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Do Meatheads Dream of Iron Sheep?


Friday 5/18/18



Some heavy DB rows and a bunch of light shoulder stuff.

20 min sauna
10 min hot tub

405 for 3 felt easy. I’ve been lifting beltless since starting back up too. It feels good. Strength is coming right back and the body’s holding up fine so far. My best set ever with 405 was for 9 with a belt. I’m not quite there but I don’t think I’m too far off. Picking up right where I left off…

I’m training jiu jitsu tonight so I didn’t try to push too hard on anything. I might go for 5 reps on 405 next week. I’m still rebooting the system and figuring out how jits fits in with lifting and recovery for me. Maybe a week or two more of this and I’ll move on to a more structured progression scheme and start working higher rep ranges a’la 5/3/1.


Friday 5/19/18

BJJ 90 min

Open mat at my brown belt instructor’s place. Some new people showed up, so he turned it into a class. Headlock escapes were the topic of the day. From standing, get headlocked and drop a level and clinch their hips. From here you can pick them up and slam them pretty easily (or at least I can). Once you get them to the ground you might still be in a headlock. If so, smash their face down. “Make them look at the floor”. If they still don’t let go, step your leg around them and lace your other hand through the loop they make with their arms. Then drive forward. They WILL let go.

One quick roll was all I had time for. He fucking neck cranked me again. Getting neck cranked SUCKS!

That’s it and that’s all. Happy weekend to everyone!

Edit: I forgot to add that we did basic turtle position from standing too. Being the most senior student in the class, I was lucky enough to be selected to show the efficacy of this simple technique. My instructor clocked me as hard as he could in the head, which was pretty damn hard. He’s not just a senior brown belt, he’s also won a gold medal for Team USA master’s weightlifting at the world’s a few years ago.

See everyone? It works! So much of jiu jitsu for self defense is predicated on eating some punches while you close distance to get in jiu jitsu range.


Love to see you working with the iron again. I think you’ll be a dangerous man if you can find a way to do that 1 or 2 times a week and keep with the BJJ work as well.


@ActivitiesGuy Thanks for stopping in! I also hope to someday become a man who is dangerous to someone besides myself. If BJJ doesn’t pan out I could always pursue the path of becoming a public menace.

Sunday 5/20/18

BJJ 30 min

I stopped in to my brown belt friend’s open mat to find myself practicing street chokes on some motherfucker who had to weigh 250 and looked like a tank. I didn’t stay long because I had a buddy of mine coming for his first taste of jiu jitsu so we headed over to my school for the basics class my other instructor is doing on Sunday mornings now. I really, really hope to see this meathead again and get a chance to grapple. I know he’s wrestled before and he was BUILT. C’mon buddy, stick with it so I can try my shit on some goon!

BJJ 120 min

Basics class. We began with stretching and warming up with hip and roll movements. There’s 8 of them we do. After that we did some breakfalls. Backwards first, then to the side.

We looked at an escape from side control next. Get your frames, hip out, get a knee in and then replace your guard. Next was what I call the gorilla roll. From the bottom of side control, get your frames and then push on your opponent. Replace guard if they give you space, but they will probably drive into you and when they do, gorilla roll them right over you, keeping the momentum they kindly started for you.

I do this to people a LOT.

Finally we worked another escape where you use your far-side knee to clear a hand that’s topping your near-side knee from sliding in to get your guard back.

I super-light flow-rolled with my buddy. We worked positions he knew and then I took mount. He asked me to stop and show him what he could do, so I showed him trap-and-roll. I have high hopes that he will stick around. He’s my age and pretty strong and fit, and I’ve known him for about a decade. He could definitely do well with jits.


Monday 5/21/18



Buncha shoulder stuff.

20 min sauna
10 min hot tub

Jits tonight.


Monday 5/21/18

BJJ 90 min

Continuing with our guard work for the month of May, we warmed up with a basic attack sequence. Armbar - Triangle - Omoplata.

