Would you like to keep training BJJ for years, even decades to come? If that’s the case, then you should stay as injury-free as possible… And a great way not to stay away from injuries is by being stubborn. By not tapping to submissions.
Kit Dale knows it all too well. Over the course of years, he’s had elbow, shoulder, and knee injuries… All of which happened due to one thing:
These injuries are all from one thing – my ego. And this is something that I’ve really learned to deal with now, but when I was a white, blue, purple and brown (belt), I really didn’t have control of it. And it’s really cost me a lot now.
And what I mean is – not tapping to things. Being stubborn, being belligerent.
I remember hurting my elbow. I remember being in an Armbar… The guy was a blue belt, while I was a purple belt. He put me in an Armbar and I’m thinking: “I can’t tap to this blue belt, because I am a purple belt and that will look embarrassing.”
So, I just held on for as long as I could, and then I heard: “Pop, pop, pop.” And I did pull my arm out…
But now, years later, it’s cost me thousands of dollars to fix it.
Dale emphasizes that you can’t really fool yourself into thinking that you’ve “won” after getting injured:
In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the game is to submit our opponents. Yet, we look for little loopholes in the game, thinking: “Well, if I don’t tap, then – regardless of my arm getting broken or my elbow getting popped – he didn’t beat me.”
But no, you’ve got beaten, okay? You’re just looking for loopholes and little ways to sooth your ego, to feel better. You should’ve tapped.
Focus on the long road ahead of you. It’s going to serve you much better than worrying about what people think of you:
My main point is: understand that Jiu-Jitsu is a process and that there’s a long game to it. Don’t get too caught up in the short game of: “Oh, I can’t tap to this guy, it’s gonna be embarrassing.”
I’ll tell you one thing that I’ve told so many people: people don’t really give a sh*t whether you tap, whether you lose, all that kind of stuff.
Everyone is so focused on their own life, on what they’re doing, they don’t care what’s happened to you.