I should be up for my 2nd Kyu test anytime now. There is another student that started training around the same time that I did. We usually test at the same time. He has some medical issues that make it difficult for him to train at a more physical/rigorous pace. Over the past year or more it seems that it has gotten more difficult for him. Since we are a rural dojo I'm limited on training partners. I feel like its starting to affect my training as well. I haven't brought it up to Sensei. I'm trying to keep the ego out of it and see it for what it is.
Has anyone been in a similar situation?
How did you deal with it?
Is it worth discussing with Sensei?
Many, many, people have this problem. I am from a rural school just outside of a large metro area. The presence, or lack thereof, of one or two students can make a world of difference in the class experience. You should definitely talk with your sensei about it. So few students are willing to sit down and discuss their training, and their training goals with their teacher. I took a page out of my military experience and encourage students to sit for a periodic counseling; where we can discuss things like the students deficiencies and proficiencies, what they need to focus on for upcoming tests, how they see their role in the dojo, things they like or dislike about the dojo atmosphere, etc. I would have a discussion with your teacher about your thoughts and feelings. There's nothing wrong with a student wanting to push themselves. Its not your current partner's fault he's having physical difficulty, but at the same time you should be striving to train at a level to get you ready for your next examination, and help you better yourself.
Its no shocker that you need similar training partners to help each other progress. Its a justifiable concern. Fellow student's are going to get injured, sick, move, etc. It can be frustrating not having someone who can train at a similar level as you. I have a friend who left his aikido dojo and started training in jujitsu because he had no one he could train with that would push him to be better. Instead of being content with stagnant training, he decided to train in another art.