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Do Meatheads Dream of Iron Sheep?


Friday 2/16/18

BJJ 60 min

Open mat at the gym. Great turnout. Both of my instructors, our senior purple belt and the same white belt I rolled with last night.

We didn’t have the timer on tonight and some of the rolls went really long. High points include making my black belt instructor work for about 7 minutes to tap me. I handled the white belt easily tonight, winning the takedown and basically tormenting the poor lad. He’s a good sport though. Brown and purple belts destroyed me, I was pretty tired by the time I rolled with the purple belt.

Great way to end the week. Happy weekend everyone!


Sunday 2/18/18

BJJ 150 min

Open training at my brown belt friends. Drilling for the day was various grip fighting techniques and how you can use grip fighting to bait you opponent into an ankle pick, which we also drilled a lot.

Rolling took up most of the time. Brown belt destroyed me as usual, but I got a few things going on him and made a couple of good escapes.

I got a roll in with the female white belt and just used technique with no pressure. I’m starting to get the idea of flow rolling. I tapped her with an Ezekiel choke from mount that I just set up gently. She didn’t recognize or defend it so I finished it. I don’t feel too bad I’ve let her win a lot lately.

Another brown belt showed up, and I rolled with him three times. He’s definitely out of practice but he was big and strong and one of the first guys in Maine to be a serious BJJ student. I tapped him once with a gi choke I can’t name and he got me twice with different chokes. He’s the first brown belt I’ve tapped but I’m not letting myself get too worked up about beating a guy who’s barely training for a few years. He was definitely a fun a challenging guy to roll with. Big and strong too!


Monday 2/19/18

BJJ 90 min

No new techniques today, just drilling the hell out of everything we’ve covered this month.

After warm ups we worked our takedown. Single leg from the clinch. Pass the guard with a knee slice, side control, then take mount.

Starting from the takedown each time, we drilled sequences ending with a choke series from Russian mount. Mirror choke, then cycle their hand behind head, then cycle further behind their head. Then go to bow and arrow choke.

Next series, also starting from takedown, was chokes from mount. Cross collar. Chainsaw. Ezekiel.

Next were the Armbars from mount. Regular armbar both sides. Then armbar from s-mount.

Then we set the timer and drilled everything. Then we rolled.

First up was our senior purple belt. He owned me bad. Not much more to say. Three taps in five min.

Next up was a white belt that deserves more effort from me. I’m trying to learn how to match my partner and not overwhelm them with attributes, but I should always try to finish with a submission. To his credit, he’s a handful.

Next up was another white belt. Similar encounter where I dominated him but failed to submit. Gotta find the balance where I’m not smashing with attributes but still finishing with technique, without ever throwing away my attributes as assets in a fight.

I was done after that, but my instructor deemed it time to put a second stripe on my white belt. I had to roll with the man after that, and I’m plead with the outcome. I got choked out, but not before I burned the mans grip out on a choke he was very close to finishing. He tapped me, but I sure as hell made the man work for it.

That’s it and that’s all. I’m now the second highest rank white belt at my school. Yay!


Congratulations mate! It sounds like it is well deserved.

I was literally about to ask if BJJ has gradings or when you may be up for promotion when I read that. Good job on that brown belt. Out of practice or not I’m sure he is kicking himself about that one!


Here’s a quick primer. White belt - blue belt - purple belt - brown belt - black belt - super duper belts

Each belt from white to brown has up to four stripes. At my school they seem to be general progress markers. With two years or longer in between colored belt promotions, they indicate where you are at in that stage of development.

Other schools like my brown belt friends has a set of techniques that you must demonstrate to get the stripe. That’s a good system too, but you have to test for it. And testing is an optional activity.

That’s how you get white belts who never bother to test but still train for years on end. I rolled with a no stripe white belt with 7 years on the mats a few months ago. At my school he’s probably be a blue or purple belt.

At any rate, belts and stripes are a funny thing. They are part adult participation trophy, part marker on your jiu jitsu journey, part arbitrary pice of cloth you tie around your waist when you train.

I’m just glad that my instructor doesn’t hand any of it out. Apparently there are schools where I’d be a blue belt already, which is just silly.


Thursday 2/22/18

BJJ 90 min

More mount stuff. Warm-ups first. Then we worked our basic escapes. Trap and roll. Trap and roll when defending a choke. Trap and roll when defending the Ezekiel. Knee-to-elbow escape. One high mount escape I could pull off, one that I couldn’t. Just gotta keep trying.

