View Full Version : Does size matter?

02-17-2000, 10:50 PM
IMHO when it comes down to brass tax size matters.

No matter what kind of training you have it is all in the attributes. Bigger, taller, and stonger guys have the advantage over smaller faster guys.

I am not saying bigger will always win but size defintely gives you an advantage no matter if you like to hit or grapple.

I do not believe that a magical Martial Art can empower a smaller person to defeat a bigger person. In fact, that belief can cause more damage than good. A martial art can give a smaller person a better chance than without training. A bigger person with training, however can quickly use there size to their advantage and avoid where it can be a disadvantage.

A small person has the difficult task of exploiting openings left by a bigger person. It is even harder to create an opening especially if your opponents are trained.

If this were not true there would not be weapons. Weapons are the great equalizer.

So smaller guys... carry a knife! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

02-18-2000, 08:15 AM

I'm about 5 and a half feet tall and weigh about 135lbs. I was picked on a lot in school and eventually learned that sticking up for myself was a sure way to get hurt. As an adult I've found it much easier to avoid those unpleasant encounters than it was in high school but they still arise. I'm much more likely to leave a potential conflict and be mad about it later, but it can be hard on the old self-esteem not to stand up for myself.

One of the best part of taking martial arts is that is has given me more confidence but also helped me to see the foly of playing into macho ****ing contests. I have been under the impression, however, that if I needed to I could defend myself physically. The more I read in this part of the forum, the less confidence I have in that. I know that having a smaller stature is a disadvantage, but I always believed that it could be overcome.

Are you suggesting that a smaller guy will always lose if the skill is equal, or are you saying that the smaller guy will always lose period unless he is fighting an idiot or gets lucky? I know there is a lot to be gained by studying MA besides fighting but if defending myself with it is not realistic, I feel like I've been lied to. I don't have any plans to enter the UFC but I don't feel like I should have to carry a knife or gun to be safe from garden variety bullies either.

I'm not saying I agree with your point of view, but I've never had to physically defend myself since I started taking martial arts (about five years ago) so I can't absolutely say your wrong. I DO want to be sure I understand what you are saying however. Of course I am curious what others have to say. Is everybody who posts here a big guy?

Tiger (hopefully not in name only)

If you want to be great, you have to stop wanting and simply be.

02-19-2000, 06:23 AM
I'm on the small side--5'7", 150 lbs. I guess my take on this is that, not considering skill level, there are certain physical attributes that are undeniable advantages--they are :height/reach, strength, speed, agility, and coordination. Clearly, the more of these you posess, the better. But, very few people have all of these in spades(---well, if you're a hockey fan, Eric Lindros does /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif) I'm not sure you could definitely say that simply being big, without taking into account other factors, is a definite advantage. Would you say that Magic Johnson or Patrick Ewing, or, say a Sumo wrestler would be better equipped to be a fighter than Mike Tyson? But I agree a fast, coordinated, strong big guy is going to have a clear advantage over a fast, coordinated, small guy.
Can martial skill overcome this? I think it can, but the greater the physical differential, the greater the small guy's skill level would have to be.

02-19-2000, 09:42 AM
Having sheer muscular strength is always going to be an advantage. Having sheer muscular speed is always going to be an advantage. This is obvious.

Size, however, does not equate to these things.

If two completely unskilled fighters go up against one another, the larger of the two is likely to win.

But as you learn more, you start to understand that there are nearly an infinite number of things you can do in a fight.

Some of these things will give an advantage to smaller size.

Shorter people have a lower center of gravity. Having less maximum reach also means having less minimum reach - a five foot tall man can still elbow at a range where a six and a half footer can't.

Most people who train to be large or are genetically large do not understand proper training principles and will be both slow and inflexible.

No matter what your size is, you should think of it as a challenge. Not because it worse than your opponent's, but only because it is different.


02-20-2000, 12:55 AM
After reading through all of the posts (including my own) again I think I may have misunderstood what Blur was saying.

I think what he is saying is that greater size is an advantage. Martial arts are not magic and thus cannot neutralize this advantage. A skilled martial artist of smaller stature will have his/her own advantage, but it in itself may not be enough to win.

I don't think anybody would dispute the fact that being larger is an advantage, but I wouldn't say that it is to the exclusion of other advantages. Certainly if a person is bigger, stronger, faster, and more determined, the advantages are likely to be overwhelming. Blur does NOT say that it is IMPOSSIBLE for the smaller person to win but he doesn't seem to have any confidence in that outcome however. Of course the outcome is always comes down to circumstances beyond simple size vs. training in a real fight so it's hard to calim in the end that size was the determining factor.

I will say one thing though. I'm not that big, but I'm hardly the smallest person in the world. Plenty of smaller women that I know could kick my ass if I decided I wanted to attack them on the street, because they really know what they are doing (and they don't need a weapon to do it). Sure I could get lucky, but I wouldn't want to find out.

Just my $.02 (I guess I'm up to $.04 now)

If you want to be great, you have to stop wanting and simply be.

[This message has been edited by Tiger (edited 02-20-2000).]

02-20-2000, 01:34 AM
hmmm. I got to go with the size matters opinion on this one. I'm 6'1" and fairly big, though it isn't all muscle! Although some techniques are easier for smaller, shorter people in general being bigger means you can hit harder for your level of skill, you have more reach, and your bones and muscles are thicker so you can stand more of an impact without being seriously hurt. I vividly remember working out with a 7' footer in class a few times before he quit and I couldn't even reach his body when he held me with his arms extended. Plus, even though he was skinny looking his arms and wrists were very thick compared to mine and that much harder to move or damage.

