One of the white belts was joking around with the coach before class tonight, and proposed a new rule for sparring. The new rule was that everyone had to announce to their partner what submission they were about to attempt. The coach didn’t skip a beat. He simply picked the most advanced white belt in the class, and said, “Fine. I’m going to pass your guard on your right side. Then, I’m going to submit you with an arm bar to your left arm. Ready? Go!” It took the coach about 60 seconds to do exactly what he said he would do, despite a rather spirited defense by the white belt. The coach hardly broke a sweat. I joked that we should make the coach do it in under 30 seconds for it to count. It was an impressive demonstration of the difference in skill between a white belt and a purple belt. My own sparring performance wasn’t nearly as dazzling, unfortunately. I went against three different people, all of whom have more experience than me. Given that handicap, I think I did pretty well. I got triangled by two of my partners, one of whom was a blue belt, but I almost caught the third guy in a triangle of my own. I’m still having trouble defending against arm bars and triangles, although I think I’m slowly beginning to figure out how to neutralize these two kinds of attacks. I almost never get submitted with anything else anymore, so if I can patch these two holes in my defense, I think it will be next to impossible to submit me.

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