Showing posts in category: Training

Why we should tap out

It’s a good idea to tap out

So I’ve been meaning to do a post on this for a while now and it pretty much covers why you should tap out and when to tap out. 

Just from this last ADCC, there was a crazy match with Tye Ruotolo and Paulo Miyao. I just wanted to say that Paulo is an outlier in that he has flexible joints and high pain tolerance. 

So what you guys are seeing is a high level athlete who makes a living competing. He and his brother have made the conscious decision to not tap out to any type of leg locks or really any (joint)submissions and that has paid off for both of them as far as accomplishing major wins and medals at the most prestigious tournaments. 

Paulo was able to survive Tye’s knee bar attempt and take the victory in their match and secure the third place finish at the 2019 ADCC World Championship. 

But the flip side is that their bodies are beat up, practically destroyed, and we might not see that now because they’re still a little young. But I think 10, 15, 20 years down the line they’re going to be in massive pain. I’m sure they’re in pain now, but definitely in the future they’re going to be in a lot of pain. I’m sure their quality of life has been impacted now, but it’s going to be worse off not being able to train in middle age. 

So guys, just be careful out there, be smart and know that tapping is important. It’s important to tap out because it keeps your body healthy. You tap out when you get caught and then you slap hands and go again. It’s as simple as that. 

Again, these athletes made the conscious decision to not tap out, but if you’re a normal person, a hobbyist, a weekend warrior or realistically anybody with a life outside of training Jiu Jitsu. There comes a point when you need to tap out. 

What you don’t see is all the years of rehabilitation and surgeries and time being out of training. And that’s what happens when you don’t tap out. 

We really shouldn’t celebrate this kind of behavior. I mean, the top competitors do it, they made that conscious decision. They’re professionals, but for everyone else that’s not possible. 

There’s been times where I was in a submission and I had to scream to get out. All it takes is not tapping quick enough to keep you off the mats for months not being able to train, compete, do seminars, etc. 

If you take anything away from this post I hope it’s that there’s nothing wrong with tapping out. It saves your body, the body you’re going to have for a long time.

It’s okay to tap out. I’ve tapped out training for the 2019 ADCC. I tapped out so many times in training it was partly embarrassing but it was okay. I think it’s important to let that go. Just let it go. Just like a drop of water, beading off your skin. Just let it go.

It’s better to be able to train and live. Live to fight another day than to go out on your shield. I actually have a rule that I live by that the only time I won’t tap out is if it’s the final of the world championship and there’s only like five seconds left. And I’m already up on points and I know got it in the bag. 

So guys be safe out there. Tap out when you need to and keep training.

Learning how to relax in training

Many students are way too tense. 

It’s a big reason why newer students tend to gas out when they first start training. 

I think a lot of it is due to the gi. Because you’re always in a state of grabbing and pulling or grabbing and pushing. 

I’ve noticed from others and myself as well, that we’re usually not breathing during those movements. 

Which leads to my biggest point. Jiu jitsu is so anaerobic that if you don’t take small breaks during your training. Even the most conditioned athletes would be incapacitated if you had them move explosively for over 1 minute. 

So let me clarify what I mean by small break so you guys don’t literally stop training mid roll and blame it on me lol. 

When I say take a break that doesn’t mean that you just out right stop moving. 

For instance, if you’re on top trying to pass. If you manage to pass the guard and establish your position on the side, use this time to also rest and catch your breath. 

So in effect, killing two birds with one stone. Using the side control as your resting place and to control your opponent.

What’s important to note is that there will be times when you will need to be tense and other times when you will need to be more relaxed. 

So the more experience rolling you have the more fined tuned your sense of where to explode and when to slow down. 

I’ve found that monitoring your breathing is a good way to relax during a roll. Of course, when you’re moving around trying to pass the guard or to finish a sweep you won’t be breathing. That’s the anaerobic part that’s caused by the high intensity of your movement. 

But when the action slows down. That’s when your breath work will come in to play. Try and take big breaths through your nose using your lungs and diaphragm. 

Breathing through your nose hides that you are getting tired. A pro tip that I learned years ago. 

It’s crazy that more instructors don’t focus on teaching students how to breathe. 

It’s all connected in finding positions that you can slow your opponent down in. That will be your opening to recover and breathe. 

Positions like the closed guard, half guard, and De La Riva work great to slow your opponents pace. 

So please give this breath work a try during your next training session and let me know how it goes. 

Always assume that your opponent will be bigger, faster, and stronger than you

Bjj hulk

This is the old school way of thought in Jiu Jitsu that gets overlooked a lot now a days. 

And I think it’s both good and bad. 

Old school Jiu Jitsu, at least in America, was always centered around usefulness in a fight. 

Especially during a time when everyone thought that karate black belts needed to register their hands as deadly weapons and that the dim mak or death touch was real. 

—So what better way to promote Jiu Jitsu than to have it work in a fight?—

Which is exactly what the first UFC did and was designed to do.

To showcase the effectiveness of Jiu Jitsu in a fight. 

But it couldn’t have just been anyone that could fight. 

They needed someone not too big or too strong to properly represent Jiu Jitsu.

There were probably lots of other fighters that could have been chosen to represent Jiu Jitsu from the Gracie family alone. Someone like Rickson was considered one of the best to ever do Jiu Jitsu and MMA. 

However, I doubt that it would have had the same impact if he competed and won. 

They needed some one like Royce if the powers at be were going to sell Jiu Jitsu to the masses. 

He doesn’t look threatening at all. Just a normal guy. 

That’s probably the closest approximation to your average person. 

Not some big muscled dude. 

But the everyman Royce. 

Someone the average person could see themself in. 

The rest is history. 

So how does this all help you?

I think training so that you are prepared for somebody larger and stronger is only going to benefit you. 

1// It’s going to keep your technique true. Whenever I learn a new technique I always ask myself if this move will work on some one larger. 

Yes, okay good.

No, then I probably won’t invest too much time in the technique. 

This won’t always be the case. Of course, the deeper your skill in Jiu Jitsu becomes. Your moves tend to tailor to your opponents.

But when it comes to basic Jiu Jitsu. This is the truth.  

A great example of this is the head lock escape. 

Realistically, the only people that perform headlocks also tend to be the strongest lol. 

That means if your technique isn’t good a.k.a. your head lock escape isn’t up to par. Then you’re just not going to get out. 

2// It will push you to train with those partners that are bigger and stronger. Doubly so if they are faster. 

Big guys roll a lot different than those people smaller than you, or even those partners that are the same size. 

The big guy game tends to be a bit slower but with a lot more pressure and 100% less forgiving. 

There’s been times when I have sparred with training partners significantly larger than myself and if they were able to reach a good position on me. It was game over. 

Just their sheer mass alone means that your technique has to be on point if you are going to stand a chance. 

It’s not easy and can be very rough on your body training with the big boys. 

However, your confidence in knowing that you can go up against a larger opponent and not give up is priceless. 

You will learn that often technique and will power will make up a lot of the difference in size.