When Not To Tap

Most of the articles we publish here at the Jiu-jitsu Times deal with the problem of students getting injured because they refuse to tap.

It might be a combination of ego, competitiveness, or just not knowing their own limits. But whatever the reason, the result is all too often a “POP! Crack! Ouch!” and a sore elbow to remind the students they should have tapped earlier.

But there is a situation where you should avoid tapping.

Are you familiar with the “Let’s Go Easy Guy” (LGEG) who jumps on you and goes 100%? Every academy has one of these characters.

What often goes hand-in-hand with this behaviour is an epic gas out before the end of the 5-minute sparring round.

A specific example is a student I knew who was the quintessential LGEG. I watched him roll with a good blue belt. Before the customary fist bump, he wanted to assure his training partner that this would be a flow roll.

Within seconds of the match, though, the LGEG snatched a Kimura grip and was gasping and wheezing in exertion to try to finish the submission. The big blue belt got out of the Kimura, passed the guard to side control, and . . . TAP!

The blue belt stopped and looked at him wondering why his opponent tapped. No submission had even been attempted. The LGEG was simply exhausted and couldn’t continue.

This is not cool. If you want to go 100% – fine! But don’t tap out due to exhaustion as soon as you find yourself in a bad position.

A black belt discussing this scenario said if you are exhausted, you should at least work to a dominant or neutral position before signalling to stop the roll.

You should also be able to make it to the end of the round. If not, you are rolling with too much strength and not enough efficiency. Going wild and becoming physically exhausted within a a few minutes should have a consequence and lesson involved.

Simply put: tapping out from exhaustion is inexcusable. You need to finish the round, no matter how tired you are.

What would Helio Gracie say if you went wild and then wanted to tap out because you were “too tired”?

Read also on Jiu-jitsu Times – Live To Fight Another Day


  1. I dont go wild and am still exhausted when free rolling. My cardio seriously blows. I feel like a sweat more and gas out more than everyone there….i am a former smoker but still feel bummed that im not getting the endurance yet.

  2. Hahaha, I just moved to a new academy a month ago and already found the LGEG. Our second roll went almost exactly like this!!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here