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Has anyone ever had to deal with a person in their class/dojo whom you have a very hard time training with? I'm really enjoying Krav Maga except for days when I get stuck partnered with this one woman. She is much bigger and stronger than I am and she will not dial back her intensity. Normally I don't mind a partner who pushes me, but I get injured every time I pair with her. Badly enough to have to leave the mat twice now. :hurt:

 

I've tried avoiding partnering with her and have asked her to slow down, but I'm still getting pounded. :miserable: It's becoming a deterrent to going to class. Any advice?

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She is much bigger and stronger than I am and she will not dial back her intensity. Normally I don't mind a partner who pushes me, but I get injured every time I pair with her. Badly enough to have to leave the mat twice now.

I'd bring it up with your instructor. Or, ask before any of your partnered exercises begin what level of intensity is expected.

I've run into this in my Shotokan class. There's a guy who is twice my size in his mid-40s who refuses to dial back when we wind up as partners. Mind you, he's roughly 6'2" and I'm 5'4" and female. I generally don't make mention of his refusal to dial down, but between sets, I raise my hand and ask our sensei a question or two and slip in a question about how much power to throw behind it. That usually calms him down, since he's not entirely aware of his own strength.

It's an annoying thing to deal with, especially if you're being injured during class.

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From a normal-sized guy, working with someone who doesn't match intensity levels appropriately sucks even when they are smaller than you.  It's not just a size thing.

Some things you can say:

"I'm not a good partner for you."

"I'm sorry, I don't think I can keep up with you today."

"I'm gonna work with ...(someone else)"

 

Step off the mat for a drink of water until she finds someone else to work with.

 

Find a co-conspirator before class starts.

 

Definitely talk to the instructors- they don't want you getting hurt, and don't want you to stop attending, so they must help you out.  If you are experiencing this, there are likely others.  The instructors need to make clear if you are training full speed or for technique.  They need to make sure that people are matched up appropriately. 

 

The krav culture is at work here, as the instructors push for intensity, but some people don't know when it isn't appropriate.  They need to either match people up better, or force an intensity drop.

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I agree that Krav Maga is really enjoyable and that a good training partner can make or break the experience.  smashmp is correct in talking to your instructor (although some KM instructors would tell you to suck it up).  Their job, in addition to giving you real world fighting techniques, is to provide a safe working environment for you (my gym always emphasizes safety in training).  


 


smashmp is also correct about talking to your training partner (do this before you even talk to your instructor).  You've asked her to slow down, but did you tell her that she's making Krav less enjoyable for you?  Most people I've worked with are really decent folks who will understand that they need to dial it down if you tell them why.  If all else fails, you can keep stopping her in the middle of drills to critique her form and technique.  Almost everyone in the starting phases have some kind of trouble with their fighting stance or telegraphing strikes.  She might get annoyed enough to stop partnering up with you.


 


Finally, start meeting new people in your class.  Take the time before class to say hello and ask if they would like to work together for the day.  I've made some great friends doing so.


 


 


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The krav culture is at work here, as the instructors push for intensity, but some people don't know when it isn't appropriate.  They need to either match people up better, or force an intensity drop.

^^ This is the main reason why I haven't spoken up more. I don't want to be seen as unable to keep up, but this is getting to be to much to handle. I couldn't go on my run today because of class last night. But good news is that I don't think it's the culture of the dojo, because I've paired up with the most experienced and strongest people and they've been great about giving me good tips and making sure that I am pushing myself but not damaging myself. 

 

Thanks all for the advice!

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I have been on the other end of this deal before.  There was one lady who complained I hurt her during sparring. All I could think was "I'm barely touching you".  It took me sometime to realize it as my responsibility to control my power, not someone else's to deal with it.   If you are feeling over powered by someone, by all means speak up. They may not understand it at first, as I believe it is not their intention to injury anyone, but may be completely unaware of the power the wield.  If you frame it as "Can you go slower so I can really learn how to counter this move" or " Can you go slower so I can watch how you execute that punch, you do it really well and I want to learn from you"....I am sure they will be much more conscious of their actions if they feel they are being learned from. 