Technique for the day was guard passing. Inside/Outside Knee slice. Stack pass. Pin the knees to the floor and walk/jump around pass. A pass where you roll right over them, didn’t work so well for me.

Then we drilled with the whole room. Pass the guard. Fun game. I’m not terrible at passing anymore, but I still can’t keep someone in my guard who is even halfway competent.

One quick round of rolling for me last night with a purple belt. 5 min draw. I got the better of him, spending a good chunk of the match with him in my side control, in technical mount or outright turtled. I couldn’t submit him, but I did have a move my brown belt instructor showed me last week where I put an ungodly amount of pressure right on their jaw when they’re all turtled up on the side. Works like a painful can-opener to make them react and move their head and hands, opening up paths to a submission.

I didn’t do it though. I would have felt like a dick and I already feel bad that I’m giving the guy so many problems. I’ll save that move for someone I know doesn’t mind a little rough play.


Tuesday 5/22/18

BJJ 70 min

Another Tuesday night of being the uke for my brown belt instructor. He’s doing a class at a local karate school that a friend of his runs. A few more karate guys showed up today. We kept it no-gi again.

From standing, monkey paw the back of their head and make them look at the floor. Getting both hands gives you more control. Snap their neck down and forward. Just like in gi, but you’re grip is around their head, not the gi. If they duck out, shoot on them for a double.

If you hit a double you’re playing the stack and pass game, which is another class. If they hit the floor from the snap-down, step around and get your left knee behind their right elbow, then swing your right leg around and post, getting an over/under grip on their torso.

We looked at a few escape options here from the bottom. If you just got wrapped up as described above, blast forward like a sprinter out of the gate. This should be enough to get most people to let go. If not, you can push down (as in towards your own crotch) on the person’s locked hands and crab-walk around so your shoulders and head are smashing into his torso, then spin in and pummel for control of underhooks or head and go from there.

If they don’t work an escape you climb on to their back. Get your hooks in and drive their neck downwards by posting on it. If they drive upwards use this moment to sink a choke. If the rear naked isn’t quite there but you have the neck you can step over into a choke I forgot the name of. You’re almost popping their head off like a bottle top.

I rolled with my instructor once and got tapped pretty easily. I’m pretty crude with my no-gi stuff, that much is apparent to me.

I rolled with a big karate purple belt who was about my size and age. I’ve drilled with him several times but this is the first time he’s rolled after drilling. He goes really hard during drilling, which doesn’t bother me too much since he’s new to jiu jitsu and I’ve got no idea how you drill in a karate class. I’m just trying to lead by example and hope he catches on that drilling is in no way a competition. Anyway, I asked him if he’s rolled before, and he gave me a look that said “you’re in my house” and told me that he knows how to roll. I can only guess that his confidence came from the color of his silly karate belt compared to the color of my silly pajama wrestling belt. Maybe he somehow believed that the drills we did together gave him some insight into my ability that wasn’t rooted in reality. Who knows? That’s why we roll, to see how our shit works.

He wanted to start from standing, so I just let him work and put me down. After one unpleasant knee injury inflicted by an aggressive white belt, I’m not contesting anything hard with new guys. On to my back I went with this guy on top of me.

He had an idea of how to play side control, but not enough of one to know that sitting up as big as he did for whatever reason that he did was not the best idea, since I just sat up and gently nudged him on to his back and took side control on him. I let him flail and squirm and gas out. I took mount, got hooks and gave him a little taste of pressure. He responded predictably, trying to push me off with his arms, gassing himself even more. I had the luxury of needing to choose the submission path I’d take, and had enough control to take a moment to think about this. At my disposal were…

  1. Use my head to start the gift wrap, go to arm triangle from there.
  2. Flatten an arm and go for an Americana or figure 4.
  3. Swing an arm over and attack it with an armbar.
  4. Take high mount and go for a simple armbar.
  5. Endless other possibilities that I’ll need to level up at jits to unlock.

