How To Be A Good Training Partner

Tips to make the most of any Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class for effective training

While training Jiu-Jitsu, you will meet a lot of people on your journey. Most of these people will be your training partners: they will be the ones who you will drill the techniques and spar with. Some of them are going to teach you, and some others they’re going to be taught from you. You will try your best against each other and that will make you both better.

Here’s a couple of things that you can do in order to be a good training partner!

Be Respectful

This is the first step on becoming (or keep on being) a good training partner.  Our team works together in all aspects, from supporting each other as students to supporting each other as school owners and instructors. Without respect it is almost impossible to keep any kind of relationship, and to earn respect, first you need to give respect

Keep in your mind that for Jiu-Jitsu be taught in your community today, a lot of sacrifices were made from the people who came before us in the history of the Martial Art. The work that these people put on was crucial for the development of the sport, and it’s of huge importance that we live their legacy standing by the values they stood for with so much passion.

Recognize and Adapt the training

Gracie Barra’s main motto is “Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone“. We truly believe that BJJ is for everyone (Kids, Teens, Men, Women, Seniors, etc) and if every person in the world trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it would be a better place.

Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone

Since GB has had success implementing this model of teaching, it is really common to see people on the same program with different ages, gender and body types. Therefore, it’s really important the adaptation of the training and having a helpful attitude during the classes.

While training, there’s no need to do more strength than necessary, specially when your partner is somebody smaller or way lower ranked than you.  If you feel that the person you’re training is still on the beginning of the Jiu-Jitsu journey, you have a big opportunity to help ahead of you. Tips and adjustments are welcome after the class (always with the Professor or Coach’s supervision).

Keep the Training Serious

Even though it’s important to keep a cooperative attitude on the mats, let’s not mistake that with being careless and not applying yourself at all. Keeping a serious and focused posture is the best and fastest way to improve yourself and your training partner. You don’t need to spar every round like it was the finals of the Black Belt World Championships, but make sure to always do your best and leave it all on the mats. The mats don’t lie, and the results you’ll get are proportional to your effort while practicing. And so will your partner. The “Iron sharpens iron” saying was never more true than on the mats: the more you push your partner, the more he will have to push back, and that’s where improvement comes when you make this a routine. You both will be becoming the best version of yourselves everyday.


To maintain any kind of relationship, it’s needed to follow the basic hygiene standards, but when it’s about BJJ, a grappling martial art that has a lot of physical contact, the standards bar needs to be set even higher. It’s really important to shower before and after the classes, keep your hand and toe nails short and wear shoes whenever you step outside the mats. This way you will avoid getting skin and other types of diseases and can keep coming to practice.  Also, you will avoid getting your partner exposed to that, and will keep the environment safe. It is mandatory that you keep your Uniform clean and washed. The key is to put yourself in your partner’s spot, and treat him the way you want to be treated. Remember: If you have any kind of sickness, don’t come to class! Your Jiu-Jitsu won’t get worse for missing a couple classes, and your training partner will appreciate your consideration.



In Gracie Barra, all of us are part of a big family, from the 3 year old white belt to the senior black belt. The spirit of brotherhood is strong within us, and to keep this amazing environment alive, it’s needed to cultivate that with positive attitudes, one day after the other.


– Lucas Norat

GB Ahwatukee Program Director