Drilling for the day was focused on escaping mount as a person was taking it, with full resistance from your partner. Kind of like a situational roll. My partner was a new student who’s spent a few months at another gym, so he knew some stuff. I’m humbled to say he got the better of me in this drill. I had a hard time gaining mount on him and he got it on me much easier.

Rolling went a little different. I got over-confident and let him take mount, get a good grip and then it was up to him to finish, and finish he did with a technically sound chainsaw choke. I tapped. Gloves were off at that point and I tapped him with an Americana. The bell rung before I could tap him again, but I had him in a bad spot.

Next roll was with my black belt instructor, and I feel pretty good about my performance. I endured lots of pressure, lots of trickery and I trapped his arm with his gi. He still managed to choke me, but he had to work hard for it.

Lots of good lessons tonight. I hope this new white belt sticks around. He’s got grit and he learns fast.


Friday 3/2/18

BJJ 75 min

Open mat at the gym. Only me, our senior purple belt and our black belt instructor showed up. I’m certainly progressing, making better and better escapes and making them both work harder and harder to tap me. I had good position a few times but couldn’t submit. Nor would I realistically be able to. I expect myself to every time, but the skill gap is too large with these guys.

Great stuff and I’m feeling fresh after a week off from training. Glad to be back on the mats. Happy weekend everyone!


Sunday 3/4/18

BJJ 120 min

Class at my brown belt friend’s house. Drilling for the day was a sequence starting with a wrist grab. Post the hand that’s getting grabbed to their thigh, then arm-drag with your other hand as you slide the posted hand to the top of their ass. As that’s happening take your other arm and get it around their neck. Push them forward by the ass as you push your chest into their back. Lower them to the ground, keeping the knee that’s on the same side as your choking arm driving into their back. From there you can finish with a choke or put them on their back and go right to knee-on-belly.

From knee-on-belly you want to slap them in the side of the face until they turn away from you, so make sure you’re not slapping the side that will make them turn in to you. Then you can take the back and finish with mata leo.

Rolling was great today. Two new students showed up, along with a female white belt who’s been a regular on Sunday mornings for a while. Same story with my brown belt friend, just making progress in the form of better defense, escapes, awareness, etc before he taps me out.

Had a good roll with the female white belt. I like training with her because I make a big effort not to smash and just rely on technique. I’m also a bit ahead of her technique-wise, so I feel like I can set the terms of the roll. I definitely make her work hard. She choked me with a cross-collar choke from guard that she executed well. I could have muscled out but I didn’t. She did it correctly.

My last roll was with a new student. Strong, fit guy who apparently fought a lot in high school. He was also no-gi, so my options were limited. From standing I got double-underhooks on him, but he defended my takedown well. We scrambled a bit before I ended up on my back and he smashed into me. I had him in half-guard, quickly worked back to full guard. From here I tried a sweep but saw an armbar and took it. This was my first time tapping someone with an armbar from guard.

Great times!


Congrats on the armbar tap out. 1984 Daegu, Korea I was studying Tae Kwon Do because that’s all there was. I suck at Taekwondo. No matter how much I stretch I could never get the flexibility for the kicks. No way would I be able to kick invading mongols off their horses. My upper body technique from Shotokan and boxing allowed me to hold my own, usually. One day the sabom matches me with a young lady lldan (1st degree black) who was maybe 4’ 10" on her tip toes and 90# after a good meal. I was around 215 then. Years of martial training should have taught me better but my mind was still western and chauvinistic. I throw this “I’ll be gentle” half ass punch out and she promptly hits me upside the head with 3 spinning back kicks in about a second and a half. Shaking my head I then politely knock her little ass across the room with a palm strike. Sabom stopped the spar, she stood, bowed, and walked of the floor. Last time I ever took an opponent lightly.


Thank you and thanks for sharing your martial art story!

On a related note, one of the things that sucked me into jiu jitsu was getting served a big slice of humble pie almost every day starting at day 1. My school has a 145 pound purple belt who showed me how useless a 600 lb deadlift was if you don’t have any technique. He can’t just tool on me anymore, we match up pretty evenly now, but he’s given me many dozens of bruises to help me get to this point.

I don’t have many pictures since we usually just train and don’t fuck around with our phones, but yesterday’s armbar was caught on camera!


