After you’ve been training for quite some time, there will come a moment or two when you’ll – to your surprise – have an opportunity to tap out your BJJ instructor. Your chance will be there… But should you go for it?
In other words: isn’t it kind of wrong to tap out your Jiu-Jitsu instructor? Should you do it or not, out of respect?
NO, IT’S NOT WRONG
Okay, let’s get that question out of the way first. No, it’s not wrong to tap out your BJJ instructor. It’s just a part of the whole Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game that all of us „play“. Everyone gets tapped out, at least every once in a while.
Your instructor is no different. He can get tapped out by others, and no matter how good he may be (even if he is a world champion), there are still other, potentially better Jiujiteiros who can catch and submit him. And, as you get better, you’ll find opportunities to do the same to him.
Don’t become cocky, however. Don’t celebrate, but be respectful about it and continue to roll. You might’ve just gotten lucky. Or your instructor might have been letting you work.
Take a bit of pride in the fact that you’re getting better, but stop at that. Keep rolling.
IF YOUR INSTRUCTOR GETS ANGRY…
But what if your BJJ instructor gets angry if you tap them out? Or if they have, in one way, shape or form, made it clear that they „aren’t to be messed with“?
In that case, it’s not you who has the problem. It’s your instructor who has it.
You see, your instructor should ultimately be happy that you tapped them out! It should bring joy to them, as it means that you’re getting better, that you’re making progress, and that you’re learning well. Additionally, it’s a testament to the fact that they’re teaching you well and that their knowledge is being spread to others in an worthwhile manner.
It also means that they’re forced to become better, too! For, as you grow into a more formidable Jiujiteiro, they’re going to have to elevate their efforts as well. In turn, it will help them make more progress.
Therefore, you should definitely go for the tap. If your BJJ instructor gets angry or tells you that you’re doing something wrong… Then they probably have an ego problem and it might be a good idea to think if that’s the right academy for you.
GETTING TAPPED IS NO BIG DEAL
Ultimately, getting tapped out shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s just a part of the sport, after all. And it shouldn’t hurt your feelings – but it should be viewed as a lesson in what you could get better in.
But it’s up to you to decide if you’ll take that lesson to heart and actually get better. Or if you’ll get resentful, bitter, and possibly arrogant about it… Not learning anything in the process.
Your BJJ instructor is human, too. And he’s facing this sort of a choice quite often. Sure, sometimes he might fail at making the right decision (as everyone does), and that is okay. But if he’s consistently grumpy about his students getting better – then that’s a no-brainer. You should leave that academy as swiftly as possible.
And that might be the most important message here. Everyone should seek to make everyone else better in Jiu-Jitsu. The ones who are not seeking to do that, but are only looking for an ego boost, should by all means not be in your company.
Go for the tap. It’s for the better.
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- Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles is one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors ever, with 5 Black Belt IBJJF World Championships, 4 ADCC World Championships, and years of elite success.
- Lock on kimura traps from top, bottom, or standing with Cobrinha’s advic on this valuable submission lock.