The gym was closed on Thursday, due to the snow storm, so this was my first night back. I hadn’t realized how sore I was from shoveling snow until my first warm up sparring match. It was with a 23 year old from Korea, who had done quite a bit of wrestling when he was younger. Even though he is a white belt in jiu jitsu, he was still giving me fits. He is not much bigger than me, but strong for his size, and he has a pretty good guard that is difficult to pass. Luckily, I know a few more jiu jitsu tricks than him (for now anyway), which allowed me to at least more or less hold my own. I sparred with him again toward the end of class, but I screwed up a guard pass, which allowed him to reverse me, and briefly attain side mount. He had good control, so I let him mount me in order to do an elbow knee escape (Gracie Combatives lesson 33). It’s a risky move in terms of competition, since, if you don’t escape his mount attempt in under three seconds, he would gain four points. However, it can be more effective than the side mount shrimp escape, if the person doesn’t allow you the space to bring your knee in. Also, I am not a big fan of rolling into turtle to escape side control. It’s way more risky than allowing the mount, in my experience. The bad news is that my timing was a bit slow, which allowed him to solidify his mount, and grapevine my legs to block my escape. The good news is that he placed his arm around my neck in order to control me and work for a submission. That’s exactly what he was supposed to do. However, it also offered me the opportunity to do the headlock variation of the trap and roll escape (Gracie Combatives lesson 1), which put me back on top and in his guard. I did a standing guard break in order to resume my offense from the top, but the match ended.

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