Tonight’s class was a bit more relaxed than last night. We drilled some moves from closed guard and side control that didn’t require too much cardio. During sparring, it was mainly positional start-ups, with people rotating in on a group of people that stayed out on the mat the whole time. These are the people who are getting ready for the BJJ world championships next week. I tried to give them a challenging roll each time I went out. I did fairly well against all but one blue belt, who is one of the best blue belts at the school. I put up a fight, but he was too fast for me. Also, his baseball choke from knee on stomach is very polished. I have successfully defended it in the past, but tonight, he had my number. After submitting me twice with it, I was determined to protect my neck, but I overcommitted, and exposed myself to an Americana armlock. I think my mistake was framing my arm against the side of my head too soon, rather than first tracking his arm with my hand, like a sensor. This made it difficult to track where his hand would go. Other than that, I thought I did reasonably well against him, considering the difference in skill level. I also got a compliment from the head coach for escaping the blue belt’s back attack, which is no small feat, given how good he is at back attacks. After class, one of the purple belts complimented me on how well he thought I was moving the past few nights. I said he could tell I was “in the zone”. It’s nice to have positive feedback from upper belts to let you know you’re heading in the right direction.