IMHO it's also the short guys you got to look out for. They are the ones with something to prove and because they are insecure they are more vicious and more likely to pull a weapon. That's one of the benies of MA training, people usually have much less of a need to prove something in general, although there are jerks everywhere.

Training and skill can make a big difference and equalize some or all of the size difference, but think about fighting a brown bear (800-1200 lbs) or an elephant without a weapon. Size matters baby.

02-20-2000, 07:16 AM
Blur, read the article on San-Jitsu in Black Belt magazine's march 2000 issue. Just being genetically bigger than your opponent doesn't necessarily mean you will win. Properly executed TECHNIQUE by the smaller opponent will overcome sheer strength any day. You just have to alter your fighting style and mentality when fighting a larger, more powerful opponent.

02-20-2000, 07:28 AM
I have to that size does matter greatly in sport, but as for real life, it doesn't really. As for being 6 foot and bigger bones and muscles, I'm only 5'5 1/2 feet and my bones and muscle structure are thicker than most people I know except for the pro body builders in my gym. I've run up against Tongans (largest people in the world) way bigger than me and other guys shorter than me and it's been as hard a fight with both.

I've seen a 6 foot + Samoan gets knocked out by a 5'9 guy in the middle of a rugby match with one hit.

Big or small, if you suck at fighting, then your gonna get beat down.


02-20-2000, 09:57 AM
I'm about average. 5'10" 165.

I can see both physiological and psychologial advantages for being bigger.

02-20-2000, 09:55 PM
I agree that size can be a bonus. It can also mean nothing. If you fight similar to a larger opponent, chances are you will loose. Here is where size matters. If you fight intelligently against a larger opponent, then size differential can be minimized or neutralized.

When I sparred against larger opponents, I needed to hurt them to get my 'point' across. In other words, I packed a little more wallop than I normally would use in-kwoon or I would execute a technique to a location where size has a limited bearing. If I didn't, it became quickly obvious that the larger guy would steam roll over me or otherwise have their way. This also helped confirm that I had the stops against a larger opponent. After all, that's what we're practising for when we spar. If you can not neutralize your opponent within the first encounter, especially against a larger opponent, the gigs up and you need to re-evaluate your training practises, or stop point fighting!

Realising ahead of time what you need to do will increase the odds of minimizing an opponent's size advantage. You have practised this scenario in-kwoon and realise that as a smaller person, trading blows or targeting the head might be unwise choices- thicker cranium -or that you need to offset their movement by employing more lateral movements. Whatever. Having a strategy and some experience will bolster your commitment level when and if the time ever arises.

With a larger opponent, I know I must lay the hurt down quick, and that means using more specialized strikes, lest one of their sledgehammers connects. Here, size matters naturally. If you haven't thought and practised about fighting larger opponents, then your five years of training haven't been a waste, just incomplete.

Size does matter, but it matters in a way that effects how you will fight, not necessarily if you will win or not. The larger they are the bigger the hurt you need. Simple rule to train by. If you look at size in any other fashion, then you will be beat before you even began. Look at women, they are against larger and stronger opponent's most of the time. Having increased skill can help offset, but it is how you employ that skill, and that gets down to thought and intelligence..not brute strength.

02-22-2000, 04:53 AM
If size ain't an advantage why do you gotta lay down the hurt quick??????


size matters baby no matter what your girlfriend told you /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

02-22-2000, 07:58 AM
You raised some interesting questions. Size is something to be taken into consideration when facing an opponent. My old Savate instructor used to tell me "there are three ways to win a fight-superior conditioning, superior agression, or superior technique. The person who has a little of all will always win."

There are numerous examples out there of where the "little guy" has come out on top. I'm sure there are mixed feelings from the members on this forum about the Ultimate Fighting Championship and I will gladly disscuss those in another post if the situation warrants. But for right now i will use a few examples to illustrate my point. I know that the UFC does not represent a real streetfight or bar brawl, but it is far more close to the real thing than any PKA tourney or strip-mall dojo sparring match.

THere have been numerous fights in the UFC where a smaller opponent has beaten a larger one. To begin with, there was the one that started it all Dan Severns vs. Royce Gracie. Gracie was outweighed and almost half as small as Severns, but won the grueling match anyway.

Then there was UFC 7 where the Brazilian Marco Ruas defeated the behemoth Paul "Polar Bear" Varelans. Ruas had no trouble in cutting down the larger Varelans to win the UFC 7 belt. He did so without even having to go to the mat once as was so common in the earlier UFC events.

Then there was Mark "The Hammer" Coleman vs. Maurice Smith(UFC XV or XVI). Coleman was a ripped, muscleman, and Smith-a smaller, less built boxer-kickboxer. Coleman could not keep Smith on the mat to head-butt him to death as he had so successfully done with previous opponents. and after a while, the sheer weight of his massive arms forced him to drop his gaurd allowing Smith to pummel his face with kicks and punches. These are but a few examples which I think best illustrate a well rounded fighter turning what some would percieve as a handicap into an opportunity.

02-22-2000, 08:11 AM
Size matters, but so does stamina, speed, intelligence, and skill levels. Train to take advantage of the attributes you do have and don't worry about the attributes you don't have I think is the best advice to follow. Train, train, train to take advantage of your strong points.-ED

02-22-2000, 07:30 PM
Well, since you asked.

