Progress in BJJ is a strange thing. At the lower levels in particular, it can be hard to judge your progress by comparing yourself to people with superior technical ability. As you get better, so do they, so your relative skill level with respect to them stays the same, even though both of you are getting better. This can make it seem like you’re making no progress, even when you are making a lot of progress. Generally, the way this resolves itself is that a person with less technical ability joins your class, reminding you of how far you have come. Ever since I started the advanced BJJ class, I was generally the least experienced person in the class, so I had to content myself with trying to get beat up a little less each class. While I’ve been learning to better hold my own against these more experienced guys, something else has happened this week. White belts with less experience than me have finally joined the class! I know it’s petty of me, but it was nice to be able to pass someone’s guard again, and even get an occasional submission. Also, I feel as though, now that I have a rough BJJ strategy for all positions in place, I feel like my sparring is becoming a little less haphazard. I will keep working on, and refining, my attack and defense sequences until I have it down to a science. Once that happens, I will be able to confidently branch out and try new things, since I will have perfected a default strategy that I can always go back to, if nothing else is working for me.

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