What should be my goal with bigger, stronger rolling partners that are at my skill level?

JowGaWolf

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Not how to beat him. Just how can I feel like rolling with him isn't a complete waste of time?
If you are working your technique and taking mental note of what is happening to you and when, then it's not a waste of time. Not learning from your mistakes is.
 

drop bear

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Work on getting smashed for five minutes. That is unfortunately the reality of reality sometimes.


After a while your jujitsu changes from your vanilla concept of technique to technique that you apply against these super strong guys.

I have had the same problem because I live rural and we have farmers and they have a lot of natural strength. And moves will work that don't technically work in jujitsu. Like straight up bench pressing me off them as a sweep.

Otherwise the ability to sit under top pressure for five minutes without giving up is a skill that helps your jujitsu.
 
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JowGaWolf

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I don't even have a chance to work on my techniques against him. That's the goal I'm trying to reach. To be able to work on my techniques against him.
You have to take what you can get. Go for your technique and take mental note of how he's defending it. Understanding how he's countering you is just as impotence as knowing how to do a technique.
start with the small techniques and work your way up. don't get stuck on one technique. If one doesn't work then go to the next.
 

wab25

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That's not been my experience at all in wrestling, hapkido, or BJJ. Case in point: the other big guy white belt that matches my intensity. He's also been going just a few months, like me.

If I was a grappling phenom (which I specifically denied by saying I'm not Kano), then I wouldn't be complaining about my white belt frustrations.
The phenom comment was in relation to you saying that you were not using brute force to make your technique work. For most people, it takes years to get to that point. Its something we constantly work on. When I run into someone who is too strong for a technique that I am applying... it means I need to figure out how to do the technique without relying on so much muscle. We often don't realize how much muscle we are using, until someone is strong enough to stop it. This is not binary, on or off... it is by degrees. As your understanding of the technique improves, the less you will be relying on muscle to use it... thus you will be able to apply to stronger people. Then you will find someone too strong, and you start the iteration again.

He shoots for a double leg. He leaves his neck exposed, so I go for the guillotine. He basically just shrugs it off and then takes me down. (I don't usually finish guillotines, but most folks at least have to fight their way out of it when I catch them). I land and get into half guard. I get my frames. Again, he basically just shrugs them off and grabs my arm to set up an Americana. He just bench presses my arm to flatten me out, and gets the submission.
So, we have learned that the guillotine won't work on him, in this situation. Try something new next time.

Don't forget your TKD. In TKD, if the other guy were to throw a spinning reverse round house kick... ideally you start your counter/defense as he starts his move. You can defend that attack, by simply moving the right way at the right time. Frustrate him enough and he will get sloppy or over extend.... Develop the same thing here. As he shoots, you should begin your defense, well before he ever makes contact. Change your angle, start your sprawl... move as he moves so that his take down attempt gets sloppy or over extended...

You got to his back.... thats progress. Thats great technique. Sure, you now have to learn not to leave your leg open... but, keep getting his back. It will force him to change how he goes about his take down. You may end up with your own opportunity....

I don't really have the opportunity to try and do something to him.
This is a mental thing. You always have the opportunity to do something, unless you are unconscious.
As soon as we connect, he basically has full control over where I'm going.
Only if you allow it. One of the funest ways to counter a double leg, is to let them have it. Go with it. Use all that energy to counter roll them, and end up on top. Sure, it takes timing and practice... but it sure is fun to get. If he is worried about that, it will slow his next attempt a bit.

The point is that you don't have to force him to go back... in order to control what is going on. He may take that direction away from you... but it leaves most other directions open... and if you can use his own strength, to help go where you want, it gets harder for him to resist.... it puts you in control.
If he gets his hands on my arms, he controls my arms. There is no in-between where I have an opportunity to defend.
This is the mental thing again. First... if he has grabbed your arms and is not letting go... he is not hitting you, and he is not choking you. He is not the only one attached to your arms.... you are on the other end.... and can have some influence. My sensei used to say, I have as much control over your arm as the strength of your grip.

If he is using strength to pin some part of you, use the other parts of you. Learning to move your body on the ground, underneath a bigger and stronger opponent takes time... but it is possible. (the art you are studying is famous for doing that) The first step is to not mentally accept that you can do nothing, or that he is in control. Don't fight against where he is applying strength... squish out the side...
 
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If you have your elbows to your ribs and he grabs your body, then he's just given you the underhooks. Not generally to his advantage.
It doesn't matter. He can still wrap his arms for the body lock around my arms.
It's actually easier for him to get a good control of your body when your arms are stretched out and your elbows are away from your ribs. He can just move your arms out of the way and have a clear shot at your torso.
Not if you have your elbows against your ribs.
I don't really see how this would help in the situation I described - Americana from half guard.