The reason why I decided to put the hurt on quick for larger sparring partners was because it dawned on me that I wasn’t getting much out of the exercise if when I executed my strikes, the big guy just kept walking in. So, it wasn’t so much that size mattered, but that neither one of us was receiving good training. He might have just as well worked on the bag if that was how I would have let things transpire. It forced him to become aware and exercise more technique and skill, instead of hunkering in on the good ship lollipop that was his size. In my opinion, it was sparring with intelligence, but..you might see it differently.

And, I do believe size matters for those who do not train or incorporate it into their routine intelligently. If you do train for it, then size does not matter as much or at all, as it simply gets to having a ‘person’ to dispatch, not a large nor small nor medium sized body.

Oh, heh heh..it wasn’t my girlfriend, neither. My Momma told me! She didn’t raise no fool.


03-15-2000, 02:22 PM
Sure, being bigger gives you (mostly) the advantage of more strenght, being able to receive more punches.
But being smaller has the advantage of being quicker. Because the weight is less, you can move quicker.
But martial arts is not just about strength and speed, it also includes techniques, being creative and able to improve etc...
So one can say nothing about a fight between a larger and a smaller person just by looking at their sizes.

03-15-2000, 11:56 PM
Being small does not automatically mean being fast.
The big guy has more mass to move but he has (potentially) more muscle to move it with.
Speed depends on allot of factors, size not really being one of the major ones.

03-21-2000, 01:04 PM
Two guys, equal skill and similar style, one is 5'5 145lbs, the other is 6'0 190lbs. There is a VERY good chance that the little guy is going to lose. However, if the big one is less skilled the smaller guy could then have the advantage.

Wong Fei Hong
03-21-2000, 01:48 PM
To tell you the truth the benefits of size are just psychological effects, at the end of the day.
Obviously if you take two untrained people the little guy will be scared of this big mother and he will be instantly demoralised. Other than that when two people are equally trained it doent make a difference. Being able to bench press 100 odd kilos does not mean being able to punch with that power, On the contrary larger people are usually very stiff from the weight lifting and the power does not flow. Strength is different from power.
Personally from my experience I am small compared to most people and i used to find it harder to spar with larger people only because their limbs where heavier but they were slow so this was easily overcome.

Eyes Like Lightning
Fists Like Meteors

Kung Lek
03-22-2000, 03:15 AM

It can be said that you need the right tool for the right job.
I would not hammer a nail with a wrench and I wouldn't turn a screw with a hammer.

A bigger fighter can be easier to defeat than and equal size or smaller opponent if one knows what and where to strike.

A strike to the chest on a smaller opponent will have more effect on a smaller opponent than a larger opponent clearly.

So the techniques to use against a larger opponent are different.

Keeping a large framed fighter moving will tire him.
Striking quickly to low areas (knees, ankles, groin) will equalize the situation quickly.
Increased force application to large muscled areas will work.

If a martial artist has really learned the principles of his art then he should be able to deal with any opponent of any size.
If ones skill is not complete and the understanding of body mechanics and ones own body type is not complete, then that is the only time when size and brute force will make a difference.

In Shaolin Kung Fu there is a lesson that goes beyond the words that state it and the lesson is:

"It takes 4 ounces to deflect 1000 pounds"

With proper practice and correct training there is no need to fear an altercation with someone because of their size.

Another lesson comes from american boxing,

"The bigger they are, the harder they fall"
This can also be true provided your training is complete and YOU understand YOURSELF.

clearly I am of the opinion that size has nothing to do with the outcome of a situation.


Kung Lek

03-23-2000, 06:52 PM
I never really thought about what it was like for the smaller guys( I'm 6'2" and about 230 lbs), I've sparred with smaller guys, a few heavier guys, but not to many bigger then me.
Until I had to spar with a guy who stood 6'6". I found it very awkward and frustrating. None of my usual techniques seemed to work very well, or felt weird. It seemed very strange to have to strike upwards rather than straight ahead or down. I earned a greater respect for all of the smaller opponents that I have sparred with over the years.(Especially the ones who kicked my butt..lol)


03-26-2000, 10:09 PM
"The bigger they are the harder they fall"
Yeah, right.
And the bigger they are the harder they hit too.

03-28-2000, 08:04 PM
Wong fei hong,

you're kidding yourself if you think size doesn't matter. It would be great if it weren't that way, but it is. we're talking about two EQUALLY skilled opponents. if you think size won't play into that equation then you're really living in a dream land.

Tiny Dragon
04-20-2000, 11:52 AM
I can see where all you large built guys are coming from, but as a female in martial arts I'd have to say there is no doubt that size, and for that matter strength does play an important factor in a match. It's harder to get in, harder to get out, and harder to block the attacks. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

04-20-2000, 05:40 PM
I'm so used to fighting bigger guys that when I'm confronted with a small quick guy who's built just like me, I don't know what to do!

It's unnerving for a little guy like me to become target practice for another little guy - I feel slow and stupid!

04-22-2000, 09:48 AM
All things being equal, and when was the last time that happened , the bigger man has the potential of hitting harder and taking more punishment. Whats funny is when I was younger and smaller I thought it never made any dif, and now that Im older and bigger and hopefully better trained Im not so sure

[This message has been edited by INFINOO (edited 04-23-2000).]

04-22-2000, 10:33 PM
Has anyone ever thought of the reason why there are so many different kinds of Kung Fu and MA?

