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Do Meatheads Dream of Iron Sheep?


Tuesday 6/19/18

BJJ 90 min

Open mat at my brown belt friend’s house. Nobody else showed, so I got a private lesson.

We just rolled for about half of the time. Main take-aways for me was a better recognition of the lead-ins to the kung-fu choke, along with the various grips that can be used to achieve the same basic principle behind the kung fu choke. It is a lot like how you can finish a cross collar choke with both hands in the collar or one hand tugging on the gi fabric. Same choke, several different ways to tighten it. I also escaped his side control once and had my four or five seconds in the sun, doing my best to hold him in side control before he had me back on my back.

Technique for the day was back to basics with hip-outs and moving effortlessly into a stacked position with your legs over your body. Think trying to stand on your neck and touch your toes to the floor. I’m almost there, but I’ve got a little ways to go before I can assume this position without much effort or strain.

I also need to stop hipping out with my heels and start using my toes. This is very important and a bad habit I need to break.

After all that we split a bottle of Apple Jim Beam and now I’m here trying to coherently log my jiu jitsu thoughts at midnight on a Tuesday.

That’s it and that’s all.


When I took Taekwondo in Daegu, Korea it was in an upstairs Dojang with no heat or air. In summer I would be sweating like a pig and the Koreans might have a couple of beads of sweat on their foreheads. Attributed it to the red meat in our diet vs the Asian diet. In winter you really didn’t want to kick anyone/thing to hard because your feet were so cold


@hel320 I think there’s a lot to be said about the value of training in less than ideal conditions. Hot, humid, cold, wet and especially when you’re exhausted. The absolute most grueling rolls for me are when my brown belt instructor makes me tap him out. I’m not sure how long the last one ran. 10 min or so. And I didn’t tap him out because I beat him, I tapped it out because I finally grabbed the carrot he was dangling in my face the whole time. He just makes me work, and he could probably keep it up indefinitely.

Like your Korean buddies, this guy is in such good shape and so skilled at the movements of jiu jitsu that it no longer counts as cardio for him. He’s usually not breaking a sweat. Same age as me too. Amazing.


Thursday 6/21/18

BJJ 90 min

Side control was the subject of the day. First up was a counter to someone framing your hip. Grab the elbow and pull their hand off the floor and go to Kesa-Gatame. Replace your knee in their armpit even tighter and go back to side control.

Next up was an armbar from Kesa-Gatame. From Kesa, step over the head and scoop their arm. Straight armbar right there. Answer the phone.

If they push out of that, there’s an Americana with your legs if you stuff their hand under your bottom leg.

If they stuff or frame your face, drag the arm and get your head behind the elbow for an armbar.

First roll was with a big strong white belt who’s basically the same size as I am but a few years older. He’s a great guy to train with when he isn’t trying to give advice on something he’s literally never done before. I let him have top, rolled him easily, took mount and he tapped to moderate pressure. I let him have top again and tried to work escapes I suck at. We changed positions a bit but he did a pretty decent job of stuffing my escapes. He’s a big strong motherfucker, just like me.

This is a good indication that some of my escapes still suck. I NEED to be able to do all of these basic escapes on a white belt my size with minimal grappling training. My bread-and-butter stuff works fine but I want more bread and I want more butter.

Second roll was with our senior purple belt. I passed his guard but ended up in half guard for most of the match. I played it well and stuffed his escapes for almost the entire round, but I foolishly extended my left arm and he attacked with a Kimura. I defended by stuffing my arm in front of my belly, but that opened the door for the sweep. He tapped me with a kung-fu choke with 5 seconds left in the round. Good roll. Pretty happy with that whole sequence.


Saturday 6/23/18

Bouncing 540 min

First full shift at the new bar. The upper crust of my working class town came out, waited in line patiently and had a good time. I only had to bounce one guy who groped some guy’s wife as she was coming out of the restroom, leaving her really shook up and in tears and the husband enraged. Whatever confidence he had when he groped that woman was gone the moment I told him it was time to leave.

I found out shortly afterwards he’s getting slapped with a serious sexual harassment lawsuit for similar behavior at his former job. I’m sorry the woman got groped, but it does feel good bouncing scumbags.


Monday 6/25/18

BJJ 100 min

We did a fun little breakfall drill to start things up. Walk/shuffle backwards and a person gets in front of you at random so you trip unexpectedly. Then do your breakfall. On one of these I didn’t tuck my chin and bopped my head on the mat. Good way to learn.

