Tonight’s class was smaller than usual, since a lot of the regulars are now in California competing in the IBJJF world championships. Still, it was a challenging class. I ended up sparring multiple times with several tough opponents. One of the blue belts was particularly difficult to deal with. He is pretty good at arm bars, but I can usually escape them. Not tonight. Tonight, he managed to dismantle all my usual defenses. I did catch him in an omoplata, but his omoplata defense was too good for me to get anything more than a sweep out of it. I usually am at least able to get a guard pass out of the omoplata sweep, but not with him. That’s the thing with jiu jitsu. All my usual moves, that worked against him six months ago, are now ineffective. It’s like an arms race. I now must devise a new strategy to get past his defenses, and escape his attacks. It won’t be easy, since he trains a lot more often than I am able to. Even though it has now become difficult for me to do anything but survive against him, still, I’m happy for his progress. I would say he has made the quickest jump in skill levels of any of the regulars that I spar with. It’s great for him, but also great for me, since his progress forces me to raise my own game.