It's because they are for different body types and temperaments of people, different people are more suited to different arts. Being big and strong is a great advantage of, say, kyokushin karate, but I have never seen pictures of grandmaster wing chunners who are 6'3, 225lbs pure muscle. Just small, quick guys. If you are 7 feet tall, and built to match, you will be crap at wing chun, without incredible amounts of practice, because your infighting range, will be everyone else long range, so few if any trapping techniques will work well. BTW if you are twice as heavy, it takes twice the force to reach the same speed. Unfortunately, being twice as heavy doesn't always mean being at least twice as strong, especially when body mechanics are taken into account.

Fortunately, there are styles designed to put everyones advantages to the forefront, and help hide the disadvantages you have. Strong, big, heavy people are good at heavy beatings at longer ranges, with punishing kicks and blows beating your attacker back. If a small guys that is quick gets in close, where your tools loose importance, your speed wont match his potential speed. I promise you.


04-24-2000, 05:50 PM

Thanks for the input but I would have to disagree. In my original post I stated that I believe that there is no martial art that can enpower a smaller person. The things that can enpower smaller people include better attributes, intelligence, and confidence. While I respect Wing Chun, it is a very dangerous tactic to prolong an inside fight with someone of greater stature.

Not all small persons have a one inch punch that can stop an elephant. Stay inside too long and it is going to the ground where smaller persons are at a great disadvantage weight wise.

I do not mean to say smaller people can never win against larger opponents. It is just harder from a smaller persons perspective. Also, I am not saying there are no disadvantages to being bigger, there are just more to being of small frame.

04-28-2000, 05:13 PM
It depends on what we are talking about here, if your opponent is bigger than you in the fact that he has more actual muslce weight than you then I would agree that size does matter. But if the guy out weighs you by just fat then I would say the small guy has an advantage.

Similar as someone else said before different styles were created for different builds. ie chow gar was created for small but stocky people.

04-29-2000, 07:17 AM

I respect what you posted but must say I disagree in you assertion that it is "dangerous" to prolong an inside fight against a larger opponent. I also disagree that there are no martial arts which will enpower a smaller person. If that were the case then I think people like Yip Man, Jigaro Kano and others would have had thier butts handed ot them instead of the other way around.

While it is true that size can be an advantage I think there are many other things to consider. Accuracy, mobility and speed being among them. Let us also not forget the will of the person figthing. Remember the old saying "It's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog"? Much truth in those words.

I am not a large person, I am medium size, well, perhaps a little bit large around the middle /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif but I find that there are many smaller people that can make things work well for them. Several arts train one to redirect an opponents energy and this can give a smaller person an advantage. Many large people tend to rely too heavily on force and it is harder for them to adjust to the idea of relaxing and no resisting.

Given everything being equal, speed, timing, senisitivity etc, the stronger man has the advantage. But if all things are not equal I would go on the person with a deeper understanding of thier art.

Lastly, I like to fight big people in close. Most do not know how to fight at close range and as to grappling and going to the ground; possible but I have not had that misfortune. I have used my art, Wing Chun, in real life encounters like on the street as a Police Officer and in a Prison as a guard. I will stick to sensitivity and understanding how to disrupt my opponenets balance as that seems to work for me. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif



04-30-2000, 08:02 PM
I'm small, wiry, agile, and quick.

It's very hard to catch me when I'm running away from you.

05-01-2000, 09:21 PM

You posted some great ideas and I agree with what you are saying. I think we agree more than you think.

Everything you have stated is correct. What makes someone a better fighter is a deeper understanding of their art, the intelligence to use it wisely, and the confidence in the technique.

IMHO, this really doesn't depend on the art but the person. An experienced karateka will not block force with force although the art contains many blocks that do. Likewise, an idiot who studies wing chun or judo will benefit from the advantages these arts provide.

There's my two cents... now back to work.

05-01-2000, 10:48 PM
Here is the answer from a short, 5'6", martial artist( hsing-i for over 20 years )
1. size makes a difference in martial sports.
2. size makes no difference in self defense.
Why ?
In a long drawn out martial sport the smaller person will not be able to take the punishment that a larger opponent can give him over the course of the match. The smaller opponent will not be able to use techniques that would give him the ability to hurt is opponent quickly, ie eye jabs.
In a self defense situation you hurt your opponent quickly and violently and the fight should be over within a few seconds. The smaller person can use his attributes like superior quickness to end the fight.

05-01-2000, 11:53 PM
I read my post above and I meant to say an idiot will not benefit...

05-03-2000, 11:37 PM
I think Monkey hit the nail on the head in his last post. If the fight is only a few seconds, it's going to come down to WHO HITS, not who has the potential to hit harder. That's a bit simplified, but I believe it's true.

05-04-2000, 04:48 AM
Monkey, I agree wholeheartedly.

05-04-2000, 05:38 AM

No problem I like your posts. Also, I think an Idiot can also beneift from Wing Chun. I know I have /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I am reminded of an old story I once heard.

There were two masters training one a hard stylists the other a soft stylist. The hard stylists was very proud of his side kick. With it he could break bricks and kick holes in walls. He asked the soft stylists how he would defend against such power. The soft stylist told him to attack. When the side kick came the soft stylists simply shifted and was no longer there to be hit.

Size can be important but only if the two are equally matched otherwise. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif



05-05-2000, 10:38 AM
To me, size doesn't mean jack-squat! The very reason I started learning how to fight was to defend myself from large men who liked to pick on little guys, like me. They were f______ cowards! , and, once I realized this fact, I trained my body to be as strong as any 180-190lb man. I also got involved in TKD and JKD. It's not your 'style' that wins fights, it's your ability to adapt to the situation. I don't do anything too 'fancy'; don't need to. What matters is : WHO WINS---THAT'S ALL! I will state, however, that if it is smarter for me to run, I will. I treat every fight like my life is at stake, I'm going to win--period. I am 6'0,140lbs and have made fools out of many 180to 200lb+ men. So, if your small---just get meaner!



