Your Weight

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Here’s a simple principle that will help you become more dangerous on the mat:​

Force your opponent to carry your weight as much as possible.​

The most straightforward example I can give you is the “tiptoe” concept I wrote about previously. When you take the headquarters position, stand on your toes so you can lean against your opponent’s thigh. This will help you shift your body weight forward, and as a consequence, your opponent will have to carry your weight much more than when you are simply standing on your feet.​

In standing situations, you can (and should) use your weight in hand fighting/grip fighting and when you execute a takedown. Watch this video of David Taylor performing his signature ankle pick, for example. Here, Taylor uses his “bicep curl” arm to hang on to his partner’s head. When Taylor changes his level, his partner’s head has to carry Taylor’s weight, but no normal person can bear such a weight. If you just try to break your opponent’s posture with your arm strength, that may not work (a common mistake Taylor mentions in the video).​

Using your weight from your guard position might be trickier to understand than in other situations, but yes, to make your guard more effective, you need to keep this principle in mind when you play the guard, too. For example, when you play the spider guard, you don’t just place your foot on your opponent’s bicep, but you want to pull your opponent in with your grip and make your leg heavy so your opponent will have to deal with your weight.​

No matter what the situation is, the more your opponent has to carry your weight, the harder it will be for them to keep up with your weight the whole time. And that’s exactly what you want in order to break their will and stamina.​

Again, force your opponent to carry your weight as much as possible. Keep this in mind the next time you roll.