I was tired going into class tonight, so I was hoping for an easy time with some of the newer white belts that have been showing up on Friday in recent weeks. Of course, that didn’t happen. Only one other white belt showed up. The rest were all blue through black belt. The good news is that I actually felt like I was holding my own against everybody. Sure, some people passed my guard, but I passed the guards of at least two blue belts. Even though I didn’t submit anyone, nobody submitted me either. In the case of some of the blue belts, rather than getting smashed by them like before, I was able to do a little smashing of my own. I tried to be a nice smasher though. None of us are trying to deliberately hurt each other. We’re just practicing techniques that sometimes require our partners to be in uncomfortable positions. It’s all part of the training. After class, I watched the latest video from Rener and Ryron Gracie, which was about a subject close to my heart…how to approach BJJ as an older grappler. In the video, they seem to emphasize managing your expectations about what is possible as an older grappler. While I agree with their general sentiment, I nevertheless am constantly amazed at how much progress I have been able to make as an older grappler. Yes, you have to think carefully about the type of strategy you employ, but I’m feeling more encouraged than ever that I can hang in there with the younger guys, so long as I don’t do crazy stuff that will tire me out unnecessarily or risk an injury.