In Jiu Jitsu we rely heavily on our partners in order to progress.
We must have a partner in order to learn moves and get timing down. This applies in both sparing and in class.
We can never reach black belt alone. We rely on partners, but some partners are better than others. We definitely need to train with everybody, but we also need to educate too. This list should help the less competent partners on how we can both help each other.
Here’s three of the most typical annoying training partners in BJJ:
#1 – The Unaware Newbie
This is typically reserved for white belts. This habit has to be broken once you reach a certain level. The unaware newbie is a “space case”. They’ll watch the instructor show a move 5 times excitedly. Then, once it comes time to practice they have no idea even where to start. The unaware newbie will also continue to practice the move beyond time. While the instructor has called the class back to the circle, someone else needs to whistle or call their name. We need to have these people understand that in many ways Jiu Jitsu is like school hence the term “Jiu Jitsu Academy”. If you want to get better, you need a certain level of focus (just like you would studying any other subject.)
#2- The Teacher
This is usually related to the “unqualified “or “unwanted” teachers. These are typically white, blue and sometimes purple belts who are a little too confident in their knowledge. These people want to re-teach their partner all the details as they practice the move.
These guys may believe they have the credentials for the move. Many may have a background in wrestling or judo, and even many years in Jiu Jitsu class. But they don’t have the moves down despite their overconfidence. In my eyes leave the teaching to the instructor and the upper belts (purple, brown). This is not to say we cant help each other, but do so within your own limitations and ask your instructor about things you are unsure about.
#3- The Alpha
This guy is the biggest pain of all and he/she can be almost any belt. This is the person who when practicing a move will automatically defend and stop you from completing the move and then ask ,“why can’t you do the move properly”. Practicing moves with this person gets you almost nowhere and training is even worse. When rolling this guy goes 100% start to finish. You will learn nothing rolling with the Alpha because your focus will be merely on surviving without getting injured.
Chances are you have met a few of these training partners in your time on the mat and we should work to change this by talking to our partners and explaining how we can help each other progress better if we work together. If you don’t know any of these people than you may be one of them.