Tonight, we didn’t go over specific techniques as much as going over different concepts. There are a lot of subtleties to controlling a person from top or bottom that cannot be neatly summarized in a clean technique progression. For example, if you’re on top trying to pass someone’s guard, it makes a difference whether you grab his ankle, grab his pant leg mid calf, or grab his pant leg closer to his knee. The last one is usually less ideal, regardless of the specific guard pass you are attempting. It takes time to absorb all of these concepts because there are so many different possible combinations of body movements for which you need to develop the correct response. We didn’t have many white belts in class tonight, so I mainly sparred with blue belts and purple belts. I feel like I’m improving in my top game, but I’m still having problems dealing with certain types of guard pass attempts from bottom. I think it’s mainly a problem of delayed reaction due to lack of sufficient drilling from those positions. Tonight’s drilling helped me to spot some of the deficiencies, but I’m still waiting for that “aha” moment that will push my guard game to the next level.