Don’t have long finger nails. This is my personal pet peeve. I will never show you the secrets of how I use deep half guard or how I dim mak ninjas, if you slice me open with your talons. It’s really easy to cut somebody inadvertently, make sure you keep and extra set of nail clippers in your gym bag. Hell, bite your nails for all I care. Just get it done. I have a scar right between my eyes from a disrespectful training partner that forgot to trim his nails. I have to be reminded daily when I look in the mirror, of how much I hate this.
No talking to your partner while the instructor is teaching. You can help out your training partner when the instructor breaks to practice back and forth, but don’t distract him before then. You should probably stop talking when the instructor is pointing out details, or making corrections, during the drilling. Not to mention the fact that you are probably distracting the other students from trying to hear what is being said. Everybody is there to learn from somebody who has lots of experience, not the white belt who wants to show off to the other new white belt how much technique he has. (or thinks he has.)
Please don’t roll or drill with mat cooties. If you have nasty on your skin, and you still want to train, you can go for a run or do some tape study. Please don’t go roll around with guys no matter how much you want to. In the long run getting sick leads to people quitting or worse, getting super sick. Don’t be greedy, take a couple days off, go see the doctor and get it taken care of.
Handle all of your open wounds. Nobody wants to get bled on! It’s gross! If you get a cut it’s one thing, you have to expect it a little bit of that, but if you’re bleeding all over and it could have been prevented, people are going to be turned off. Take 3 minutes before hand to cover up any wounds, and tape them up. Band aids always get knocked off when you get all sweaty. I haven’t even talked about how you can get sick from infections, which can lead to other ways to be a bad training partner.
I have another couple blog posts out of this subject. I hope I’m making Jiu Jitsu a more pleasurable sport for you and your team. Please feel free to post this, or tell your partners what I’ve said, just keep the information out there. Problems can arise when you have expectations that the other students already know this stuff. Never expect it’s “common sense” for people to know these things. They’re busy thinking about how they’re going to sweep you, or how to make their technique smoother, rather than thinking about being a better training partner.
Coach Alder Hampel
10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys