Lineage Alert! Its okay to train at multiple BJJ academies?
“What’s your lineage, bro?” Is often one of the first questions asked whenever one Jiu Jitsu practitioner meets another. Of course it’s a cool thing to represent your dojo, wave your flag, and be proud of the long tradition you’re taking part in. However, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably in the 21st century, not feudal Japan. Today we have the luxury to experience different schools and teachers without having to worry about a hOSStile takeover at any moment. So this begs the question, ‘Is it okay to train at multiple schools?’ Can you learn everything in only one school?
The old school professors of Jiu Jitsu would probably tell you ‘no’ and call you a ‘creonte’ for even mentioning the idea.
The term Creonte originated within Brazilian jiu-jitsu organizations in Brazil refers to a former student who is perceived to be disloyal, particularly one who had a long-standing and well-invested relationship with their academy * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creonte
Personally, I would like to challenge this belief.
To put it bluntly, we are PAYING money for a good/service, Jiu Jitsu. Unlike feudal Japan, we aren’t getting housing and security by giving our time to our Professors/Masters, we are partaking in an art for the fun and utility of it AND paying money for it.
Listen, the manager of the Chili’s is never going to blow up my texts if I just so happen to decide to eat at the Sizzler’s across the street. On the other hand, if you are so much as a blur in the background of another school’s Instagram post, you’re going to get a stern talking to by your Professor if they are of that old school mentality. Sure he is in a place of authority, but at the end of the day you ARE paying to be there.
Think about it like this, if the person writing your checks at your work gives you lip, do you just accept it? What about someone you’re paying to do a job for you? Would you like paying money for someone to mouth off to you? With all due respect, our time and money are incredibly valuable to all of us, and we shouldn’t have to justify how we allocate it with regards to Jiu Jitsu. I like the idea of mutual respect.
We shouldn’t need some super special reason as to why we would want to split time at multiple schools. Maybe your work schedule puts you in a situation where having multiple schools to go to would be the best way to maximize your mat time. Maybe you just felt like going to another school. Who cares? None of this drama will improve our Jiu Jitsu, so why are we expected to cling onto our Professor’s lapels for dear life?
However, loyalty is just as important when the people you spend every day with putting in blood sweat and tears decide to train with other people. I imagine it feels like being cheated on? The idea that you belong to a group is important. Getting as much knowledge in the Jiu Jitsu community as possible is also important.
I understand if your professor puts a certain amount of extra time into your technique. In most cases your learning comes from free training and drilling. And would your professors want you to learn as much as possible. I hope so. Guess it's a slippery slope.
However if you're competing for a particular school it may be unprofessional to seek tutelage from other schools that also compete! Are their schools that are okay to lean from and others that we cannot learn from?
Every circumstance has its pros and cons as well as how it can be looked at, good or badly. I am still not sure what to think...
Truly Yours, Anonymous White Belt