Technique was a review of June’s attacks from side control.

Paper-cutter choke first. This is the same idea that my brown belt instructor teaches as “kung-fu choke”. Americana next. Power out of that, go to figure 4 armlock next. If they rotate out of that, switch to a kimura grip and go to Kesa-Gatame and finish the kimura by lifting them off the mat and rotating the arm back.

Next up was the straight armbar from Kesa. Step over the head and answer the phone. After that was an odd little Americana you can do with the legs. Finally was another armbar that’s there when you shuck their arm over the side.

First roll was with a new white belt I’ve been meaning to roll with. Now that I know how to really, really go easy on guys I feel fine with whatever initial terror I might be subjecting this poor fellow to because I know I’m not going to hurt him or even give him much pressure. I let him have top and work for a bit before I escaped, took side control, then mount and then high mount, tapping him with a simple armbar. Rest of the round was spent on some mount defense basics.

Next roll was with my black belt instructor. He was working a north south choke for a while on me. I played dumb to keep him working it but still tried to stop him from getting it really set in. It worked. I eventually rolled him out of side control and took it on him. I nearly got him in a paper cutter choke, but it wasn’t to be my day to tap out a black belt. He defended by getting up on his side. 5 min draw.

Purple belt next. Just lots of position trading with him, also tried getting him in a paper cutter choke. He also defended by getting up on his side. 5 min draw.

Blue belt next. Same basic story. Same choke attempt, same defense. 5 min draw.

Definitely getting good at my escapes. I spent the first half of all of those rounds on my back but escaped and held top till the bell, getting close to a few upper belt submissions.


Wednesday 6/27/18



Buncha light shoulder stuff

10 min sauna
5 min hot tub


Thursday 6/28/18

BJJ 90 min

Wrapping up side control for the month and reviewing our escapes.

Make space escape (aka knee-to-elbow) escape. Nothing new here
Re-roll escape. Key detail is to roll towards hip, something I learned earlier this month but failed to apply today.
Forget-the-name escape. Dig for far-side underhook, trap the knee with your other hand and get your dick in the dirt to drive them over.
“Troy Twister”. Stuff the posting arm between the legs as they go to pass your guard. When they’re passing reach around their head and grab the belt, then roll them. Two variations on that, same principle.

First roll with purple belt. 5 min draw. Pulled off a good sweep but spent a lot of time on my back.

Second roll blue belt. He got me in an armbar but I did some good things in the round. High mount escape was very well done.


Friday 6/29/18

Bouncing 300 min

I’m not sure that I’ll have any noteworthy bouncing encounters to log at this new job. I’m basically a cheerful and polite Wal-Mart greeter who checks ID’s, makes idle chatter and maintains the flow of people at our capacity limit. It keeps me quite busy and it is a LOT of fun, but I’m sorry to tell my log readers that the knuckleheads and dumb-fucks just aren’t showing up at this place.

I’ll see what I can do to spread the word among my town’s seedier element, but the lack of cheap options to get wasted on is a hard sell to those types. Even if I don’t start encouraging area low-lifes to come drink, I’ll probably have to deal with some monumental asshole at some point.

If I do, I’ll be sure to log it.


Saturday 6/30/18

Bouncing 180 min

I’m really sorry guys. I had a lot of pleasant conversations with people who wanted to have a good time and did. Like you, I was holding out for a coked-up drunken hooligan to make a scene and try to fight me for the pettiest of reasons, but it just didn’t happen. I’m really sorry guys. Maybe next time.


Well this is no fun atall!


@ChickenLittle I know, right? I guess I’ll have to get by on play-fighting in jiu jitsu until an area knucklehead decides to seek local fame by taking down a grey-haired doorman.

Monday 7/2/18

BJJ 80 min

Mount is the position for July. Escapes were the name of the game today, and we’ll be hitting these a lot.

Trap-and-roll escape. Collar choke variation. Ezekiel choke variation. Clear the arms and posture up once you’re in their guard. No new details today. but nevertheless a good chance to get better at what is probably my second best escape.

Next up we did the knee-to-elbow escape. No new details here, but another escape I can put plenty of polish on. I pull it off a fair bit in rolls, but I often just get to half guard. Plenty of room to improve.

