Tonight was my first hour and a half advanced class. I knew it would be challenging, but I was really beginning to question my sanity by the end. By the end of class, I felt like I had been run over by a bus! I had mentally prepared myself for getting repeatedly submitted with moves that I had never seen before. Interestingly, while I did get submitted a few times, the techniques were mostly bread and butter stuff that I had seen before. The one exception was a reverse body triangle that the brown belt caught me in, and even that didn’t seem wildly exotic. Mainly, I was getting submitted as a result of loss of focus due to fatigue. In other words, I kept running out of gas. I’m not used to doing that many rounds of sparring without any breaks. Even though I didn’t feel like I embarrassed myself, I also didn’t feel like I turned any heads. The one match that stood out for me was one that I fought against a blue belt. I started on top, but he had me in trouble early on. He was trying to get full back control, but only had his bottom foot hooked in. I kept my composure, and blocked all of his attempts to control my upper body. After what seemed like an eternity, he finally shifted his bottom leg in such a way as to allow me to hop over it. I eventually fought back to a sort semi-open guard, which he then passed and wound up catching me in a bread cutter choke. If I had more stamina, I might have been able to fight off that attempt as well, but I had nothing left at that point. The thing I’m proud of is that the blue belt had to use every last ounce of his own energy to pull out a last minute submission. My early assessment of all this is that if I can either improve my cardio, or more realistically, do a better job of conserving my energy during sparring, I think I could be competitive with some of these guys.

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