My elbow isn't against my ribs because I'm framing against his shoulder with that arm. If I'm not framing, he'll have an easier time smashing me down. If my elbow was against my ribs, he could just easily grab my wrist and pull my arm out. Great, I stalled him for a quarter of a second.
Controls your arms in the sense of tying them up and making it difficult for you to mount an offense, sure. Controlling them in the sense of putting them where he wants them? Not if your arms are in the right position.
He can just grab and pull or push, and that's where my arm is going.
If you have zero success with any of those, then he's probably not just stronger than you, he's also more technical and just isn't giving you the same opportunities to play that the upper belts usually do. In that case, start paying attention to how he is applying his technique and don't assume that it's working just because he's bigger and stronger.
I'm not assuming that his success is because he's bigger and stronger, but it's a big reason why nothing I try works. I just feel like I've been asked to bench over my max when I roll with him.
 
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Work on getting smashed for five minutes. That is unfortunately the reality of reality sometimes.
Most of my experience in martial arts is that while resistance is important, resistance to the point of completely dominating a sparring match doesn't help anyone. It's useful if the lower person needs a bit of humbling, but I already get tapped plenty.

It's like when someone is first getting into weight lifting. If their max bench is 100 pounds, you don't put 150 pounds on the bar. You put 80 on, and then have them work at that weight until you can increase it. This is what the upper belts do to me. They give me enough resistance I can get some work in. They could probably tap me a dozen times in the round or just pin me down for 5 minutes, but that wouldn't really help either of us.
Otherwise the ability to sit under top pressure for five minutes without giving up is a skill that helps your jujitsu.
He doesn't keep me in pressure long. He just grabs whatever's nearest and goes for a submission.
 

wab25

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He doesn't keep me in pressure long. He just grabs whatever's nearest and goes for a submission.
Welcome to Jujitsu / MMA training.

Now, do as everyone here is saying, and work for small "wins" of making him take a few seconds longer each time. Don't have the attitude that he is controlling you. Have the attitude that you have things you can do. Even if you don't know what they are at the moment.... the knowledge and belief that there are things you can do will help you keep trying stuff until you tap or something works.

Rolling with this guy is probably the fastest route to getting good at jujitsu... unless you can find a guy that taps you faster....
 

JowGaWolf

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I've said this several times already in this thread. If you were paying attention, you'll even notice the title is "what should be my goal" and not "how do I beat".
Yes I understand what you wrote but I assume that deep down you want a win because of the options you gave yourself. If you aren't trying to win then it doesn't matter how strong or skilled they are because you can still learn and become better through that experience. You have an opportunity to learn and get better each time you roll. If you are getting results then it's more likely that you are thinking about winning subconsciously.

When I made the the statement that you should be working your techniques., you disagreed with me. What else is there to do other than that? Win? Lose?.
 

drop bear

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Most of my experience in martial arts is that while resistance is important, resistance to the point of completely dominating a sparring match doesn't help anyone. It's useful if the lower person needs a bit of humbling, but I already get tapped plenty.

It's like when someone is first getting into weight lifting. If their max bench is 100 pounds, you don't put 150 pounds on the bar. You put 80 on, and then have them work at that weight until you can increase it. This is what the upper belts do to me. They give me enough resistance I can get some work in. They could probably tap me a dozen times in the round or just pin me down for 5 minutes, but that wouldn't really help either of us.

He doesn't keep me in pressure long. He just grabs whatever's nearest and goes for a submission.

Wrestling is a game of will. If you were evenly matched the person who wants the position more will get it. And win the fight.

You are not evenly matched but that is the lesson.
 
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Wrestling is a game of will. If you were evenly matched the person who wants the position more will get it. And win the fight.

You are not evenly matched but that is the lesson.
Wrestling (and BJJ) are also games with weight classes.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I don't really see how this would help in the situation I described - Americana from half guard.

My elbow isn't against my ribs because I'm framing against his shoulder with that arm. If I'm not framing, he'll have an easier time smashing me down. If my elbow was against my ribs, he could just easily grab my wrist and pull my arm out. Great, I stalled him for a quarter of a second.
I don't think you specified a specific situation before, so I was speaking generally. But okay, let's look at the americana from half guard scenario.

Firstly, framing on the shoulder is a fine option, but not the only one. If he is just effortlessly moving your frames out of the way and taking control of your arm, then that has less to do with strength than technique. Properly structured frames can resist quite a lot of superior size and strength - but only if they are oriented correctly with regards to the force being applied. What's happening is that he is changing the angle of his force, transforming them from frames which impede him into levers which he can control you with. The way to counter that is to feel when he is starting to change his angle of force and then you have to change the orientation of your frames accordingly. That's a skill which takes some time to develop, but the first step is to recognize what is happening.

