Tag Archives: paleo

Sluggish on Saturday

Being Thanksgiving week in addition to the new family addition, really threw my routine into flux. I did manage to make it to open mat on Saturday.

But, wow, did it suck. It was some combination of: not going to jiu jitsu very often the past month, not going to Crossfit very often the past month, having several beers the night before, or being mostly non-paleo the last month or so…or some combination of all of the above. I felt slow, weak, and tired the whole time.

I was running late, so I skipped deadlifting, thinking that I would do it after open mat. I warmed up a bit and started with JP. We went almost a full 9 minute round, with him in my guard but me on the defensive most of the time. At the end he got some weird lapel choke. We restarted, he started to pass, and I got a good scramble going and ended up getting directly into mount. I worked my way up into the high mount, but never was able to isolate an arm or his neck to attack. I did however stay on top successfully, where he usually just pops me off.

I took a minute to catch my breath, and this is where I realized how badly I felt. I still sucked it up for a round with Derrick and one with Dumi, but called it a day after that.

Hard Training = Hard to Beat

There are a million and one inspirational quotes. Here’s one I recently stumbled across:

“If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.” – Herschel Walker

That quote is pure truth. Walker (now 49) trains with Dave Camarillo, and is 2-0 in his new MMA career. He must be a competitor through and through, to play (and excel in) football for as long as he did, retire, and still have that hunger to train, compete and win.

Another night of hard training last night. I arrived early and banged out my 531 squats, finishing just in time to throw on my gi top and hit the mat. A good warm up, then 25 take downs and it was onto the training.

We again split into a light team and a heavy team. Two pair each, start with a take down. Then the top guy has to submit, mount, or take the back. Bottom guy has to regain guard and sweep, standup, or submit.

After a while, we nixed the teams and pretty much everyone went with everyone else. We had an odd number, so everyone got a breather now and then. I felt like I did pretty good, mounting a few different times, took the back once, and stood up once. On defense I did alright too. Pretty sore afterwards, but that’s the price you pay to improve.

We’ve got 12-15 different people heading down to Chicago for the NAGA tournament this weekend. It’ll be interesting to see how we all do.

After class we were changing and chatting, and Shane commented on how much weight I lost and started asking questions about paleo. I answered a few questions and pointed him at Robb Wolf. Spreading the word!

Defending at All Costs

Oy. The universe has conspired to keep me from getting to class with any regularity recently. Sick. Hurt. Family. Dog. Work. Home. Some combination or all of the above. I have been keeping up with Crossfit pretty steadily though. And still 85% paleo. Lost my 20th pound this weekend.

But Saturday is jiu jitsu time. And apparently it was for everyone else too, because we had a packed house. I did twenty minutes or so with Andy, who trains in Woodbury. We started slow, but got going pretty well by the end. I really need to figure out and fix my kimura from side control weakness. It’s easily my #1 method of getting tapped. Our last roll was back and forth for a while, mostly with me on the defensive. However, being on the defensive is better than tapping…and eventually I defended long enough to improve my position and cross choke him from guard.

Next up was Sarah, who was in town on Spring Break. I took the opportunity to practice my armlock from guard and side control escaping. Mostly just moving. Sometimes I just feel so clumsy, like I’m floundering, even though I know that I’m smoother than I used to be.

I took a couple minutes to catch my breath and grab some water….and then Damian called me out. Rolling with him is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great because he’ll point out mistakes and remedies. It’s horrible because it’s a little frustrating. Always humbling though.

We started, with me in his guard. I did the Fabio break, which elicited a “Good”, which was a good start. I stumbled getting to my feet, which allowed him to get his feet on my hips, which is bad. Plus he had both my sleeves controlled. I circled them to the inside of his thighs and started to work towards breaking out of his spider guard. I HATE being in spider guard. I don’t like being strung out. I sprawled and tried to shake a foot of my hip, and did. He let go of one sleeve, and I tried to spin around his Del La Riva guard, failed, and he armlocked my other arm. He released it, pointed out that my grip with that hand is useless, and that I just need to defend instead. So we did. I escaped the armlock, stood back, and Bullfighter passed his open guard. He tried to brace my hip as I came around, but I correctly (I think) led with my shoulder and got to side control. I started to go with head and arm control planning on mounting, but his arm was wide open so I underhooked and started to go for the walk around armlock. As soon as I stepped, he dropped his elbow to the floor to defend. I paused for a second to think, and he walked me through the “Superman” straight armlock that Fabio taught us during the seminar. I had forgotten about it.

