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ShoriKid
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 14 Dec 2007
Posts: 897

Styles: Matsubyashi-Ryu, Okinawan Kempo, wrestling, bits of BJJ

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It all runs back to an ugly truth that too many people don't like to here in the martial arts. Size matters. Over coming larger opponents is possible with skill and smart tactics, but it's a lot more work and a lot riskier than most people understand.

A group of newly minted black belts asked how hard it was to beat someone with a strength advantage. My answer was that for every pound of muscle you give up, the level of skill you need to come out on top needs to go up by a greater factor. If you are facing someone unskilled, or of lesser skill that is your size, you should be in a pretty good situation. Start giving up pounds of muscle and the odds go against you very, very quickly.

I don't claim to be a ground wizard. I wrestled in highschool, and wasn't bad, but that's been years. I've trained with good ground people, watched every video, looked at every book I could get my hands on and rolled consistently for quite a while. We had a friend come in after ending his hitch with the military. A BJJ blue belt with some NAGA comp under his belt with about 45-50 lbs on me and he gave me absolute fits. He scored the first two take downs as I adjusted to his size difference and had me working to get to good position. Once I got used to not having to off my strength and focus just technique I did a lot better. Being physically strongest in the class I normally try to just work the technique without apply too much strength.

Point being that I was giving up size and what normally isn't that hard a grappling match for me became very difficult. I didn't feel over matched in skill, I was countering and moving well. But, just beating that weight and power was tough. There is, as I keep saying, a reason for weight divisions. In things like high school wrestling and grappling tourneys it's assumed that people in your brackets will have roughly the same skill levels. If you have roughly the same skill level size/weight is an advantage.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15065
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MMA_Jim wrote:
sensei8 wrote:

I'm sure you have trained with many who claim but can't produce any fruit, just as well as I have. Proof is on the floor! Consider my age? Consider it how? I'm 52. I was 7 when I started to learn Shindokan and I was just over 10 when I started to learn grappling when I earned my green belt.


A man has the capability to enhance his strength well into his 50's- what starts to severely diminish is his cardio and his recovery. Fighting isnt like the karate kid where the old wise man can tear a hole through the young spry athletic student. Again, still at 52 you have (and will continue) to be able to develop your strength to be moreso than someone half your age, but the same does not hold true for your endurance and recovery. As a result, an athletic guy with good cardio can become troublesome. (i.e. a young former wrestler)

Yes, I do see what your talking about. Excellent point! Those darn whippersnappers.


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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28300
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShoriKid is dead on. Weight classes are around for a reason. Sure, you can say "there aren't rules in the street," and that this can make a difference. Just remember, the other guy knows there are not any rules, as well.
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StrangeBacon
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 138
Location: England, UK
Styles: Shinkido-Tai Karate, Aikido, Kickboxing

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main thing seperating pro wrestlers with martial artists, is that wrestlers train mainly for showmanship, both men will help in a lift ect i can see where Sensei8 is coming from, by the same token i dont dispute the average MAist being "manhandled" but the OP mentioned 5th dan+ usually signifying a great deal of experience, and results will differ greatly depending on the type of training the MAist has undergone.

MMA_Jim, you have some very valid points, but the wall of muscles arguments will only hold sway over an inexperienced MAist, no matter how much muscle you have your joints will be hard pressed to take the pressure of someone striking them with full force.

It's not how much training you've had but the type like i said, wrestlers dont train with intent to harm whereas a self defence practitioner does just that and someone with Sensei8's experience isnt going to be a pushover for any man, its as much mental as it is physical, someone trained to defend themselves in potentially life threatening situations is a very dangerous opponant indeed.
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Jay
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 20 May 2005
Posts: 1190


PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
ShoriKid is dead on. Weight classes are around for a reason. Sure, you can say "there aren't rules in the street," and that this can make a difference. Just remember, the other guy knows there are not any rules, as well.


This is how I see it anyway. In most athletic endevours being bigger is an advantage. Anyone who is big and strong will be very hard to beat. As a smaller individual I know this well. If you look at the animal kingdom and how they fight there are imo two things that result in winning. Aggression and size. Most of the time the bigger one wins. Occassionally you see a super aggressive smaller animal and he can trump the bigger one. Old 'masters' say you should not really get angry but I mean if someone is really wanting to destroy someone else with no sense of his own safety he will usually acheive it. As humans of course we have superior knowledge and technique but this is only one variable, I don't consider having better technique to be guaranteed victory there are these other variables as well.

