It is always fun to see small people take on large ones in BJJ, as well as BJJ folks trying to deal with wrestlers. Well, here is an example of a small, 55 years old BJJ black belt taking on a young and athletic wrestler who is also a Marine. This is a sparring match with no bad blood and plenty of lessons to learn.
The people involved in this “match” are “Big Joe” a 250 lb experienced wrestler, blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Marine and can deadlift 617 lb. He has also beaten black belts in competitions. On the other side is a 175 lb. 55 years old BJJ black belt, with most of the ligaments in his left knee gone.
The No-GI bout is set for 5 minutes, and all submission holds are legal.
In the first minute, the old BJJ black belt checks the distance and does the smart thing sitting to guard. However, he does not retain seated guard long, with the athletic wrestler able to pass quickly and get side control. He pops up to knee on belly position as well, amounting to 5 points for the pas and knee on belly.
He doesn’t manage to stay there long and drops back to side control to block the black belt’s guard recovery The wrestler switches sides as the black belt turn into him and try to throw a leg over for mount. This is where the old BJJ black belt gets the chance to recover guard by getting a butterfly hook in.
The black belt forces half guard from there, establishing a shoulder grip from butterfly half-guard that quickly leads into a sweep. The black belt attempts to get straight to mount but fails, ending up in the wrestler’s knee shield half guard instead. After a bit of back and forth, the blackbelt attempts a weave pass once his arm is in place.
At this point, the wrestler on the bottom is moving without any real purpose, as the black belt on top is slowly putting him under pressure. A couple of recovery attempts toward full/open guard are easily blocked by the OG. This fidgeting opens up and undertook, position for the black belt on top, and leads to a crossface from top half guard.
A half guard battle follows, with the wrestler now flattened out on the mats. He tries to hug the far shoulder but is forced back to underhook and crossface control. The old BJJ black belt tries and fails several times to pry open the wrestler’s powerful thighs. He opts for a hip rewind instead, getting a knee slice pass in the process, which gets him equal on points (2 for the sweep, 3 for the pass).
In the final minute, there are several framing attempts by the now seemingly exhausted wrestler, and massive bridge escape attempts which are easily blocked by the black belt by sprawling. This is how the match ends, in a tie of 5 points each.
Needless movement, even with power and athleticism on its side, is almost always going to lose out to methodical patience and a calm approach. Even when in a bad spot early on, the old black belt does not panic. He does not give any more points away and manages to turn the tide.
The best example is the side control position which both athletes had at one point . The wrestler was moving around trying to force things from the top, while the old BJJ black belt stayed calm and placed more and more pressure when he was on top, tiring the wrestler out.