We restarted with me in his guard again. He quickly trapped one of my hands in his armpit, and I knew it was in trouble. The rule of thumb is to pull out my arm, elbow first, so I was trying to do so, and he used the opportunity to lock up a kimura. He didn’t tighten it, but I couldn’t defend it because of the placement of his foot on my hip. Normally, I’d post up my opposite foot to create some space, then slide my free hand between us to grip my own troubled arm and pull it free. But because of his foot, I was kind of flat, and there wasn’t any room. Again the lesson was: Defend first.


This week was my first 3-time Crossfit week in a while. Really…it was my first 2-time Crossfit week in a while! As a result of some heavy squats on Friday, I was a little stiff on Saturday. So I decided to take it a little easy.

Rolling started out perfectly. I paired up with John, who appeared to be pretty new. Bigger guy, and still in the slightly-spazzy newbie mode. I pulled guard with him each time, going a little slow, for both of our sakes. He struggled in my guard, eventually popped it open, “passed” in the sense that he got to side control, but didn’t really use any particular technique to get there. I regained half guard, then guard. We repeated a couple of times, but then he attempted the usual newbie “one arm in one arm out” pass, which I’m morally obligated to punish via triangle choke. So I did. We went again, and he was huffing and puffing pretty good this time and moving much slower. My improvement in my own conditioning still amazes me. This time I slowly attempted to over the shoulder sweep, he countered by pushing into me, and I landed in near perfect kimura position. I couldn’t get the grip, but did switch around to his back. I caught myself leaning back to finish the choke, but Fabio jumped into my head, and I leaned in to watch his face as I finished it this time.

Next up was Tim, who beat me up, as usual. Twice I tried the Fabio guard break, and failed both times. Tim pointed out that I was holding his pants, but the heel of my hand wasn’t on his hip as it should be. It’s tricky.

Last was another purple belt, who’s name escapes me. We went a few times, him tapping me in each, but I put up a good effort I think. I escaped a couple of armlocks, and avoided one sweep. However, my nemesis, the butterfly guard, continues to be a thorn in my side.

Did my 531 press work and called it a day. The past month or so, my schedule has been so erratic with Crossfit that I restarted month 2 of the 531 program. Focusing on form, especially with my squats. George pointed out a small flaw in my deadlifts this week which I’ve corrected. And when I squatted yesterday, Liz said they were perfect. My estimated one rep maxes are holding steady from my Dec-Jan levels, so my slight lean mass loss due to paleo in Jan hasn’t affected my strength. Now that I’m (hopefully) back on the steady 531 bandwagon, they’ll start creeping up.

Open Mat

Saturday was our usual open mat sparring session. I headed into class with a little trepidation. Being the “new blue belt guy”, I kind of felt like I had a target on my back. Every white belt is going to be gunning for me, and the other blues may kick the crap out of me harder than usual. As I was stretching, I found out I was kind of right….

Matt H, who I haven’t seen in months, crouched down in front of me and grabbed a leg, and started telling me how I’ve got to start watching out for straight ankle locks, now that they’re legal. At the same time, Derrick sit behind me and throws his hooks in as he starts wrapping around my neck. Great. Two on one! I manage not to get ankle locked, but do get choked. Still good for a laugh from everyone watching.

First up was Purple Belt Mike, another guy who I haven’t seen in a while. We do an extended light warm up roll. He’s so smooth is just boggles my mind. Everywhere I went, he was already there defending. I was constantly off balance, over extended, and (if he wanted to submit me) in danger. He did point out a couple of things though, so I got some knowledge to go with my frustration.

Matt H was next. Went about normal for me vs a blue belt, me tapping here and there. I’m still getting caught in that north-south kimura. Last was JP, making his triumphant return to the mat after his surgery in December. We mostly just played around. He wanted to experiment with some positional stuff, testing his body’s reaction to movement and pressure. He let me start in side control a couple of times. He’s a big fan of getting a deep collar grip from the bottom, which I never do. I mounted him the first time he did it, and he cross choked me…from the bottom of mount. I didn’t think that was possible. When he started tightening it, I thought I could open on of his arms, pushing his elbow up towards his head. I figured that would relieve the pressure….next thing I know he’s let go of it and is telling me “Good morning” Apparently I went to sleep for a couple of seconds. I think that’s the first time that’s happened. Lesson learned…it is possible to choke someone from within their mount.

I’m back on the paleo wagon now. Mostly anyways. A man needs beer once in a while.

Paleo Month Post Mortum

Well I finished it. And I did it as strictly as I could manage. I suspect I ate more fruit than I should have, and probably not enough veggies, despite eating things I haven’t voluntarily eaten in years.

I did my “after” BodPod analysis earlier this week. Results:

Weight went from 171 to 161. I actually hit 159 one day during the month as well.
Body fat went from 28.7% to 25.5%, a decrease of 3.2%.
Lean muscle mass went down about 1.5 pounds. I wasn’t expecting this, but it’s not uncommon.