05-06-2000, 12:27 AM
the only thing that matter is who has the stronger survival instinct.
in WWII many boats were sunk by the nazi u boats. N Atlantic waters will kill a man rather quickly. the highest percentage of survivors were over the age of 30 -- well past their prime. these men were able to float in the freezing sea, injured, for days at a time, watching the younger men slide under the water. it wasn't because of their size or physical conditioning.

'instead of resting your legs, you should be standing up. instead of folding your hands you should be giving them out. instead of turning your back, you should be showing your face. why do you walk away?' --.hwm.

05-06-2000, 02:11 AM
Iron Buddah understands what it's about. He gave an excellent example of 'will to survive'. Anybody can defeat anybody; a lot of people don't realize how powerful their brain is! Condition your thinking, then your body---in that order. Avoid getting hurt or killed----BUT DON'T BACK-DOWN FROM ANYONE. In other words: If it's just a fist-fight(no life or death situation), beat the tar out of the cowardly 'big-man'! Show him what it's like to be 'small'! If I sound bitter, it's because I am. Even at age 34, I'm still faced with this childish bullsh-t! If the big guys wanna fight, then fight! kick their fu----- as-!!!!



05-08-2000, 07:37 PM
I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. I agree with the will to survive having alot to do with victory but I do not equate this with brutality.

Being a ferocious fighter doesn't mean going berserk on somebody. In fact, I believe that is detrimental to a person of a smaller frame. Calmness, intelligence, and awareness with the determination to survive is what allowed those sailors to survive.

That is what I believe makes a better fighter. Not size nor art.

05-11-2000, 01:54 PM
The stronger your will to survive, the harder you are going to fight someone who is trying to hurt you.



05-12-2000, 03:16 AM
Ever see a dog fight a raccoon?

They know it's for keeps. It looks like they go berserk, but they have so much adrenaline and lack of habitions by a higher mammilian mind they see reality slower giving them the ability to simply put all of their reflexes, mind, and heart into it. Amazing spectical, any fight between non-humans.

You can learn a lot watching our brother animals.

Allen Carpenter

06-02-2000, 05:56 PM
someone might have mentioned it, I didn't read last few msg's.
tip on beating bigger opponents:
make sure you use the move they wouldn't know and is not expected.
example would be:
throw strong looking punch half way to their face to leave their low part open, then give a quick front kick to the groin with the front leg

06-05-2000, 02:53 AM
Why not just go ahead and hit them in the face and kick them in the groin?


06-07-2000, 06:10 PM
A couple of factors of any fight (especially one envolving a smaller guy against a larger opponent)are mental preperation, and the element of suprise. Let's try a scenario real quick. Let's say that a large guy spots a smaller guy and thinking he is an easy target decides to engage him. You may be thinking that the person engaging will be the most mentally prepared for the encounter but you could be mistaken. The larger guy engages the smaller guy but is caught off gaurd by a very well planned and executed defense and counter attack from the smaller guy. The smaller guy then has the advantage because he has unbalanced his opponent. The element of suprise does not necessarily mean sneaking up on your opponent and attacking. Sometimes the appearence of weekness can be an asset because it does not let your attacker to accuratly (size you up) making it difficult for him to prepare himself mentaly and physically. It is however important to not give him time to recover. Strike hard and quick.

06-15-2000, 03:03 AM
To me size only matterrs
if you let it matter.
Its kind of like chess
that one move will when the
fight no matter what size
you are.

That is just my opinion


07-01-2000, 02:02 AM
If you are relying on what you see in the UFC and other no-hold-barred competition, you'll see that size doesn't matter. I can tell you so many cases where the smaller man wins. In grappling, of course, Royce Gracie, a slight man, defeated much bigger and heavier men like Dan Savern. His brothers also has similar success in defeating larger men. There was one match between the samoan fighter with the tatoos of biblical verses all over his body(I forgot his name) who had to be about 5'9 that went up against a man who was 6'7 and 300 pounds. They took to the ground and the big guy ran out of steam and the smaller fighter kept punching him in the face until the towel was thrown in. And usually in these competitions, the biggest guys who enters (6'5 +plus) rarely wins.

However, if you are not talking about martial arts, but brute, unskilled street fighting, I would not say the biggest guys have the advantage, but the ones with the greatest muscle mass. Muscle mass doesn't necessarily correlate with stature. A smaller can have more muscle mass than a taller one. I saw one fight with a really small guy who was about 5'4 who went went up against a taller guy who was about 5'10. The shorter guy obviously spends time lifting weights since I can see he was bulging even through his t-shirt. He just grabbed hold of the taller guy and threw him to the ground like a sack of flours.

Even by watching no-holds-barred competition, I would predict the winner by how much muscle he has rather than size. It may not be always the case where the guy with most muscles wins. I read an interview with Royce Gracie, and he said his training depends mostly on techniques. His father criticized him for starting to cross train and lift weights because it was unnecessary for fighting, but he said he does it anyways not for fighting but for health. So techniques is a strong factor as suppose to brute strength or size.

