How We Choose Our Partners In BJJ

EXIT BJJ / Flickr Creative Commons

In BJJ we meet a lot of great people and make many friends. This to me, is one of the best things about BJJ. The social aspect is something not seen in many other sports or teams.  I have also noticed that certain people tend to try and work together during class more often than not. While some people are always willing to help the new white belt, many tend to gravitate to a specific training partner. This got me thinking about all the reasons two people might create a bond where both enjoy training with one another over other students. Here are just a few of the reasons I have noticed over the years.

Size– This makes absolute sense as it is easier to learn moves on someone your own size. Most people tend to gravitate towards people within 20lbs of them because it makes learning just a lot easier.

Skill Level– This one also makes sense in many ways. While it is ideal for the upper belts to try and help white belts, it can often distract them from learning the moves themselves. So, I have noticed that usually people end up pairing by belt level or within one belt level in most cases.

Age– This one can be broken, but often times the older guys tend to gravitate to one another. It may have something to do with the BJJ after 40 movement or the simple fact that they can relate better to one another than with some young gun.

Goals– People gravitate to others who share a common goal in many cases as well. This is most common with the competitive students because they are able to push each other harder than they would with some of the other students.

Outside circumstances– sometimes people know each other from outside of the academy and already knew each other. It only makes sense that they prefer to partner up because they have much better communication and relate better with one another.

Obviously sometimes partnering up can be random, but I do believe these all play a big factor in how we choose our partners. What other factors have you noticed in your own academy?


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