Month 8 - This was a little bit of a breakthrough month for me. It all started when a very tough purple belt and I sparred during open mat. Since I started I always had a problem with being smothered. I hated being mounted, especially against a fellow heavyweight, and after not being able to get out after a few attempts, I would tap and restart. This ended when the purple belt Im speaking of informed me that if I tapped he wasn't stopping. He got mount and stayed there. I tapped,,,he stayed there...the buzzer rang...he stayed there...taunting me. Eventually during the 3rd six minute round, I felt a calm come over me...I was ok with it and began working different escapes. Reversed to guard and violla....we rolled for 2 more rounds ignoring the buzzer. This was HUGE for my progress. I feel that this led me to train harder...with lest rest...and remain calmer during rolling..conserving energy and exploding when necessary..It helped me in so many ways, that I cant really describe them. The claustrophobia is gone and when in a bad position, I'm no longer panicking. Big big big for my jiu jitsu. This was definitely the biggest breakthrough thus far and as a result, Sinistro gave me my third stripe last night after less than a month with 2. Competing in Long Island Pride this weekend. Any of you guys gonna be there?