This question was posted by Butterfly on the Open Mat thread:
"However, what if someone wants to learn, but not to the same extent? And because of the competitive nature of these arts, not everyone, despite the same education, will be able to do the techniques as well as the top level atheletes. In other words, there will always be a loser...how do you accomodate the weak link? And improve his ability?"
First thing is to realize that training alive does not necessarily mean you are beating the crap out of each other.
Second thing is to embrace the concept of Non Attribute Based Training.
Finally, know that training should hurt but it should not injure.
What does all this mean? It might mean that you need to be creative in finding or developing a way to keep your training intensity in check. This could be by working positional sparring for escapes, pins or counters. It could also be by working at an "honest" 50% with the understanding that noone has anything to lose.
As far as bringing up those who are less athletically gifted? I would pair them up with the more skilled students who can offer a less aggressive but more technical game. I train with all of my students regularly. I find that pairing lesser skilled students up too much is a breeding ground for injuriy.
In regards to injury. Sometimes they are or they seem unavoidable. Guage the skill level of your students against what you expect from them in a particular drill or event, evaluate and balance the risks vs the benefit. For example, we experienced significantly higher injury rate when we work full power takedowns into our regular sparring. Many schools neglect takedowns because of this. We just isolate them and monitor the intensity. We work clinch and takedowns every class, safely.
Hope this helps.