Tonight’s class went a little better for me. I tried to pace myself more during sparring. In particular, one of the blue belts gave me some invaluable advice during sparring. He told me to breathe. Sounds pretty obvious, and I’ve heard it before, but he explained it to me in practical terms that allowed me to internalize the advice in a new way. The idea is to take a couple of deep breaths whenever there’s a lull in the action in order to get your heart rate down. I practiced doing just that until the end of class. It’s surprising how hearing little things like that at just the right time from just the right person can make all the difference in the world. It also hit me tonight that I’m mainly now sparring with blue belts and the occasional advanced white belt. I believe that this will force me to make necessary tweaks to my game much faster than if I had continued going against mostly new white belts.