One of the practices that makes Kyokushin training at Phoenix Gaithersburg stand out from other traditional martial arts schools is our reliance on training partners who are willing to receive a punch or a kick. Sure, there are plenty of times where we use focus mitts and Thai pads in order to work on our techniques with greater speed or power, but ultimately, we don't need any of that for awesome training to take place.
You see, I can throw a kick in the air or against pads a million times and never really know if it's an effective technique. That same kick, practiced over and over on pads, only needs to be used one time to show its effectiveness against a human partner. There have been so many times that I've tried a new technique or combination against the heavybag and just knew it would rock an opponent only to find that using the same movements against a partner produced laughable results.
When working through drills in class, it's common for students to hold back or to cut their technique short when working with a partner. While the intention is often loving toward their partner, I have to explain that it is a very unloving thing to do. When working with a partner, it is our responsibility to show that the threat of contact is very real. That doesn't mean beating someone mercilessly. Rather, a good partner will always make sure that their target (you) is approached in a way that resembles what will happen in the real fight.
A great partner is more concerned with your growth and well-being than they will ever be over your precious ego. So, next time your training partner does exactly what they're supposed to do and YOU make the mistake, just give an "Osu", and be thankful for the opportunity to grow.