Getting used to it: As a general rule in day to day training, I prefer to see athletes working with training partners a tier below them in skill level. This allows them to focus more on technical development rather than physical exertion and pressure. However, it is very important that occasionally athletes get to work with people their own level or better, particularly when competition is approaching, so that they learn to operate under harsh physical duress and not panic and break when they encounter genuine physical pressure. Young Nicky Ryan @nickyryanbjj , enjoying his sixteenth birthday in LA, gets some fine training in with the great Keenan Cornelius @keenancornelius . It was a fine experience for the rapidly developing youngster to feel world class pressure from a different style than he is used to and one that he must learn to deal with as he enters top level competition in the future. Developing athletes must go through the trials of being the nail – so that one day they can emerge as the hammer.