The Different Reasons People Train Jiu Jitsu, What's Yours?
Everyone Trains Jiu Jitsu For Differently
No matter what your current belt level, gender, or even goals are, you should be willing and able to train jiu jitsu with anyone. Being accessible and eager is the first step in becoming a great training partner. The second step in becoming a great training partner is to recognize that different people are looking for different things from their training. You might come across a BJJ practitioner who is interested in competition. You might come across training partners with different belt levels. And even the average practitioner comes in many different forms. With all of that in mind, why don’t we explore these three categories even more to try and understand what their training motivations might be?
Jiu Jitsu / MMA Competitors
At your academy you will often run into students who are interested in BJJ for the competitive aspects of the sport. These types of students can be some of the best training partners for you even if you are just starting out. You can learn a great deal from students who are getting ready for competition depending on what their current game plan is. But do keep in mind that as the competition date draws nearer you will notice a shift in the way they are training. This transformation is a natural progression for a student interested in competition. The level of focus needs to be on a very serious level, and some might train with harder than average amounts of aggression. So be ready for one hell of a challenge when you go to roll with a student who is nearing their date of competition.
Varying Belt Levels
There are different goals for most students at different belt levels. For example, a white belt is typically over eager and will often make stupid mistakes in an attempt to gain control or even a submission. If you are a white belt here is a very basic tip to remember next time you roll: focus on controlling your breathing. Some other things to think about are how to work to achieve good position, and how to be defensive. Set your expectations appropriate to your level. Your guard will be passed many times, you will tap many times. But that is no reason to get frustrated, so long as you are learning.
The mentality of a blue belt is finally feeling like you know a little something. Basic fundamentals and principles should come easier. The blue belt level student should always keep in mind what is was like to be a new student when rolling with a white belt, and try to be helpful, but not try to know it all. And of course when rolling with an upper belt, a blue belt is going to do their best at working their game. Commonly a blue belt will rely on a few techniques that they know well, especially when rolling with an upper belt.
At any belt level, the fundamentals of jiu jitsu are vital, but when you are a blue belt, that is when these fundamentals principles of jiu jitsu should be starting to make sense.
Purple belts, brown belts, and especially black belts are always excellent training partners for several reasons. By now they have established a particular style of game and are typically able to train with much greater control, having refined their technique. Experience and confidence will be honed in from having spent so many hours on the mats. If you are a new practitioner of BJJ the purple, brown and black belts are going to challenge you, take care of you, and work to make themselves better.
You will find the average practitioner comes in many shapes and sizes. Think about the kind of guy who is about 30 years old, has a family, and love UFC. Now think about the single mother of two and has been training for only a few months because she signed her child up for kids class. There are a vast majority of jiu jitsu practitioners that fall into this group, and will often be met with commitments that keep them out of the gym. This type of BJJ practitioner is around to get a solid workout, be around a good group of people, and burn off some stress.
So do not be afraid to work your game against different students because everyone trains differently and you will get a lot of value out of that. The game you begin to make your own is a discovery process that involves training with others.