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Should I Quit Jiu Jitsu If A Lower Belt Taps Me Out?

Should I Quit Jiu Jitsu If A Lower Belt Taps Me Out?


Ideas on growth…

Inevitably, it is bound to happen. That dreaded moment occurs often with no warning. It always happens when the coach is watching. A lower rank belt taps you out.

It does not happen often. I train at sister schools. I train with the visitors. I train when I am out of town. I am confident in my abilities. But once in a great while it happens, a lower belt legitimately submits me.

So what should I do? Do I quit Jiu Jitsu? Should I Just turn in my belt and leave? Do I perform Seppuku; the ancient art of ritual suicide by disembowelment that a samurai performed when his actions were dishonorable.

Let me say this. In my opinion there is a difference on rare occasion getting caught with a lower belt and consistently getting mauled by lower belts or getting smashed by someone that is 100+ pounds heavier. If you are getting caught by lower belts there may be an indication of a larger issue. Have you taken a lot of time off? Do you have a massive hole in your game? It is a cause to reevaluate your training structure and strategy. Are you getting smashed by a larger training partner? Jiu Jitsu is the art where technique beats strength and size. However size is always an advantage. This may indicate you need to develop a “big guy game.”  Simply put, you will want to adopt strategies for larger opponents. Lastly, if you are getting caught once in a while, good. It is an opportunity to ask questions. Learn a new game.

For all of these the scenarios, the answers are the same at a fundamental level. The answer should be GOOD. It is an opportunity to grow. The only way it is a bad thing is if you duck rolls and make excuses.

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At some point in our Jiu Jitsu journey, some beautiful happens. We stop caring about the belt. Don’t get me wrong, the day I get my black belt will be a good day. But there are so many more important things to care about and so many better questions to ask. Former Navy Seal and Jiu Jitsu black belt Jocko Willink put it this way, “At I think about mid-way of my purple belt time I had no care whatsoever of what belt color I was. Literally zero. And I just wanted to get better, I just wanted to know more, to keep training and I never even thought about it after that. “

To outsiders, a belt is great. It helps you find a reputable school. At some point the belt becomes just a piece of fabric. It is a testament to outsiders what you and your training partners already know. So instead of allowing your ego to inhibit your growth, see every tap as a chance to learn more and get better.


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