Question: “Hey Jiu-Jitsu Times, I have started to train in BJJ about 5 months ago.So far have some progress in basic skills and submissions. We have another white belt guy in my class who had started not long after me but every time I roll with him and get him in a lock he would never tap. So it got to the point that I felt his elbow pop and he would never tap still. What shall I do in a situation like this? I don’t want to be that guy who is being accused of overdoing techniques. Thank you in advance for your time and suggestions.”
Jiu-jitsu Times : This is a very common situation in BJJ academies.
First of all, it is your training partner that is putting themselves in danger due to either ego or ignorance (or a combination thereof). It is not possible for you to know what your opponent’s tolerance for withstanding a choke, or how tight their shoulder is in a Kimura lock.
It is up to them to tap when they feel discomfort.
If they have a large ego and measure their own worth and the value of a training session by whether they tapped or not, they are going to hang on like they are dangling from a cliff. Or, more simply, they just don’t understand the limits of their own joints . . . at least until their elbow pops and they get a painful reminder that they need to tap when caught.
They need to tap!
Now, with that said, I think you have two options when rolling with this type of partner.
1) Hang onto the arm lock or choke and let something snap or they start snoring. You will prove that you really had the submission and get them to tap.
BUT… you may lose a training partner due to the injury. You also might feel bad if his shoulder or elbow is damaged.
That sucks all around.
2) Let the submission go when their arm is fully extended (thus preserving their joint health) and pause the match. Calmly explain what just happened – that you let the sub go because you wanted to avoid injury. The opponent may even feel some satisfaction “that they didn’t tap” but you know what really happened. You will also get to keep a healthy training partner on the mat.
Perhaps even point it out to your instructor that this student is putting themselves in danger.
The instructor may need to take them aside.
In the end, try to take care of your training partners even when they are not taking care of themselves, and keep your valuable training partners on the mat training with you.