Last night, we had another grappling session near the end of the adults' class. I managed to last five minutes against Allan before getting caught in an armbar. Suffice it to say that I am kicking myself for not listening to Clay when he told me to roll in. At any rate, it is still much better than I normally do against Allan (he usually destroys me within a minute), so I was still feeling pretty good about my progress. That was all shattered when my next training partner countered my signature move: the arm-triangle!
The arm-triangle was the first submission move that I had ever picked up. It's pretty simple: from mount, capture your opponent's arm and head, get a good Gable grip, move over to the side of their body and squeeze. I did it to my partner and waited for him to tap. And waited. And waited. And waited.
Ah, nuts! I thought as he got me in half-guard. I don't remember how he managed to defend it. I was too busy trying to figure out what to do next while hoping that he couldn't tell that I was about to panic. In retrospect, getting my leg free would have been wiser. Instead, I saw his left arm hanging out and snatched it to get an Americana.
"Yeeeeeeeeeeeooooow!" My partner yelled and I quickly released the hold.
Ironically, the pain had come from his leg being twisted, not his arm. He later joked that it felt good because his leg was loosened up.
At any rate, this shows that you should always have more than one trick up your sleeve when it comes to self-defense. Do you need to memorize a million different techniques? No. In fact, doing so could actually give you "combat brain freeze", in which you can't make a choice because you have too many options to select from. That being said, it is always wise to have at least 3-4 moves to use in each situation. Not least because, if you make one move your bread-and-butter, everyone is going to be watching out for it. Eventually, someone will come up with a counter. I was very fortunate to have another move in my repertoire. If I hadn't, I would have been screwed. So when you practice the martial arts, always be sure to have a Plan B, C, and D.