I can summarize it by saying it's kind of like how you know when two people probably have a great marriage-- because they both believe they got the better end of the deal.
I rolled with a guy in morning class today that I'd say is one of my ideal training partners. We both sat after our roll and insisted that the other person kicked our ass. Yeah, sometimes that's one person being sincere and the other person being nice (and it could have been that this morning; I was definitely being sincere, and he was definitely kicking my ass.) But that's still part of the ideal thing. Every day isn't an ass-kicking day; it's nice to have a partner who is warm and positive about the things we do right even when it's our day to be the ass that gets kicked.
My ideal training partners are a smaller subset of those I consider favorites. Why? Well, some of my favorite training partners are years ahead of me in experience and technique; some are enormously big and strong; some are a little newer to the game than me. I love training with them for many different reasons, and they all share some of these qualities-- but an ideal partner has all of these:
- Not so physically disparate that one needs to hold back to make it fair
- Kind, generous, enthusiastic, supportive
- Aggressive, not timid, so you can be the same way
- Evenly matched enough that you feel any letting up will result in your loss of position
- Evenly matched enough that even with best effort and good technique, you might still not get a submission
- Evenly matched enough that regardless of who gets position/submission in the end, you'll both transition through successes and mistakes on the way
- Creative and open-minded
- Clean and well-groomed
- Finds joy and laughter in the process; isn't too critical of themselves or others
- Focuses time and energy into efficiently using training time
- Spends some time off the mats thinking about jiu jitsu
Oh-- here's a recipe for some good food. This satisfies ALL my requirements for a "great" recipe: it's quick and easy, inexpensive, attractive to look at, delicious, and very very healthy. It travels AND refrigerates well and it can be eaten hot or cold. I like to double the batch and bring it to work for lunch. Sometimes I add chopped red bell pepper to the onion and garlic saute. Sometimes I put in halved cherry tomatoes or kalamata olives; basil instead of parsley (I don't care for cilantro) and pine nuts or walnuts and feta or goat cheese. You can toss in grilled chicken or shrimp, but the quinoa is an excellent source of complete protein. It's also excellent just the way it is!
Black Beans and Quinoa-- makes 10 servings; 76 calories per serving
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.
Enjoy! And good luck to everyone competing this weekend! :)