How To Handle a BJJ Training Partner That Makes Your Life a Living Hell

How To Handle a BJJ Training Partner That Makes Your Life a Living Hell

Much of the time you spend training BJJ is going to consist out of moments of true happiness, of total immersion in doing that which you enjoy. However, some of those times will be less good than others; injuries will happen and bad rolls, where you’re tapped out by everyone, will make their presence known.
The same can be said for the time spent with your training partners; most of it is going to be awesome… But sometimes, you’ll experience problems and arguments with your training partners.

It’s important to learn how to deal with these arguments in a constructive fashion, both for your own sake and for the sake of the overall atmosphere in your Jiu Jitsu academy as well.



Getting into an argument is the easy part: something happens or someone says something, and bam – the atmosphere gets unpleasant. But what’s not so easy is taking a step back and figuring out why you’re arguing in the first place.

Therefore, perhaps the first thing you should do when having a quarrel with your training partner is to identify what’s hiding behind it. What got you and/or them to react in such a way? What’s making you angry?
Think about this for a moment, and you’ll find out one of two things. You’ll either realize that there’s absolutely no reason to be arguing at all; perhaps one of you had a bad day at work or school, had something happen which is totally unrelated to training – and it simply took a spark to ignite all of that fuel that’s been brewing inside. Or secondly, you’ll come to understand what the real underlying issue is; in that case, you’ll be able to address the whole situation with much more maturity.



Once you’ve figured out what the real problem is, make an effort to talk it out with your training partner.

If you’ve realized that you were at fault – perhaps you said something stupid or held on to that choke for a bit longer than you should’ve – then be frank and apologize for it. They’ll appreciate this and you will have made a contribution to both your personal growth and to the growth of honest and positive attitude in your academy.
If you think that they’re at fault, politely point out why you think so and then – this is critical – hear out what they’ve got to say. Show that you respect their point of view, and then give feedback on it. This is the best approach towards finding a solution; listening, in an effort to find mutually beneficial grounds.

Talk it out with your training partners in a respectful and honest manner, and you will find a solution to the quarrel with much more success.



Sure, you may have a training partner you simply can’t stand. They might be arrogant, they might not wash their Gi often, they may crank submissions all the time; or, simply enough, you may not like their character. Whatever it is, you just can’t tolerate being near them.

In this case, it’s a good idea to speak with your coach. What does he think about the XY person? Does he have a problem with them as well? How about other students – how do they perceive him/her?
If everyone else thinks the same way you do, then it might be best to stay clear from that person. But if it turns out that others don’t really have a problem with them, then it might be time to reevaluate your judgement and thinking yet again.