When I am training, sometimes the techniques work very well on one person. Then I switch training partners. And everything falls apart. What worked very easy is now hard. What I did effortlessly becomes a struggle.
Why can the same technique succeed or fail so radically? What makes going from one training partner to the next cause my technique to fail? Sometimes I blame the Uke. If only he had better ukemi I think. Or, he is too stiff. Maybe he is trying to make me fail. Why won't he just cooperate?
But the true problem is myself, my expectations, and my failure to ADAPT.
When I meet a new training partner he becomes a mirror for my taijutsu. Every partner I train with reflects back to me a different part of my taijutsu. Sometimes I like what I see. And I think, what a good training partner! I know certain people who ONLY train with carefully selected partners because it is safe. And maybe they like the reflection they get back.
But then there are those other times. I train with someone who makes my taijutsu look ugly. Or the reflection I get of my taijutsu is not what I want to see. And I think, man, this guy sucks. I won't train with him again if I can help it.
Sometimes my expectations of my partner are way off. I have had the experience where I punch someone and they instantly shriek in pain and fall over. I think, wow, I barely touched the guy. So I don't get to finish the technique at all because he just fell over.
Then I switch partners, and no matter how hard I hit, the other guy stands there like a rock. I can't make the technique work because my strike has no effect on his balance. I try to continue with the rest and it's like trying to rip a streetlight out of the ground. The guy just stands there staring at me while I struggle.
These are problems with my expectations. I expect my partner to react the same as me. I think how I would react to the punch. But he doesn't care how I would react to my own punch.
The answer is to ADAPT. Each training partner and training situation is completely unique. Just like any confrontation in real life. People sometimes ask me, "I saw this happen... What would you do?" And my answer is, "It depends." I don't know because I wasn't there. And there are a million details that can change your response in the situation.
How do I ADAPT? With my training partner it is a matter of accepting him in my movement. He has to be part of my taijutsu. I have to listen to what his movement is telling me and use that information. That information tells me about his weaknesses loud and clear and they are easy to exploit.
Then, I must see the reflection of MY taijutsu and fix what I don't like. That's what my partner is there for. To help me learn. He may not be aware of that but he doesn't have to be.
Or you could always just train with your friends who make you look good. That seems to work for a lot of people.