From what I have learned over the years. The bigger guys tend to be the best 'fighters' that would be if technical level were similar. Smaller guys tend to be better 'technicians' there is less room for error and not really any strength or size for compensation thats why technique has to be spot on.

In terms of the no rules on the street, sure everyone can do it bite kick gouge etc etc. The thing is by training these things you learn to think about them more and be more aware. Fighting is very fast with basically no thinking time plus your gonna be hopped up on adrenaline anyway. If you are aware and can defend and attack with them automatically then I think this can be an advantage. They may not be an end in themselves but could constitute towards your means.

At the end of the day non martial artists are very confusing and unpredicatable you don't know what the hell is gonna happen.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15065
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to some of the posts here; size matters. Therefore, those of smaller sizes need to give up for one reason or another. Well, that's how I'm preceiving it.

Interesting!

Define size. Are we talking about "total size"; height and/or weight and/or muscle? Size matters, but only in varying degrees. Personally, size means nothing to me.

It's more about knowledge and skill than it's about size. I consider myself pretty good, and in that, it's not that I'm good; it's just that my opponent doesn't know anything.


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brickshooter
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 04 Sep 2010
Posts: 443


PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO, the 10th degree grandmasters and the like are equivalent to expert trainers. They have a great degree of knowledge. But they're generally old. Most are out of shape. Their skill level won't enough to compensate for their physical inferiority versus a professional WWF guy, some of which are ex-collegiant wrestlers.

On the other hand, the 5th degree guys in their mid-30s are probably the cream of the crop when it comes to fighting. Machida... GSP and will likely dominate the WWF guys of equivalent weight.

BTW, to make the transition to real fighting, the WWF guys must have had incredible collegiant wrestling experience. Those who are pure weight lifters learning a couple of WWF moves to get in the ring will get ownz. Not all (few) WWF guys are actually ex-wrestlers.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6276
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
According to some of the posts here; size matters. Therefore, those of smaller sizes need to give up for one reason or another. Well, that's how I'm preceiving it.

Interesting!

Define size. Are we talking about "total size"; height and/or weight and/or muscle? Size matters, but only in varying degrees. Personally, size means nothing to me.

It's more about knowledge and skill than it's about size. I consider myself pretty good, and in that, it's not that I'm good; it's just that my opponent doesn't know anything.


I don't think people are saying that the smaller guys should give up and go home, more that because of their physical disadvantage they have to make up for it with better technique. Laws of nature mean that the bigger and stronger one will win... that is unless the smaller one can outsmart them in some way. Survival of the fittest.

I think you're spot on saying knowledge and skill are a big factor. But the bigger the size difference, the more skill, knowledge and craftiness the smaller guy will need to win. You can overcome a 50lb weight separation with a bit of training but to overcome a 100lb weight difference you'll need a lot more knowledge and skill. Make a mistake with the +100lb guy and you'll feel it.

Biggest is not always better anyway. I'm at the top of the TKD weight classes so because I'm the biggest I should be the best right? Actually in the open weight fights I have a lot of trouble with the middleweights or just under middleweight. Have enough mass to hit hard enough and the advantage of being faster.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15065
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
I don't think people are saying that the smaller guys should give up and go home, more that because of their physical disadvantage they have to make up for it with better technique. Laws of nature mean that the bigger and stronger one will win... that is unless the smaller one can outsmart them in some way. Survival of the fittest.

Isn't that what the martial arts is suppose to teach...survival of the fittest?! This should apply to each and every person whether their size. Nothing is guaranteed!

DWx wrote:
I think you're spot on saying knowledge and skill are a big factor. But the bigger the size difference, the more skill, knowledge and craftiness the smaller guy will need to win. You can overcome a 50lb weight separation with a bit of training but to overcome a 100lb weight difference you'll need a lot more knowledge and skill. Make a mistake with the +100lb guy and you'll feel it.

Good point! In that, I concur!


DWx wrote:
Biggest is not always better anyway. I'm at the top of the TKD weight classes so because I'm the biggest I should be the best right? Actually in the open weight fights I have a lot of trouble with the middleweights or just under middleweight. Have enough mass to hit hard enough and the advantage of being faster.

Again, solid points that I concur with. A smaller person with decent skills can keep up with a bigger person with no skills. But a smaller person with decent skills cannot keep up with a bigger person with likewise decent skills. But a smaller person with good skills can keep up with a bigger person with decent skills. But a smaller person with good skills cannot keep up with a bigger person with good skills.

