September 4, 2022

How Much Does Size Matter in a Fight?

Ever wondered if size matters in a fight? Have you ever been forced to restrain yourself from getting into a physical altercation with a big person? Well, if you are looking for answers to these questions, then you are in the right place.

Before we continue, let us first try and understand the definition of size. Size constitutes of three components or factors – 

  1. Weight.
  2. Liner Dimension.
  3. Mass.

A person’s size determines his power in many ways. If you are heavy, then your hitting power will increase. So, the weight of a person is directly proportional to their hitting capacity. This power, coupled with momentum, can prove to be fatal and mighty at the same time.

Linear Dimension is defined as the horizontal length of your body. This is also important as it represents the total mass of the body in general.

Lastly, mass constitutes the matter contained in the body. Mass is the physical aspect of a person and comes under the ambit of size.

Now, the question we have been meaning to answer is whether the size of a person is important in a fight?

The answer is both yes and no.

When we talk of size, it also includes weight as an important factor. For example, if you are fighting a person who is taller than you but weighs 10 or 20 lbs less then, you stand a greater chance to win the fight. This is since you have more force attached to you.

So when you lay a hit on your opponent then, he will suffer more damage. It is because you hit hard and he feels the aftermath of the blow even harder due to his limited mass and frame of his body.

A person who has a superior mass or exterior than his opponent can also take more blows and the effect will be less as his substantial body frame will be able to absorb blows better and cause less pain. This is due to the fact that a larger mass object or body is better and more efficient in soaking up any disturbance.

However, there are some factors which also play against a person with a large frame or size. Due to the size, the reaction time becomes sluggish and slow. The person is also very prone to attacks by the other person as he has a larger frame which is easier to target and hit. This, coupled with his slow reaction time, can be very detrimental to his chances of coming out as the victor in the fight. 

A thinner person is usually more agile and fast. His reaction time is low as compared to his opponent, who is big in size. He has more chances to deflect attacks and move quicker, which might give him an upper hand. 

Since we now know the basics about the importance of size in a fight, let us now move forward and understand the nuances of it.

Advantages of having a bulky size in a fight.

A bulky size sure has certain perks attached to it. One of them is in a fight like scenario or a physical altercation. Bulky body frame comes with certain advantages which, when used to one’s benefit, can decide the outcome of the fight. Let us look at these perks and advantages in a more detailed manner.

Better at pounding

A bulky person is better in pounding or battering their opponent.

This translates to the fact that a bulky or a sizable guy can use his mass to lay repeated attacks on his smaller opponent. These blows are filled with more power and brute force which makes it hard for the smaller opponent to retaliate in any fashion.

In this scenario, the fight is over in the blink of an eye, and the smaller person is easily defeated.

Being unshakable

This means that the person who boasts a larger mass than his opponent has a better grip on the ground and he can not be easily grappled or manoeuvred by a relatively smaller opponent. He has a more stern ground presence, and his ground control is higher as compared to his counterpart. 

A bulky person can use this to his advantage and corner his opponent, which will restrict his movements drastically. This will act as an impediment to the smaller person and will render him inept at making any counter-attacks.

This method is primarily used in boxing and MMA.

Better at taking blows

A bulky or a sizable guy can better absorb any blows by his opponent. This is because of his more immense body mass which allows to soak up any kind of attacks by his opponent. As we already know that mass of an object translates into better soaking up capacity.

This is a very important factor in a street fight as there are no rules involved there. You will get hit, and it is important to recover quickly after a blow in order to stay in the fight.

The intimidation game

Intimidation is the ability of one person to shake the moral or belief of the other to gain an advantage. Intimidation is purely a game of mind. A person with a bulky frame can also use his size to intimidate a smaller opponent. Sometimes in a fight, the bigger person can also avert an attack by just standing there and not doing anything.

This only happens when your opponent gets scared or when his mind tells him that his chances of winning against a bigger guy are slim. Intimidation is not only used in crude street fights but also in sports such as mixed martial arts and boxing. 

We all have seen legends like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson using the art of intimidation to their cause. Many times the opponent has lost the fight even before getting into the ring. That is the power of intimidation. 

Now that we have deconstructed the pros of having a bulky frame, let us now try and deconstruct the cons of having a sizable frame in a fight. 

Disadvantage of Being Bulky in a Fight

Being bulky certainly has numerous advantages attached to it, but it is no exception to pitfalls. 

Sluggish Reflex

A bulky person might be having many things going well for him when it comes to a street fight, but the major problem with being bulky is a slow reflex. A plump person usually lacks intuitive abilities which hinder him from reacting. This makes his reaction time slow, making him vulnerable to quick blows and attacks. The more agile person in this scenario uses this to their advantage and manages to stack up the odds in his favour. 

Endurance Factor

Bulky people usually lack endurance. This is a known fact. A voluminous person gets tired more quickly in comparison to a less sized person. His body is designed in a certain way which makes him hard to cope up with the fast and frantic movements.

This makes a person tired and lethargic which can be very harmful during a physical altercation and can make him susceptible to injury.


A bulky person has a body type which shows age quickly as compared to a slim person—the effects of this range from weak eyesight to a slower brain. A skinny person of the same age ,as compared to a bulky guy, is more fit. This fitness helps his cause of defeating the more cumbersome guy. With age and bulk, lethargy also sets into action, which is not a good thing when it comes to a fight.

Flexibility Factor

Bulk makes it hard to be flexible. A person who has a girthy body structure has less flexibility in his joints and muscles. There is no rocket science behind this. This is natural for any person. 

A person who has greater body mass lacks malleability, which works up against him in a fight. It becomes challenging for him to relieve himself from any kind of hold. On the other hand, the slimmer guy can quickly get out of locks and holds offered by his opponent.

The Verdict

The advantages of having a bulky size in flight coexist with its disadvantages. Yes, you can power your opponent and corner him with your weight and mass, but it sure has its own drawbacks. 

With bulk, comes sluggish movements and lethargy. On the other hand, the smaller guy can use this slow reaction to his advantage.

A bulky person has the power to intimidate and terrorize his opponent with his body frame. He might be able to break the opponent’s morale before the fight itself, but this is not the case every time. A slim person makes up for it in his slickness and flexibility. He can strike quickly and in a shorter span of time and still lay enough damage to make the bigger guy give up.

One of the other, most important aspects of a fight is the skill of the fighter. For example, a skinnier person who is a trained MMA fighter, can easily knock out a bigger guy and that too in the blink of an eye. This is because he has studied the art of combat and knows when and where to hit. So skill can not be neglected while we talk of fights or street fights in general. 

Lastly, we can never forget the importance of the state of mind of the person involved. State of mind determines whether a person will remain calm or will crack under pressure. 

This is a constant for a bulky as well as a slim person. You can defeat a person who is bigger than you if you are able to remain calm and composed. The power and the ability to think radically in a fight remains at par with the power or skill of a person.

Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

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