Respect is a word that gets thrown around Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA gyms all the time. You show respect by bowing in to class, by the ever famous slap-pound before a roll and by shaking hands when class is over. One place it tends to be overlooked is during live training. The culprit is usually a junior ranking student. It’s not intentional, and most don’t even realize they do it.
Many black belts don’t enjoy rolling with the white belts, not because they are so high and mighty, but for fear of injury. Yes, an injury to themselves. Many times, someone new to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, will go full speed with no technique causing their hands, feet and other limbs to flail around, hitting the more advanced practitioner in the more “delicate” areas. When these future MMA Champions are put into a submission, they refuse to tap because it doesn’t hurt, but little do they know the black belt is controlling that arm-bar so he/she doesn’t injure them.
Combat sports practitioners are training for combat, if we train at full speed we would spend more time off the mat than on it. So we pull punches and pull submissions. Very new practitioners don’t understand this. Here’s a little tip when someone who is of a higher level or rank hits you or catches you in a submission: When striking and you get hit, give your partner a nod. Do not respond with a 4-punch combo. If this were full-power training, more than likely that punch that, landed square on the chin would hurt you, and be followed up by several more. If you are grappling and find your arm fully extended by the black belt you are training with – just tap. Don’t try to spin out, kick-out or some other low percentage technique. Respect that the more advanced partner could have broken your arm but chose not to, for your safety.
In sports where you strike, it’s a little easier to let the person know that you are scoring by just hitting them a little harder. Most of the time they get the hint. In grappling sports, there are times when there are only millimeters between no pain and injury. This makes the submission game more delicate of a situation.
When you’re a beginner training with someone more advanced than you, respect their technique. If you are caught in an awkward position with your arm fully extended, just tap. If you want to work an escape; simply ask your partner, they’ll gladly work with you and teach you what to do from that position.