Tonight we had a guest black belt in class. I was curious to see how he would respond to my single leg x. He was bigger than me, and even though I could tell he was taking it easy on me, I felt like I legitimately pulled off my single leg sweep against him. After that, I passed to side control and ended up taking his back. I’m pretty sure he was letting me do that part. After class, I chatted with him briefly, and confirmed my suspicions that he was letting me win. It’s not uncommon for skilled practitioners to allow less skilled opponents to put them in vulnerable positions, and then work their way out of the bad spot. Some of his criticisms of sport guards gave me the impression that he was more self defense oriented. I am also self defense oriented, but I don’t think sport techniques have no value in terms of preparing for real fights. It’s not a matter of whether you would actually use a sport technique in a real fight. It’s a matter of learning to adapt to unpredictable situations. It’s a matter of training your body to be able to move in a fluid manner, and to be able to orient yourself quickly, no matter what weird position you find yourself in. I do however give a lot of thought to the potential “street applicability” of the moves I choose to specialize in. In the case of single leg x guard, I actually think it might be even more effective in a self defense situation than some might imagine, because you can do things in a real fight, such as reaping the knee, that are illegal in gi jiu jitsu sport tournaments.