Submission (combat sport term)

Submission (combat sport term)

A submission (depending on the context also referred to as a "tap out" or "tapping out") is a combat sports term for yielding to the opponent, and hence resulting in an immediate defeat. The submission is commonly performed by clearly tapping the floor or the opponent with the hand or sometimes with the foot, to signal the opponent and possibly the referee of the submission. The submission can also be verbal, during which the fighter verbally informs that he is giving up. In some combative sports where the fighter has cornermen, the corner can also stop the fight by "throwing in the towel", which may count as a submission.

Causes of submissions

Depending on the combat sport, submissions usually occur when:

  • The fighter has suffered an injury and decides not to continue.
Example: The corner throws in the towel during the break between rounds in boxing when the fighter has suffered a broken rib.
Example: The fighter submits in judo sparring matches when he is put in an inescapable pinning hold such as the Kata-Gatame.
  • The fighter is put in a submission hold, and submits because the pain is too intense, or to avoid injury or losing consciousness.
Example: The fighter is put in an omoplata or an armbar in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • The opponent is effectively overwhelmed by striking, and the fighter submits to avoid being knocked out or injured.
Example: The fighter has been mounted by the opponent in a mixed martial arts competition, and is subject to overwhelming ground and pound.

Technical submission

A technical submission may occur when the referee or doctor stops the fight because a fighter has sustained an injury or becomes unconscious while in a submission hold. An example would be a fighter's arm breaking in an armbar, or a fighter passing out in a choke hold. In both cases the fighter is unable to tap out, and an official decides that the fighter cannot safely continue to fight. Such a match outcome may be called a technical submission or a technical knockout (TKO) depending on the rules of combat used for the match.

See also