However, I do think weightlifting and building muscle would help everyone even people who practice internal styles where brute strength is not used. In a real fight, there will be intermitent moments or even long durations where brute, muscle strength is needed. You can't always deflect every punch or takedown attempt. You do sometimes have to fight power with power. Also, when you get hit, if you have a harder body, you can absorb more punishment without feeling the pain. Body building also boost stamina and increases confidence (which is probably the most important) because you see yourself (as well as others see you) as visually stronger. So, regardless of your size do hit the weights as much time as you can make. Weight training is a good accompaniment for any martial arts style.

In terms of how to defeat a much larger person. I noticed in my training is that if you attacks someone's "center," that's all that matters. If you punch or push someone of any size directly into his center, he will surely topple. Doesn't matter how big he is, if you malipulate his center, he will fall. So work on techniques that take down the opponent hard and fast using his center.

[This message has been edited by ToughKey (edited 07-01-2000).]

07-19-2000, 10:08 PM
i dont know if this is just my school or not, but size and speed hold little importance in fighting. fighting is an art of ballance. of always being centered and ready to move. your whole body must work as one unit to properly position yourself to strike your opponents weakest deffences. what happens when a big guy gets flanked? same thing happens as with a little guy; he repositions himself or he gets hit. if you rely on brute strength to win a fight your only going to beat someone of lesser skill, not someone of equal skill. using raw strength takes away alot of options. once an attack is launched with brute strenght, it is very difficult to redirect or stop if needed. weather big or small, letting your strenght carry your attacks will not let you improvise when necessary. if you throw an attack like this and it is deflected, good luck defending your newest opening. ballance and body positioning is everything. i have started lifting (mainly for vanity) and have gotten much more muscular, but it has not helped my kung fu at all (not that i expected it to). i stand five foot five inches tall and have no problem sparring or fighting large opponents. i take a large man's space. where he was i now am. the second best student at our school (im far from the first), ryan, is also my hight. he knocks, bullies and pushes the big guys around like you would expect them to do to him. he simply remains stable ALWAYS, refuses to be unballanced, and throws their center off anyway he can. im not saying im a bad as* (though ryan actually is), but if i lose against a big guy its because he is a better fighter period. he is more stable, better ballanced, posseses greater understanding of spacing and timing, and is more able to improvise as needed. he may or may not have been bigger, faster, stronger, but it has nothing to do with why he beat me. one guy posted that whoever said size doesnt matter, if all else is equal, was living in a dream world. even considering all else could possibly be equal is one of the most surealistic ideas i have ever heard. you cant pair two people up and say they are equal. if someone really practices an art, it becomes theirs. they put everything that makes them them into it. no two people are exactly alike therefore no two martial artists can be called equal. there is way too much that must be taken into consideration. everything, including speed and size (both large and small sizes), can be used as an advantage, but only if you know how to do so and are smart enough to realize and prepare for its shortcomings. but simply having an advantage isnt going to win a fight. the best martial artists are both stable and mobile and know how to apply any advantage available to them, while at the same time acknowledging the advantage his opposite has. big guys have more reach but small guys are able to flank an oppenent more easily. did any of the guys on here posting that size matters stop to consider bruce lee? he weighed in at 130lbs on a good day, yet he could kick like a horse and punch like a mule. power has nothing to do with size, only getting your entire body behind it. a big guy may acctually have a harder time building power as he has more bulk to try to work around. a huge chest is going to get in the way for punching and huge legs are going to be harder for the hips to whip. if he does work around his bulk to gain power he is going to hit harder than a smaller guy with less body behind his punches, but the smaller guy is still going to be able to cause considerable damage much faster and more often. so when you weigh all of this with the obvious advantages of being large, it becomes clear, to me at least, that size really dont mean sh*t.

Hiroshi Tanaka
07-19-2000, 11:40 PM

In Aikido, Ju-jutsu and Tai Chi you use the opponents strenght as an offensive. So the bigger the guy is, the easier the opponent will be.

Anything you wish for can be reached, but be careful what you wish for

wisdom mind
07-20-2000, 02:11 AM
i have found over the years that bigger persons are easier to beat 9 times out of 10.

for me, its just a heck of a lot easier to fight someone that is larger, regardless of the skill level, for the simple fact that they are a Larger target.

now bring out a tiny player...thats another thread!

08-05-2000, 05:05 AM
Size, yeah girls like to tell their friends that their man is big, but in the end it comes down to technique. Sweet blissfull technique.

08-07-2000, 04:01 AM
I don't know if size matters or not. I've never gotten a straight answer.
I only date women who will lie to me and tell me what I want to hear.
According to them...size doesn't matter. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

08-07-2000, 04:12 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by blur:
I do not believe that a magical Martial Art can empower a smaller person to defeat a bigger person. In fact, that belief can cause more damage than good.[/quote]

I got a kick out of your post! Hehehehe...
If Bruce Lee were alive, I would tell you to "tell it to Bruce Lee."
I agree there is no MAGICAL power..but qi (chi or ki) power is not magical...it's just natural. But is does work...and it makes a differnce. Otherwise, how do you explain Bruce Lee's Floating Punch? You know, the "one inch punch" you can see him demonstrate it on video even.
To punch a 6'-something, heavy guy from ONE inch away and knock him back 5 or 6'...that's POWER, my friend.
If both fighters are equally skilled, then I think it would come down to intelligence.

You think that physical attributes will prevail against a small, fast guy. Well, I was being choked (straight arm) by a huge 6'4" 300lbs kickboxer once (not in a ring). I know he was a kickboxer because I know the guy personally. I am only 5'9" and 160lbs. I put my left thumb into his right armpit as fast and hard as I could..and guess what, that's right. He let go and I whup 'em.
I simply hit his pressure point and his size and weight didn't help him.
Just don't ever get in a fight in a confined space with a big guy...been there, done that. ouch! /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

[This message has been edited by totallyfrozen (edited 08-23-2000).]

