Hail Mary

Last week in BJJ class when Greg had us work on escaping a rear naked choke, he said that some people don’t believe such a thing should even be taught, because once someone (who knows what they’re doing) gets you in one, you’re never going to get out. He said although it’s true that the likelihood of escaping RNC is very small, he still thought it was something we should learn how to do, because you should never just give up.

Greg said that escaping a rear naked choke is like a Hail Mary, and even though it usually doesn’t work, every once in awhile Kellogg is actually able to hit Westerkamp in the endzone for a touchdown! For those who don’t know, that was reference to last week’s college football game, where the Husker’s won against Northwestern in the final seconds, with a Hail Mary pass. Most people thought the game was already over, and that Nebraska had lost, but thankfully the team didn’t stop playing until the last second.

I believe that the people who don’t think you should learn a defense that is unlikely to work against trained partners are more focused on the sporting aspect of BJJ than on self-defense. If I can’t escape an RNC when I’m in class or in a competition, all I have to do is tap, but on the street, that’s not an option. If someone gets me in a rear naked choke in a self-defense situation, I’m sure not going to think “Oh, I can’t get out, I guess I’ll just die now”, so I appreciate Greg showing us options, even if they don’t have a high percentage of success.

I think you should keep fighting until you can’t fight anymore, and once in awhile, Hail Marys actually work, so it’s worth a try. There have been many times in BJJ when I was close to tapping, but then I was able to escape, which wouldn’t have happened had I given up. Of course when you’re in class or competition you shouldn’t risk your own safety in order to not get submitted, but on the street the stakes are much higher. For me, when it comes to self-defense, it’s not over until Ginger snaps or naps!


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