Over all, it was a pretty good experience. I discovered a few new recipes. My knife skills in the kitchen increased by leaps and bounds (lots of chopping and dicing!) I only had one serious craving. It was after Crossfit one morning. I got home and suddenly wanted to chug chocolate milk right out of the jug.

I’m continuing on the program, however I’ve relaxed the restrictions. I’m going to drink some alcohol now and then. I’ll probably have a slice of pizza here and there. But for the most part, I’m going to adhere to the guidelines. I think I’ll do another BodPod analysis in a couple of months.

I came down sick this week, so no jiu jitsu or Crossfit.

Tim the Comedian

Things started off last night with a significant amount of humor. During our warmups, I did my semi-usual “throat slitting” motion while looking at Tim. He laughed and said that he’d love to let me have a go at him, but he had to take off early tonight. Then made a comment to the effect of “And you know, tonight was probably going to be the night where you actually beat me. Make sure you write about it in your blog!”

Which kicked off a lot of discussion about it while we were stretching. So, fellow classmates, if you’ve found your way here, welcome.

Class last night was pretty heavy on white belts, so the first lesson of the day was about the kimura from side control, and I got to be the demonstration dummy. Weave the underhook, do a step to north-south, pinch your knees together as you either chain or punch your hand through. Get the grip, pull up, back and then down to finish. Renalto, Kieth and I ran through it. Good practice.

The second part of class was the simple and push sweeps. Basic stuff, but still things that are essential and always can use some work.

Rolled for a few minutes after class with Dave. My knee was bothering me a bit, so I didn’t feel up for more hook/sickle/other standing sweeps.

Paleo is going great…only a few days left at 100%. Hit -11 pounds for the month so far today too.

Open Mat Saturday

Saturday was a good, almost relaxing, day on the mat. Even though it didn’t start that way.

I got there, changed, and did some stretching and warming up. Dave was nearby, and so when we were ready, away we went. I started, as I usually do, on by butt, one hand back behind me for a base, the other up and ready to intercept. We each grabbed a sleeve, and he snagged a knee too, and started to walk around to side control. I rolled into him, moving to get my hands into proper position. He went to hook my head, and whacked me right in the eye with the back of his hand. We stopped, because I yelped and was seeing stars. After a minute of eye watering and laughing about it, we restarted. Not 30 seconds later, as I was escaping side control, he posts with his hand and then yelps himself. Apparently he smacked his hand down on the mat and caused hit his still-broken-but-tapped-and-healing finger to pop. So he quit for a while and when outside to stick his hand in the snow.

And I switched to Bryannt. He hasn’t been around in a long while, but is a good kid. We went back and forth for a while. I ended up on top, and in side control with him facing the wrong way, and ended up securing a wing choke. We restarted, and he was a bit more agressive this time, and got me mounted and grapevined my legs (which I have determined that I don’t like). My elbows were in tight and my neck was protected, so it became a battle of me trying to un-grapevine my legs enough so that I could upa or elbow escape out. Eventually I got out, but he maintained side control. He started an ezekiel choke, but I had my hand in place to block it. Then he switched to a weird no-arm arm triangle that I’ve never seen before. I didn’t worry about it, until I realized it was working and had to tap.

We restarted again, and were both moving pretty good. I was in guard, and he stood up. I started working for any of the sweeps that we had been drilling all week when Damian stopped us and showed us both something really slick. Bryannt was bent over, and crowding me, so even if I had the right grips, the sweep was unlikely to work because I didn’t have the leverage. So instead, I can open my legs, underhook one of his legs, slide my knee (and just my knee) down and inside his thigh, then duck my head under his leg to go with my arm. Now my other leg naturally wants to come too, and I can reach up, grab his belt in the small of his back, kick my legs and boom, I’ve taken his back. We drilled it a half a dozen times each, just to get the feel for the move. Apparently Cobrinha (“Little Snake”) has made this move famous.

Water break, and then I switched to roll some with Derrick. He tapped me a few times, but I thought I did well anyways. He did comment that I was moving better. I did have one nice armlock escape that drew a cheer from Dave who was watching.

Last rolls of the day were with Short Josh. Again, he got me a couple of times, but I felt like I was moving well. He commented that my paleo diet must be working, because I felt lighter. As we were cooling off, I showed him the Cobrinha technique, and he thought it was pretty sweet too.

After I stretched I went and did my 531 presses. It’s week 4 so the weight is really light and didn’t take long to do.

Diet is going great. No major cravings. My eternally stuffy nose, which I had chalked up to allergies, has cleared up.

Saturday Rolling

The new diet is working out well. It seems like I spend a lot of time chopping/cooking/planning but I’m enjoying the experiment and change so far. No issues to note. I’m a little surprised I haven’t had any serious cravings, but everything has been manageable so far. And I feel pretty good.