08-07-2000, 04:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tiger:
I'm about 5 and a half feet tall and weigh about 135lbs. I was picked on a lot in school and eventually learned that sticking up for myself was a sure way to get hurt. As an adult I've found it much easier to avoid those unpleasant encounters than it was in high school but they still arise. I'm much more likely to leave a potential conflict and be mad about it later, but it can be hard on the old self-esteem not to stand up for myself...I have been under the impression, however, that if I needed to I could defend myself physically. The more I read in this part of the forum, the less confidence I have in that...Is everybody who posts here a big guy?[/quote]
I'm not big at all. I'm just a little Puerto Rican (5'9" and 160lbs). I was about 145lbs for the LONGEST time. I just weighed 160 last week at the gym. I was bullied, like you, for years.
I think that the best way to develop confidence it to fight. You can try to convince yourself for months or years that you are ok...but it only takes a few sparring session against a bigger or more skilled foe to give the the real picture. I'll bet if got into the ring and just relaxed (as much as possible) and fought your ass off...you could win. If you win a fight...you don't have to wonder all the time anymore. Your eyes know what they just saw. You kicked some ass and now you are feeling pretty convinced. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
Don't wonder. Don't doubt yourself. Put a mouth piece in and step in the ring...you won't die.
I'll bet when your done, you won't be able to wipe the grin off your face. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by totallyfrozen (edited 08-23-2000).]

08-07-2000, 04:38 AM
In the fights that I have been in, I have found it much harder to fight a shorter person (if you can imagine anyone smaller than a 5'10" Puerto Rican) that a taller person.
I have easily dealt with a 6'4" 300lb guy several times...but the shorties (5'5" or so)...God what a job that was!
I suppose I'm lacking skills.
Anyway, I've had a harder time with shorter opponents than taller ones. Most of these shorties were lightweight too. 130lbs. or so.
Nasty little buggers! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

08-07-2000, 05:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Vitor29:
Wong fei hong,

you're kidding yourself if you think size doesn't matter. It would be great if it weren't that way, but it is. we're talking about two EQUALLY skilled opponents. if you think size won't play into that equation then you're really living in a dream land.[/quote]
As I said before, if they are equally skilled, the one who is more intelligent will win.
The only thing that size matters to me is that it influences which targets I pick and how hard I hit. Big guys don't always have more endurance..but I hit them like they do. Large people have a psychological advantage over most people...so I take a special delight is working extra hard to defeat them. When others see a little guy defeat a big guy, they learn that "even the big guys aren't invincible"...and they gain more respect for the winner.
I would say that because of this many times it seems that being large is a disadvantage because it makes you a large target for someone to beat up on.
No one cares if you can beat a little guy...the big guys are the brass ring!
Remember that, big guys, you are walking around with bulls eyes on your butts.
Hehehe...just kidding, of course /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

08-07-2000, 05:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JKDVIGILANTE:
Iron Buddah understands what it's about. He gave an excellent example of 'will to survive'. Anybody can defeat anybody; a lot of people don't realize how powerful their brain is! Condition your thinking, then your body---in that order. Avoid getting hurt or killed----BUT DON'T BACK-DOWN FROM ANYONE. In other words: If it's just a fist-fight(no life or death situation), beat the tar out of the cowardly 'big-man'! Show him what it's like to be 'small'! If I sound bitter, it's because I am. Even at age 34, I'm still faced with this childish bullsh-t! If the big guys wanna fight, then fight! kick their fu----- as-!!!!


I dig your style, man. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

08-07-2000, 05:18 AM
/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Good topic!

[This message has been edited by totallyfrozen (edited 08-23-2000).]

08-07-2000, 05:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ToughKey:
There was one match between the samoan fighter with the tatoos of biblical verses all over his body(I forgot his name)[/quote]
His name is "Kimo"

[This message has been edited by totallyfrozen (edited 08-23-2000).]

08-08-2000, 10:30 PM
I think size matters - why else would they have weight classes in wrestling and boxing?

I notice that many joint locks and such seem harder to apply because their limbs are bigger and harder to manipulate around - although they still work once you've got them in them. The problem is getting them in them.
A bigger guy can also probably easily overpower you quickly, but I think they tend to wear themselves out real quick too. That's one of their weaknesses - lack of endurance. I mean, just imagine a big guy trying to run a mile or 5K.
And of course, internal masters believe that qi beats muscles and size like rock beats scissors. So, by that theory, an 80-yo could whup a 250-lb 20 year old. But, most of us are not internal masters.

08-15-2000, 02:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by origenx:
I think size matters - why else would they have weight classes in wrestling and boxing?

Remember that wrestling and boxing are SPORTS. Not actual, real fighting. They have weigh classes to even out the odds a bit because, as a sports, they have rules and limits as to what techniques you can use.

Yes, boxing and wrestling are martial arts...but so is Tae Kwon Do....they are SPORTS.

08-15-2000, 07:58 PM
monkey makes a great point.
One of the meanest streetfighters in my area for many years was a guy that had been a low level pro boxer,he weighed maybe 155 pounds.On the street ,however,he would just open up on big men,and everytime,everytime he fought hed blast guys out fast.his advantage,and ,as a 240 pound weightlifter what scared me,was his ability to deliver many fast,accurate,solid strikes to vital areas(chin,ear,eyes)from a standing,completely relaxed beginning(sound like any other arts youve heard of?).The trick was he could "turn it on" so fast.In my experience,this is the single most important factor in a real world fight.

