Another interesting night in terms of sparring. The first guy I went against was an ultra-heavyweight (I’m a lightweight), but thankfully one with far less skill than me. I easily submitted him with a triangle, which confirmed to me that if I can triangle someone like that (i.e. built like a refrigerator), I should in theory be able to triangle just about anybody. The next person was one of the newer blue belts. He was a bit stronger than me, but I was able to keep him in guard or half guard, without getting submitted, from the bottom until the coach switched us so that I was on top. He kept trying for a cross collar choke, but I had already found a new way to defend it since the last time I sparred with him. The idea is to set up a Wilson pass, in order to make it impossible for him to get his other hand in your collar. The great thing about this approach is that it allows you to defend and attack with the same move. The Wilson pass attempt ended up distracting him long enough for me to attempt a standing guard pass. The only problem was that I forgot to assume a defensive posture, once I stood up, which made it possible for him to sweep me backward and come on top into mount. That was mistake number one. Mistake number two was that I kind of hesitated and allowed him to get a solid mount. I heard the coach say, “Don’t just lay there!” Then, I realized I needed to be more active from the bottom of mount, so as to make it harder for him to set up a submission, while I looked for an opportunity to escape. Even with those two mistakes, making it to the end of a match with a blue belt without being submitted is one indication that I’m not so easy to manhandle anymore.

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