He refused to tap! – Friday’s Class

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“Don’t go to sleep!” is what I heard someone shout.

I had my partner locked tight in a head and arm choke. We were on our knees and I went for a hip throw and he resisted. I realized that I was in the perfect position for a head and arm from where we were and had it almost locked down as we fell onto the mat. When we landed I put my right hand on my head and began to squeeze. I heard his breathing become labored and he had no defense for it, but he wouldn’t tap. I thought maybe I didn’t have it right and slighty repositioned and I heard him begin to gurgle.

No tap.  So I let it go.

We both scrambled to our knees and I was able to land a semi- Kesa gatame. He was able to slip out and get to his knees and then I pressed his head down and jumped on his back. Long story short, I ended up sinking in the rear naked choke, with the kind of grip where you know your partner is not getting out of unless you let him go. He would not tap and yet he wasn’t defending properly. This time the gurgling noises turned into a wheezing sound. I thought about letting him go and then he went silent. I immediately let go and then, he jumped to his knees in a ready stance.

I was thinking in my head, “Are you kidding me?” But what I said was, “Are you alright?”

“Yeah.” Then I told him I didn’t know if he was out or not. He then asked me if I wanted to get back in the same position. I declined. I don’t think I have ever run accross this type of grappler before. I don’t know if he refused to tap because I didn’t have proper technique although I knew I had him both times or if he figured that eventually I would grow tired and let go. I felt good so I could have squeezed for a very long time from a grappling standpoint. It was a no-gi class, but he had on worn blue gi-pants, so I know he is not a beginner and knows when he is in trouble. Or it could have been because he had his wife and his small children there. I know the thought crossed my mind that I should not choke him out because he is not protecting himself.

I also rolled with Carl (formerly Big K/blue belt) and Ryan a purple belt who has been training here for two months. I rolled to stalemates with both guys, although all I did was defend against Ryan. Afterward Ryan asked how long I had been studying BJJ and when I told him he said I was a “good grappler.” I’ll take it!

But anyway, in class we worked on how to fall properly and did a lot of drills requiring mild acrobatics. We also worked on a double leg takedown. Carl and I worked together and on the last two takedowns, I had bad landings. I will probably feel it tomorrow. We also worked on a butterfly guard sweep that led to back control to a number of options including the twister.

Excellent class.


4 thoughts on “He refused to tap! – Friday’s Class

    Eddie said:
    December 15, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I’ve ran into those guys before. There usually newbies…..how long had the guys been training? Anyway…I usually let go and just keep rolling with them….unless they get me mad 🙂 lol

    jiujitsu365 said:
    December 16, 2008 at 4:48 pm


    I don’t know. He didn’t seem to be too brand new, but but he wasn’t defending to well once I locked in the submissions.

    Our academy has classes all through the day and night so you can train in the mornings and never know who trains at night (and vice versa)

    Scott said:
    December 22, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Interesting thread. I’ve been there several times and then let go only to find I didn’t have enough gas to get my opponent in another finishing position and ultimately got tapped myself. Every attempt at submission is a potential miss and then usually a compromised position (depending). My feeling and goal is control. You never really know unless you crank it I guess. I’ve been on the other end of that crank though and then have been sidelined w/ injuries. It REALLY depends on your ego, that night’s mind set, and likewise the ego of your partner. With guys I train with regularly I know where they stand and how far I can and they will push it. New guys in the academy are always a wild card, then you have to play it as it comes. I like to think to myself ‘if in question tap’, then train again. There’s always a rubber match. Training in the academy for me is about reps, sharpening technique, conditioning, and enjoyment. Competition is a different game, different goal, and requires a different mind set. I know there are those that are complete contrarians to this view. To each his own…

    jiujitsu365 said:
    December 23, 2008 at 2:46 am

    I agree Scott.

    I think ego plays a huge role in BJJ. I think it is healthy as long as people play safe.

    I tend to look at class as a place to learn, but to paraphrase Eddie Bravo, some guys think every class is Abu Dhabi night.

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