Tonight, I sparred against someone who was so tense, it felt like I was wrestling an engine block! It was a little annoying, but I tried to just go with it, and work a bit from the bottom. He was so determined to not let me get him into my closed guard, that he stood up with his feet square to me. That was when I came up with an improvised version of the hand stand sweep, which threw him onto his back. Unfortunately, before I could congratulate myself on my brilliant move, he managed to reverse me into side control. Then, as I was maneuvering my way back into half-guard, he slapped a Roger Gracie cross-lapel choke on me (I think) for the tap. I don’t exactly know why I didn’t see it coming. We had just gone over a variation of that choke in class! Ah…we learned the choke, but not the counter. Besides, I wasn’t expecting him to try and submit me from half-guard. I guess I’m going to have to work on my cross-lapel choke defense, even from neutral positions.

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