No announcement yet.

So I just started BJJ and realized I really suck at it. Any advice for a tall guy?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    So I just started BJJ and realized I really suck at it. Any advice for a tall guy?

    It's only my third week, so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. I'm also pushing 6'3 though, which I'm starting to think might have a bit to do with it too. I'm getting the hang of some of the techniques so far but already feel like I'm a little behind the curve compared to some of the medium (6'0 and under) guys that started about the same time I did. I seem to be having trouble keeping my arms and legs (I'm all arms and legs) tucked in enough to not "create space" for my smaller partner to shimmy in and out of. And of course I have the opposite issue when I'm the one needing to shimmy. It seems like there's always a lot more of "me" to shimmy through an invariably smaller space. I have a feeling that freaky long arms and legs could actually be an advantage if one could simply learn to harness their power (leverage, tight subs, etc.) but it's just a little frustrating starting off. I'm planning on sticking with it, so I'm sure things will improve one way or another but it would nice to get some advice on what to focus on in general in my situation. Thanks.

    Your height has nothing to do with sucking.

    You just need more experience and to develop a game that works with your height, things like spider guard and so on and so forth.

    anyways 3 weeks is nothing. The best advice is to stop worrying about sucking and just try to learn something


      Your troubles are common--maybe you're not picking things up as quickly, maybe it's related to your long limbs, but more likely it's just normal progression.

      In order to get past the new-guy-getting-smashed-blues, try this:

      1) Read Aesopian:
      Helping beginners set realistic goals - No BS MMA and Martial Arts
      Three Rules for Good Jiu-Jitsu - No BS MMA and Martial Arts
      and browse the rest.

      2) Slideyfoot: definitely read this: No BS MMA and Martial Arts - View Single Post - bjj

      3) Stephan Kesting's Beginning BJJ:
      What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates


        You need to make it past six months first. Most people drop out before then. The attrition rate is about 60% where I train, and we're pretty laid back. Even fewer make it to blue and so on.

        Most people require training 3 to 4 times a week for six months to get a decent grasp of grappling basics. Some need more, some need less.

        The average person needs two years of quality mat time to develop a competent ground game. This is my opinion based on my experience.

        I've been practicing BJJ for over eight years. I am constantly amazed by how much more I have to learn. Often I'll notice a detail I previously missed in a technique that I learned in my first two years. Six years later, I'm still refining that same move.

        If you're committed, the learning process never stops.
        Shut the hell up and train.


          I realize that was something of an arbitrary rant.

          To the OP, like the others said, your height has nothing to do with your troubles. Stop comparing yourself to your peers.

          Regardless of an individual's grappling aptitude, the best grapplers in the world got where they are because of hard work and dedication, and not because of natural talent. Which brings us back to my previous post. Commitment is more important than aptitude.
          Shut the hell up and train.


            Stick with it man. Just try to enjoy training. Have fun and train hard if it's something you enjoy, and the skills will eventually come as long as you keep working at it. I'm a pretty small guy, and the people at my gym who give me the most trouble are the really tall guys.

            Also, don't get discouraged if you feel like you aren't doing well against the other people in your school. You are improving just as they are improving. Nobody is going to stay stagnant (for the most part) in training. If the only people you compare yourself to are the others who you train with every day, sometimes it's hard to see just how MUCH better you actually are becoming, since you are all progressing in your training.

            Plus, nobody will know how to counter your ground game better than the people you train with on a daily basis, but this is what makes us all better.

            Also, I just received my first stripe on my white belt tonight, and I have been training for over 7 months. I still get destroyed in my class on a nightly basis, and I expect the beatings to still come for the next 9+ years. This is what makes us better!


              Thanks for all the advice. I followed the links and figured out in a hurry that it's perfectly normal (if not expected) to be where I'm at so far. Overall it seems like sticking with it, relaxing, being safe, having fun and being okay with sucking for a while are the best ways to approach BJJ at the beginning. I've also been trying to absorb/memorize every little detail/name/variation of every little thing and have probably just been psyching myself out in the process. I'm sure I'll start figuring it all out soon enough if I just relax and stick with it. I have no intention of being in the (surprisingly) large percentage of people who quit right after getting started so I've at least got that going for me. Thanks again for all the great advice.


                My two cents, as a fellow new guy.

                The biggest thing is sticking with it even through the worst points. The learning process is going to be one big rollercoaster for you. There will be times when you are doing reasonably well, and you feel like things are starting to click. Then a day or a week or a month later, you will be at the bottom of the hills. You had no idea you were this stupid. You just aren't getting anything. Nothing is working any more. Why the hell do you even bother?

                If you can realize those low points for what they are and stick with it, your continued effort through blood, sweat, and maybe some tears will eventually pay off. Just do not give up.


                  BJJ is a tough art. I've been learning that this year, and I'm completely hooked.
                  I am at the point where I'm starting to do "well" for my experience level. I am landing subs and getting dominant positions on other white belts and starting to at least annoy the blues. Take it from me. I'm one of those slow-learner, no natural talent, please show me the move another 100 times so I can finally get it, got my ass kicked for months and months, no faith in my own ability kinda guys. That time will pass. After a few more months, some new guys will join your class and you will see how far you have come.

                  A good friend of mine is training in Germany, and he has been going for about 3 months and he asks me all the same things I was asking my teacher at that stage. 3 weeks, all you should be doing is having fun, asking questions, and listening to your coaches.

                  Good luck and train hard ( and safe ) !


                    Like others said, just stick with it. A couple of minor tips: Watch out for armbars (defensive note), and pay special attention when your instructor teaches you triangle chokes (offensive note).


                      My advice, which is the same as everyone else's advice: Keep Training.

                      Everyone's game is different, everyone advances at a different rate, the most important attribute to have a good ground game is commitment. Show up and your game will get better.

                      What also helps me is keeping a log of what I learned. Your results may vary, but I have found that having to visualize the technique as I write it down a day or two later helps me keep it in memory.
                      HTFU and join Bullshido on Fitocracy!


                        my two main goals are learning to breathe and controlling the hips.

                        But I'm restarting week 1 again. Beccause I suck at anyhting that requires strentgh and/or cardio.
                        Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil. - Machiavelli


                          I hate tall, lanky bastards. They can close their guards on me from across the room and, with any degree of skill, triangle me at will. Meanwhile, my short stumpy legs are incapable of even closing the guard on people heavier than myself, and triangles? Forget about it. Even in slow drilling with a large angle, I can’t get the clean figure-4.

                          In other words, you can develop a game that works well with your body type, whether you are short or tall.
                          [ | blog | essays ]
                          [ self defence: general thoughts | bjj: “don’t go to the ground”? ]
                          “The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data.”


                            It's good hearing from fellow noobs. It seems like setting small goals is the way to go. It's also reasurring hearing from smaller guys who hate rolling with lanky bastards like me for the reasons I had hoped. It was especially encouraging to hear from someone who isn't a "photographic-memory-show-me-once-and-I've-got-it" guy since I'm not one of guys either. Keeping notes sounds like a good idea too. I'll have to pay special attention when learning triangles and watch out for those arm bars.


                              step 1: drill

                              step 2: try what you drilled in your roll



                              Edit this module to specify a template to display.