Tonight, I really felt like I pushed my cardio almost to the breaking point. In terms of getting a good workout, that’s a good thing, of course. However, a lot of it has to do with me making tiny mistakes, then using strength to get back to my favored position. I think this is why I get so much more tired sparring with upper belts than with white belts. White belts are not able to capitalize on my mistakes in the same way, so I don’t end up expending as much energy. I did try to incorporate more butterfly guard into my game tonight. In order to keep his opponents guessing, Marcelo Garcia is constantly switching between butterfly guard, single leg x guard, and full x guard. Occasionally, he is forced to retreat to deep half guard, but tries to recover to the other guards as soon as possible. My homework assignment is to develop a better understanding as to what triggers his choice in a particular guard. For example, if his opponent is standing, as opposed to kneeling, Marcelo will establish specific grips and body positioning to address that specific situation. I can understand that this is what he is doing, but I have yet to fill out the details of exactly what he does in each possible scenario. Once I do that, it then becomes a matter of adapting this information to my body type. The good news is I think this guard system is very appropriate for an older, physically weaker, grappler.

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