Fabio Gurgel on ‘Creontes’: Everybody Is Free To Train Wherever They Want

Fabio Gurgel on ‘Creontes’: Everybody Is Free To Train Wherever They Want

Considered one of Jiu-Jitsu’s most controversial topics, changing teams during a BJJ practitioner’s career  has coined the infamous term: Creonte.

Back in the day, BJJ (in Brazil), was held in much smaller, more competition oriented academies. It didn’t matter if you moved address, it was considered very “strange” to move to another academy. Very taboo like. People would almost stop practicing Jiu-Jitsu rather than move to another academy. It was almost unthinkable.

The term creonte originated within Brazilian jiu-jitsu organizations in Brazil to refer to a student who either is, or perceived to be, disloyal to a particular school or organization, particularly one with which the student had a long-standing or otherwise well-invested relationship. As such, the expression is used pejoratively, and has drawn comparisons to the English word traitor.

Fabio Gurgel, is one of the three founders  of the Alliance team (12 times world team champions) along with Alexandre Paiva and Master Romero Jacare. The Alliance team has approximately 170 affiliates throughout the world.

Gurgel recorded a video in which he discusses the subject. He talks talks about the student’s link with the teams and the motivations of the student to change, which are sometimes more the responsibility of the teacher than of the student.
Gurgel has different views than Rickson Gracie regarding cross training:

The video is in Portuguese and we transcribed the main points of what Gurgel is saying:


Fabio says, obviously you’re always loyal to your team and he isn’t bothered by students leaving his academy anymore.

A student leaving his academy could be a problem with him, or it could be because the academy doesn’t offer what the student is looking for (example: academy that’s geared for competition)

Fabio says, “why do I want a guy in my academy if he doesn’t want to be there?”

We get the students we deserve to get, not the ones we want.

Every student has the right to be wherever they want, and to be happy.

You can’t expect someone to be there eternally. You can’t expect the student to never go anywhere else.

With some students we have to make an adjustment, and analyze why we lost that student to begin with.

I don’t have the right to keep them, and any student of mine has the right to go where they want to go.

When you think that it’s just another student, you’re going to minimize that thought of it being a big deal. Especially with students that compete, and are a big part of the team.

If you let a student train for free, that student does not owe you loyalty forever. You don’t own the student. If the student doesn’t feel like they can ever leave you, that’s your problem you’ve created.

Your intention was the best possible one. The student couldn’t afford the training, so you gave it to them for free.

The community of BJJ wants more and more people to participate in BJJ, and help people.

When you start from the beginning with a relationship like that (the guy didn’t have a place to go, cause he couldn’t afford it), you’ve already doomed your state of mind.

You shouldn’t extend your hand, and expect something in return. Meaning the student you helped, doesn’t owe you anything.

You can’t put that burden of eternal gratitude on the student’s back.

Your student should feel free to go somewhere else and be creative, if they want.

You don’t own that person, and pointing the finger to them as “creonte” is wrong.



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