Great photo! Great job with skills!

It looks like your opponent is just as happy about your arm bar as you are. Cool teamwork.

Also, I like how there is 1 little hole in the wall.


@FlatsFarmer Thanks!

He was a good sport and I hope he returns to train again. It was his first time in a jiu jitsu class but I think he got a good display of its effectiveness yesterday.

I’m honestly amazed we’ve only busted one hole in that wall. There’s been a lot of battles in that little room!


Monday 3/5/18

BJJ 90 min

Back control is the position for March. Osoto Gari is the takedown for March. Warm-up drills for march are escapes from double over, double under and over/under.

I hadn’t done this takedown in quite a while and had a little trouble with the rhythm. I like the idea of practicing it all through March. Plenty of time to get better.

Next up we did the basic escapes. These I know well. Double over’s I need to remember to move quickly on. Double-Unders seem managable for me now, and Over-under is one I need to improve on. Not the basics of the escape, which I do well, but the whole game of grip fighting that’s taking place around the neck. There’s a lot going on with that.

We did a few chokes too. Sliding collar choke. New detail I saw today was the hand motion. Straighten the choking arm while pulling the lapel towards their crotch while keeping the body stationary.

Next up was the mirror choke. If they defend the lapel, cycle your off-hand around the back of their head with your palm facing yourself. Dump them to the opposite side that the hand is raised on, pulling the hand behind you while you pull the collar down towards the ground.

Last up was bow-and arrow. Important detail is the options beyond. Knee to the back of their head and shin across the face are there if you’ve got a looser grip.

Packed class tonight with almost 20 students. First up was a newer white belt with a few months on the mats. I went really easy on the guy. Made him work a little bit and helped him not stick his hands out when mounted. He kept forgetting this so I planted an Americana on him. Then I let him take top and work a little bit before the bell. I’m starting to feel like I know a little jiu jitsu.

Next up was another new white belt. He’s buddy with our senior purple belt, 23-ish, strong and aggressive. And he definitely wanted to tap me out! He’s trained before somewhere, maybe wrestled or something. He won the takedown and more-or less kept side control for most of the roll. I made a few escapes that turned into a scramble with me back on my back. He took mount and went for a sloppy armbar, which ended up with me in side control. Young Mr. Aggro was saved by the bell! Good sport though, and I hope I get the chance to train with him again.

Last up was my black belt instructor. 5 min draw. I made a lot of good escapes. Very very pleased with rolling tonight!


Friday 3/9/18

BJJ 60 min

Open mat at my brown belt friend’s house. Mostly rolling, but we spent a little time on technique.

First I was informed that my mount defense from side control is crap, which wasn’t exactly news, but I understand why now. I was just resting the guarding leg on my other knee instead of actively making contact and trying to touch my knee to my elbow. Keeping the elbow inside is also key to this.

We looked at this same position from open guard too. I see this a lot, especially with my brown belt friend. He’s a fucking ball that rolls around when he’s on his back. Elbows in, knees to elbows and just roll with their energy, always working to replace your guard smoothly and efficiently.

One neat trick from here is to roll backwards when someone tries to forcefully pass your guard, then hit them with a double leg takedown right away. I’m hoping to murder people with this.

Rolling was more of the same with this guy. Make a few good escapes, do better, be harder to tap. A female white belt was also in attendance and we roll well together. I let her work and I’m continuing to improve my technique while actively working to not use any size or strength attributes whenever I can. Some stuff’s just going to suck for her though, like a knee slice pass.

Happy weekend everyone!


Sunday 3/11/18

BJJ 120 min

Class at my brown belt friend’s house. Guard passing was the name of the game today. Nothing too new for me. Important details to remember are to use the elbows to keep feet out of my hips in the tight pass position and when standing up. Goon throw the legs over their body and move around the other way into side control.

Rolling was brutal today. I had one 7 or 8 minute rumble with the brown belt, which is definitely the longest I’ve ever survived against him. Exhausting. My other rolls with him were a lot shorter.

First white belt was a guy who’s been off the mats for a few months. I’ve always had his number but today I gave him top position and still tapped him out in less than 20 seconds with a bow-and-arrow that he served right up to me.

Next white belt was a two-stripe from my instructor’s school. This was a great rumble. He and I match up well technically. We must’ve traded positions six or seven times. He never got too close to submitting me, but he put me in some real bad spots. He eventually gassed and I rolled him and finished with an Americana from side control.

