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The Art of Tapping Out: Strategies for Success in BJJ

tap out meaning

Tapping Out is something that is very common in the sport of jiu-jitsu and MMA. The tap-out is indicated with a simple gesture of patting a body part on your opponent or verbalizing the word “tap”. The meaning of the ‘tap out’ is simple, it means that whoever verbalized the tap is putting an end to the match at hand because the submission was too much to handle. This article explains the meaning and why you should be tapping out early in 90% of situations.  

Training Jiu-Jitsu or MMA 

Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA are the fastest-growing sports in the world right now. With the popularity of the UFC going exponential over the past couple of years, more people are venturing into the sport for themselves.

The explosion in popularity of BJJ in the United States is hard to go unnoticed. Everyone seems to know someone who trains the sport regularly and won’t shut up about its benefits! Those on the fence about doing the training themselves may find themselves doing a bit of research to know what they will get into. A key component to most combat-based martial arts is the meaning behind tapping out.

When you train or watch combat sports you may see someone tap their opponent a number of times and then the referee steps in to call the match, this is an indication of a tap out happening. Tapping out is very common and should be used regularly when the stakes are not high, by that we mean when you are just casually training.

When you are competing there is a bit of a different mindset that we like to adopt when it comes to tapping out but for the most part, you should always be tapping out early to prevent injury.

tap out meaning

Tap Out Meaning: Tap Early and Often

Most people that start training in some type of martial art get hooked. This is a beautiful thing to watch in the gym. It truly is amazing when you see someone’s eyes lighting up when they start to connect the dots and really start to embrace the new lifestyle that fighting allows you to adopt.

When you start training, chances are you don’t want to stop. The biggest thing that will stop people from reaching their goals or potential in their respective sports is an injury that could stem from either riding a submission too long or not taking recovery seriously. Here we will focus on the idea of not tapping out fast enough.

You should tap out when you find yourself in a dangerous situation, especially in a low-stakes situation like training. Having an injury that puts you out for weeks is not worth it. In a competitive situation with stakes, you should consider the risk and do your best to fight off a submission.

There is no shame in tapping out, it does not make you weak. It allows you to have longevity in a sport that you love. If you are training with a good partner, the chances you get hurt are low but accidents always happen. Better to be safe than sorry.

Let the Ego Go

Training martial arts is basically a constant battle with the ego. Having an ego is something that is not foreign to anyone but having a delicate balance with yours is the key to reaping the most benefits in the sport and in your daily life.

Too many times people let their ego get the best of them on the mats and either end up hurting someone else or getting themselves hurt. Do not be this person. Building a good reputation as someone who is a good training partner is a major factor in the growth of your game. If people know they will get hurt rolling with you, you may find it hard to get solid training sessions in.

Tap out Meaning: Ways to Tap Out

Tapping out is easy. 

You can pat the person you are going live with twice or verbally yell the word “tap” to end the match. It’s important to know that you can use these two methods interchangeably because there will be times your hands may be tangled or a time when you can mutter a word (a choke is getting locked in).

tap out meaning - do not get hurt

Preventing Injury

Getting injured is the worst and finding ways to prevent them at all costs will exponentially help with the growth of your game. The less time you spend time injured the more time you can spend training and perfecting your craft. 

Preventing injury is a combination of these things:

  • Tapping out when you need to
  • Good Rest
  • Proper Nutrition and eating a clean healthy diet
  • SupplementationCBD for pains, Fish oil for joints, Protein for faster recovery

Training is the highlight of our weeks and we hate the times we spend hurt because we let our ego get in the way. Tapping out is a common practice in jiu-jitsu or MMA. You are not weak for doing this and we would argue tapping early and often will allow you to stick around with the sport for a longer period of time!


2 thoughts on “The Art of Tapping Out: Strategies for Success in BJJ”

  1. I keep saying that I don’t have an ego, but all it takes is one spazzy white belt to almost tap me to make me want to power through. Definitely not the best mentality to have, lol. I’ve also been in some chill phases of BJJ and that’s definitely helped me with longevity. Thanks for this post!

    1. It is beautiful what BJJ teaches us about ourselves! In all honesty, the relationship with my ego has made the experience almost Spirtual in a sense… but I don’t know if that’s reaching haha

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