I came off 2016 on a high having won my first purple belt competition in November. Starting at the top in January with the IBJJF Europeans. I felt really well prepared after a month back at EquipeTCA HQ but didn't get past the first round.

What if part of the problem was that I only had one route? Once I was in Guard I only wanted to pass. What if there were other less direct ways. Like if you are in a car and you get stuck in traffic. You can't go forward but you could turn around and try a different route.

Flying back from Lisbon, I've had time to think and I still want to watch back the fight but it's honestly hard to say whether I am disappointed or not about my performance at the IBJJF European Championships this year. 

At white belt I was always proud to be known as 'that guy who is hard to submit'. Like most folks the key was to avoid submission by having a solid defence; spoiling games and having a solid system of clinging on until the buzzer went. I had submissions but they were employed mostly opportunistically rather than with an obvious set up. 

I guess the best place to start this blog is how I start my day. It seems like such an uncomplicated subject but it has taken me a year or so to get this in place. It is probably the only thing that I don't really play with much and I'll explain why.