Finally we did a high mount escape. Shuck them off of you, keep your arms stiff and put in their armpit, hip UP hard and swing your legs to a side, rolling your opponent. This is another one I do to good effect, but often just send them forward and turn it into a scramble. This is an escape that can earn you an armbar, but it’s still generally better than just hanging out when someone has you in high mount.

It was HOT. REALLY HOT today, so I only rolled once. I finally tapped a very good blue belt who came over to our school several months ago. I’ve got a big size advantage on him, but he’s also 26 and in fantastic shape. He’s probably the best guy I’ve gotten an honest, technical, non-goonish tap on. I kept working my kung-fu choke as I’ve been for a while, which he defended well but flattened his arm out for a moment. I kept it flattened with my forehead and then worked the americana. This is a good back-and-forth from side control that I will keep working on good guys.

Of course, he reminded me that he’s still got my number afterwards, getting me in a fabulous arm triangle from his guard. Nobody’s gotten me in one of those before. This guy is really fantastic to train with. Awesome attitude and a real challenge for me.

I was done, DONE after that. Soaked!


All that play fighting is going to make for a real Dalton/ Roadhouse scene when said, knuckle head tries to take down the grey haired doorman!
Can’t wait to read that :rofl:


We still like 'ya. Stay careful.


@ChickenLittle I doubt that but we’ll see. I had my Roadhouse moments back at the dive bar and I may have them here. If you work at a bar long enough you’ll eventually cross paths with an even bigger asshole than the last guy who held the biggest asshole title belt.

@biker Thanks! I’ll stay careful as long as it doesn’t look like reckless might pay off better.

Monday 7/9/18

BJJ 100 min

Continuing with mount for July. Escapes for warm-ups. Trap and roll + variations. Knee-to-elbow escape. High mount escape.

Chokes were drilled tonight. Cross-collar. Chainsaw. Ezekiel. Arm Triangle. No new details but I need to work harder on arm triangles. Note the details next time.

First roll was with a seasoned white belt. He’s getting better and defended my attacks well, but was miles away from any escape. I saw the clock ticking down and mounted, then easy Americana from there.

Second roll was with a senior blue belt. He’s a great guy, but I’m beginning to suspect he doesn’t really want to roll with me. It has been probably four or five months since we rolled and I finally locked eyes today and asked him to roll. Right away he goes into coaching mode, like I was clueless about how to pass his guard. I was going to work a knee slice pass because it was right there, but he coached me into some strange position I’ve never been in before and don’t even remember. That’s how the whole round was, him giving me almost step-by-step instructions for techniques that aren’t even stuff I’m working on, so I just went easy and played along.

This bugged me quite a bit after class. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt patronized by an upper belt like this. It’s one thing when I was new and completely clueless about what to do next, but he knows damn well I’m perfectly capable of applying what I know in live rolling without being coached through it. That’s what rolling’s for, to pressure test your stuff and make it work on someone resisting, not learn some new guard pass that I’m not even going to drill right afterwards.

I’m over it now. I’m pretty sure I can tap this guy out right now, which I’m also pretty sure he knows, making me pretty sure he turned our roll into a private lesson for me so it wasn’t 5 minutes of pressure for him. Maybe not, who knows. I’ll wait for him to ask me to roll for our next go. Maybe he just doesn’t enjoy training with a guy who’s a lot bigger than him. It’s all optional, after all.


Cynical perspective from an old dude: what you’re describing is not that atypical -in an environment where “bottom line” results are the only thing that matters (who wins mano a mano, who brings in more profits), guys like this try to turn it into something subjective, or into a nebulous rather than clear cut goal. Happens in martial arts places (especially when the “senior” guys are dealing with a bigger, stronger young buck like you), and it happens in business (we’re a team, individual results are not really that important blah, blah…).

And, from what you’re describing, that dude is by definition not a great guy.

(hope I was clear as mud lol)

edit to add: otoh, you sound like a great guy, no homo, not that there’s anything wrong with that, etcetera, etcetera… :wink:


@punnyguy Thanks! I think you’re right about everything except I still think he’s a generally great guy who wasn’t being all that great in that particular moment. We’re the same age and he’s north of 200 and plenty strong, so he’s only senior in rank (a four-stripe blue to my three stripe white). I’ve got more grey hair than him too, so there’s that.

