An Underutilized Gesture in Life: The Tapout

Todd Jackson@tjaxmmaSenior Analyst INovember 19, 2009

In the fight game, for many fighters, there comes a point in a match where they feel they can not press on any longer.  They signify their willingness to end a fight with a simple gesture: the tapout.

Whether it be fear of loss of limb, or simply to avoid further pain and discomfort at the hands of their opponent, they tap to indicate that they prefer the fight cease at that given moment.

The tapout saves many fighters many ailments.  No sooner than they begin to tap, the official rushes to their aid to save them any further punishment at the hands of their adversary.

After sitting around thinking about the effectiveness of the tapout, I began to wonder why we don't use the tapout in more areas of life?  Imagine for a moment if you will, a world that responded to tapping as a universal sign that whatever it is that is going on would end.

No means the same thing all over the world, maybe a tapout should, too.

How useful would a tapout be, say, in a situation with a loved one.  Say your lady has decided to set up a trap that includes asking you what you think of what she's wearing tonight, even though she has already made up her mind to change regardless of what you say.

It would go a little something like this: "Honey, how do I look in this?"  "Wow, you look great!" might be a response a man might give.  "Look how big this makes my butt look, were you even looking at me?" the little lady might respond.  Now this is the crossroads, no answer is correct from this point forward, I assure you. 


And for the record, a big butt is not a detriment by default, let's be honest here, folks.  The pressure is mounting to come up with a righteous and thoughtful response. 


In rushes Herb Dean to save the man from further abuse and destruction, he waves his hands over his head. and there you have it, end of discussion.  A man is saved from what was surely a situation that could have turned ugly very quick.

Love is not the only place where a tapout could be utilized.  How about our jobs?  Your boss approaches you about about some minuscule issue that really does not warrant much attention at all. 


Even still, your boss must "manage" your shortcomings and throw them up in your face to make themselves feel more important.  Honestly, this is grounds to have a point taken away, but the point system is a discussion for another article.

The boss begins to rant about how you should really aspire to be more like them, perfect in every way.  As your boss proceeds to tell all about why your performance is not up to snuff, even though you slam dunked the job you were doing, you calmly look them right in the eyes, extend your hand, and you tap. 

Steve Mazzagatti has seen enough, there is no need for you to endure further abuse in this situation; he rushes to your aid, shoves the boss back in their corner, and the issue is over.  You're free to go on about your day without the pointless nagging that surely would have continued without a tap.

You're driving your bad ass, tricked out ride at approximately too friggin' fast for your own safety.  In your rear view mirror you note the flashing of blue and red lights.  This is indicative of your need to pull over and face the music for your poor judgement. 


Mr. "I got picked on in high school, but now I have a gun and you're going to give me respect regardless of if you like it or not," taps on your window with his Desert Eagle.  You roll your window down and he asks, "Do you now how fast you were going, boy?"

Your answer: "Not fast enough, obviously; you were able to catch up to me." 

He does not approve and asks you to step out of the vehicle.  You're on your way to the after party (more on this later) and you just don't have time to be messing with ole Haas this evening.  You tapout.  Dan Merogliotta is not going to allow this to continue any further.  Mr. caterpillar mustache is going to have to find someone else to bother this evening and you're free to go.


Your friend is moving.  We all love to help our friends out, but there are certain aspects to friendship that are not as enjoyable as others.  Your buddy calls you up and asks what you're doing this weekend.  Unsuspecting of a possible move, you answer is "nothing."  "Great!" your friend replies, "Can you help me move?"  Now had you known he was moving, you could have come up with a great excuse given a little time to think about it.
His cunning approach has you staring forward like a deer in headlights; got to think quick, how can you get out of this?   You may not be doing anything this weekend, but the last thing you want to do is spend all day in a wrestling match with couches and another person's mattresses.  I don't know about you, but I'm particular to my own dust mites, thank you very much.

So you do what any person would do in a hopeless situation you can not escape.  You tapout.  Big John McCarthy jumps between the two of you, and it is all over.  Your obligation is immediately relieved by a simple tapout, very nice and not a moment too soon.  Now your weekend is once again yours.  Now you can sit around and play Modern Warfare and eat Ramen noodles all weekend long, without interruption.

These are but a few examples of points in life where we might wish we had the option to tapout and move on to something more enjoyable, like the after party.  Hey, win, lose, or draw, there is always an after party.  Why not make it mandatory after every situation resolved by tapout.


So I call on my fellow MMA enthusiasts to help me implement this highly useful tool in our everyday lives.  The first time you do it, they may look at you strange, but eventually they will get the picture.  And remember the structure here people, obnoxious situation, tapout, after party. 

Anytime one taps, go have a beer shortly there after.  Let me know how this works out for you.  Feel free to leave any further tapout worthy examples in the comment section below; these are but a few. 

And now, folks, I tap!