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Shingitai Jujitsu Association

One of America's leading authorities on jujitsu,
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2 Surefire Strategies For Fighting Bigger, Stronger Opponents,
 by John Saylor

Yeah, it’s a generalization, but most big guys hate to move or be moved. They usually prefer to get set and launch their attacks from a strong stable base. The bigger guys also prefer to have a stationary target right in front of them where they can overwhelm their opponent with superior strength. This being the case, when fighting a bigger, stronger opponent it’s probably not a good idea to stand still and fight face-to-face. Instead, stack the odds in your favor by employing the following tactics:


1)     Try to get and maintain the outside position. From here you have numerous opportunities for attack while your opponent has very few. As long as you maintain this favorable position and press the attack the odds will be stacked about 80/20% in your favor.

2)     Use movement to off-balance your opponent, disrupt his attacks, and create vulnerability as you launch your attacks. As a rule big guys hate to be moved. In judo, for example, the larger, heavier fighters most often like to stop their smaller opponents in their tracks and then explode into a big powerful throw. If they are to prevail, the smaller judo fighters must use circular body movements to create momentum and off-balance their larger opponents, and they must take advantage of the vulnerability this creates in the opponent by attacking on the move.


The same tactic can be applied in self-defense situations. By using small, tight circular motions you can off-balance your opponent and make it difficult for him to counter attack. You can also use these circular motions to create momentum and set up your attacks.


Let’s take a look at just a few possibilities from a grappler’s perspective once you have cleared your opponent’s arm and have achieved the outside position.


Photo 1-3: While cupping your left hand behind the opponent’s neck and checking his arm above the elbow with your right hand, throw a knee strike into his head or midsection.

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Photo 4-7:
As you place your foot back on the ground, circle to the outside of your opponent and use the momentum this creates to pull him
around and bring his head down. Reach up over his head with your right arm and execute a Guillotine Choke or a Front Face Lock.

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Note: Keep your circle close-in and tight. This creates more momentum and denies the opponent the space he needs to reorient his body and get back in a favorable position.


If the opponent resists by forcefully standing back up, you can anticipate this and help raise him back up with your right arm as you throw a left hook, slap, or elbow to his head. Your self-talk as you train this move could be, “Raise him up, knock him out.”


Photo 8-12: You can also use this circular motion to redirect your opponent into a wall, car, pool table, or other obstacles or attackers. Once you have redirected the opponent you can follow-up with a “5 on 2,” or any number of other attacks or controls from his back.

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Well, there you have it. Please keep in mind that these are just a few of the available options from the outside position. Feel free to experiment and come up with your own finishes. And above all, have fun in your training! Please drop me a line and let me know how these skills work out for you. (www.johnsaylor-sja.com, email: sjahq@aol.com).


Best of Luck,

John Saylor: Head Coach,
US National Judo Training Squad at the

Olympic Training Center (1983-1990)
Director, Shingitai Jujitsu Association.              


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