There is a big thing in martial arts about loyalty, honour and respect and rightly so. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu however it seems to be taken that
one step further and loyalty can be measured and tested in many ways. Whether it be family, street gangs or brotherhood of any type, loyalty is
the first and most important trait we recognise and applaud. Everything else can be measured from there.
Now we all know someone who is in it for the belt and will do anything to achieve it, other than train it would seem, these guys bounce from gym to gym sometimes trading large sums of cash and promises to achieve their goal. These people are wrong and the term ‘creonte’ is as justified as it is deserved.
However, these wannabes aside, the term is widely used against anyone who moves club and this is wrong. Most of us sort out the nearest gym teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and signed up knowing little to nothing of the heritage, lineage and culture within that gym. There is a school of thought that this is now your home, your team and your family and if you are to ever leave this affiliation you are forever blackballed. Destined to wander the earth as a Ronin, er I mean a Creonte. A man (or woman) living an honourless life and all because they didn’t know a checkmat from a Gracie Barra.
There are many justified reasons for leaving one affiliation for another; travel and relocation are right at the top of that list. A student’s learning should not be hampered or halted because their club does not have an affiliation in their new area though many subscribe to the idea they should travel to the nearest club whatever the inconvenience. I’d go one further, a student’s learning shouldn’t be hampered or limited to the teachings of just one person, one team or one ideology.
There is a cliché that variety is the spice of life, there is another that says travel broadens the mind. Seek these two out and combine them together and you’ll live a successful, fruitful life. Add this to your training mentality and you may very well find yourself on the path to becoming a champion or at the very least a well-rounded martial artist….. if that is you goal.
The sharing of knowledge, ideas and techniques has increased tenfold since the emergence of the internet and if you have opportunities to train with others, regardless of club you should seize that opportunity and glean what you can. What you should never do is keep this new found wisdom to yourself but instead takes it back to your den, your team, and open it up to them. Explore the knowledge. Visit new gyms, train with different teams and explore what jiu jitus means to you.
Now this may very well be inflammatory to a lot of you out there that would see this as the ultimate betrayal. It would not be wise to just turn up, ask questions, then take their secrets to use them against them on the mat! If that is your reasons for mixing gyms your are in the wrong and deserve the ridicule and indignation of being a creonte.
During the last few years I have travelled the country and been to many tournaments and met a lot of people. It is through this type of networking that opportunities will arise, ones which you should jump on. Invitations are always dished out to further training but are very rarely taken as many feel it is in some way cheating or a creonte, right?
It’s a minefield and it has a lot to do with £££s that labels such as creonte are dished out for fear of losing paying members. Loyalty, honour and respect are something we should all live our lives with but these values should not then be used against us to coerce us into staying in one place and limiting our potential.
The best part of jiu jitsu and the one we spend the most time doing is training. Competitions come and go but we all aim to train for as long as our bodies allow and if you subscribe to this notion then expanding the amount of training partners you have access to across your town, county, country and continent can only ever be good.
This is a topic that comes up a lot on forums and discussions and I don’t think it should ever be black and white. Creonte can be a damaging and unfair label to give to someone and this small minded bandwagon mentality is nothing more than playground bullying.
To be proud of being a part of your team is not the problem, that is fine (and in some ways expected) but your affiliation with the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu itself should breed strong bonds too. Outside of your close knit training partners and friends everything else is just jiu jitsu and should be explored and studied without fear of labels. We should share a mentality that nurtures learning and steers itself away from name calling………. sticks and stones bro, sticks and stones.