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A couple of tips.  Make sure for one that the instructor has an emphasis on technique first, and then learning to put strength and speed behind the technique.  No technique is ever learned properly by instantly throwing speed and strength behind it.  In fact, many people make up with a lack in technique by adding in the strength and speed.  This happens A LOT in styles like Krav Maga, BJJ, Systema, Muay Thai, etc...

 

I hate to mention this one, but it is a realistic part of martial arts. If they aren't dialing back their moves, don't dial back yours.  Sometimes just telling someone that you need to back off doesn't get the point across.  A quick strike to inflict a little pain is often what it takes.  Again, I hate mentioning that one, but I've trained in several different styles for a LONG time. I've trained with plenty of "meatheads".  Sometimes they just need to be put in their place. Quick note, if you take this approach, do NOT brag after or say something like "now you see how it feels...", if they don't dial back after that...hit them with it again.  

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Competitive athletes spar hard In eyes of normal mortal. When i moved back to defendo and maga, i actually accidentally broke a leg of my opponent with a kick in spar. It took me a while to learn to slow down to the speed and power which felt like playing tag for me. Say to your opponent that either of you won'T learn a shit if it goes on like that. If it doesn't help, embrace the hits and remember that few years of heavy hits and you won't remember your shoesize but you have harder head than others :-D

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There is no shame it asking your partner to back down if they are getting too intense, but mention specifically what it is that is bothering you. For example, is she hitting the pad too hard? Is her aim really bad and so she's catching you in the face/abdomen/shoulder/etc.? It will be much easier for her to adjust if she knows specifically how she is being a bad partner. Hope that helps!

 

Personally, I get to class early (even though I'm a level 3 in Krav) to pick out a partner ahead of time. There are some people that I try to avoid training with because they lack necessary control. Especially as you move to the higher levels in your training, having a good partner who knows what they're doing becomes key.

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I've asked a lot of people to ease off training. In kali/jkd we do 90% of our training with a partner. Just ask them politely, if they refuse, ask your coach if he/she can pair you with someone who's more at your intensity level. You can always just sit out. It sends a pretty strong message to a partner that you prefer sitting out to their anuse.

 

That said, there were times when someone was trying to prove something, or just being really careless to the point of being obtuse. When you're doing thai kicks to the leg, or limb destructions, it's easy for someone to hurt you if they're being rude or careless. There have been a few times that i've tried asking politely and the person didn't seem interested in being considerate, so i stopped being considerate as well. That has been a wake-up for a few partners over the years to be on the receiving end of a bicep destruction, or a heavy thigh kick.

 

I saw a guy get straight-blasted out of seminar once - which may have been taking it a bit too far, but the guy getting his elbow trashed by careless limb-wrenching felt very differently.

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I have the double problem of being a bigger guy who always has to be on the lookout, because I can injure people through incompetence. It holds back some learning for me because I simply can't go hard with most people.

The other problem I have is that experienced people who are smaller than me dial it up several notches because I'm big. So I normally give a long speech about taking it slow and most guys learn that i'm safe. most.

But there is always that guy/gal who wants to toughen you up.

If that person is just beating you up with gloves on and your getting bruised but not injured, You may just want to concentrate on learning training your emotions and pain tolerance. In a self defense scenario, if you survive you win.

If you legitimately fear injury, (or your just like me and feel this is just a hobby and your not trying to prove anything) then talk to the instructor.

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This is the main reason I quit going to MMA at all in 2013. After three months of what amounted to bullying (the person in question always laughed whenever I was sidelined with an injury), I decided it was kind of stupid to pay MONEY for this sort of treatment. 

 

Fortunately, he got his knee busted TWICE, so he's hardly there anymore, and I've gotten good enough that all I get now is the occasional black eye or bruised calf from him. 

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I have the double problem of being a bigger guy who always has to be on the lookout, because I can injure people through incompetence. It holds back some learning for me because I simply can't go hard with most people.

