My 5 Commandments of Rolling – Commandment #4

Commandment 4:
Thou Shalt Tap Often And Learn

One of the biggest misconceptions I had about Jiu Jitsu early on was that tapping was bad. I’ll admit I broke one of my own rules early on and felt bad when I had to tap. In my still developing jiu jitsu mindset if I tapped I was a loser. Of course over the years I have learned that this can’t be farther from the truth. Over at 10th Planet Van Nuys we don’t believe that tapping out is admitting defeat. Instead when you tap out you are giving your partner props for a job well done. Honestly one of the best ways to learn is to get tapped out. Again I know this line of thinking seems like it goes against our instincts because no one really likes to admit defeat but tapping is one of the best things you can do to learn.

Tapping often can actually help you learn and identify holes in your game. Let me share a story with you. When one of my current training partners started training with me he was getting tapped all the time. I remember rolling with him one time and catching him with the same submission three times in a row. Each time I caught him he tapped and then asked how I applied the same sub three times. Two weeks later when we rolled again I was thinking “Ok I got this. I’m going to hit the same sub again!” We start rolling and I set up the sub and instead of hitting it he passed my guard. I sat there in shock because just two weeks ago I destroyed him with the sub. Now eventually after a few more minutes I was able to finish the sub but it took some work on my part. Fast forward 6 months later and I rarely was hitting that sub on him. Now 3 years later when me and him roll if I even look to set up the sub he counters me immediately. So what happened? By tapping he was admitting that he had a hole in his game that he needed to fix. Over time he started to find ways to fix the holes in his game and in turn learned how to be a good defensive player. His understanding of the defense of certain moves also in turn ended up also helping his offense and made him a better jiu jitsu player. If you don’t believe my story just go ask Chael Sonnen if he gets caught in triangles any more. 🙂

If you would like to discuss any of the 5 Commandments please leave a comment below or email me at

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