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  1. #1

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Fighting Bigger Guys

    I've been training in Muay Thai for a good year and a half now, and one problem I've always come across is that literally everyone in my gym is either 6'4 or weighs over 120kg (270 lbs) and i simply cant reach them, or get out-muscled in a clinch, i'm 5'11 and around 63kg (138 lbs). Do i need to improve my footwork to get on the inside, or perhaps work on my setups for techniques? Hoping not to get my soul destroyed on my first post, but any answer would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    ghost55's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I recommend eating more and lifting. Seriously. You need more muscle. As for technique, dealing with big dudes is all in going to the legs and the body. Hit what you can, and make that suck enough for them to start dropping their hands.

  3. #3

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    A significant size difference is always going to put the smaller guy at a disadvantage. Bulk up, strengthen up, and use what you have to your advantage.

    I can't speak to muay thai specifically, but in general I've seen smaller guys generally have speed, agility and flexibility to spare, and can really use it to their advantage. Is it possible to adjust your fighting style to play to your advantages?

    One of the recently graduated juniors in our judo club who is now moved into the adult classes can hold his own against us old guys, who are literally over twice his size. Yes, we dial back on the strength, but he has an explosive quickness that none of us can match, and grappling with the kid is like wrestling with a wet spaghetti noodle- no matter what you try to do, he just wraps himself around you, and bends and twists his way out.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrouchyOldMan View Post
    A significant size difference is always going to put the smaller guy at a disadvantage. Bulk up, strengthen up, and use what you have to your advantage.

    I can't speak to muay thai specifically, but in general I've seen smaller guys generally have speed, agility and flexibility to spare, and can really use it to their advantage. Is it possible to adjust your fighting style to play to your advantages?

    One of the recently graduated juniors in our judo club who is now moved into the adult classes can hold his own against us old guys, who are literally over twice his size. Yes, we dial back on the strength, but he has an explosive quickness that none of us can match, and grappling with the kid is like wrestling with a wet spaghetti noodle- no matter what you try to do, he just wraps himself around you, and bends and twists his way out.
    If you learn solid basics of Muay thai, learn some solid basic takedowns (the clinch and perhaps a technically sound single leg, with a sound entry, and some solid single leg finishes), and learn the basics of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, ie the Fighting Foundations as presented by the Royce/Valente group or the Gracie Combatives as presented by the Gracie University or a qualified grappling training environment that offers an equivalent, then you would be hedging your bets really well.

    I would be very interested to hear Crafty Dog or another expert HTH weapon stylist speak to how size differentials may, in their expert opinion, be affected when you have the benefit of stick in hand against a larger individual in a Kali Tudo or HEMA style environment.

  5. #5
    BackFistMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corzer View Post
    I've been training in Muay Thai for a good year and a half now, and one problem I've always come across is that literally everyone in my gym is either 6'4 or weighs over 120kg (270 lbs) and i simply cant reach them, or get out-muscled in a clinch, i'm 5'11 and around 63kg (138 lbs). Do i need to improve my footwork to get on the inside, or perhaps work on my setups for techniques? Hoping not to get my soul destroyed on my first post, but any answer would be much appreciated.

    What strategies and techniques have you and your coach been working for the last year and a half to help solve this problem?
    Before we can go any further that should be covered in depth.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghost55 View Post
    Violence is pretty uncommon in clubs in this area, and the dude didn't seem particularly hostile up until the moment he slapped me.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
    BILL HICKS,
    1961-1994

    Quote Originally Posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
    Slamming the man in the bottom position from time to time keeps everybody on their toes and discourages butt scooting stupidity.

  6. #6
    NeilG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
    I would be very interested to hear Crafty Dog or another expert HTH weapon stylist speak to how size differentials may, in their expert opinion, be affected when you have the benefit of stick in hand against a larger individual in a Kali Tudo or HEMA style environment.
    Weapons make size differences much less of an issue of course. From outside with a weapon the quicker, more agile person has the advantage. Height and reach are also an advantage. Strength only really matters insofar as it makes you faster. Bulk and upper body strength mostly slow you down. As soon as you close to grappling distance size and strength again become the advantage.

  7. #7

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by NeilG View Post
    Weapons make size differences much less of an issue of course. From outside with a weapon the quicker, more agile person has the advantage. Height and reach are also an advantage. Strength only really matters insofar as it makes you faster. Bulk and upper body strength mostly slow you down. As soon as you close to grappling distance size and strength again become the advantage.
    Thank you for sharing your expertise!

  8. #8
    NeilG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
    Thank you for sharing your expertise!
    Forgot to mention that the biggest advantage with a weapon is skill. Unlike grappling where even a great deal of skill can be negated with strength, with weapons (swords, anyway) old women can beat young, strong, athletic men with ease.

  9. #9
    BackFistMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilG View Post
    Forgot to mention that the biggest advantage with a weapon is skill. Unlike grappling where even a great deal of skill can be negated with strength, with weapons (swords, anyway) old women can beat young, strong, athletic men with ease.
    Guns help deal with the big dudes too.
    I still want to know what he and his coach have been over so we can actually dig into helping out with his Muay Thai question.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghost55 View Post
    Violence is pretty uncommon in clubs in this area, and the dude didn't seem particularly hostile up until the moment he slapped me.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
    BILL HICKS,
    1961-1994

    Quote Originally Posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
    Slamming the man in the bottom position from time to time keeps everybody on their toes and discourages butt scooting stupidity.

  10. #10
    Permalost's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    We are so often sold the idea that skill negates size, that it can seem odd when it doesn't. But size is a very real advantage that's hard to beat.

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