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The Bay Area Martial Arts Podcast

Jun 26, 2018

If you have any interest in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the history behind it you’re going to love today’s interview on The Bay Area Martial Arts Podcast. Wade interviews one of the original BJJ “Dirty Dozen”: David Meyer. He was one of the first twelve people to get their BJJ black belt outside of Brazil. Starting back in the ‘90s, he has a tremendous history from the more traditional side of Jiu-Jitsu to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He’s a major advocate for BJJ, the vegan lifestyle, and animal rights — as reflected in his role as CEO at, North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website.


In this episode, David Meyer and Wade discuss David’s transition from Jiu-Jitsu to BJJ, his progression to earning his black belt in BJJ, his training regime, his martial arts philosophies, the history of BJJ, as well as his predictions for the future of BJJ. David also talks about his life outside of the sport — from his background as a vegan to his work with advocating for animals’ rights.


Key Takeaways:

[:40] About Wade’s guest today, David Meyer.

[1:48] David Meyer explains the “Dirty Dozen”.

[2:18] How David Meyer got started in the martial arts.

[4:45] David’s transition from Jiu-Jitsu to BJJ.

[10:21] David’s progression to earning his black belt in BJJ.

[13:18] Competitions David has competed and earned medals in and why he finds competitions to be a key part of learning and getting better.

[15:45] David’s background as a vegan; why he became vegan, how it became one of his passions, why he advocates for it,

[19:00] Why David start advocating for animals and his non-profit career of educating people on animal rights issues and the creation of the non-profit company,

[21:59] How martial arts impacted David’s life off the mat? How his skills have translated to his everyday life.

[24:33] How David balances married life and martial arts.

[25:32] How David maximizes his time on the mat through his “martial arts homework”.

[29:21] About one of the important training regimes David uses.

[30:54] David’s views on leaving your ego behind in martial arts and belt ranking.

[34:04] About David’s experience in Israel; teaching music, teaching martial arts, and becoming friends with instructors of Krav Maga.

[36:11] Lessons David has learned from BJJ and the importance of balancing your training.

[41:06] A history on BJJ and David’s predictions for the future of BJJ.

[45:35] A story from David about his move from a very structured martial art to the more lax, BJJ.

[46:31] The distinction between a school and a gym.

[48:18] Where to learn more about David Meyer online.


David Meyer’s Links:

Adopt a Pet

Training for Competition: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Grappling, by David Meyer


Mentioned in this Episode:

BJJ Dirty Dozen

Adopt a Pet

The Smarter Diet (Video David shared with Wade on veganism)


Tabata High-Intensity Training

John Will

BAMA Episode with Rory Miller