Tapping - Most of us will do it at least twice through the journey to black belt and beyond.
But whether you're pulling off dozens of subs per sesh or still more nail than hammer, sooner or later you'll start to notice your partners repeating certain phrases afterward.
I'm here to make sense of them for you.
THE BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT
Comment : "Wow, you're strong."
Translation : "Damn steroids."
Correct Response : "I know. I don't even have to learn any jiu-jitsu. Saves a lot of time."
Comment : "You know, I like to lock that one up a different way..."
Translation : "I think I'll be hanging on to this blue belt a few more years, thanks."
Correct Response : Silent nodding while daydreaming about endings to Game of Thrones.
THE OUT OF SHAPE
Comment : "That...huff...was....wheeze...awesome...cough...really great."
Translation : "I question my life choices."
Correct Response : Knee on belly - He'll thank you someday.
THE BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT (PART 2)
Comment : "You sure are flexible."
Translation : "What is this 'Granby' you speak of?"
Correct Response : "After I got bored of autofellatio, I came here. Best choice I ever made!" Gleefully ignore horrified stare.
Comment : Narrows eyes and nods slightly. "Oss."
Translation : "I will now murder you."
Correct Response : Observe opponent's rank. If higher than yours, excuse yourself to the restroom for the remainder of the roll.
Comment : "Man, I need to work on my guard. I cant believe you passed it so easily. What's that move called? A 'toreando'? How do you counter that, anyway?"
Translation : "Can't submit me if we're not rolling..." taps forehead.
Correct Response : Doesn't matter, he's not listening.
Comment : "That hurt my neck. It wasn't a choke, I mean. Good job, though."
Translation : "Next time I'll keep fighting despite massive damage to my cervical vertebrae. That'll show you."
Correct Response : "Your throat must hurt, too. The way you just said 'I suck' sounded real weird."
Comment : "Just so you know, crossing your foot that way is technically illegal according to the IBJJF. I don't want you to get in trouble."
Translation : "Rules and regulations are the foundation of any well-run society. Also, I'm a huge weenie."
Correct Response : "Sorry, but on the mean streets of West Linn we do whatever it takes to survive."
Comment : Emphatic slap-bump. "Sick, dude. I love it. Let's keep making each other better. Teamwork!"
Translation : Actually, he's completely earnest.
Correct Response : Go all in. Ask for tips on making acai smoothies and washing rainbow unicorn spats.
Will Weisser, when he's not writing nonsense like this, is a jiu-jitsu brown belt and an author of science fiction and fantasy from Philadelphia, USA. His latest novel, ANKARAN IMMERSION, was published by Dragon Moon Press in November 2017.