Many times when you first start rolling, you will notice people have the mentality that they will never tap. Regardless of the level of the person they are rolling with, it could even be a brown or black belt, they believe that they will go their whole BJJ career and never tap. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is just not the truth. In fact, you should go with the opposite mentality with this BJJ mantra and, “Tap often and Tap quick” because if you don’t you may just end up suffering an injury.
That is not to say that you should not try to fight out of a move, but especially when you first start it is important to tap quick. Say you are thrown into an armbar and have no clue how to escape; you should tap. You can always go back and ask the person you are training with how to escape the move to increase your knowledge, but there is no point in fighting out of a move long enough to just get injured. An injury to your arm could keep you off the mats for months, so it is not worth it to fight a submission off to look tough when all you will end up is hurt.
This also applies to chokes. While a triangle choke you can try to finagle your way out of and have some time before the submission gets too tight, there are many other chokes that will turn your lights off quick. It does not happen often but a few times a year someone passes out on the mat. It is not a pretty sight, and it could be something that is avoided if the roller just tapped often and tapped quick. This happens mostly when someone is being choked by their own Gi, and the blood is being turned off to your brain. If you are lucky they will notice you pass out, and it is more important to keep conscious than to not tap.
The words, “Tap often and Tap quick” are words to live and roll by. This mantra does not necessarily help you improve your BJJ game like others, but it will help keep you on the mats longer. Injuries are inevitable in a sport that is about tapping people out, but protecting yourself from your own tough man mentality is the most important thing. Then you can go forward in your BJJ journey a lot safer.