Sparring has become an interesting mix of ridiculously easy and extremely challenging of late. I’m finding more and more that grappling with the newer white belts is almost like taking candy from a baby. For example, I felt like I could drive a truck through the hole in the guard of one of the newer white belts tonight. Not only that, it only took me a matter of seconds to slap on an Americana lock and make him tap, once I passed his guard into side control. To put this into perspective, the side control Americana is one of the easiest submissions to prevent from happening, provided you have already learned proper defensive hand placement. You practically have to have your arm dangling in the wind, with a sign on it saying, “Take me! Take me!” in order to get caught in a side control Americana. On the other hand, I consider a successful sparring session against a good blue belt to be one in which they only pass my guard into side control, but are unable to mount me. Little by little, though, I feel like I’m catching up to the more advanced white belts and even some of the weaker blue belts.