Another possibility is to keep your elbow tight and fight for the underhook. This will prevent the americana and the kimura and make your sweeps and escapes much easier.
He can just grab and pull or push, and that's where my arm is going.
If you are properly engaging your lats to pin your elbow and your arm to your ribs then even someone who has twice your strength will have to work hard to pry it away.

This is one of those times when I wish the forum came with a teleportation function. If I could pop over and visit, then in 20 minutes I could help you understand what I'm talking about and what you need to work on. In the absence of that option, you might consider that over the last 23 years I have been in the situation you describe many, many times. I have also successfully coached many students who have been through the exact thing you are going through. I'm not much for appeals to authority, but you might consider the possibility that learning from my experience will save you some time and frustration.

Or maybe you could show your instructor this thread and he can demonstrate for you some of what I and others are talking about.
 

dunc

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I don't think you specified a specific situation before, so I was speaking generally. But okay, let's look at the americana from half guard scenario.

Firstly, framing on the shoulder is a fine option, but not the only one. If he is just effortlessly moving your frames out of the way and taking control of your arm, then that has less to do with strength than technique. Properly structured frames can resist quite a lot of superior size and strength - but only if they are oriented correctly with regards to the force being applied. What's happening is that he is changing the angle of his force, transforming them from frames which impede him into levers which he can control you with. The way to counter that is to feel when he is starting to change his angle of force and then you have to change the orientation of your frames accordingly. That's a skill which takes some time to develop, but the first step is to recognize what is happening.

Another possibility is to keep your elbow tight and fight for the underhook. This will prevent the americana and the kimura and make your sweeps and escapes much easier.

If you are properly engaging your lats to pin your elbow and your arm to your ribs then even someone who has twice your strength will have to work hard to pry it away.

This is one of those times when I wish the forum came with a teleportation function. If I could pop over and visit, then in 20 minutes I could help you understand what I'm talking about and what you need to work on. In the absence of that option, you might consider that over the last 23 years I have been in the situation you describe many, many times. I have also successfully coached many students who have been through the exact thing you are going through. I'm not much for appeals to authority, but you might consider the possibility that learning from my experience will save you some time and frustration.

Or maybe you could show your instructor this thread and he can demonstrate for you some of what I and others are talking about.
Agree with @Tony Dismukes learning to glue your elbows to your ribs and your hands to your neck will pay huge dividends
 

JowGaWolf

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It doesn't matter. He can still wrap his arms for the body lock around my arms.
Then redirect his arms, move out of rang, take an angle, allow him to only wrap one arm around your body so that you can get an over hook, those weak looking grab escapes that most striking martial arts like to teach in self defense classes - use those. Lower you stance a little more if he's taller than you. Collapse everything towards your center, go on the offensive.

There's a lot of things that you can do to disrupt his attempt for wrapping his arms around your arms. Even if you delay his attempt an extra 10 seconds, it's still progress and an extra 10 seconds that you can use to counter or reposition.

My elbow isn't against my ribs because I'm framing against his shoulder with that arm. If I'm not framing, he'll have an easier time smashing me down. If my elbow was against my ribs, he could just easily grab my wrist and pull my arm out. Great, I stalled him for a quarter of a second.
I do this all the time, not the framing part but the bring my arms close to my ribs. I also rotate my arm downward towards my center and then towards my waist. I can escape his attempts to pull my arm out when I do this and I can reposition my arm as needed. I don't know if this is the "right thing" or the "best thing" I just know that it works and it keeps my arm from being locked out by escaping. This has to be done before and while he's searching for that good grip. The last time I was sparring with him he said that he had to really work for it. Which is an improvement for me. He was hyped about my progress because now he can really work hard vs going my speed. The biggest difference for me is that I usually spar after working out, but this time I was fresh.

The biggest thing that you have to do is pay attention to what's happening and where your opponents hands move or how the body shifts. That gives you an idea of what's about to come. That's also the time where your prevention should be kicking off.

I'm not sure what the other's think about this next method, but one of the things that helped me to filter out some of the stuff is to close my eyes then I'm forced to pay attention to what I'm feeling and how the weight shifts. I wouldn't recommend getting into the habit of doing that, but it may be useful for a quick realization of all the things you may not be paying attention to when your eyes are opened. It was an eye opener for me. If all we were doing were just wrestling, then I would probably do it more, but we also throw punches so it's good to have my eyes open lol.
 

