3 “Must Have” Training Partners

I have had this sitting in a Facebook message for quite some time now. I personally think that this is great. I can pick out specifically who my mentors, workhorses and up & comers are. I value the time that they put in to train with me and help me improve my game. I’m sorry that I can’t give credit to the original writer of this but I do believe that this is an excellent breakdown of your BJJ Partners. So thanks to whoever originally wrote this 🙂


The Mentor – The mentor is an advanced belt. He/She’s the one that’s there to give you a frank pull-no-punches assessment of where your game needs work. He/She’s also the one that you can go to for advice when you’re stumped about a given situation. When you roll, he/she’s going to smash on you pretty solid…but if he/she knows you’re drilling a new skill, he/she’s going to give you a chance to work it. They’re pulling for you to get better, but he/she’s not going to coddle you to get there. He/She’s more “brutal honesty” than “tough love”, but at the end of the day he/she’s the one who can turn a day around with just one compliment about your game.


The Workhorse – The workhorse is near or a little bit above your level. He/She’s very technical, and loves to do extra work on the mats in between classes. He/She organises his/her training and loves to drill. He/She’s one of the last people off the mats at the end of the night. Their game is always changing. If you are consistently beating or threatening him/her with something, he/she’s going to find an answer to it. If you are shutting down a submission he/she wants, he/she will figure out a new way to set it up. Most importantly, the workhorse is a good buddy. If you are out sick or hurt, he/she’s the person that calls you up to see how you’re doing. If he/she sees you’re getting frustrated, he/she’s the one to give you a word of encouragement or a little tip to get you through it.


The Up & Comer – The up & comer is a lower belt, who started maybe 6-18 months after you did. There’s just enough of a gap in terms of experience to give you a consistent edge, but he/she’s gamey enough that you can’t give them freebies. He/She’s great to work with when your confidence is low, without feeling like you just picked on a newbie. You can work your new stuff against this person, and his/her questions are good enough that it makes you think about positions technically. In a perfect world, you are their workhorse.

Leave a Reply