10 Signs of a BJJ Meat Head

In a sport that claims to have no egos, there is still an under belly of meat heads. You might have come across one at your gym, a tournament or maybe at an open mat. Sometimes they are a lone wolf or travelling in a pack with other like-minded rough necks. The meat heads on the mat have distinctive characteristics that make them a less than ideal training partner and a potential wild card to cause trouble both inside and outside of the gym. Here are 10 signs you might be training with a meat head.

1. Unsolicited stories about all the street fights they won: They might be a white belt on the mats, but they are graduates from the “school of hard knocks” and have a black belt in street fighting. You might be cornered In the locker room or you are sitting on the mats when a meat head will come up and tell you about all the street and bar fights they have been in during their lives that should be made into a movie. Usually the meat head will be undefeated and won most of their fights by devastating knock out and leaves with their victim’s girlfriend.

2. Will try multiple submissions while stuck in your closed guard: In the meat head’s world, position before submission doesn’t exist. While stuck in your closed guard, they will dig their elbows into the soft parts of your thighs. If that doesn’t work, they will work their submission game in your closed guard which consists of a forearm across your throat while driving all their weight into your neck, an Americana attempt, or the classic “can opener” with a vengeance.

3. Will breathe really hard in a grunting fashion when he is frustrated: When a meat head get’s angry or frustrated when they are unable to finish a submission or if they are stuck in a bad position, they will all of a sudden start  breathing really hard like the Incredible Hulk or a woman in labor. Their face will redden and the veins will be popping out from their forehead as they try to muscle and crank to their heart’s content.

4. No remorse in going 100% against a much smaller opponent and cranking a submission: There is no such thing as “keeping it playful” with an opponent or adjusting their game when rolling with somebody that is much smaller than them.  A 200-pound meat head has no reservations about cranking an Ezekiel choke while inside a 110-pound females guard. When they slap an arm bar on you while rolling, there won’t be an grace period given to tap. It will be cranked to break right from the get go.

5. Best coaching advice is to “go harder”: Don’t expect any technical advice from the meat head. The best and only advice from a meat head is to “go harder.” Stuck in bottom mount?“Go harder.”Stuck in a triangle choke? “Go harder.”

6. Really religious and misogynistic posts on social media: There is a bipolar characteristic to a meat head’s behavior on social media. In one tweet or Facebook post, he will “Thank God” and say something like “God is Good.” Then 20 minutes later, tweet about his baby mama drama and hating all women. In between, will be bathroom mirror selfie pictures. The meat head will also occasionally tweet about tapping out an upper belt, but leave out that it was during drilling.

7. If you tell them you are recovering from a left shoulder injury, they will attack the shoulder with Kimuras and Americanas: While you want a friendly roll to get back into the swing of things, they want to teach you a lesson that there is no mercy on the streets or in the “School of Hard Knocks.” While most people would interpret mentioning an injured or recovering body part as a sign to avoid attacking that body part, the meat head will look at this as a sign of where to attack.

8. Will show up in a group post-training photo at a rival school: Meat heads have no problem popping up in other school’s group photos. In fact, they tend to train with rivals schools and pop up in their group post training photos right before major tournaments. While you are hoping that they are there to injury your potential opponents, there is a good chance they are telling a potential opponent in your division about your game plan and tendencies while bringing up a shoulder injury you are recovering from.

9. Wished BJJ was MMA: In addition to telling you about their unblemished street and bar fighting records, meat heads also like to mention how they wished they could strike and slam in BJJ. They will bring up what they would have done to you in closed guard if striking and slamming was allowed and how unrealistic BJJ is in a real street fight when all you want to do is have a friendly roll and go home to watch a few TV shows on your DVR.

10. Loves to roll with new people: Most people would prefer the honor and challenge of rolling with the gym’s upper belts even if it means getting smashed in order to learn from the upper belts. The meat head doesn’t like to lose and one of the best ways to ensure complete and total domination over another human being is to roll with the freshest and least experienced white belts. While most normal people would roll light and encourage the new white belts, the meat head believes in baptisms through fire and shows absolutely no mercy in breaking the spirits (and sometimes limbs) of white belts.

In most cases, meat heads will eventually mature and fall in line with a school’s culture and ways of doing things or they drop off. In some cases, the head instructor will tell a meat head that the school isn’t a fit for what they are looking for in martial arts training. Also, the fresh meat heads that assume that being bigger and stronger equals instant success on the mats, aren’t able to handle the ego and soul crushing that comes from being repeatedly submitted by someone half their size. If there is a meat head in your gym, please proceed with caution, but realize in most cases they are are like M&Ms. Hard on the outside, soft on the inside.



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