The BJJ Bond: Forged In Battle

Published on by Dan Dufur

The relationship that you build with you training partner is very unique. It is very different from your normal relationships with other people. There is a special bond that is built. The bond is based on trust, respect, humility, comfort, and familiarity. The bond is formed through training. Through completing something difficult together. It is similar in some respects to the camaraderie between soldiers. A very high level of trust in your partner is needed. You grow together through trials and tribulations much deeper than surface level.

It really is crazy to think about how much trust you need to have in your training partner. You are putting your lives and each other’s hands. You are trusting them to let go when you tap. They have the skill, power, and ability to cause serious damage if they wanted to. They need to trust you just the same when the shoe is on the other foot. It reminds me about that quote from “Spiderman”. “With great power, comes great responsibility”. We are given the knowledge and tools to develop into a better version of ourselves.

It has often been said that your training partner is the most important person on the mat, not you. This holds very true. Without a partner you cannot train correctly. Without a partner you will not know the holes in your game. You will not know how much you have progressed. It is a fair trade. They make you better. In return, you help them improve also. You push each other to be the best you can. They can offer details and a different perspective to help you get through a roadblock in training. They can provide motivation to help you accomplish your goals.

There is a certain brotherhood that is formed in training bjj. Just by knowing that someone else trains, you have a connection with them. Respect is shown through battle at competition. I’ve had some awesome conversations with people that I have competed against. You know the other person has been battle tested. That they have been through a similar grind to you. Also, they are cool by default, just because they train the most badass martial art in the world. Everybody starts for different reasons. But you don’t realize what you will truly get out of it. It is more than medals, belt colors, and respect. The self-confidence and mental toughness are unmeasurable.

The dojo is filled with people from all walks of life. Some of these people you may never had interacted with, had it not been for BJJ. We all have different jobs, lifestyles, and economic statuses. But the one thing he have in common is the love for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Recently at my home dojo we had a picnic to celebrate our instructor’s promotion to black belt. It was awesome to get to know and learn about my training partners better. It was cool to hear their back stories and talk about other things besides BJJ. Sometimes you can get a feel for why a person trains a certain way. If their style is molded by their personality outside the gym.


The life of a BJJ practitioner for sure shares some parallels to a soldier. You start out a blank slate. You are trained and tested repeatedly. You earn your stripes and scars through your battles and your years of service. You rise through the ranks and one day could lead your own group. You now are in the position of power. You have a lifetime of experience and knowledge. You can help them grow and learn. Some other sports may share this bond. But I don’t believe that many are on the same level of BJJ. The physicality, thinking, and close proximity of your partner is hard to match. Through training we learn more about each other, than through conversation. If you train BJJ you are awesome. I am happy to share this bond with you.