A Variety of Partners for Self Defense

Having a variety of partners for self defense training in karate is a benefit. Many people want the perfect training partner. And they want to train only with that person. But that’s not a good idea as I said in this article. I’ve seen that fleeting look in people’s eyes when they are paired off with someone who’s not their first choice in the room. Or some kids will even roll their eyes or groan when they have a partner they’d rather not work with. (This leads to the teacher correcting them.)


Most martial artists like to work with a partner who’s the same size. And this can be great for self defense training. They don’t have to worry about hurting someone a lot smaller or getting hurt by someone a lot stronger and bigger. On the street, I would guess that the chance of having to protect yourself from someone the same size is pretty high. So sometimes it’s nice to have the same size partners for self defense training.


When your partner is bigger than you, this can be frightening. Especially for children who have less karate experience and smaller size. But working with a larger opponent is great practice! For one thing it builds your physical self defense skills against larger people. But additionally you improve your courage. You learn to face and stand up to bigger partners for self defense.

partners for self defense training


Don’t think that if you have a smaller partner you can take a mental break. This training partner will help you build your physical self control. They may allow you to practice your techniques with someone faster than you. They don’t have as much mass to move around and can have the advantage of speed. You may encounter many real-life situations where a smaller person physically challenges you. If you have practiced with smaller partners for self defense training, you will be able to respond correctly with the proper amount of power (and speed).


Factors such as age, speed, sex, fitness level, strength, flexibility, and level of technique allow for a lot of variety in the technique of possible partners. If you are lucky and you train enough, you will get to pair up with a great variety of partners for self defense training. As long as you and your partner both use respect and self control, with a focus on the instructions of your teacher, you can learn a lot from any of your partners for self defense training.  

In karate training, like in most areas of life, you get out of it what you put into it. So, don’t worry about your partners for self defense being perfect or not so good for your training. Instead, maybe it’s time to start thinking about how you yourself can be the perfect training partner. Here are some tips from Sarah Lobban.

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger

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