Gotta go fast!

Something has been cropping up in rolling recently: smaller people who get a half-baked submission, then try to quickly crank it in for the tap. When I ask why they’re not setting it up right and just trying to muscle it like that, they say, “Bigger stronger people always get out of it, so I have to do it fast.”

I imagine my face does something like this: blink. blink. blinkblink. …. … blink….

And then my mouth says, “… wut.”

No. Just, no. Bigger stronger people are getting out because you’re doing it wrong. Maybe you don’t realize what you did wrong; everything seemed right to you. But you missed something somewhere. (And as a smaller person, often that missed detail is a very small thing, but it leaves a big hole against a bigger person.) Maybe you didn’t set it up fast enough, so they see it coming and have time to react/defend, but certainly trying to finish it faster isn’t the solution. The setup for a submission can be fast, but the finish should be completely controlled so that you don’t injure your partner before they have a chance to tap.

And sure, maybe, they are just muscling out of it because they don’t want to tap. (I still feel, though, as if that’s more on me for not having the submission quite right so that they felt they had room/time to move.) But you know that they know that you know.

One of the people who said this had also reported an increase in injuries when rolling with bigger stronger guys. Well, you are the one introducing the increased intensity and the disregard for your partner’s limbs; they are reacting to that. Not maliciously, I’m sure; I’ve rolled with some of the people named, and I don’t get the same reaction from them. They will absolutely try to muscle out of submissions given the chance, but when I roll controlled with them, they give that back.

It also seems to me that there’s also the issue of “I have to get the tap” for the smaller person. Sure, submissions are nice; it feels good and validating when you get a tap. (I’ve been going for a lot more myself, and I do like it.) But at the same time, there should definitely be a recognition that potentially hurting your partner, e.g., cranking fast on a sub before they have a chance to tap, is a bad thing and not something we want to do.


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