Martial arts knowledge and skills is an equalizer to size and all, but it can only take someone so far before a mistake is capitalized upon. After that, one better come up with something effective fast!

Danielle; you've offered up some very nice arguements across the board!


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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28300
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see some great discussion points coming up here, so I want to put my thoughts in on them. This discussion is getting good, too!

Jay wrote:
bushido_man96 wrote:
ShoriKid is dead on. Weight classes are around for a reason. Sure, you can say "there aren't rules in the street," and that this can make a difference. Just remember, the other guy knows there are not any rules, as well.


This is how I see it anyway. In most athletic endevours being bigger is an advantage. Anyone who is big and strong will be very hard to beat. As a smaller individual I know this well. If you look at the animal kingdom and how they fight there are imo two things that result in winning. Aggression and size. Most of the time the bigger one wins. Occassionally you see a super aggressive smaller animal and he can trump the bigger one.


I agree to an extent here. Its tough to liken the human race to the rest of the animal kingdom, though. Humans experience things such as compassion and reason, which both can work to an advantage in a fight. I will concede that aggression levels can play a role in fighting, both advantageous and disadvantageous.

Jay wrote:
Old 'masters' say you should not really get angry but I mean if someone is really wanting to destroy someone else with no sense of his own safety he will usually acheive it. As humans of course we have superior knowledge and technique but this is only one variable, I don't consider having better technique to be guaranteed victory there are these other variables as well.


I also agree that using aggression can be good for a fight. I also agree that there are no guarantees.

Jay wrote:
From what I have learned over the years. The bigger guys tend to be the best 'fighters' that would be if technical level were similar. Smaller guys tend to be better 'technicians' there is less room for error and not really any strength or size for compensation thats why technique has to be spot on.


I don't agree that the smaller guys always tend to be the better technicians. Big guys can be just as good with it. I think the misconception here comes in because the lighter wieght fights tend to be faster paced at times, and so they get dubbed as "technicians."

Jay wrote:
In terms of the no rules on the street, sure everyone can do it bite kick gouge etc etc. The thing is by training these things you learn to think about them more and be more aware. Fighting is very fast with basically no thinking time plus your gonna be hopped up on adrenaline anyway. If you are aware and can defend and attack with them automatically then I think this can be an advantage. They may not be an end in themselves but could constitute towards your means.


I'll go with that.

Jay wrote:
At the end of the day non martial artists are very confusing and unpredicatable you don't know what the hell is gonna happen.


I agree here. I can remember when just teaching newer students to spar, they would throw things in such unorthodox ways that I thought I had a block on, but it would get through somehow. Its always fun to be exposed to.

sensei8 wrote:
According to some of the posts here; size matters. Therefore, those of smaller sizes need to give up for one reason or another. Well, that's how I'm preceiving it.


No, I don't think that is what is being said here. Size isn't the only thing that matters, but it is one of many factors that must be taken into consideration in the totality of the circumstances of a fight that may take place.

sensei8 wrote:
Define size. Are we talking about "total size"; height and/or weight and/or muscle? Size matters, but only in varying degrees. Personally, size means nothing to me.


There are many ways size can be a factor. Take the big WWE Wrestlers, like we have discussed. Their MA knowledge may be limited, but you will know they will be great athletes in great shape. Now, take a different type of size; the Sumo Wrestler. Not likely as great a "pure" athlete as a Pro Wrestler, but still athletic, and a very legitimate Martial Artist. You have to account for the size in a different manner.

sensei8 wrote:
It's more about knowledge and skill than it's about size. I consider myself pretty good, and in that, it's not that I'm good; it's just that my opponent doesn't know anything.


Now, with this statement, you are saying the complete opposite of the what has been said before ("size matters") with a different subject, and still end at the same conclusion you made previously ("According to some of the posts here; knowledge matters. Therefore, those of less knowledge need to give up for one reason or another.")

As you can see, I replaced your words with from the original quote with other of your words from the same post, but I hope my point comes across. Basically, it ends up that those who don't know as much as one who is experienced like that, then they should just give up. But, we all know that isn't the case.

In the end, size, strength, speed, knowledge, technique, aggression, fighting ability, experience in fighting, etc, all end up being traits and characteristics that have to be taken in the totality of circumstances when it comes time to fight. One doesn't matter. They all matter.

Good topic!
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