We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.
Achilochus, Greek soldier - circa 650 BCE
When you are training and practicing, you want to establish tools. Tools you want to be able to call on if you should ever need to use them. This takes time and dedication. Our training includes one-on-one work with a human partner. While we, of course, do not want to hurt each other, we do train as hard as necessary. After all, going all out every class would lead to attrition from injury. On the flip side of that, sometimes we are too nice, and this can lead to bad “good” habits.
The primary example of this involves helping someone up just after you have dropped them to the floor. Sure, you want to play nice and help your training buddy, but stop and think about what you are establishing in your head. Do you really want to help the guy who was trying to assault you back up? As much as you may want to assist, let your partner get themselves up.
Another example is not trying to hit your training partner. This develops an avoidance to actually hit if you need to. When you are training, regardless of what level of intent you are using, have that intention to hit. Swing like you mean it at the intensity level you are working at. You can only hinder the learning for both you and your training partner by pulling your attack.
Will you get bumps and bruises? Sure. But you know that’s par for the course in what we do. Can you pick yourself up after getting knocked to the floor? Yeah, that builds character. If, as Achilochus stated so long ago, we are going to fall to the level of our training, let’s make that training what we need it to be.