Doe being tall give you an advantage when it comes to BJJ (Brazilian jiu-jitsu)?
Height does not matter as much as you might think. It is true, that some techniques are easier to perform if you have longer limbs. However, height is not a determining factor in BJJ. You will most likely be able to do all the techniques no matter how tall you are.
Let’s take a deeper look into how much height matters in BJJ and what techniques benefit the most from taller limbs.
Benefits of being tall when practicing BJJ
There are several benefits that come from being taller and practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
As mentioned above, one of those is that you have longer limbs, so some of the techniques can be a lot easier to perform correctly. Another benefit of having longer limbs is that you can apply more leverage. BJJ techniques are all about leverage.
What that means is basically you don’t have to apply a lot of force, since you use leverage with that force. The longer the lever, or in this case, your arms and legs, the more leverage you can apply when practiced correctly.
One downside of being taller in BJJ is that competitions are in weight classes. If you are taller, you will weigh more and will be matched up against heavier opponents.
For example, people with shorter limbs often find it harder to do guillotine and triangle chokes. Especially for opponents that are larger than them.
Even so, the techniques can almost every time be done, unless the size difference is too big. If you are shorter, it is important to focus on the right techniques. It might take a little bit more adjusting to get it right, but it almost certainly can be done.
You can also reach your opponent from a further distance with longer arms. This can be a significant benefit when your opponent can not grab you, and yet you can keep them away from you.
Benefits of being short when practicing BJJ
There are also benefits to being short when it comes to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
First of all, you will weigh less when you are shorter. This means you will be matched against lighter and smaller opponents in competitions. Second, being too tall can also be an issue when it comes to certain techniques.
With too long limbs, your chokes could be “too loose” if not done correctly. With shorter limbs, you don’t have to pull that tight, the choke will hold, as long as it’s done correctly.
Your height doesn’t really matter all that much. If children can practice BJJ, even if you were the same height as them, you should be good to go.
Does size matter in BJJ?
BJJ is probably one of those martial arts, where size matters the least. It is designed so, that smaller opponents can beat significantly larger opponents with the correct technique. Therefore, size is not such big of a factor, as it is in some other martial arts.
On the other hand, if you are bigger, you can tire your opponent by simply staying on top of them. I was a victim of this once, I was matched against a guy twice my size.
As a fresh white belt that I was back then, I completely tired myself trying to get out, even though I had no chance of getting out with my skills.
So in class, you can use your bigger size to your advantage. In competitions, a heavier weight will mean you get matched against heavier opponents.
In conclusion, having taller limbs can be an advantage when it comes to performing certain techniques in BJJ. For example, some chokes such as guillotine and triangle choke are easier to do, when you have longer limbs.
Also, it is much more difficult to sweep a taller opponent. Their weight is distributed to a larger area, making it sometimes close to impossible to sweep if they know what they are doing.
BJJ is probably the least height, weight, and size-dependent martial art out there. That is also where the effectiveness of BJJ lies. More about how effective BJJ is in this post.
Hopefully this was helpful, have a wonderful day.