Apr 102008

A few days ago, Hazmat over at White Collar Jiu-Jitsu posted briefly suggesting that we all have a Training Partner Appreciation Day. As usual, things percolate in my head for a while (sometimes weeks, months or even years to my wife’s continuing frustration). Two days ago, I said to my wife, “I think we should sign up for Netflix. We keep missing movies in the theaters and it’s only going to get worse when the baby comes.” Of course, she’s been saying that for over a year now. :) Hazmat seems to be a thoughtful guy and I’m happy it only took me a week to realize that this Appreciation Day is a pretty darned good idea.

A large part of training is internally motivated. We motivate ourselves to improve. We study and drill outside of class, workout, eat right and generally take responsibility for our own training. However, in BJJ, and I’m guessing any style of martial art, there’s only so much we can do without good training partners. It is, after all, like trying to learn the tango alone, or the proverbial one-handed clap. You can practice the motions, but without an equally determined partner, there’s only so much you can do. A good training partner doesn’t let you stop until you’re completely out of gas.

On Martial Arts Planet, an all styles MA forum, a guy asked about his new BJJ school in a thread called “Lack of safty.” I can’t comment on what actually happened or whether he’s accurately describing what’s going on there. I could comment on the word “safty” but… I think I’ll resist the tangent. I bring this up to comment on and highlight how lucky I feel to train at such a good school with supportive training partners who really do want to see everyone get better. True or not, what Captain-Kick describes would be a training nightmare for me.

My only comment on that thread so far, and I do believe this to be true, is that being a good martial artist is a different skillset from being a good teacher, or a good leader.

So, with that said, I want to thank all of my training partners at Foster BJJ. Specifically, in yesterday’s class, Mike for drilling technique with me, and all the guys who rolled with me during sparring, including Josh and Jeff B who both managed to simulataneously kick my ass but not so badly I gave up, to Rick for only using 240 lbs instead of all 290, and to the other three guys I paired up with who pushed the pace until I felt like I was going to puke. Thanks, guys. I hope I can return the favor.

 Posted by at 10:27 am

  One Response to “Training Partner Appreciation Day”

Comments (1)

    I was reading a big thread about Renzo’s academy on Sherdog a while ago, which made me think about training partners. A lot of people were complaining about the price, and posting stuff to the effect that “well, Renzo doesn’t teach all that often, so that’s a bit pants”. I think that misses the point: training at a big academy is not about the instruction (while that’s still an awesome advantage), its about the training partners.

    The reason I don’t mind paying a high price for the Roger Gracie Academy is because of the variety (especially in terms of size, as I’m a small guy) and skill of the people I get to roll and drill with. There’s a huge pool of BJJers who’ve been training under Roger, Jude, Maurição etc for years, who can in turn pass those benefits on to me. Makes all the difference.

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