Progress in BJJ can be so incremental, that many people easily become frustrated at the apparent lack of progress. Fortunately for me, BJJ is not unique in this regard, and I was already familiar with this phenomenon from my previous martial arts experience. My strategy for dealing with this type of frustration is to always latch on to any minute sign of progress, as well as to try and identify anything that I can work on improving for the next class. Tonight’s sign of progress was a big one. I actually passed the guard of a blue belt! Sure, he was tired, but so was I. The point is that it wasn’t just luck on my part. It was the result of my concentrating on developing a systematic approach to guard passing that I could make work for me, without expending an extraordinary amount of energy. I even tried to mount him, but he was ready for me, and was able to escape. It was glorious while it lasted, and I even went for a submission while I had control of him. The submission is called a clock choke. It’s not one of my more polished moves, but I couldn’t think of anything else to try at the time. Even so, I think I was pretty close to pulling it off. Slowly, but surely, I’m starting to build a solid game plan for all of the major positions I find myself in. I think these advanced classes are definitely helping to push me to the next level.

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