I showed up a little early today. Rowed a little bit to warm up and then did my 531 deadlifts. I felt pretty good doing them, and maxed out the last set with 6 or 7 reps. This was the last of “Week 2” of the cycle, so next week is the heaviest week.

By the time I finished up and changed, everyone else was out there and going already. We had an odd number, so I did a little bit of stretching and watching while I waited for someone to rotate out. Powerlifter Matt tapped out Renaulto, and he went to get a drink. So Matt was the first match of the day. We went for a bit, mostly with him on top. I’ve been trying to work my half guard to full guard recovery alot. He locked up a kimura from half guard, and I defended it a while, but he yanked on it and got it when I tried to sweep him.

I switched and went with Rod for a while. I did pretty good I think. Got on top, passed, mounted, got upa’d while working a cross choke, and now it was his turn to pass. I got back to half a couple of times, but he kept re-passing, then mounted, and started an arm triangle, but rolled off me before finishing it. Turns out…he doesn’t know how to! So I told him what I knew about the finish while we took a breather.

Another switch, and I’m with Bob the Monster. He’s going light, but not giving anything away. I’m on top most of the time, but his butterfly guard is just annoying. I’m constantly off balance. He sweeps me a few times, then rolls back to guard, restarting. I try a bunch of different things, some of which are just clearly wrong, but eventually I figure out that I think I need to pass the other way. That works better, but still gets me in trouble. He omaplata-sweeps me once, then resets. Over and over. I must of fought that guard for twenty minutes.

I switched again, back to Matt again. I arm dragged to start things off, and tried to head push him over. He re-gripped around my head and started a guillotine, I started the escape I just learned…and as I did so, he squeezed and damn near popped my head off. A good pop and things got dim quick. Tap, restart. We both do the same thing…and I’m getting guillotined again, but on the other side. But this time I’m fast enough to get a hand inside, to give my neck enough space to keep the blood going. I’ve got my other hand above his shoulder, opening up that side of my neck. And as a bonus, I’ve got my elbow on his thigh, giving me the leverage to start to open up his guard. I relax, he starts to squeeze, but I’m fine. My neck pops again, and he lets go. “Ew man…I don’t want to paralyze you. Let’s just go from here.” Sure. I stay postured in his guard, eventually get it open, he attempts to triangle, but I manage to get my other arm out fast enough, get the double underhooks on his leg and stack pass. Establish my head control, and he tries to roll into me, and basically puts himself in an arm triangle, all I have to do is jump over his body to the other side to finish it, and so I do.

Restart. He drives in, I pull guard. He breaks me open, and I go for the triangle choke. He’s postured up, and I’m shimmying my shoulders back to prevent being stacked, while working for the platform armlock. He keeps driving in, and eventually just rolls me over backwards. I turtle up, defending my neck and preventing him from getting any hooks in. I feel his hands probing here and there, looking for an opening…and for the first time in a while, I consciously take a breath, relax, and wait for him to probe the right spot, my far side arm pit. I shuffle a bit, baiting him into it, and he finally goes there and grabs me. I bite down with my arm, trapping his hand, roll away from him and he goes over the top and I land in side control on top. A perfectly executed reversal!

It was a pretty solid day on the mat for me. Felt good the entire time. Performed well most of the time. And learned a couple of things.

A Slight Detour

I was extremely excited heading to class last night. More so that I have been in a while. Looking back at it, I’m not sure why, but I was in the mood for some jiu jitsu.

I was expecting more side control escapes, but things took a detour to the land of judo. Specifically, the ippon seoi nage, or one arm shoulder throw. It’s one of the most basic and useful of the judo throws.

We built it up step by step, starting with the fireman’s carry takedown. Then we spent alot of time on the foot work and hip placement, which are really the keys to the throw. We wrapped things up with the setup, and then spent the remainder of the white belt class actually doing the throw. Bobby and I paired up and drilled drilled drilled.

The advanced class continued right where we left off. A quick buildup of the technique, then plenty of drilling. Later on, we added a counter to common resistance, and transitioning to the scarf hold position and the walk around armlock. By the end, I had the hang of it, but it’s one of those things that you need to have complete confidence in, so that when it’s time to go, you go.

After class Ron and I rolled a few rounds. Our first go was pretty spirited, and I was happy not to have any nausea. In our next two rounds, we ended up in some pretty odd positions that I wasn’t quite sure how to handle. Played it by ear and got armlocked twice. Eh. Still learned something, even if it’s “what not to do”

Paleo is going well. I feel like I’m eating like a horse. I haven’t had any cravings, and no sugar withdrawal symptoms, so maybe I’m over that hump. Crossfit on Tuesday was like being roasted slowly over hot coals. But this morning, like last night, I was my usual (better?!) self. So far, two thumbs up to eating like a caveman.