How to Give Great Feedback to Your Training Partners

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You can’t improve your BJJ skills efficiently on your own.

You can get better at BJJ without getting much feedback, but you would grow more quickly if you got the right kind of feedback from your coaches and your training partners.

And you could help your training partners become better more quickly and efficiently if you could give them great feedback.

They need you and your help as much as you need them and their help.

But the question is… how can you give great feedback to your training partners? And what’s great feedback anyway?

To make things easier, let’s focus on feedback you can give when you and your training partner are drilling a technique or two because there are literally fewer moving parts involved with this kind of feedback.

And let’s say it’s your training partner’s turn.

Whatever your training partner is drilling, for their technique to work properly, they have to control you in such a way that there’s no room for you to escape from that technique in question, at least in principle.

At each step of the technique, you can check with your training partner if there’s any space or gap you can take advantage of to escape from your training partner’s offense.

If there’s such a space or gap, let your training partner know about it. This information alone can be helpful for your training partner. Because if they don’t know where their technique is going wrong (and many people usually don’t), they will have a harder time improving it.

It would be even better if you could guide them into a position/situation that would make it more difficult for you to escape or make your training partner’s move more successful. If you are a senior belt paired up with a lower belt, this is the kind of feedback you can give to them.

Let’s say you and your training partner are drilling standard low elbow guillotine. Even if you are not an expert on this variation of guillotine choke, you can still tell your training partner when it’s on and when it’s not. You could even help them adjust how they place their arms and legs by putting yourself into a situation that you think would work (i.e., where you will be choked cleanly and effectively).

Does this sound like something you do or something you can do for your training partners?

When your training partners become better, it also means your entire training environment has become better, and this will help you become better.

So… help them out and be better together.