The other problem I have is that experienced people who are smaller than me dial it up several notches because I'm big. So I normally give a long speech about taking it slow and most guys learn that i'm safe. most.

But there is always that guy/gal who wants to toughen you up.

If that person is just beating you up with gloves on and your getting bruised but not injured, You may just want to concentrate on learning training your emotions and pain tolerance. In a self defense scenario, if you survive you win.

If you legitimately fear injury, (or your just like me and feel this is just a hobby and your not trying to prove anything) then talk to the instructor.

 

I've had to dial it up against bigger guys just so that I don't get hurt, moving more and "over defending" during randori with beginners at judo.  As a coach I can tell them to chill in practice (straight arms make it harder for you to throw and easier for me) with an air of authority, but as a coach with a minor contest reputation some guys just see it as a challenge to set about the wee girl.

A lot of big guys I've encountered in BJJ don't realise the size advantage they're getting that I need to dial up against.  I have to bridge hard because you are heavy, I have to keep my hooks in to keep control, I have to keep moving because a frame just isn't good enough vs twice body weight.  I'm reassured by the fact that I'm not having problems during open mat with the bigger higher grades that I'm learning what I need to and able to put it into practice for comp training.

 

Competitive athletes spar hard In eyes of normal mortal. When i moved back to defendo and maga, i actually accidentally broke a leg of my opponent with a kick in spar. It took me a while to learn to slow down to the speed and power which felt like playing tag for me. Say to your opponent that either of you won'T learn a shit if it goes on like that. If it doesn't help, embrace the hits and remember that few years of heavy hits and you won't remember your shoesize but you have harder head than others :-D

This is where I've been on the other side of the argument too.  I throw like a jack hammer and straight into submissions or pins on the ground.  This is something a lot of the other white belts don't expect, or the experienced players the first few times I did no gi.

I've slowed it down a bit so now throws are nice soft rolls but foot sweeps stay the same.

For Artemisa, you need to point out the size difference and the fact that it's easy to hurt some one smaller if you're going at full intensity without dialed in technique.  They might get upset about it but your safety is more important than their pride.

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Thanks everyone for the advice! My problem has been solved with a polite suggestion, a pint, and a common enemy to turn against. She and I now get along and train together well. She didn't realize that she was hurting me and we worked out a better way for me to hold the pads for her and make her more aware of my height. :D

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"I've had to dial it up against bigger guys just so that I don't get hurt, moving more and "over defending" during randori with beginners at judo."...."A lot of big guys I've encountered in BJJ don't realise the size advantage they're getting that I need to dial up against."

Most of my life, I've been in the heavyweight group but not the strongest or the heaviest, so I do understand what it's like as the smaller guy. Also, I know that someone significantly smaller DOES have to dial it up for their safety, which is why I tap if I don't know what's going on mechanically, even if it seems like I am winning.

That's also why I always give a speech before I role with someone, but it takes time for people to trust me. Also, if I get side control top just because I'm heavy (and it happens), then I will lighten up. It's creating some bad habits in that I don't get as heavy with people my size.

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Thanks everyone for the advice! My problem has been solved with a polite suggestion, a pint, and a common enemy to turn against. She and I now get along and train together well. She didn't realize that she was hurting me and we worked out a better way for me to hold the pads for her and make her more aware of my height. :D

 

A common enemy. That's something I can relate to lol.

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Thanks everyone for the advice! My problem has been solved with a polite suggestion, a pint, and a common enemy to turn against. She and I now get along and train together well. She didn't realize that she was hurting me and we worked out a better way for me to hold the pads for her and make her more aware of my height. :D

A lot of people don't realize when the have crossed the bully line, it's great you had the talk.

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I have very recently had the privilege of practicing with some awesome BJJ black belts twice my size.  They were great partners and there was no need for either side to dial it up, things were kept light at technical (even if I did revert to panic judo turtle when confused)

On this front it's a matter of experience.  I also learned that I light doesn't need to mean leaving space, I can still close gaps and keep pressure on without the worry that I'm going to hurt myself or someone else.

(Tanky, so jammy, much networking.)

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