Lack Of Quality Training Partners? It’s Not Them, It’s You

The revolving door of many BJJ academies can make it tough to find training
partners that you know are helping you improve your game. You’ll likely find a few
that you get excited to roll with, but the majority of your time is probably spent
practicing patience with a new white belt. It’s a well-known fact that the higher your
rank, the fewer training partners you’ll have at the same skill level. You’ll inevitably end up rolling with newcomers, and you have the ability to influence their BJJ journey.

So what can YOU do to not only find potentially good training partners, but keep them coming back? It starts with drilling. Lead by example in drilling. Keep your arm bars technical, not sloppy. Take a moment to focus on details you sometimes overlook. Keep drilling the technique until the instructor calls for the next demonstration. Your time in class is valuable, so don’t waste it waiting around for others to “finish” drilling. Even if your academy has a laid back environment, you can control the amount of work you’re putting in by asking your partner if you can keep running through the technique.

Your second opportunity to have a major impact is during rolling. Help them learn good habits by setting a pace and controlling your breathing. Focus on your technique against their power. Finish the submission, but give them time to tap. Put yourself in an uncomfortable spot while rolling and try to work out of it. Roll hard and let them work from positions that were just covered in class. Don’t get mad! If you get tapped, slap hands and tell them great job!

It boils down to respect. Respect the newbie, respect your teammates, respect your coach, respect everyone’s time. You can also discreetly set them up by saying that you’ll see them at the next class. This sets an expectation, and if they respect you, they won’t want to leave you hanging.

If you’re a higher rank, think about the teammates who most positively influenced
your jiu-jitsu. Chances are they lead by example!


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