One thing I like about jiu jitsu is it can often make minor aches and pains go away, at least temporarily. I had strained a back muscle on saturday by doing…absolutely nothing. I have no idea what I did. I was fine, and then something went out of whack. It happens from time to time, especially the older I get. I was sort of better by this evening, but once we had finished the warmup in class, I didn’t feel it at all. Of course, about a half hour after the end of class, I started feeling it again. Hopefully, it will go away after a good night’s sleep. I had a really interesting realization when I looked around the class tonight. Only three of the white belts had more mat time than me. The rest were all newer than me. It’s starting to show during sparring as well. I submitted one of the newer guys with an arm bar from the bottom of closed guard. It’s a tricky move, that I had never been able to pull off before in sparring. The set up I used was almost identical to how Royce Gracie ended up submitting Keith Hackney at UFC4. That not withstanding, my partner did get me back by tapping me with an Americana from side control. You may recall me previously making comments to the effect that only a complete nitwit allows himself to get caught in an Americana. Wait, wait, wait! Now, in my defense, the coach did make us switch to a side control drill by this point, and I was on bottom. Plus, he had already made sure to secure an under hook before we began. Finally, he was about 30 or 40 pounds heavier than me…ok, ok! Excuses, excuses. I just got sloppy. No big deal. Unlike some people in class, I really don’t fight the tap that much. My reasoning is simple. First, I want to avoid injuries as much as possible, so that I can keep training. Second, by the time you tap, you’ve probably already made three or four mistakes anyway. Not tapping is your ego refusing to acknowledge that you screwed up. That’s the whole point of training anyway, to learn from your mistakes in a safe environment, so that you’ll be better prepared if you ever have to use your skills for real.

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