In my college years I had some pretty intense sparring matches with guys that wanted to test themselves against me.
One of these guys was John C.
John was 6 foot 2, 300 pounds. I'm 5 foot 10, and weighed 140 pounds at the time.
John was an Aikido stylist who was a former freestyle high school wrestler.
During this time I had minimal grappling in my arsenal but I wanted to learn, especially after watching Royce Gracie dominate in the UFC.
John had seen me grapple, he saw me utilize the Guard position which was a staple position in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. John challenged me to a grappling match, we started standing, and when he rushed me for a take down, I went with it and tried to pull him into my guard. He quickly recognized this, and jumped in the air to squash me. Fortunately I took most of his weight on the back of my thighs and I was fine. Once we ended up in my guard, he jumped up again to squash me, this time he landed on my torso and all the air in my lungs was forced out. I tried my best to get him in an armbar, but I didn't know how. I kept telling myself, I need to get the armbar but how do I do it?
The match was a stalemate with John not knowing what to do inside my guard, and me not being able to do anything to him either. Afterwards I was exhausted, a cocky American Kenpo Karate stylist who was watching, complemented me and said it takes a lot of balls to go up against someone that much larger.
Later John asked me about striking, I told him that I had practiced some Muay Thai. He wanted to know what my strategy would be against a big guy like him, and I said I would kick him in the leg repeatedly with my shins, like a lumber jack chopping down a tree. He asked me how to defend against that, and I showed him the leg check.
He then wanted to spar me in stand up striking. I threw a leg kick and he checked it just like I showed him. So then I thew another one from a different angle so that even if he checks it, it would still land on his thigh. After the hit, he dropped his foot back down, which I doubled up and I kicked him in the same leg again.
Against me he was confident in his Western Boxing skills, so he wanted to come close and pop me in the face, I threw a low side kick and double up with a high side kick to his face just short of his nose. This is a double side kick combo I saw Chuck Norris do in one of his films, and I practice to this day. Anyway the kick was too fast for John, and probably barely saw a blur. He said you could have broken my nose huh? I said I could have landed it for sure, probably draw some blood, he didn't want to do anymore after that.
John and I never sparred each other again after that. I continued to learn grappling by any means, and I got better and better.
A good while after, John myself and a friend of ours was practicing martial arts together. A big dude who was lifting weights saw us working out and he aggressively approached us. He was in the Air force, Judo stylist and former bouncer. He was very muscular. He must have been 6 foot 4, around 260. He challenged us to a sparring match, the three of us declined. He grabbed our friend who was about 170 pounds and curled him with one arm. And somehow he began wrestling with John. They went to a stalemate and it looked like Godzilla versus King Kong.
Afterwards the guy said he was just getting warmed up and asked John to go again, but John declined. The guy suddenly grabbed me and threw me on the mat.
I was mad, and I was working a guillotine choke on him, and he told me to let it go repeatedly so I did, which he took advantage of to get himself out and continued to attack me. I was beyond furious now, so I somehow took his back and rear naked choked him. After he tapped, he said that nobody has ever done this to him. He was in disbelief.
He told me he was impressed with me and said I should be a bouncer.
He then threw me on the mat yet again! This time I went street. I was turtled, and he was in an over sprawl on top of me with a hold of my neck. I attacked his fingers, courtesy of the catch wrestling style, Grappling Master by Gene LeBell was one of my favorite martial arts books back in the day. He screamed and verbally submitted telling me his fingers were weak from lifting weights.