50 classes! Can you believe it? The time has just flown by. Since beginning training exactly four months ago, I have lost over 20 pounds, and am now pretty much back to what I weighed until about the age of 30. I am determined to stay at this weight, and to keep training jiu jitsu into my retirement years. I have also officially quit drinking diet soda. As a result, I have been drinking a lot more water. Tonight, I did reasonably well against a smaller 40 year old blue belt who did not seem interested in going hard. I try never to go hard or fast, so his was the perfect pace for me. At one point, I had him in turtle position, and decided to try the loop choke on him. Unfortunately, I had only watched the video on how to apply the choke, so when the moment of truth came, I got confused as to hand placement, and he easily escaped. At least, I tried! The second person I sparred with was a younger white belt. I tried my best to keep him in my guard, but he was too fast and strong, and I quickly found myself in the bottom of side control. I was able to neutralize all of his attacks, until he switched to the north-south position and applied the north-south choke. I was familiar with the choke, which is a favorite of Marcelo Garcia’s. However, I have yet to develop an effective counter for it. At first, his arm was smashing in on my jaw, rather than my throat, so I figured I would try to wait for him to let up, then try to roll him. I didn’t realize, until talking to him after class, that he had been countered that way before, so he was ready for it, and simply used the opportunity to sink the choke in further under my chin. That’s when I had to tap. He did later give me some good advice, which is that I should have turned my head into him, in order to relieve the pressure. Something to remember for the future.