I think I managed to work out one of the major holes in my guard defense. Since last class, I watched as many videos as I could find of matches between really high level black belts, and realized that many of them were consistently doing two things that I hadn’t been doing. With those two adjustments, neither of my sparring partners were able to pass my guard tonight. Not only that, I was able to sweep both of them and get on top. From there, I spent the rest of both matches in their guards, unable to pass. Even though I stalled out there, and was unable to pass their guards or submit them, I think the sweeps alone would have been enough for me to win both matches, had it been a BJJ sport competition. Actually, I did pull off one submission, but my partner complained that it was illegal. He had a hold of my collar, so I applied a kote gaeshi style wrist lock (something I had learned from my Aikido training, but Roy Harris also used it on his video, so I figured it would be alright to use). My partner thought I had a hold of his fingers rather than his wrist, so he cried fowl (small joint manipulation is illegal in BJJ, but wrist locks are fine). After clarifying the rules with a blue belt, I decided to hold off until I’m no longer a white belt before I start using more of my Aikido. I think I’ll just end up confusing the white belts. In any case, when I was training with Mr. Goody, small joint manipulation was fair game, if you were sparring against a black belt. For that reason, it might be difficult for me to refrain from small joint manipulation when going for wrist locks (i.e. I may need to train myself to be more careful before using them in BJJ sparring, even though, in a life or death situation, I wouldn’t necessarily bother with such distinctions).

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