It’s good to challenge your partner when doing Martial Arts with one exception, and that is a beginning student. We challenge them so they have to try harder and this gets your partner better trained and keeps them more alert. Often times we see students in Taekwon-Do punch or kick at each other really soft, assuming their training partner can’t handle the heat. I always encourage my students to challenge their partner by being more aggressive, but using common sense and control. Simply put I say, “challenge your partner, but don’t abuse.”
If your training partner makes it to easy for you then you are training unrealistically. How can we handle a real situation if we don’t get challenged from time to time. But abusing our partner is pointless, it could injure them and may cause them to quit. This can be a tough balance. A lot of common sense must prevail here. Its important to put our ego and emotions aside and focus on getting our training partners better, who in turn, will get us better. If you are an abuser, people will not want to partner with you, which hinders your training.
Here are some questions to help you see if you are challenging or abusing:
When sparring we punch them directly in the face — Challenging/abusing?
When doing self-defense squeeze as hard as we can when they are first learning a technique — Challenge/Abuse?
Giving your partner a good competitive sparring match — Challenging/Abuse?