There’s been plenty of footage of a BJJ black belt taking on athletes and competitors from a wide range of disciplines, not just other martial arts but also strongmen and now even a bodybuilder by the name of Bradley Martyn. One of the best recent examples of incredible size and strength coming up against the advanced level of skill that a black belt possesses came when former World’s Strongest Man and “The Mountain” from Game of Thrones, Hafthor Bjornsson, took some time to train with BJJ Black Belt Joshua Palmer.
One key difference between Hafthor Bjornsson and Bradley Martyn is that the former has spent years training to improve his raw power and strength, whereas the latter trains more for appearance than functionality. That’s not to say that Martyn isn’t strong of course, he’s 6″3′ and around 245lbs of ripped muscle so he’s still far stronger than your average grappler, but at 6″9′ and well over 400lbs, Bjornsson is another a whole other league again. Whether you’re a strongman or bodybuilder, strength only goes so far and BJJ is technical sport, one in which someone who’s attained the level of black belt will likely be able to overcome a significant strength disadvantage.
Although the outcome might be somewhat predictable, it’s still interesting to see experienced grapplers challenge themselves by taking on bigger and stronger opponents in training. Obviously any sparring match is significantly less pressure and less intensity than there would be if the two met in competition, but the beauty of BJJ is the fact that training can be conducted at a very high pace and both partners can make every effort to ‘win’ the round.
The below video comes directly from Bradley Martyn’s official YouTube channel, as he makes a return to training in the sport after three months of not taking part in BJJ or Judo: