The First Time I Tapped A Blue Belt

Okay, I know that training is not supposed to be about “who tapped who”.  I know that the ego has little place in training and that we should be training to improve our jiu-jitsu, not to try to get another notch on our belts.

I know all that.

But between you and me…the first time that you..a “lowly” white belt get a blue belt to tap to one of your submissions, you walk out of the academy a little taller that day. Even if no one knows it but you, it feels great to catch that submission!

I was a white belt who was regularly getting triangled by the one blue belt in our gym. He had long legs and a good guard. Far too many times, he caught me in triangles and I tapped – repeatedly!

I was training regularly, and after training regularly, I was starting to get a better idea of positions.

There was a seminar that came to town. Oleg “The Russian Bear” Taktarov did a two-day workshop on leg locks. It was a thrill to meet the UFC 6 champion and he turned out to be a highly technical instructor that had the tightest leg locks I have felt to this day.

I learned how to correctly control the legs and apply the strongest leverage on the foot lock. I couldn’t wait to add this to my game!

The following week during rolling at my BJJ academy, the blue belt had me in scissors guard and was setting up his 100th triangle on me when I snatched his ankle, lay back and applied the foot lock.


I don’t know who was more surprised: him or me?!

It may not be the most ego-free moment of my BJJ life, but I felt exhilarated, like I was finally getting somewhere with my BJJ.

Victories can be few and far between for new students, and when you experience some success in training, it is okay to enjoy – even if it is only you who knows.

Read also on Jiu-jitsu Times: Why Does Jiu-jitsu Work Against A Bigger Opponent?


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