Through your journey in BJJ, there is little doubt you will come across opponents that are bigger and stronger than you are. No matter if you are big and athletic, there is always someone that is bigger, more athletic and way stronger. And for the smaller practitioners and women, it is generally the case that you are rolling against larger and stronger guys.
In order to succeed against bigger stronger opponents, you need to know how to roll with them and more importantly, which techniques will work, and which techniques won’t. And it is not as simple as just using particular submissions as just about every sub needs to be modified when grappling against a larger and more athletic opponent.
This is where Dan Faggella comes in. And this time it’s with a new book, specifically designed for smaller practitioners to topple bigger guys. As we all know, Faggella weighs in at less than 130 pounds and has made a name for himself by doing well in the absolute divisions of tournaments, as well as his instructional DVDs with techniques for smaller men.
And as Joe Rogan said “If you want to learn technique…learn Jiu Jitsu. Learn from a light guy. Learn from a guy who had to struggle and really learn how to do it correctly”.
In this book, Dan pretty much lays out a perfect game plan for any smaller practitioner, as well as an in depth look at the psychological makeup of a successful smaller practitioner in matches with a larger competitor. So read on and find out what this course offers you especially for the tiny price tag of under $10.
If you came to this page to find the book, head over to BJJ Techniques to Defeat Bigger & Stronger Opponents
If You Want To Improve Your Technique, Learn From A Small Man
This book is extremely well put together, and it is obvious that a lot of time and effort was put into the making of this book which is essentially a course/program format. But it is no surprise as it’s the guys behind BJJ Video Vault that published the book.
The techniques are presented in a sequential manner, making them easily absorbed and applicable with an extra emphasis on practicality for smaller practitioners. There are hundreds of photos that make learning techniques a whole lot easier and clearer (e.g. filling in any blanks or question marks that may have been in the reader’s mind through pictures).
And of course, the philosophy and concepts that sit behind the escapes, sweeps, passes and submissions are well articulated too.
Who is Dan Faggella?
Dan Faggella is a well-known Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor and BJJ academy owner focusing specifically on techniques that are useful for smaller sized practitioners. He is a Pan-American Champion at 130 pounds as well as a writer and self-proclaimed “Jiu-Jitsu nerd”. Dan has made a name for himself as being a successful absolute division competitor while giving away tens of pounds against the big boys in those divisions. Take a look at the video below to see him take on and tap a 240 pound man!
This book is in a perfect format for the average Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and is made so that it can be used repeatedly. The step by step formatting is perfect for teaching yourself techniques either after a class to supplement your professor’s curriculum, or to be used to get an extra perspective on this wonderful art and sport through the eyes of a successful practitioner that could be extremely different from your own.
Dan breaks this book down into many sections with sub levels of techniques for each; which includes: Grappling Smarter Against Bigger and Stronger Opponents, Escapes Against Bigger Opponents, Sweeping Bigger Opponents, Submitting Bigger Guys, Passing the Guard of Bigger Guys, and a Bonus Chapter!
- Grappling Smarter Against Bigger and Stronger Opponents – This chapter goes into details about do’s and don’ts against larger and stronger opponents including an overview of techniques that are often times successful against larger opponents. Also included is an analysis of small man Jiu-Jitsu, a technique analysis, and the proper mentality and mindset to help make smaller practitioners more successful.
- Escapes Against Bigger and Stronger Opponents – Escapes are some of the most important techniques when it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and more importantly for a smaller practitioner. The big areas of escapes emphasized are; escaping the mount position, escaping side control, and escaping guard positions. The in depth analysis Dan provides in this escapes chapter comes from years and years of being smashed and put on his back in training in his formative and earlier years.
- Sweeping Bigger and Stronger Opponents – Sweeping a larger opponent is difficult enough for a medium sized man, let alone someone that is much smaller. So to be successful, this means you must have impeccable sweeping techniques and this is an area that Dan really specializes in. In this chapter you will find; an analysis of the philosophy and concept of sweeping, techniques during the sweep and transition phase, sweeps from open and seated guard, and finally sweeps from the closed guard.
- Submitting and Tapping Bigger Guys – The ability to finish the fight is essential and this is true from a self defense perspective as well as for sport Jiu Jitsu. Difficulty is submitting larger guys are something that smaller practitioners is common place as many subs simply won’t work when your opponent has a huge size and strength advantage. However, Dan knows all about finishing bigger men as seen by his 12 second submission in the 3rd medal match of a NAGA absolute division tournament and this shines through in the book. In this chapter you will find; the philosophy and concept of submitting a larger opponent, small target submissions, difficult submissions for small men, and lower body attacks.
- Passing the Guard of Bigger and Stronger Opponents – The top position is rarely a position found when a smaller practitioner takes on a larger and stronger opponents. However, when a smaller practitioner does successfully sweep a larger practitioner, in order to maintain the top position and finish the fight, specific concepts and techniques are to me used. Many of these need to be modified for small man Jiu Jitsu. So in this chapter you will find; philosophy and concepts for guard passing, open guard passes, and passing the half guard, closed guard, and other lock orientations.
If there is one thing that is universal to all practitioners, large and small, it’s mental strength and the ability to be psychologically strong “in battle”. In this book, Dan breaks down the psychological game into three key areas including being aggressive, hunting for small target submissions, and staying one step ahead technically. This in itself is worth the price of admission as having the right mindset is half the battle.
Who Should Read This?
I would recommend this book to lower belts and of course, if you are a smaller statured practitioner. However, I feel that all practitioners will benefit from this book as many of the techniques are universal. But for the smaller sized practitioner, the ability to escape the dominant positions that larger opponents impose (e.g. regain guard) is something that needs to be truly mastered if you want to have a successful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game. When you couple this with understanding and having subs that can finish stronger opponent’s make this book a gold mine for anyone that is either medium size or smaller.
With that being said, anyone who picks up a copy of this book will probably learn something new. It is extremely important to learn from smaller men and women, as their technique is always extremely precise. If a larger, or even average sized practitioner can incorporate some of these movements into their game, their game will grow leaps and bounds.
And for larger practitioners, this book provides a great perspective for rolling with more advanced and skilled small men because it’s almost like stealing the other team’s playbook.
To read customer reviews of this book, go to Amazon at Customer Reviews for BJJ Techniques to Defeat Bigger & Stronger Opponents
In closing, I have no doubt that there are lots of great things to be learned from Dan Faggella. His study background as a Psychology major and a smaller practitioner is invaluable when it comes to the technical side of the art, regardless of size. What Dan has learned from years of being man handled by bigger and stronger opponents has been woven into the fabric of this book. These are lessons that will benefit any practitioner’s journey when it comes to Jiu Jitsu.
So like any other book out there are pros and some cons, but I would definitely recommend this book to all who practice this great art. And for under $10, it’s a steal. I do not know of any other book or product that offers the same amount of value for under $10. The book is over 230 pages and filled with hundreds of photos as well and that alone gives you the value for money proposition. And lastly, because it’s available on Amazon Kindle in electronic format, you can bring it along with you everywhere you go. At home, on the train, to class, it doesn’t matter.
So why not check it out. And if you do, let me know how you go with it. To buy a copy click on the banner below.
Review by Josh Leduc