I chose option 2 because I’m lazy and it was right there. It was so easy. Like handling 300 pound children. They just don’t know any better. Jiu jitsu is so much fun when you can put it all together. He seemed to be a good sport about it too. I hope this is an eye opening moment for him and I hope he doesn’t try to kill me when we drill next time.


Thursday 5/24/18



Buncha light shoulder stuff

20 min sauna
5 min hot tub

Allergies are KILLING me today. I usually don’t get them at all. Hoping the meds kick in before jiu jitsu!


Thursday 5/24/18

BJJ 110 min

We did some armbar escapes today. Stack and noodle your arm, then walk around the stacked body and take side control on the other side. We also looked at ways to counter this. Hip up and attack the other arm by telephoning their hand and looking for the elbow. Go to belly-down armbar. Also post your hand around their far side leg to swivel your body around and attack another belly down armbar.

I rolled twice tonight. Once with a new-ish female white belt. She’s going to be good. I let her work and try to defend and advance position. She’s lots of fun to roll with.

I rolled with a purple belt next who I also roll similarly to the female with. I outclass him physically by such a huge margin that it isn’t much use to either of us for me to just smash him, so I keep pressure low and work technique. 5 min draw.

Details are sparse because I’m just getting back from the bar. I got another stripe on my belt tonight, which is a good reason to down a little whiskey.


Is that 3 stripes? I thought you were only up to 2?


I’ve been two stripes for three or four months I think. I wasn’t expecting my third so soon. It is just a piece of tape on the belt really, but it is still nice to have that recognition from my instructor.


Sunday 5/27/18

BJJ 100 min

Sunday morning basics class. Hip movements, breakfalls, a basic single-leg takedown and a transition to a straight ankle lock was the technique for the day. We also learned a little about heel hooks and why they’re so cool and dangerous.

One quick roll with a newer student went predictably, with me giving him top position and tapping him out with a kung-fu choke about 20 seconds later. Then I let him have mount again and we worked on holding mount and stuffing escapes.

I rolled with my instructor next. I lost the takedown and almost got choked but I managed to trap-and-roll, beat the choke and pass his guard except for an arm. He held that arm with his legs and got me in a kimura with my free arm.

Good Sunday morning training!


Tuesday 5/29/18



Buncha light shoulder stuff.

I had this idea that 275 was going for a long ride, but it wasn’t to be. My Monday training partner was a guy named Jack Daniels, so he might know why the bar didn’t want to move like it should have.


Haha i love how you said this!!


@duketheslaya This is a true statement about jiu jitsu. I’ve had a number of horribly uncomfortable and effective submissions performed on me from the mount and high mount positions. I know they’re there, I just don’t know how to do them.

The Nintendo Entertainment System came out when I was 6 or 7 and my family had Pong and an Atari 2600 before that, so video games and leveling up have been a part of my life for a very long time. I’m glad the terminology resonated with you!

Tuesday 5/29/18

BJJ 90 min

Another Tuesday night at the Karate school. A few more showed up from last week. We began with guard passing drills, then looked at side control escapes once the guard is passed.

First make safe against elbow strikes to the head by gripping their tricep and keeping your head glued to their arm and framing their face with your forearm. On your other side, touch your knee to your elbow to protect against knees and stop them from gaining mount. The asshole (untrained) response will usually be to yank the arm up in an attempt to punch or elbow. Keep your head glued to the arm and ride it up, then push them over onto their backs with the momentum, taking side control for yourself.

Next up we looked at bumping them to get the arm that’s framing their face shifted to the other side of their arm, then you swim for the underhook. Once you have the underhook you “breakdance” swing your feet around to spin your entire body around, landing on your knees in a turtle-like posture.

Next was another variation on that when the person on top moves into side control to control your near-side hip and roll you up. Dig for that far-side underhook and shoot yourself out the hole like the escape above.

