Have you ever been in a Muay Thai, BJJ, MMA class and partnered with someone that wasn’t letting you drill the move the way the instructor intended? Ever have that partner, that no matter what, they always seemed to be competing against you instead of practicing the techniques lightly?
Competitive Partners are just that. They are always trying to win instead of taking the drills for what they are, practice. This really hurts the other partner, no necessarily physically, but in terms of learning new techniques. You cannot drill something new live.
Cooperative partners, on the other hand, help foster an environment of learning. They understand that the time in class is practice unless specified by the instructor. They go slow at first and build up as they become more familiar with the new techniques. They also allow their partner to do the same.
In the end, people notice things and eventually the competitive partner ends up being labelled as such and no one wants to partner up with them.
This issue is also something that the instructor must address at the beginning and end of every class. If they wish to foster an environment that is conducive to learning and having fun while being safe, this is a must.