How To Tire An Opponent Out

In my previous article for the Jiu-jitsu Times we looked at some of the factors that fatigue a fighter.

Today let’s look at some strategies BJJ guys can use to tire their opponents out.

1) Push the pace.

Now you are going to need to have your own cardio house in order to use this. But if you are confident in your endurance, you can set the pace of the match and see if your opponent can match it.

Before tournaments, my first BJJ instructor would put the students through hellish conditioning workouts. He said in no uncertain terms, “I don’t want to see any of the students lose because they got tired!”

Although no one would say they enjoyed those punishing warm-ups, in the majority of the matches the competitors from other teams fatigued first. This was a huge factor at the end of the day.

2) Make them carry your weight.

I attended a seminar with Roy Harris where he related a story about how he would roll with seminar participants at the end of the day. Harris said that he would have to conserve his energy, as he would roll with more than 20 people.

I asked Harris how he dealt with young, fresh opponents who had spent many hours in the weight room. Harris demonstrated his suffocating side control. His nickname was ‘The Boa Constrictor’ and after being under his side control I can attest the name is well deserved! Harris said that he would secure his side control and apply his weight to the opponent, allowing them to struggle and waste their energy.

Here’s a tip: when you feel your opponent pushing and grunting from the bottom, apply your weight and watch their battery drain.

3) Make the opponent move.

My head instructor at Gracie Barra used to pass my guard and move side to side using knee on the belly. My gas tank would drop faster than membership in the Colin Kaepernick fan club. After repeatedly bridging and having to turn to face him, my movements would slow and my defense would start to crumble.

I use the same tactic when I hear the labored breathing of my opponent. Push on the gas and make them move! When their gas tank is already low, not allowing them to rest and regain their breath will push them deep into the red zone.

Observe the movement of the incredible Mendes brothers in guard passing and transitioning from one side to the opponent’s back. You better believe that exhausts the bottom player!

Do you have any tricks to gas out your opponent?


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