I've wanted to write this post for a long time. We are told many lies from the first day we start training in the martial arts, and the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not exempt. I decided to focus on the five lies that have really shaped my outlook on the journey on the mats. Initially, this was going to be one post, but I had so much to say about each lie, I decided to release it in 5 separate posts.
BJJ Lie number 1- To avoid pain, just tap when you get caught!
This is one of the earliest lies you are told in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Your instructor, your fellow BJJ students and even your mom will tell you to "Just tap!". When you get caught in something, simply tap and you get to start again. Simples
What no one tells you, but you discover very quickly, is that tapping hurts. It leaves no scars on your skin and it definitely saves you from broken bones and loss of consciousness, and you should, most definitely should, tap when caught, but be under no illusion. Tapping to another person hurts your ego. It's not a male thing either.
It's a slap in the face for your ego and the bigger the ego, the louder and more humiliating the slap.
So what they hell do we do? How can we overcome the pain of tapping?
We can't and so we don't. That's the beauty of Jiu Jitsu and the essence of it's purity. You can't overcome the pain of tapping. I don't care who you are and how long you have trained, when you get caught and you tap, it always hurts. Just look at the top players on the mundial or Abu Dhabi scene when they lose. They look like they are ready to cry like babies, and many do.
The only thing to do is to accept the pain of tapping as part of the catharsis process of evolution that we go thru when we train Jiu Jitsu. Tap, and tap often. Focus on the pain and you will see that it is not you who is hurt. It's the ego. Hopefully, with enough tapping, the ego will be dissolved and we will understand that there is no opponent. There is no self. We are all one and all that separates us is a fear based on an illusion.
The day I realised this lie, I got angry at first (at being lied to and for believing it) and then I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Believe me it still hurts when I tap and I still do all I can on the mat to not get tapped, but at least now I understand that the hurt is not mine and I don't have to carry it. It's the ego that gets slapped in the face and I don't have to identify with that. That's one of the biggest reasons I'm so happy just to be on the BJJ mat.
Next lie I will talk about: -BJJ / Grappling is for everyone.
Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi
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