Travis Stevens: “I’d Never Give You An Opportunity To Tap”

Travis Stevens: “I’d Never Give You An Opportunity To Tap”

Travis Stevens – a 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist in Judo and BJJ Black Belt under John Danaher (a feat he accomplished after just 18 months of training BJJ) – joined the Lex Fridman Podcast for an interview about various topics; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo themes being the majority of them.
Stevens explains his mindset going into BJJ and Judo matches alike – and why he’d never give an opponent an opportunity to tap.

When asked by Lex if he sometimes goes at around 50% effort during his training in Jiu-Jitsu, Travis answers:

It’s hard to put a percentage to it. Because, I’ve never – in my Jiu-Jitsu – I’ve never gone a 100%. Like, I’ve had a conversation with Saulo (Ribeiro) one time when we were talking about Jiu-Jitsu and training. And I was like: “Well, if I caught his (the opponent’s) arm, I’d just break it.” And Saulo said: “What if he tapped?” And I go: “That’s not my responsibility. If he taps, and the ref doesn’t say anything, you just break it. You just keep going. The ref tells me when it’s over.”

I go: “I’d never give you an opportunity to tap, because if I give you an opportunity to tap, then that means that you’ve had an opportunity to think about how to get out (if the submission). To make a decision that you can’t. (That means) I’ve clearly operated too slowly.

With his BJJ mindset explained, Travis goes on to elaborate his Judo approach:

I know how to go 100% in Judo. I know how it’s to train with somebody under the mentality of “I’m gonna do everything I want to do… And you’re going to do nothing you want to do. And you’re going to accept that.”

Check out the interview here:

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