Empty Your Cup

Up until 3 weeks ago I had not tapped out in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Grappling training since 2008 or 9. The last person to make me tap out was Romulo Barral.

I’m no coward and I trained with plenty of vary talented people over the last 8 years. I am not saying I dominated every training session but I was always savy enough to keep myself above water until the round ended even in matches where I was losing the positional battle.

I have never been injured from not tapping. I have always been injured by reckless training partners. I enjoy having weaknesses exposed and the luxury of being able to acknowledge my error and escape with limb intact by simply tapping out. It is one of the key features as to why jiu jitsu is so effective.

My no tap streak came to a screeching halt at the hands of Eddie Cummings a few weeks ago. I had to tap 3 times in an 8 minute round. It wasn’t humbling at all. It was exciting to be so thoroughly dominated that I had to acknowledge my cup has been emptied again and now I can work on filling it back up.

It is a saying people throw around a lot but I’m not so sure they really want the emptying out process. Eddie makes a lot of people question their jiu jitsu and for good reason. The moves that he does makes a lot of what works against most people, even against world class people, rendered ineffective.

It is a hard pill for some people to swallow that the supreme art of jiu jitsu has undergone a radical transformation once you allow all leg locks and go for sub only. Do I 100% with sub only? Absolutely not! Do I think IBJJF is obsolete? Another big No.

I think we should acknowledge both styles have their pros and cons. I do think full spectrum grappling with takedowns, positions, and full body submissions is the way to train and a rule set needs to be created to keep things honest. For that I think the best rule set thus far is MMA.

I have always been into leg locks but I never felt anyone like Eddie before. I’m sure some will assume that with strikes and takedowns his style would be useless, but that is foolish. Many of his finishing positions don’t allow for effective striking and once you let go of his arms to try to punch he is going to break you.

I don’t need to get into an ego battle and look for excuses as to why I tapped more in 8 minutes than I have combined in 8 years. Nor rationalize as to what I would do in a real fight when I can go crazy. I will assume that someone named wolverine can also go nuts. Rather I will acknowledge the mastery of the skill and do my best to absorb what I can from his style and apply it to my own.

For me that is what the martial arts is all about. Dumping out the stale knowledge and pouring in new knowledge. The stuff that is really good sticks to your bones and stays with you till the end.

Shoshin means beginner’s mind in Japanese. That is the mind of the real martial artist. In the expert’s mind the possibilities are few, in the beginner’s mind the possibilities are many. Empty your cup so it can be filled again.