Your body will be a big part of what determines your game: Three things determine what your grappling game will be. Your body type, your personality and your coaching lineage. Over the years your game will reflect the average of these three influences. There is no question that your body type is a very important part of your development. No one knows you better than you do, yet surprisingly I often see students try to take on a game that is poorly suited to their physical body. I am always rather reluctant to tell someone not to partake of a certain game because of their body type – history has shown more than a few examples of athletes who defied conventional wisdom and developed a strong game that did not appear to suit their body. I’ve seen some short legged athletes with great triangles. I’ve seen a few tall athletes who were very good at level changing down to quick and snappy double legs. Nonetheless, experience will guide you in certain directions over time. You will find certain moves come more easily to you than others. Be alert to this! Your own body is talking to you – make sure you listen! Here, Gordon Ryan uses his long leg length to clamp on his dreaded figure four top lock – a move in which he excels and one that a short legged person like me would struggle with.

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