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If you have ever met me, or read my work, chances are you may or may not have noticed that I’m a tad bit vertically challenged. In a world where it seems that everyone likes to define people by their size, I take pride in the fact that I’m shorter than most.
Typically, a common trait for smaller people is the dreaded “Napoleon Complex” which causes smaller people to act tougher than they are to help make up for their size. Not me, in fact, I try to avoid that dreaded syndrome as much as I possibly can!
Once I got started in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the size difference never really affected me much, as I was able to create my game that was tailored to my size, which allowed me to take on opponents of all shapes and sizes.
Things started to pick up once I had a match couple of years ago that I posted on YouTube. This specific match was me facing a much, much larger human being. The result? Well, why don’t you take a look for yourself.
Attacking The Base
One thing I found early on in the sport is that no matter which weight class you compete in or how talented you are, if someone attacks you legs, the playing field becomes even very, very quickly. As an avid leg lock supporter, I knew that they would have to be my plan of attack heading into this specific match.
As I bounced around in my wonderful green shirt, I allowed my opponent to have a sense of dominance. Here I was trying to create space between he and I as he pressed forward, there is no doubt in my mind that he thought of himself as some sort of predator hunting his prey. I've talked about this before in articles on BJJEE and other major US grappling blogs (like this one at OTM).
When the time was right, I threw out a subtle fake that caused him to put his hands up. Even for just that split second, this opened up room for me to attack his legs, which I didn’t waste a second of time doing.
Dropping right down, I isolated his leg knowing that it was now-or-never. Giving up on the attempt at this point—with him directly above me—would not have ended well for me at all.
Seeing my window open, I slapped on the heel hook and ended the match just some 25, 30 seconds after it officially began.
Leg Locks Make All The Difference!
Like I said, leg locks don’t discriminate against grapplers. I don’t care if you are a first day white belt or an experienced black belt, if someone is applying pressure to something like a heel hook, panic sets in and you tap no matter what!
They also become useful as they are often overlooked by many academies who may not train them that often. This allows leg lock players to execute with little to no resistance, which is a beautiful thing.
So for my fellow small grapplers out there, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too small! If they do, just knee bar ‘em!