Sunday, October 18, 2009

Remember to Thank Your Training Partners

I had the good fortune to workout with a long time training partner this weekend. We "grew up" together in the martial arts. He is my earliest training partner and I do not get to see him often. We teach at different dojo and both have full personal schedules. It has been at least six months since we saw each other. In a matter of minutes, we are back in if no time has passed.

It was really good to see him. I am sure he has no idea but our brief conversation helped me feel better about something that was bothering me. The conversation made me pause, take a deep breath and press on.

Being a training partner can be a tough job. We are thrown, punched, kicked and twisted into joint locks. We offer support, encouragement and perspective. We are bunkai partners, sparring partners and offer kata critiques. We push each other to be our very best.

I have newer training partners also. There is a small group of black belts who workout together outside the class structure. We gather to train, explore and encourage. The group started meeting this summer. The setting is relaxed and each of us has something to contribute to the group. They are a good group and I appreciate their friendship.

I want to thank all my training partners...past, present and future. I think they know that I appreciate their help but I want to make sure I remember to tell them.


Neal Martin said...

Hi Michele. Where would we be without training partners? I think finding a good training partner is essential to successful development as a martial artist. The difference between training with someone who you actually gel and training with someone who always seems to make things awkward is massive. Good training partners are hard to find and should be appreciated when we have them.

Despite that, it is still vital to train with as many different people as possible, otherwise how will we know if our techniques work on others or not. What works sweet with a good training partner sometimes doesn't work at all with someone else.

There is also the danger of falling into a comfort zone by training with the same person all the time. It gets so that you are almost afraid to train with others, especially strangers. We achieve the most growth through discomfort though.

Hack Shaft said...

I have a great training partner. He and I both know how to push each other to improve, and are very comfortable telling the other just how far to go on things like stretching exercises and such.

At the same time, I often try to mix things up with less familiar people, especially the students newer to sparring.

A woman I worked with a few weeks ago took second place in sparring at a tournament, her first time fighting in competition. She told me it was because I had drilled her on a basic technique, which proved to be very effective during the match.

I aspire to teach some day, and I think that begins by working one-on-one with people, accepting their input as much as they accept yours.

Michele said...

Hi Neal...thanks for stopping by. Excellent point.."train with as many different people as possible". I will admit that I prefer to train with people I know. However, when I have the opportunity to train with new partners, I am almost always glad I did.

Hack Shaft: Good to hear from you. Congratulations on the weapons competition. Let's hope your broken rib is the last injury from your "11 month curse"!