A little break in the action…Hard sparring is damn exhausting at times. The usual response is to you need to get in better physical shape via an exercise program. That’s certainly sound thinking and it’s every jiu jitsu player’s responsibility to be in the best shape you can; however, the world is full of people who are in great physical shape but who still get exhausted quickly during sparring. The key is to understand that once a satisfactory baseline of physical fitness has been achieved, ENDURANCE IS MUCH MORE A QUESTION OF CONTROL THAN SUPREME PHYSICAL FITNESS. You must learn to moderate your pace and keep it within a threshold that you can maintain for the expected length of the match. A big part of this is LEARNING TO TAKE ACTIVE BREAKS during the course of the action. Obviously you can’t just stop moving. You have to be able to lower your activity to where you can physically recover, but still be doing enough work to appear actively engaged in the match. The best time to do this is in set positions that limit an ability to increase the through movement – this usually means closed guard or half guard or top pins, but in extreme cases it might even include bottom pins. You don’t have to be moving like a madman the whole match – learn to take some recuperation time in the midst of the action and you’ll suddenly find you can go longer than you previously believed