This place was HOT, like easily 90+ degrees on the third floor of a really old building, so rolling was a greasy experience today. My instructor and I were in gi, everyone else was no-gi. My instructor went to work with a breadcutter choke sequence he’s been working, and it worked well on me. The setup I need to defend is early on grip-stripping. I also need to be more present in the moment between unbalancing or being unbalanced and hitting the mat either on top or bottom. There’s a lot that can happen in those moments that can shape the outcome.

I rolled with another guy who took me by surprise. He definitely had a fair bit of jiu jitsu. I won the takedown and moved between side control, mount, half guard and he even got me back in his guard once. It took me probably close to 10 min to submit this greasy man. Got him in an Americana after he stuffed an arm triangle, an ezekiel, a back-take attempt and whatever else I threw at him. No-gi sweat covered skin definitely changes your options in a roll.

What a roll!


Wednesday 5/31/18

I did some lifting I never logged yesterday. Nothing big, but I tried to go do an upper body workout without my shoulders telling me to stop.

Cable tricep pushdowns
Cable curls
Lat PD’s
Cable Flyes
DB Rows

Not much but I need to start working my upper body however I can. I tried DB bench with the 50’s and it was a no-go.


Thursday 5/31/18

BJJ 100 min

Last class of guard work for May. Hot hot HOT in the gym today and class was packed. I was happy to go over some stuff I haven’t seen in a while, the closed guard overhook series.

From closed guard, grab their right sleeve with your right hand, hip them towards you and lace your left hand under their right arm and punch up to the sky. Strip their grip and pull their hand over your head as you establish the overhook with your left hand. Grip the gi and squeeze to keep them broken down.

First submission is to grab the fabric on their right shoulder with your right hand, gripping close to the neck. Hip out a bit to turn your body, curl up and squeeze to finish the choke.

Second submission is the Kimura. Keep them broken down with your right hand pushing down on their right shoulder as you make space with your hips and let go of the gi with your left hand, switching it to grab their right wrist. Lace your right hand through to establish a kimura grip, load the shoulder and rotate to finish the Kimura.

If they power out of that you have a straight armlock as they straighten their arm.

If that passes you can trap their arm against your body, lace your left foot over their head and you have a shoulder lock there.

If that moment passes you can transition to a belly-down armbar.

Great sequence.

Finished up with live drilling. From standing we worked on pulling guard safely (along with a speech on when the right and wrong times to pull guard are). Person in guard is looking to pass, person playing guard is looking to sweep or submit. 3 rounds with 3 different partners.

First roll was with a white belt who is a little younger than me and a federal LEO. I let him take mount. Easy escape with trap-and-roll, side control for a minute, then move to mount, then move to high mount. Submitted him with Ezekiel. For the rest of the round we worked on him holding the mount position, which is not easy to do with me.

Second roll was with our senior purple belt. He mauled me with armbars. I was not at my best for that roll and he made me pay.

That’s it and that’s all. Deadlifts for lunch today!


Friday 6/1/18



Buncha light shoulders stuff.


Saturday 6/2/18

BJJ 300 minutes

My instructor and I went to a local Karate camp that invites different martial artists to come teach for two days. Besides us jiu jitsu guys there were Shaolin guys (kung fu I guess?), Taekwondo, knife and ninja star throwing, some guy who just said he was MMA and a motherfucker who was swinging claw hammers around.

Lots of uke today and we mostly went over a basic side control escape and, with the adults, an arm drag to street choke. We worked with five groups in total.

I rolled a few rounds in the grass with my instructor since they only had one very small mat. I was completely unsurprised that there were no more takers in a crowd full of martial artists. I don’t think the dozens of black belts were interested in getting rag dolled and tapped out by a guy who has a white belt tied around his waist.

Oh well, maybe next year!


Did you and your instructor participate in any stand up action?