Everybody compliments me on my defense skills. Sure, I get submitted every now and again, but it’s usually not that easy to get me. To me, it’s no big mystery why. When you’re one of the smallest guys in class, sometimes your only option is to defend submissions after being powered down into side control. The down side is that my guard retention skills have been the slowest part of my game to develop. Not that my guard is horrible. If I go against someone closer to my size, I can usually hold my own on the bottom. Tonight was a little of both. I got to spar against two similar sized upper belts, and managed to at least end in stalemate. The rest were all big guys. The story for all of them was pretty much the same. Keep trying everything I know, then go into survival mode once they shut my game down. Once in a while, even with the bigger guys, I can still score a guard pass or back take. I’ll take whatever small victories I can get.