30 Day Challenge/Day 9: Training Relationships

Continued from yesterdays Challenge- “Better Bad Guy” Handbook

Four Levels of the Relationship
The “Better Bad Guy” is a representation of your training partner and the relationship you build with that partner.
In the Handbook (forthcoming) we want each partner to with an understand the relationships and the each have an active role in the relationship.
Here’s a brief outline that will be fully defined with potential exercises that could be used in each phase.
In the cooperative phase your opponent works directly with you. He complies to all your methods in a way that helps you to understand what are the results of your actions. You get to mold the situation to work the way you believe it should be. All actions comply with your intent.
Contact and intensity are at a scale of something like 25%. There really should be no need for safety equipment beyond groin and mouth protection.

In the collaborative phase you and your opponent both contribute to the overall intent of the outcome. Here you both share ideas and investigate possibilities. Both individual give feedback to each other on what they recognize.
Contact and intensity can begin at scale of something like 25% but as both participants become comfortable they should look to up the intensity to more like 40-50%. There really should be no need for safety equipment beyond groin and mouth protection.

In the competitive phase there is an understanding of “rules.” Each you and your training partner have a similar understanding of “fairness” but are looking to utilize each or your skills to create controlled action. At the same time there is an awareness of a “winning” action. The individual that executes his/her intended action successfully, first-wins. There could and should be a recognition of score so that each of you can measure your overall improvement. Obviously, a lack of production should be a recognition that further skill development is necessary.
Again, contact and intensity can begin low, ideally participants should be starting to recognize that contact levels and intensity levels are not necessarily equal. Although contact may be hitting up to 60-75% the intensity could raise as high as 80%. Depending on the respect and trust each participant has which each other, they could agree to push each other to higher levels. Please remember that attitude, respect and safety should not be overlooked. Safety equipment is recommended for this training relationship.

In the combative phase the role of the training partner is to resist everything and use an intensity that is required to intimidate or render your actions ineffective. Much like a true adversary. This phase truly challenges your fitness levels and is conducted in short phases unless both you and your training partner are fairly conditioned for this phase. It is important that the partner attempt to take the superior or “alpha” role in during this phase to really challenge your training. They should attempt to control every phase in addition it is recommended that a 3rd person be involved to help direct the training and to be available in the event of any incidents and/or injuries. The intensity and contact levels are not necessarily equal however both are spiking to 90% at any given time. Safety gear is highly recommended for both participants. Although it may not be recognizable by an observer attitude, respect and safety are still being practiced.
Building a Lasting Relationship
The “Better Bad Guy” without a doubt is a “tongue in cheek” phrase. It really is a recognition that your training partner is the most important aspect to the overall success you could develop with your Martial Arts training. The relationship could be one of the most significant you develop in your life. With proper feedback and interaction each participant has the opportunity for substantial growth and development of skills.

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