout punch, the last thing you want to give a good striker is distance to develop the full power of his attack. When was the last time you saw someone get knocked out from a punch while in the clinch? It doesn't happen because the striker needs space to get full power into his strike. No distance=No power.
     
  18. ben

    ben Yellow Belt

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    Superior position is superior position whether you're standing, on the ground or anywhere else.

    If you have superior timing and positioning skills then you can control the space (and the fight) wherever it may occur.
     
  19. allenjp

    allenjp Brown Belt

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    Right.

    But it is easier for the smaller person to acheive that superiority on the ground, then it is standing.
     
  20. ben

    ben Yellow Belt

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    I think what's easier depends more on the individuals involved, their skills and their level of training.

    I certainly want to be able to take a fight to the ground if my opponent appears to be uncomfortable there but I wouldn't want to make that assumption before I have seen how they move.

    There is a lot of collegiate wrestling in this country and with bjj and mma becoming more and more popular there are more big guys with grappling skill every day.
     

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