How Can I Be a Better Training Partner?
Learning Jiu-Jitsu can be difficult. Learning Jiu-Jitsu with a bad partner can be even more difficult. No matter what level you are at it is always beneficial to analyze how you impact others on the mat. Being a good training partner means many things. Here’s a quick list of qualities of a good training partner.
Training Jiu-Jitsu is best done slow and methodical. Especially at first. Understanding the mechanics at work is crucial to the process of Jiu-Jitsu. Feeling the off balancing effect of a basic scissor sweep will help practitioners transfer that concept to many other aspects of the game.
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You can’t be too rigid and require your partner to start to use strength due to lack of technique understanding. At the same time, you can’t be too loose and flop over like a body that doesn’t have any bones. In between those two extremes is the answer. Imagine yourself being in the most realistic position while maintaining the structure of your body. If you are unsure how to react during a specific drill, ask your partner or instructor.
Supportive, not overbearing
If you are more experienced than the person you are working help them without hurting them. What this means is don’t be the person who stops to have a mini seminar during class to help your less experienced friend. Focus on small things, and keep it simple. If you give to many tips it can be hard for them to grasp the larger idea of the technique/concept. Reinforcing what the instructor teaches helps maintain the goal of class.
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At the same time don’t be the person who let’s your partner make glaring errors. It can be hard to speak up and critique someone, so be tactful. Wait for them to complete their reps, and while performing your reps point out a small detail that they could be missing. It’s a more indirect way to make an impact on your training partner.
Remember to thank the people around you. Jiu-Jitsu can be a life altering journey. When an outsider or beginner walks into the academy there should be a feeling of ease because of the attitude of people around them. Thanking someone, who for the last five minutes was tapping you like a typewriter, is a humbling experience. It happens. That beating makes you better. Understanding the process of getting better and what that entails can increase the longevity of most people’s training. Thus, more good training partners at the academy.
Being a good partner can spread to other students in the gym. Don’t forget to be realistic when you are practicing. Be supportive of the folks around you regardless of their level. Do your best to help when practicing, but keep it simple. Surely remember to thank people for the rolls, thank people for training, thank your instructor for class, and thank the people holding the door open for you.