I can usually tolerate most types of people pretty easily. There are some that I prefer to roll with over others but there are select types of people I try to avoid. The way your training partner reacts or how his/her attitude is towards you can hurt or help your game all depending on how you use it. I’m going to cover a few different personalities that you might be familiar with and the categories I place them under.
The Mute: These guys don’t usually talk much. They tend to let their jiu-jitsu do the talking, usually, it speaks for itself! They spend most of their time studying how to move and what positions benefit them better. Usually this guy only really talks with the instructor and maybe one other person. The best part about these guys is there is absolutely no trash talking! They are very respectful to you as a partner and usually will explain how they got that last move on you. These are the guys you study and watch. They move more technically than anyone else in the school.
The Spartans: These guys take everything as if it’s a battle to the death. These guys are both good and bad. If you are preparing for a tournament, there is honestly no one that will help you to focus on your technique more than these guys. It’s more of a real situation and if you get close to something, they will try to muscle out of it. This will help you tighten up your movements which will improve your chances of success when you are going for gold. These guys can be bad for the casual Jiu Jitiero because it usually ends with this guy getting hurt. The overly aggressive guys take things to far and sometimes this ends in injury for someone. It can also lead to losing students for fear of “the mat bully”. More often than not these people are referred to as the bullies and a good instructor will calm them down eventually but there are some that can’t be calmed down. They are a very common part of many different schools.
The Gumby: The ones that seem to bend a little further than physics should allow. My opinion, these guys are by far the most fun to roll with. You think you are getting somewhere, then all of a sudden, you see a foot come from nowhere and you are back in guard. Yes, pain in the butt, but fun as hell! These guys help to improve both your smash passes and your attention to what is about to happen. Inverting and super flexibility is an amazing trait to have but not all of us can do these things very well. So it’s good to have a training partner like this to help prepare you for one you may face outside your gym.
The Eeyore: They always seem down and never really push you to learn anything. These guys spend more time complaining about injuries or problems at home than they do rolling. I can’t roll with these people very often but let’s be honest, when you want to choke someone, these are your guys! They are part of the group though so try to cheer them up maybe they will find themselves something in Jiu Jitsu but don’t be surprised if they start not coming to class.
The Crackhead: These guys never seem to stop! Spinning around you like a top, you look left, and they are on your right, next thing you know they have your back and the little birdies are singing to you! What happened? No idea, but it was cool as hell! These guys are fun and frustrating at the same time! Fun because you never know where they are going, frustrating because well… you never know where they are going! A great addition to any team none the less! They help you to develop your instincts better instead of having to think about what to do next.
Lastly, The Garbage Men: These guys tend to grab every arm, wrist, or choke from any and every direction. They can take every trashy mistake you make and turn it into their very own win. Be alert with these guys! They will make you pay attention to every move you make, if you slack for even a second, they will get you! This will help you a lot! They teach you to focus on your position before the submission, which is what we are supposed to be doing anyway. Very innovative and resourceful people, try to learn from these guys as much as possible.
Like I said these are just a few of the types of training partners I’ve dealt with so far and my opinions on them. Everyone is different, therefore, everyone has something to offer you and your game. It’s important to be open to everyone and explore outside of your comfort zone. Even the new guys can teach you something about yourself that you may not even know! Try to help your partners as well, without them you have no Jiu Jitsu!
Thank you, Roll safe and with everyone you can! Oss!!