I officially learned my 100th technique tonight. Sounds impressive, except most of them are a long way from being ingrained into muscle memory. It’s like when you learn to play a musical instrument. Anyone can show you a riff and have you practice it a few times. However, would you be able to smoothly and fluidly play that riff at just the right spot in a jazz solo, regardless of the key? It’s the same with BJJ. For example, on Thursday, I learned two techniques that are executed from deep half-guard. When I tried one of the moves in live sparring on Sunday, I ended up exposing my arm to a kimura submission. In hindsight, I had only practiced the technique to one side. When I tried the technique to the opposite side during live sparring, I became confused, and completely screwed up the hand placement. That’s why I was glad we just drilled techniques tonight. It gave me the opportunity to really work on applying the techniques smoothly. Also, I figured skipping sparring would give my ribs a break. Unfortunately, my partner kept mashing down on my ribs tonight, even though we were just drilling. He didn’t mean to. It’s just that any weight to that area is still uncomfortable. My goal is to be fully healed by February 23, since that will be when the next phase belt test takes place. In order to pass the test for white belt phase one, I will have to demonstrate ten techniques randomly picked from a list of twenty. I’m pretty confident I have the required techniques down. I just need to be able to perform them all without wincing in pain.