Friday, July 3, 2009

Tap or I Snap!!!!

Tapping is an important part of learning BJJ. Even the best black belts have tapped a thousand times on their journey to become the best. Tapping keeps you from getting injured, and keeps you honest, knowing that you have been cought. 

In a BJJ class scenerio, it is never the objective to intentionally injure your training partners. However, there are some people who will never tap, and will hold out hoping that you will let go. What do you do? Let go? Or snap/put them to sleep?

In my early days of teaching, I more or less kept quiet on the subject, and it seemed that my students started letting their opponents go even when the submission is tight, they never applied it. 

However, the last few years I have let it be known clearly that I believe the other opinion is correct. If your opponent does not tap, you put them to sleep/snap

This is not to say that you intentionally go out to hurt your opponent. But when you get your submission, apply it slowly, but with clear intention that you will continue to sink your submission in deeper and deeper until something snaps, or your opponent goes to sleep. 

Learning to tap has to be learnt at your own home gym. Its no use being known as the tough guy in your gym because you don't tap, and end up seriously injured when visiting other gyms. Going to sleep, or a tweaked elbow for a week or two is not a big price to pay for such an essential lesson to be learnt. 

Sam Wee is the head instructor for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) at the KDT Academy (, Malaysia and has been teaching BJJ since 2003. 


Rizan said...

for me, i don't mind sinking a choke until he sleeps, correct me if i'm wrong but it's supposedly harmless?

but snapping a guys arm becoz he refuses to tap is very hard for me to do. if he doesn't tap, i usually let go..i dont think i can live with my conscience after that..

oh yea there are times also when tapping is just not an option. eg. when things happen so fast b4 u can ever tap..

Samuel Wee said...

Agreed Rizan.

If a strangulation (ie incorrectly called blood choke) is applied correctly, its harmless and your partner will go to sleep.

If however it is applied as a windpipe choke, then it can potentially be dangerous if applied for too long. Such air supply choke requires a few minutes to take effect, whereby most, including myself will have long since let go.

As for armbars, I don't mean going for the snap immediately, but applied at a slow consistent pace, whereby your opponent will know either tap or get injured. Of course, positional ability is essential for this to happen.

As for submissions happening too fast, the goal is to reach a stage of control whereby you can do so safely without rushing. Blue belt onwards is where this is expected to take place