By Dan F.
What does tapping actually mean? With the current popularity of mixed martial arts, tapping essentially refers to “the act of giving up” in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
So how can giving up lead to success? Well, giving up is a little misleading for this definition. Any practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) will tell you it is an art form that takes years upon years to learn, progress and perfect. More importantly, there is always someone who is better than you; you can never underestimate your opponent.
How do practitioners of BJJ progress in their art? Years of practice and repetition. A major part of these practices and repetitions is something called rolling.
Rolling is the act of sparring with practitioners, continuing to practice moves until one person “taps.” It is very important to understand that this tapping is not looked at as a sign of weakness or a sign of giving up. Rather, tapping is a nod to your opponent saying “You got me this round. Let’s do it again, and see what happens.” Rolling and tapping are a learning experience– it is a time to learn what you did wrong and figure out how to improve for next time. Instead of being viewed as a sign of weakness to tap during a rolling session, it instead shows confidence and wisdom to know when you have made a mistake, and need to learn for next time. On the flip-side, the “fool” who does not tap, will risk serious injury, which will further hinder their progress. If you are too stubborn to learn from your mistakes, you can never improve. This repeated tapping, learning, and progression allows a practitioner to prepare for competition when it really matters.
How can this be used as a metaphor for your life and for your health and wellness goals?
Just like in BJJ, a person cannot win every match or every rolling session. It is important to be able to take these failures in stride and use them as a learning experience. A person who is not willing to fail and grow will always avoid a barrier they see as insurmountable, instead of learning from previous failures and finding a way to get through that barrier. In business and in life, it is necessary to see a challenge and be able to progress and get through that challenge. And in fitness, there are going to be many obstacles that may seem impossible to overcome, but with persistence, there is always a way to get through.
There may also be times when nutrition becomes a struggle, but there are ways and strategies to overcome the seemingly impossible. When working out, you must consistently push the body to an uncomfortable level, but over time you progress and can push farther and harder every time. The mentality of not letting an acute failure inhibit the overall success is key to having long-standing and permanent success. Always know that a failure does not mean you are finished. It is a learning experience, and time for you find a new strategy to win in the end!
Dan’s journey into fitness began as an overweight youth. Being extremely overweight he took steps to change his life starting with proper nutrition and a little bit of exercise. He attended Clemson University receiving a BS in Management. He spent most of his free time in the rec. center getting hooked on exercise. Upon graduating he moved back to CT and decided to learn everything he could about the fitness industry and how to properly train the human body. He attended The National Personal Training Institute receiving a diploma in personal training and nutrition consultation. After NPTI he participated in a 4 month mentorship to learn the intricacies of training athletes. This is where he found his passion! He has spent the last 4 years training athletes, of all ages. He has extensive experience training athletes from middle-school all the way to the pros, in all sports! He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, CSCS, through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is also has an Advanced Certified Personal Trainer (A-CPT) certification, and is currently working on his Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator certification.