Author: Manny OG
Every martial artist has and need training partners, who are essential in martial arts development for all involved. Now getting partner is not something you just do, you have to be very selective and careful who you decide to be your partner. In my experience, it is very frustrating at first. Finding a training partner might seem easy, for some it is not, especially if you intend to train outdoors away from the gym, but here’s a few tips to consider;
You can find one in the same dojo where you train your martial arts, exchange contacts and arrange to meet at a specific location for training. You could also have a friend who might be interested in training with you, he or she doesn’t have to have a martial arts background or experience as long as he’s willing. Another thing you can do is to register at a gym, workout there regularly and do some martial arts drills while working out, you just might meet someone who is quite inquisitive and decide to learn. If that doesn’t work for you then try volunteering at a young people’s center, there you can find many young people with open mind who could be willling to learn what you have to show, and there you have a training partner. Sometimes, street kids are ideal because you could teach them self defence and give them purpose, and rehabilitation where necessary. People with no experience at all are my best option, I’ll tell you why.
Now that you have found a training partner, make sure they’re open minded. Try as much as you can to avoid “know-it-alls”, especially those with a bit of martial art experience. From experience, they tend to have so much “knowledge” and “philosophy” during training, this can be really frustrating and annoying and depressing thereby demoralising you, because all you wanna do is train but all they wanna do is show they know more than you, verbally and nothing to show. This is why it is better to get someone with zero experience, as their minds are tabula rasa, a clean slate, so they tend to appreciate you and what you have to show more. Don’t get me wrong, experienced person can also be beneficial but he/she has to be open minded, that’s one thing you look for.
Moving on, you need to bring your partner up to speed with what you want to achieve while training with him. If he has anything he wants to learn in the process, by all means give him the time to learn or improve, remember he’s a partner not a student. Go easy at the begining before going into hardcore stuff, this is important if you’re far more experienced than your partner. Another thing is always try giving them the freedom to try out techniques on you, especially during sparring sessions. This creates some confidence and relentlessness in your partner and would make them trust you.
Next up, so as not to lose sight of what you’re training for, come up with a training plan or manual, this will make the training more lively and purposeful. The training plan might act as some sort of guide to target areas you wish to perfect, especially if you’re trying to improve your martial arts skills. Make the plan as detailed, outlined and precise as possible. When I first training with my partner, we just did random things and even if we got a workout out of it, it still didn’t seem like anything was achieved, at least for me. So I came up with training plan, and made sure he was in agreement with it so we know we are on the same page. It works, and so far we have achieved certain things we set out to achieve.
Finally, another thing to consider is to make sure you work around your partner’s schedule, you might have time but they might not, try not to be pushy about it. Also, make sure the setting is easily accessible by both you and your partner, and if you’re training outdoors, don’t forget check the weather, as bad weather can really mess up your day.