Types of training partners

Happy New Year!

How to utilize the different training partners in your academy.

When first starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu it will seem like every training partner you have can impose their will. However as we progress you will start to find three different types of people you roll with in regards to skill. It is important to take advantage of and roll with each one of them. There are also specific things to keep in mind while rolling with each in order to get the most out of that session with them. This can help you progress much faster than normal.

At white belt we feel like all that ever happens is we get smashed by the more experienced training partners during sparring. However once we get past the “getting smashed” phase, your training partners will start being separated into three groups. The first is the people you are now able to “impose your will” on. While it is tempting to just continue to “smash” this is neither beneficial for yourself or your partner. This is a time to work on timing and testing new technique. Don’t get sucked into feeding you ego. Smashing your training partner may feel good after many months of being on the losing end, but it inhibits progression. Timing and technique last forever, strength will subside over time. So why not invest in the long term. Don’t just pass the guard and sit in a dominate position for the entire round. This does nothing for both parties. The next training partner is most likely the student that started around the same time as you. So you will both have equal skill, maybe even equal strength as well as conditioning. These will be very back and forth sparring sessions, and they will be high paced with a lot of transitions. Focus on the transitions and establishing good positioning. Conditioning will also be improved due to the pace. The thing to keep in mind is these partners can help you develop your durability and “heart”. It can also help bring you together with your teammates. There is nothing more bonding than a good hard round with your training partner. The last training partner is teammate that is technically advanced, stronger, and more conditioned. And it seems like there is nothing you can do to stop it. Don’t be discouraged, it is good to get smashed here and there. This helps keep our ego in check. As well as reinforces honesty in our abilities. While training focus on defense. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. As long as you take an honest look at what happened and make adjustments to improve. Just making a goal of “not getting submitted” but not moving or transitioning will be a complete waste of time. Work on your defensive movements, and if you get caught so be it. It isn’t a big deal to be submitted, just view it as a chance to learn.

Having these three type of training partners will accelerate your progression. Only having one or two of the above doesn’t mean you wont progress. As long as you have the proper coaching and good training partners everyone can improve.

~Greg



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