I think it was inadvertent, but I got a good lesson from a white belt last night while rolling. This guy is a great athlete–college wrestler who’s been training for a couple of months. He really works hard at learning BJJ and not relying on his athleticism to get him through. I know how tough it is for him to be on his back and not just launch me across the room, but he instead works on the escapes we’ve learned in class and his technique.

Anyway, I had his back last night and was about 80% there on a bow and arrow choke, which is a pretty high percentage finish for me. Well, he was able to fight that off and let me know that, “No sir…not today. Not going out with that.” Of course, my first thought was, “Oh…really?!”


Of course I spent the rest of the round trying to get that exact choke, hand fighting with a guy in his early 20s who has already spent more time hand fighting that I will for the rest of my life. And I didn’t get the choke.

What I SHOULD have done is transitioned to something else, like an armbar, or whatever he gave me. He was so focused on not getting choked, something else was surely there. But I didn’t see it until after the round. He tricked me into going for the exact thing he was prepared to defend.

Now, the real question–do I go for the bow and arrow next time we roll? I hope not. I hope I go with what’s there instead of what I “want” to be there.