Next up was the same guy from last week, still with no gi. He’s a scrappy and strong dude, fighting off my attempts to armbar him a couple of times and rear naked choke him two other times. I eventually got mount and gave him a taste of pressure. I was trying to work an ezekiel on him but he was trying to push me off of him, and I punished him for extending his arm with an armbar from mount.

That was a workout. I love rolling without a timer. It really pushes you to be tougher, smarter, and to dig deep and keep fighting.


Monday 3/12/18

BJJ 90 min

Back control is the position for March. Warm up with the three basic escapes. Over under, over-over, under-under.

Drilled chokes next. Sliding collar. Mirror Choke. Bow-and-arrow. I didn’t pick up any new details on these just reps. Rear naked choke was also drilled. New detail to remember is to keep off-hand stuffing the face while cupping my hand around that arm. Keep pressure on.

I got to roll with a new-ish white belt from another school. He’s a marine, and he was a fine scrapper. I gave him top each time, being unsure of his takedown skill/risk. He definitely knew a little grappling and he had a lot of fight, but I still submitted him twice. Americana first and a gi choke second. I hope this guy sticks around.

Next up was my brown belt friend. I was so smoked from my last roll he just mauled me. A good lesson in what being weak and wavering with your movement will bring upon yourself when facing a skilled opponent.


What format do your sessions follow? Do you have forms or are you able to practice the moves without a partner? I’m going to have to watch a BJJ training session to see how it’s structured. All the rolling does sound exhausting. What do you way now?


It depends on the place and time. Open mats we just show up and roll, no warm-ups. Open training sessions at my friend’s house are similar. Just show up and dive into jiu jitsu.

Normal classes at my gym are much more structured, and that’s probably pretty typical. We start with about 20 minutes of warm-ups. These can vary a bit. Usually a few minutes of stretching. Usually a few minutes of ab work. Sometimes we run. We often do fundamental movements like shrimping across the floor in various ways, front and back rolls, and technical stand ups. Sometimes we do a little stretching and then warm-up with basic jiu jitsu moves. But whatever we do, it usually runs about 20 minutes.

Then we work a takedown. One per month, with about 5-10 minutes of class time devoted to just drilling it over and over.

Then the instructor will demonstrate a few techniques. This usually runs about 35-45 minutes. We work on one position for the entire month. This month we’re doing back control, both attack and defense. Last month was mount. Before was guard. Before that side control. Submissions, submission defense and escapes from the positions are all covered. He shows us the techniques and we drill it over and over. Sometimes with a compliant partner but you can also add resistance here too.

After drilling we roll. This is a BJJ term for sparring. This can vary in intensity. Sometimes an upper belt will just work with you on something specific, almost more like situational drilling. Sometimes you go after each other but keep things light and playful. Sometimes you smash the shit out of each other. Rolling is optional class-to-class, but required in some shape or form. Rolling is where you make your techniques work against a resisting opponent. After a class I usually roll two or three five minute rounds. Sometimes more, sometimes not at all. If I’m injured I don’t mess with it.

A partner is required. There are many solo drills you could do to supplement your jiu jitsu, but you won’t ever learn it without a live body to train with. Rolling with one person is better than rolling with no one, but rolling with many people is even better.

If there’s a school close to you, you could just sit in on a class. I’m sure you can see some classes online somewhere on youtube, but that might not be the same sort of structure or format you’ll get at the schools in your area. I went to a class at my brown belt friend’s school and it was structured a lot differently. Both formats make sense when you look at them in context, so you can have different formats to teach jiu jitsu depending on things like time, experience of teacher and student, classroom composition, frequency of classes, sport or self-defense application, philosophy of jiu jitsu, and plenty of other factors I’m not even thinking about. Each school will have its own format and vibe, so that’s why I recommend sitting in on a class.

It is. Especially when you’re 280 lbs!


@hel320 I’ve edited the post and added some more detail, in case you’ve already read it. I love jiu jitsu just as much as I love lifting and I’m always happy to discuss either.


Been to traditional Jujutsu (jujitsu) dojos in Japan but have never visited a BJJ school. There is one fairly close to me so I think I’ll pay them a visit. No intention of taking up another system but I always enjoying seeing the different styles. Studied Kenpo for a while which incorporates a lot of Jujutsu. Discuss all you want. Lot more going on with us ole folk then just lifting.