I was sick all day today, so I stayed home from work and slept most of the day. I was feeling better by the evening, but was still a little weak. It probably would have been a good idea to stay home and rest more, but I couldn’t stay away. I figured I would just take it easy and conserve my energy. Sparring is the most physically demanding part of class, so I tried not to go crazy. At the same time, I wanted to work on pressure passing. Everybody is so good, I can’t remember the last time I passed anyone’s guard. I thought a pressure passing strategy, where I drive my weight into their legs, would increase my chances. I got close once on one of the blue belts, but mostly, I was getting my back taken for my efforts. Luckily, I have a pretty decent back defense, coupled with the fact that defending the back requires very little energy if you do it right. Still, by the end of class, I was feeling a bit dizzy as we stood in line to hear the feedback of our resident black belt. He said that he thought several of the white belts already had the technical skills to compete with the blue belts, but just need to stop holding back. I don’t know if he was referring to me or not. If he was, it’s not a question of holding back. It’s a question of how do I get past the guard of a blue belt that has superior stamina and grip strength? If I can solve that riddle, I think I’ll be just about ready for blue belt.