How to be a Great Training Partner

Two martial artists in Ann Arbor smiling

Your dojo is more than a place to get a great workout. It’s a safe, respectful place to learn and thrive together – a place where character is developed and strengthened. But that doesn’t come from the uniform or the mat. It comes from the people, and everyone at the dojo plays a part. 

Whether you’re young or not so young, new to martial arts, or an instructor, you can be a positive and supportive force in your dojo. 

One way you can make a positive impact is when you’re training with a partner. Being the best training partner not only helps your partner, but is an important stage in your own development. 

Here are some ways you can create a positive impact practicing martial arts in Ann Arbor: 


In martial arts practice, like in other areas of life, communication is essential. Good communication helps improve everyone’s technique and makes practice safer. Be open and communicative with your partner, your instructor, and the people around you. Poor communication makes poor training and increases the risk of injury. 

Be Respectful

There are many ways to show respect. In the dojo, practice good personal hygiene and always wear a clean uniform. Be present and pay attention to your partner, their needs, and your sensei. How we present ourselves reflects our respect for our instructor, classmates, dojo, and culture.  

Be Intentional

When you bow before stepping into the training area, you’re signaling your respect and peaceful intentions. You’re also signaling your intention to do your best and reminding yourself to treat others with the utmost respect.

Be Safe

Sparring is about practicing what you’ve learned, but also about respecting your partner. Be mindful of your goals, but also of both your limits. Always put safety first.

Improve Yourself to Help Others Improve

To be a better partner, become a better martial artist. When you can do a technique correctly, you know how it looks and feels. That makes you better able to receive the kick, punch, or throw and help your partner master it as well. It also makes you less likely to get injured.

Positive, Supportive Martial Arts in Ann Arbor

A dojo is more than a training space. It’s a commitment by everyone who trains there to create a safe, respectful space. Training with a partner is a great way to achieve that! At JMAC, we thrive together.  

Visit JMAC and experience our commitment for yourself. Contact us or call 734-720-0330 to watch a class or to take a free introductory lesson. Then, if you’d like to join us in focused, supportive training, we’ll start you down a path of positive change that will impact your life and mindset in ways you never expected!