Over the last couple of months I have written about various pieces of training gear, ranging from wrestling shoes to mouthguards. Looking over these tips I realized I had left out the single most important, completely indispensable training gear of all: your partner!
Grappling is a contact sport where we struggle to apply techniques to our sparring partners while these same people are doing their very best to resist and apply similar techniques to us. The training of techniques against partial or full resistance is the central pillar of our training method, and it relies absolutely on having sparring partners. No sparring partners equals no sparring equals no improvement of skills.
So given that this is true, then why do some people take such poor care of their sparring partners? Why do some people think it is acceptable to crank armbars, or apply full force toeholds? At best that person will stop sparring with them, at worst they may sustain serious injury requiring surgery. Either way, the person without control loses a sparring partner and makes it more difficult for himself to improve his skills.
Preserve your training partners – it’s the only way to get better!