I had a couple of stand out moments tonight. The first one was when I went against the same blue belt that was giving me problems last night. He caught me in the same sweep again tonight, but this time, I quickly transitioned to standing 50/50 guard. From there, I went for a standard 50/50 sweep, but instead of sweeping, I used it as a set up for a back take. I almost had his back, but he winced like he was in pain, so I stopped. He has had knee problems, so I wasn’t sure whether he accidentally twisted something in the scramble. As it turns out, he was fine, he was just showing frustration on his face that he was about to get his back taken. After class, the head coach complimented me on the sequence of moves that I had put together. He does not often hand out such praise, so I took it as further validation that my game is improving. Toward the end of class, he arranged a kind of mini white belt tournament, where he paired up the senior white belts, to see who would dominate. I was a little apprehensive about my chances at first, since all of these guys are tough opponents. With the help of my new open guard strategy, I ended each match with either a draw or a win. The highlight for me was when I made one guy, who has not been attending class as regularly as me, so tired, that he ran off the mat because he thought he might have to vomit. What’s more, I didn’t feel like I was hardly using any energy. It is truly an awesome feeling to be 44 years old, and to make someone want to vomit because they can’t match your pace!

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