Gerry Seymour

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This is 100% incorrect. When working with the bigger, low-intensity guys, I cannot brute strength them. I have to use technique or I wouldn't even be able to move them. Same with the upper belts. If I was just brute forcing everything, they wouldn't give me anything. They would just smash me to show me that it doesn't work. But I am not them.

I don't know how you could have possibly gotten out of my post that I'm trying to brute force everything.

This guy is the same skill level as me. How do I use more technique than him? I am not Jigoro Kano. I am not Kyozo Mifune, with the benefit of 50+ years of Judo experience.

Is there some magical balancing act that I missed out on, whereby people who are less strong start off with more technique? Technique is something I will need to develop. As a white belt, that hasn't happened yet.
You have it close, but backwards. Big guys tend to rely on brute force more, because they can. As a white belt, you are almost certainly using brute force more than you realize. This guy is an opportunity to work on where technique beats force. While this guy can get by on force/strength, hell likely lag in getting better at technique (because for a while, he can dominate without improving as much).

This is pretty much true in all grappling (standing or ground), in my experience.

Itll suck for a while, but focus on technical defense and being patient. Youll likely surpass him for a bit if you do, then hell pick up his game, too.

If hes one of the rare ones who progress technique well, in spite of his strength, use him to improve your defense. Youll get better, faster, because hell keep showing you where you have weak points.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I don't think you specified a specific situation before, so I was speaking generally. But okay, let's look at the americana from half guard scenario.

Firstly, framing on the shoulder is a fine option, but not the only one. If he is just effortlessly moving your frames out of the way and taking control of your arm, then that has less to do with strength than technique. Properly structured frames can resist quite a lot of superior size and strength - but only if they are oriented correctly with regards to the force being applied. What's happening is that he is changing the angle of his force, transforming them from frames which impede him into levers which he can control you with. The way to counter that is to feel when he is starting to change his angle of force and then you have to change the orientation of your frames accordingly. That's a skill which takes some time to develop, but the first step is to recognize what is happening.

Another possibility is to keep your elbow tight and fight for the underhook. This will prevent the americana and the kimura and make your sweeps and escapes much easier.

If you are properly engaging your lats to pin your elbow and your arm to your ribs then even someone who has twice your strength will have to work hard to pry it away.

This is one of those times when I wish the forum came with a teleportation function. If I could pop over and visit, then in 20 minutes I could help you understand what I'm talking about and what you need to work on. In the absence of that option, you might consider that over the last 23 years I have been in the situation you describe many, many times. I have also successfully coached many students who have been through the exact thing you are going through. I'm not much for appeals to authority, but you might consider the possibility that learning from my experience will save you some time and frustration.

Or maybe you could show your instructor this thread and he can demonstrate for you some of what I and others are talking about.
Well said.

Every time you post something like this, I want to go spend a week or two over there, getting slowly destroyed.
 

JowGaWolf

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I didn't tap my MMA sparring partner out tonight but I countered his throw and took him down instead. He's much stronger than I am and I had to be thrown 3 times tonight before I could get the timing down, but tonight I nailed it. I couldn't capitalize on the throw, but it's still a gain for me. Now he'll be less willing to set me up for a hip toss. I did some wrist escapes, and pulled off some circling hand and a little push hands. Over all it's been a big gain for me tonight. Each time I spar against him I walk away with an improved skill set. I'm pretty hype about it. I got a little cocky today and stood up tall he tried to do a single leg but couldn't pull it off this time. I finally understand where the kung fu throat strikes are supposed to be done. I'm pretty sure they are techniques that are used when grappling. Since day one my sparring partner has been getting a fist to the throat (with no resistance.). If my fist finds the mark so easily so will my spear hand and tiger claw.

Tapping him out is not even on the menu. I don't care if I don't tap him out. If I can escape and land successful techniques then that tap will eventually become a reality. I just have to keep working my techniques even the ones that are small like wrist escapes. I used some "kung fu " wrist escapes like the ones that I teach in self-defense and it made it more difficult for him to clinch me. I used circling arms as well and it made it more difficult for him to enter the clinch. He eventually got it, but it took a lot of effort on his part.

If I can work my techniques against someone stronger and more experienced than me, then you (@skribs )should be able to do even more than me. I'm doing almost the same thing that you are doing but I don't have the advantage of being taught the techniques. You are getting formal lessons but I think you may be trying to go too big. If not that then you are ignoring the small stuff. For example, If your partner keeps controlling your arms, then your goal should be to get good at the techniques that prevent people from grabbing your arms, or you should counter the grab. This can be done while standing or while on the ground. Either way, the moment you get better at defending and countering his efforts to grab your arm then you'll force him to look for another option and that may be to your advantage.
 
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