My knee is feeling better, but now my left ankle is acting up! Last class, my partner rolled over it while we were practicing a move. I had it checked out by a doctor last night, and nothing’s broken. He said the tendons were probably just strained a little. I took it easy during warmup tonight, so as not to overdo it. I really think it’s just aches and pains from getting older, so I’m not too worried about it. I’ll just baby it for the next few days. Tonight’s sparring was another split between offense and defense. For offense, I went against a less skilled white belt. I played a lot of butterfly guard with him, and even tried for x guard a couple times, but wasn’t able to get it. However, I did pass into side control at one point, which he defended by turning into me on his side. Unbeknownst to him, his strategy turned out to be not such a great idea, since it perfectly set him up for the side mount step over choke. The minute I recognized the opening, I went right into the move and sunk in the choke. He asked me afterwards what I had done, since he had thought he was not in any danger. I quickly explained the move to him, so that he can be on the look out for it the next time. For defense, I went against a tough blue belt. It was now my turn to get sucker punched by a surprise move. When I tried to do a knee cut pass on him, he went into some kind of deep half guard sweep. He’s done it to me before. I need to get him to show me that move at some point, since I don’t think it’s something I’ve learned yet. He managed to get me into side control and mount pretty easily, but I defended against his submission attempts fairly well. Even when he went for an arm bar, I was able to make it difficult enough for him to straighten my arm out, that he ended up switching to another move. Unfortunately for me, he transitioned into a head scissors choke, which is even harder to defend against than the arm bar! Even though I was submitted by him, I was happy with my performance. He only went for the head scissors choke because I had managed to shut down all of his other submission attempts. Up to that point, he had tried several kinds of collar chokes, the brabo choke, the kimura, and even the armlock (something I have struggled to defend against in the past). The fact that he had to resort to the head scissors choke means that he was having a tough time submitting me.

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