Respect the tap

In Brazilian Jiujitsu and some other combat sports, the tap is considered a victory. It means that your opponent has given up, he or she has acknowledged that you won that match. Be it because of a choke, an arm being bent the wrong way, or getting your face pounded into spaghetti. When a person taps, they are submitting to you and at that point you should stop your assault. We call this respectful phenomena “respect the tap.”

In training, this is extremely important because its the only way you can continue to train without injury. You are entirely putting your trust in your teammates and they in you. You expect that if they catch you or you catch them in a submission they will “respect the tap” once you submit. It’s a very important aspect of training and competition. Especially in a sport where serious bodily injury can occur such as torn joints or ligaments. In fact, if you hold a choke long enough you could kill a person. This stuff ain’t no joke.

We as brazilian jiu jitsu practicioners expect that our training buddies will always respect the tap. Anyone who doesn’t is shunned and no one will want to train with them. Like I said before, ain’t nobody looking to get hurt.

So I had seen video including some of Rousimar Palhares fights and he doesn’t respect the tap. This dude held submissions way too long and would simply not release them even as the person tapped and the referee tried to pull him off. Rousimar Palhares hurt a lot of people that way. This is troublesome because those injuries, especially heel hooks can cause some serious long term damage.

He was first suspended and then completely banned by the UFC for this behavior. He went to other fight promotions and was even stripped of his championship belt by one those promotions for the same reasons, holding submissions too long.

I was wondering if he trains that way as well, or if he only does that to his opponents in actual fights? I mean, if I trained with someone and they tried to hurt me that way, even if I can’t beat them in a hand to hand fight, I might have to hurt them through some other method! That’s just not cool and I’d never roll or drill with someone who did that kind of crap. Shame on you for trying to hurt people.

Respect the tap!


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Angel Rodriguez

Angel covers fitness, social issues, reviews, news & more! He's a veteran, tech and fitness pro which has been featured on Huffpo, NatGeo, NPR, NY1, HLN, Men's Fitness, MTV, & other major platforms. Angel is also Brazilian Jiujitsu White belt.
Angel Rodriguez

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