But yes, back to the importance of results. This behavior certainly indicates that he’s not interested in learning what the results are with me, which is a pretty basic description of rolling. You try your stuff and either succeed or fail. You do the thing or you don’t, and in both cases you should be asking “why?”. It goes both ways and it work that way with upper belts, lower belts and peers. It’s a huge part of what makes jiu jitsu great.

Whatever this thing is, it is. I’m not going to give him a hard time about it. That’s why I’m just going to wait for him to ask me to roll. Maybe it’s next class, maybe it’s another five months. Then I’ll roll with him like I do any other blue or higher belt. He’s a big boy and knows what we do in jiu jitsu class.


Thursday 7/12/18

BJJ 90 min

Warm-up with escapes. I’m competent enough to walk new students through these, and that’s what I did today with an inconsistent but still-sticking-with-it white belt in his 50’s. He’s a big guy like me and a pleasure to train with. Trap and roll + collar and Ezekiel choke variations. Knee-to-elbow escape to replace full guard. High mount escape with a bench press in the armpits and a huge upward hip-out and roll to the side.

We moved on to a choke series from technical mount. Mirror choke + 2 variations. Bow-and-arrow choke + 2 variations. Drill drill drill drill drill. No new stuff on these, pretty straightforward.

First roll was with my black belt instructor. I won the takedown and held side control for a good chunk of the match. He escaped and put me in trouble with a choke, but I defended and escaped back to side control to end the match. 5 min draw.

Next roll was with our new young blue belt. He’s a great roll and got me in a triangle. Afterwards he asked me if I was holding back my strength a little. I told him yes and explained some of the reasons why, and he assured me that I never need to do that with him unless I want to for technique purposes. Really cool dude. That’s gamesmanship.

That’s it and that’s all.


Friday 7/13/18

Bouncing 240 min

I, sentinel, stood watch at the door. The fellas inside really run a great business, and I’m glad to be part of a winning team. They pay me pretty damn well too. We’ve got a high-end speakeasy vibe going on, and I think they like having a large, polite and well-spoken doorman with some bouncing credibility from one of the area’s roughest bars.

I was hoping to rough up one or maybe even two customers, but it just didn’t materialize tonight. I’m really sorry guys, maybe next time.


Tuesday 7/18/18

BJJ 120 min

I took a trip south to an affiliate school about an hour away. My instructor was guest-teaching while the instructor there is recovering from an injury. It was a small class with all new BJJ students, but two guys with wrestling backgrounds.

Technique for the day was armbar from guard, fast armbar from guard, kimura from guard, armlock series from side control - Americana -> Figure 4 -> Kimura.

I rolled with the two big guys with wrestling backgrounds. They were both no-gi and I was in my gi, which doesn’t generally work in my favor. I like the challenge. There was one 20-something guy who was huge. 6’3" and probably 270-280. I let him have top to begin. He wrestled the hell out of me for 5 minutes and none of my escapes worked on him, but he wasn’t anywhere close to submitting me. 5 min draw.

Next up was another 20-something guy who coaches HS wrestling, not as big as the first guy but still a very stout lad well north of 200. He also wrestled the hell out of me for 5 min. I managed a few escapes that turned into scrambles, but he won those, putting me back on my back. But he was also nowhere close to submitting me. 5 min draw.

I rolled with the really big guy one more time. Caught him in an armbar from guard pretty quickly. I got the shit wrestled out of me for a few more minutes before I finally got an escape to work. Once I took side control he felt like any other new white belt. Easy prey. Took mount and feasted on the Americana he served up on a platter to me.

Overall I’m pretty damn pleased with how I did. I’ve only rolled with one wrestler before and that was about a year ago. He demolished me with top pressure and submitted me with a choke. These two guys were really valuable rolls for me. Wrestling may not teach a very complete suite of submissions, but those guys were absolute bulldogs on top. High energy, high pressure, high mobility and great control. Both were miles away from submitting me, but still an eye opener about weaknesses of mine for a real fight.

On the plus side I’ve now made my shit work and successfully submitted someone who outclasses me physically and has some real grappling training. This dude was at least 10 years younger, definitely a serious lifter and probably close to, if not greater than my strength. Jiu Jitsu works. I’m still a no-gi novice and very unaccustomed to the grappling style of wrestlers, but I made it work against the biggest, strongest guy I’ve ever had the pleasure to roll with. Go me.

He was a good sport too. If my instructor has to guest-teach again I’ll try to make the trip.