08-16-2000, 03:48 AM
I can say this from experience that size gives a large advantage. I take karate and am around 5'9 with an orange belt. I have a friend that is 5'1 with a 2nd degree black belt and we occasionally spar just for fun. Every single time i have won just due to my height and abilty to kick him from a far range. I am not sure if this convinces anyone, i just wanted to contribute.

08-22-2000, 02:11 PM
Thought I'd throw in some food for thought.
I just got back from a road trip/camping trip.
It was a guy's birthday and we all went out to build a fire and hang out in the woods (woo hoo! isn't Alaska exciting!).
Anyway, one of the kids (about 17) is 230lbs.
It's been awhile since I took any BJJ lessons and I don't practice anymore and; therefore, I only remember a couple of techniques.
This kid decided he wanted to spar with me medium to full contact. Of course, he didn't say so...he just jumped me.
The first time he jumped me, I choked him out as soon as he shot in. He gave me his head...so I held it for him...by the neck /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
The second time he jumped me, I wasn't as fortunate and had to actually fight a little bit. I tried a little bit of a nutsack strike (not being too hard but..hey, I'm little and little guys fight like hell. What can I say?) but he had on some baggy pants and I couldn't get to his nuts.
It got to where he was on my back and I was kneeling (in a ball almost). I was VERY lucky that this kid doesn't know how to fight. He missed 3 opportunities to choke me out or roll me over...because he didn't know them.
I got to noticing how incredibly heavy he was while he was lying on my back. I was holding him up. I'm only 150lbs. he's 230lbs.
The ONLY reason that I was able to win both "matches" is that I am a smarter fighter than he is. If I had tried to fight his wrestling game, I would have surely lost because I am just not strong enough to "lock limbs" with 230lbs. of fighting flesh. I had to evade, escape, and wait for a choke. I was able to keep from getting choked, from getting my arms pinned, and from getting anything on the ground more than my knees and elbows...I would not allow my back or stomach to touch the ground.
If the kid had known how to fight, I think I would have lost because he was so incredibly large and heavy.
Does size matter?
Well, I would say, unless you have incredible speed, strength, and technique...yes, size (more specifically, weight) is really going to matter alot!
The other guys were impressed that a 150lbs man could beat a 230lbs guy...I simply think that I was lucky because the kid didn't know how to fight. I was totally exhausted after just a few minute of holding this guy up (in an attempt to hold myself off the ground).

Just thought I would share this little experience for you guys (and girls) to chew on and make comments.

In the end, his size and weight mattered ALOT to me...it completely determined HOW I chose to fight him. I believe that I won more by luck and brains than by skill. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

"There is only ONE martial art"

[This message has been edited by totallyfrozen (edited 08-23-2000).]

08-25-2000, 05:40 PM
Wong Shun Leung was 5'4" 50-55kg and he won between 700-850 against some the best martail arts (thats challenge matches not including street fights). Also "Benny The Legend" is around this size. He gets into fighs every time he gets drunk. Benny's last fight was aganist someone 6', The guy pushed him and hit him twice as he was stumbling back (Benny was blind drunk at the time), He correct himself and smash the guy to the ground in under 10 secounds. A bouncer had to carry the guy away.

08-28-2000, 11:05 PM
We are still talking about martial arts here, right?

09-08-2000, 10:04 PM
I am a big guy. Shoot in on me high(under arm) or extremly low ( knees or ankles)Break the joints and get it over with. On the high takedowns, pound the face, Key: get it over with.Eyes, nuts, whatever you have to do. We are talking about on the street-right? In dojos or sparring it is easy to defeat a large opponent because you have time to work or think.In most Striking art schools you don't go to the ground & one has the luxury of going toe to toe & wearing the big man out. If it is truly skill, then a 5'9 - 150lb football player who has the best technique in the world in blocking should be able to beat a 6'5 350 lb blocker with pure technique. Maybe so if the small blocker had time to figure out what to do eventually if the play went on & on until the small blocker prevailed. But, in reality a football play, like a real fight only lasts a few seconds and one has to do what is NEEDED to prevail in that short time period.The large blocker with shear brute force & relentless attack will overpower the small. So, if you get the jump on him and keep going until it is over, more than likely you will prevail. However, if your attacked from behind, then you will need tech. Find your opening or opportunity and don't stop- no regret.

Those pine boards had it commin to them-besides, I'm not allowed to hit real people!!!

09-11-2000, 08:05 PM
I'm afraid there are too many variables to be considered in order to come to a definitive conclusion on this subject. I myself am of average build (5'10", 175) and I have a background in both Muy Thai(7 years)and Wing Chun(3 years). In a competition/tournament setting, These size variables bear little to no importance, granted that the match-ups are relatively equal regarding training and skill. In street fighting however, random situations are much more common and I believe size to be nothing but an effective psychological deterrent to the ill-trained. On a purely physical level, reach and an advantage in immobilization techniques can sometimes be attributed to size. Remember that in any martial art, the laws of physics still apply and power or force (when speaking of punch or kick) is the result of the simple velocityXmass equation. Regardless of a person's size, one cannot take into account the minute discrepancies in the mass of a larger versus a smaller person's fists. I believe the one who will prevail in a street fight will necessarily be the one with more experience and rank. However needless to say, the real VICTOR in a street fight however, is obviously the one who walks away, acknowledging the aggressive party's pathetic behavior and moral weakness.