Team switching in Jiu-Jitsu is a very controversial topic that will always provoke different points of views and arguments among the BJJ community. Throughout Jiu-Jitsu history, there have always been individuals that have gone their own way, leaving their initial team or master, to either join another team or create their own. This is what many people know as “Creontes”. If you think about it, the majority of BJJ players and competitors could be considered “creontes” unless they were with just one academy their whole lives. When it comes to switching teams, everybody has their own reasons for doing so. It can be because of a disagreement on teaching style, involve money, location etc.. One thing that history has taught us is that whenever small teams break off, eventually more new teams will break off from that new team (for ex:Alliance> Brasa> Checkmat…).
There are also people that cross train at various BJJ academies at the same time, in order to maximize their training.
Wallid Ismail is an iconic figure in BJJ and MMA. A Vale Tudo fighter and MMA pioneer, his name is synonymous with Brazil’s old school tough guys. He holds high profile wins over members of the Gracie family and is well known for his aggressive style.
About the ‘Creonte’ or Cross training phenomenon in modern Jiu-Jitsu, Wallid had this to say:
You have to look at what is best for you, look for the best coaches. You can add more coaches but do not forget where you came from.
Rickson Gracie doesn’t share Wallid’s opinion. Here is what he has to say about simultaneously training at different Jiu-Jitsu Academies:
World No Gi champion Josh Hinger who is an instructor at Atos San Diego under Andre Galvao, shared his thoughts:
Is the “no cross training rule” actually still a thing in 2017? How does this benefit anyone? Living in an isolated bubble never helped anyone grow. If your coaches are telling you that they don’t want the rival teams to learn “your team’s jiu jitsu secrets,” they are full of crap. The only secret they are trying to keep is that their jiu-jitsu sucks and they don’t want you to realize that by going somewhere else.
Starbucks didn’t become a super corporation because they banned their customers who drank coffee at Coffee Bean. Amazon doesn’t ban customers who shop on other websites.
This medieval times bullcrap needs to go. “Loyalty” isn’t an idea that you can use to control people. If your coaches want to put a leash on your neck and tell you what you can do, you should ask yourself if being treated like a dog is okay.