I was a physical train wreck, coming into class tonight. My lower back and left side had been sore and slightly out of whack the whole day. A lot of people would take the night off and allow their body to rest, but I’m too addicted to my jiu jitsu routine to even consider it. It sounds counter intuitive, but I find that the vigorous workout actually loosens up the stiff muscles, and allows me to recover from neck and back problems more quickly. In other words, I do jiu jitsu instead of going to a chiropractor. I felt like I had some good moments in sparring tonight. I even caught a brown belt in an arm bar submission. OK, sure, he wasn’t going 100%, but I still had to use good fundamentals, or he would have easily escaped, like he normally does. I also held my own against a similar sized blue belt. Then, just as I was starting to pat myself on the back, I wrestled with a female blue belt that made me look like…well…a white belt! I don’t even remember exactly what she did, other than I grabbed her pant leg, then she somehow swept me. For the rest of the match, she was either in side control or in full mount. Luckily, she didn’t have the upper body strength to finish me with an Ezekiel choke, and I was able to get my arms into a more defensive position. As luck would have it, earlier in the day, I had watched a video of Relson Gracie demonstrating a mount survival technique. Even though I wasn’t able to do it perfectly, it did allow me to recover an awkward half guard, and nullify her attack for the remainder of the match. My final match was against a less skilled white belt. I was pretty exhausted by this point, but was able to redeem myself a little by keeping myself in advantageous positions. I even started to experiment with a little bit of 10th planet jiu jitsu. I’m not as flexible as Eddie Bravo, but I think I may be able to incorporate some of the less extreme aspects of rubber guard into my game. I would love to be able to do his transition to omoplata from rubber guard, but I don’t know if I have enough hip flexibility to pull it off. If I can though, that could end up being a really good move for me, since I have long legs.