5 effective ways to find a training partner

Why it is so important to have training partners

As we saw in the article Online learning and martial arts: is it possible?, in every kind of serious martial training, is crucial:

  • The solitary training (every day)
  • The training with partners (not necessarily every day)

If on one side it must be stressed that without these 2 components, it is impossible to reach a complete martial preparation (read Why martial arts do not work: 5 reasons), on the other side, it must be said that 6 Dragons Kung Fu is very versatile and if we only want to try what it means to practice, we can start even only with the individual sessions (read How to start practicing 6DKF).

After having understood and chosen our goals, however, it is necessary to make specific choices:

  • Wellness and health – If our objective is wellness / health / happiness, there is no problem, to gain incredibly good psychophysical benefits we can continue to train individually, the biggest part of (the basic version of) our exercises is not so complex to learn
  • Martial growth – If we want to learn everything (including combat attitude), we need, at least, a (good) partner and a guide to follow; this is fundamental to understand how to apply the theory to the practice (without collaboration, etc.)
  • Competition – If then we want to learn to fight for competitions or for complex self-defense situations, we surely need to deeply test our skills against the biggest possible number of different and prepared opponents

A note by Master Kongling – Without fighting, we do not learn to fight, I will never stop repeating it, however: we are not presenting more or less complex / effective paths (this depends on us), we are simply making rational distinctions between different goals. The only certain thing is that, in all the three cases, individual training is the essential part of the mosaic (without it, yes, we remain in the field of amateurs, read How to train with perseverance).

How to find a training partner

So let’s look at some useful ideas on finding partners with whom share our workout:

  • Find free lessons – Go to free test lessons, attending various courses / gyms (not necessarily about martial arts) and taking advantage of the free trial, each time we can encounter various types of training partner (with which to create social relations); this practice has obvious temporal and ethical limits but it can also be useful to build relationships; let’s do not forget to share our contacts with people with whom we feel good (possibly avoiding damages to the course organizers and especially avoiding to discredit them, we would immediately create a negative image of us)
  • Attend private lessons – Private lessons with instructors / masters are a very good choice; this strategy offers the highest quality level, in fact, we can train each time with different / experienced practitioners from all the possible styles / disciplines; unfortunately this costs generally a lot and probably it will limit our decisional autonomy (a person who teaches rarely will do what we want, even if we pay him, let’s be clear and assertive before starting)
  • Write an announcement – Publishing a free ad, we ask for martial arts training (or sparring) partners; we can search for specific or generic public sites, newspapers, social networks, message boards, martial arts forums (etc.); if we want we can also offer a small revenue but it is important to specify the technical requirements and above all correctness / respect (read Dojo (guan): rules, respect and etiquette)
  • Ask friends and relatives – Asking relatives (brothers, cousins, etc.) or friends (acquaintances, students, colleagues, etc.) can appear simple but it is not; this option is the most obvious but it’s not easy to be pursued; engaging those around us in activities that require constant presence and especially physical contact is more difficult than we can imagine and it can generate frustration (missed lessons, lack of discipline, etc.) and in the worst cases real quarrels
  • Leafleting and business cards – Printing specific business cards or flyers we can communicate our availability to joint mutual training (a lot of people have the same problem); even this may seem expensive, we will certainly have to spend less than for private lessons with experts

The last advice is obviously to try to mix together the mentioned strategies.

Final notes

Let’s conclude with a few ideas and tips:

  • The most important thing is to find reliable people and at the same time, able to stand at our own pace or slightly higher (read Intensity of training: depends on what?)
  • Before starting we have to find a good training place to share (legal, secure and harmless, especially if we don’t know anything about the people that will come)
  • Let’s try to put together a training group of motivated people (social networks are ideal for organizing periodic appointments and maintaining contacts but without self-discipline, everything will end rapidly, read Having discipline: do not contradict ourselves)
  • Sport (and in particular martial arts) can be a moment of fantastic and lasting union with people who share our same passion (it is not uncommon to find solid friendships, a person to live with, etc.)

In the next article of this series, we will see what are the ideal characteristics for training partners and some ideas about a place to train (read The most suitable places to train).

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • Have you already found a training partner?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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