I’m still learning new things at a rapid pace. I’m trying to do it in an orderly manner, which means that it may take a few more months before I can focus on certain problem areas. For example, I still get caught in the closed guard arm bar more often than I would like. Also, I feel like my guard retention skills are not as sharp as my guard passing. These are the things that tend to trip me up in sparring right now. However, before I seriously address those issues, I want to make sure I have a solid foundation in surviving and escaping inferior positions. The less skilled you are, the more likely it is that you will quickly end up in the worst positions, and then be submitted. One of the worst is positions to be in is on the bottom of mount, where the person sits on your chest. This is a terrible position to be in, if you are on the bottom, because your attacker can punch you (not in class), choke you, or force one of your arms into a joint lock. That’s probably why the mount is the first thing addressed in the Gracie University lessons. I have been spending some time studying the mount lessons, in order to better understand how to attack, if you’re on top of mount, or defend, if you’re on the bottom of mount. After I feel more confident in my mount techniques, I will move on to the other positions, according to the lesson sequence at Gracie University, until I am comfortable in each. I’m estimating that it will take several months to work my way through the blue belt stripe one lessons. After that, I will do the stripe two lessons. The stripe three lessons are not yet available, so hopefully, I will have time to watch season two of House of Cards before the end of the decade.

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