What is Tapping Out in MMA

What is Tapping Out in MMA? (Explained)

Tapping out is one of the first things you will ever learn when you join an MMA gym. But what does tapping out in MMA mean?

Tapping out means submitting and telling your sparring partner or opponent to stop what they are doing. You might be held in a choke or joint lock, and you see that you have no way to escape. By tapping out, you declare your opponent as a winner.

When someone taps out, they simply tap a few times with their hand on themselves, their opponent, or on the floor. When tapping out, it is important to do it so, that your opponent notices. Alternatively, you can tap out with your foot or by shouting, if your hands are tied up.

If you are unfamiliar with MMA, here is a full guide on what MMA is.

That was the short version, let’s take a closer look into tapping out in MMA and when you should tap out.

What does it mean to tap out in MMA or UFC?

Tapping out in MMA or UFC means that you submit to your opponent and declare them as the winner.

There are situations in MMA, when you just can not escape, at least not without risking your health.

Tapping out in MMA class

As you might already know, MMA gyms and classes are to be learned. Therefore, tapping out is a regular thing when it comes to practice MMA.

While training with a partner, don’t wait until the last second before you tap out. There is no point trying to escape with all your strength when it comes to a sparring match.

Nobody counts in class. It is more shameful to refuse to tap out when sparring. On top of that, don’t go full speed and full strength, especially if you are just getting started with MMA.

The last thing you want to do is to hurt someone else so badly that they will break an arm or get other significant injuries.

Tapping out in MMA competitions

Tapping out in MMA competitions is a little bit different than in class.

In competitions, if you see a way out, you can try to take it. You don’t have to tap out as easily as if you were sparring.

Also, in competitions, you will likely use a lot more strength. So will your opponent. Competitions are the place, where you should give your everything. (Without compromising your health of course).

How do you tap out in MMA?

Tapping out is done by gently tapping on your opponent, yourself, or the floor. Sometimes your hands are tied up so you can not tap out the regular way.

If you can not move your hands enough to tap out in a clear way, you can also tap out with your legs. Alternatively, shouting something to make it clear to your opponent that you submit is one way too.

Whatever way it is possible to make sure your opponent knows that’s enough should do the trick. The most commonly used is the regular tapping with your hand on your opponent, on yourself, or on the floor.

I will link a video on how tapping out is done below, I am not the creator of the video but it is a great demonstration of tapping out.

Why do MMA fighters tap out?

MMA fighters tap out to avoid any physical injuries. When their opponents have properly done a joint lock or a chokehold and there is no way to escape, tapping out is the sign to them that you submit and tells them to stop.

Even in professional fighting matches, tapping out is a regular thing. There are situations where escaping is simply not an option. If this is the case, there is no point risking a future fighting career over one match.

If one does not tap out, they are at risk of breaking an arm or joint or getting choked unconscious.

You don’t have to watch a lot of UFC fights, to see someone tapping out. It is a common way to finish a fight that has gone to the ground.

According to fightmatrix.com, roughly 20% of UFC fights across all weight classes end by submission. This basically means tapping out.

When should you tap out in MMA?

In MMA, you should tap out when you find yourself in a situation, where you can not escape without possible physical injuries. Losing one fight will not be worth risking your well-being.

In competitions, you could try to hang on a little bit longer. In MMA class, however, there is no point trying to get out if your opponent has done their choke or lock correctly. Just tap out and move on. Try to avoid getting into that situation next time.

Even if you were competing, try not to wait too long before you tap out. Your opponent will do their best to make you submit and they will likely use a lot of strength. That might cause you to break an arm or have other injuries.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, tapping out is a really simple concept of telling your opponent that you submit. It is one of the first things you are taught when you first join an MMA gym.

When it comes to tapping out, take things slow and easy when in class. Competitions are the right place to avoid tapping out at all costs.

Tapping out is typically done with your hand with a few gentle taps on yourself, on your opponent, or on the floor. Alternatively, if your hands are tied up, you can use your legs or shout something to deliver the same message.

If you are just getting started with your MMA journey, here is a guide for picking the best MMA gym for your needs.

Hopefully this was helpful, have a wonderful day!

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