Tonight followed a similar pattern to last night. I didn’t exactly set the world on fire with brilliant submissions. However, I was able to hold my own for a good portion of time against similar sized blue belts and lesser skilled (but stronger) white belts, even though I got submitted at least once or twice. One match was particularly interesting to me. I was sparring against a less experienced white belt who has a background in wrestling. From top position, I was able to pass his guard and mount him, practically at will. However, he was finally able to reverse me after a poorly executed arm bar attempt on my part. Once he was on top, he seemed much more confident, and was actually able to pass my guard and even catch me in a submission. My guess is that the initial ease I had had in establishing dominant positions had lulled me into a false sense of security, which resulted in me not being particularly careful in my submission attempts and not taking his attacks seriously enough, once he was on top. It was a classic case of letting one’s guard down when faced with a seemingly harmless opponent. I think my grappling skills have now reached the point where I have a solid game on top and bottom…hidden somewhere amongst a swirling mass of techniques that I have acquired over a number of months. In order to develop further, my task will be to work more on consistency and patience. For example, once I had established a high mount on the white belt, there’s no reason why he should have been able to escape. It was only because I was experimenting too much with moves that I hadn’t fully mastered that he was able to reverse his fortune. I would like to continue to experiment, but first, I think I need to establish the things that work for me, and make them really solid, while at the same time continuing to scout out new techniques that can fit in with my overall strategy.