Thursday, January 20, 2011


What is a Creonte, you ask?  Here's Kid Peligro's definition/description (the best one we could find):
"Creonte" was the name of a character in a popular TV Soap opera in Brazil. The character had many allegiances and changed his mind and his allegiances frequently. The term got adapted to BJJ by Grandmaster Carlson Gracie to describe a "traitor." In Brazil, a student that changes schools to another 'team' is widely ostracized by friends and foes alike and receives the tag of 'creonte' "
The late Carlson Gracie labeled Vitor Belfort a creonte back when Vitor left him to train with Brazilian Top Team around 2004.  Vitor has since gone on to train with multiple camps under multiple coaches (namely, Chute Boxe, Team Nogueira, Black House, Xtreme Couture and Shawn Tompkins).  Yesterday, Fighter's Only revealed news that Belfort has once again left his most recent camp, this time that of coach Tompkins, to return to Xtreme Couture.  It's particularly interesting since Belfort is in mid-camp training for his fight versus Anderson Silva only 2 weeks out.  Tompkins has responded, as expected, with a good amount of anger and disappointment in Belfort.

Is he a creonte? We can't say because we don't know all the facts.  No judgments, just observations.  We will say that homie will certainly need his game to be at 100% on point come February 5, 2011.  So, Vitor - get busy and keep your jiu jitz sharp!!

As for you, grappler: our advice is to stick with your coach and stay loyal.  No one likes a creonte.


  1. Training with different people/camps is how all the top fighters got to where they are now. Anderson himself went from BTT to ChuteBox to here n there not to mention a Taikwondo school early on. BTT was founded by members of some Gracie camps and similar claims about numerous MMA camps. Jigoro Cano (founder of judo) trained at nearly every jujitsu camp before establishing his own and sending his best student out abroad, finally settling in Brazil to teach the Gracie family after establishing business there. I guess then you could make the argument that BJJ's foundations consist of these traitor principles. Ignorance may keep most from acknowledging this, but it's a part of history and thanks to it and those early 'traitors' we have such a diverse set of tools and schools.

  2. Well said, Anonymous. End of the day, I think it's all about how we handle ourselves.

    Respect for coaches is a big part of anyone's BJJ journey.

  3. The team mentality in BJJ is interesting, and both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, it breeds loyalty, friendship and a sense of family, but on the other it could lead to stagnation, isolationism and a reduction of opportunity for those with great talent to reach their potential. Something I talk about here.

    Andre Galvao had the following to say:

    "Yeah, so in jiu jitsu we have teams. Sometimes I think this inhibits jiu jitsu from developing. Because in judo, wrestling, boxing, taekwondo, everybody fights for their national team, everybody fights for some country. Only in jiu jitsu do you fight for your team. That’s good, that’s very very interesting, but I think that inhibits jiu jitsu from developing the way it could. I think we could start a United States team, a Brazilian team, French team, for example. We can keep with the regular teams, like Alliance, Atos, Gracie Barra, but once a year or twice a year, we need a competition where the countries compete against each other. Like in Abu Dhabi, you fight for your country, but you represent your team. I don’t think that’s good for jiu jitsu."

  4. I wonder if it's a clash of cultures or eras. I mean, nowadays many jiu jitsu students seem to have a "consumer" mentality-- 'I am paying to learn this skill, I want to go where the teaching and other students suit me best, I will vote with my feet and my money.' It may be less about the honor of a group, personal or internecine rivalries, etc and more about seeking individual progress.

  5. I understand that kind of thinking though. If I would have left my high school wrestling team to join our cross town rivals, I would have been lynched. And at my jiu-jitsu school, I don't feel like a customer, I feel like a student. The student-teacher bond should be a deep one.

  6. Right, you should never leave your home town, never work for any other employer than your first and never hang out/socialize with anyone other than your childhood friends.

  7. On the one hand, it is good to have a close relationship with your instructor. You'll get a lot more out of training if you feel like part of the team, having earned your instructor's trust. It's a great feeling to be in an environment where your teacher and training partners aren't just a bunch of people you roll around with, but a surrogate family.

    On the other hand, you should never abandon your critical faculties: it is depressing to see fraudulent instructors dupe their students, who will then find themselves enthusiastically supporting a fake. Or simply a douchebag: being a black belt or even a good teacher doesn't automatically mean you're a nice person.

    Of course, the latter situation isn't common, but it does happen (e.g., Mickey Choi apparently faked his black belt). Fortunately there aren't many douchebags in the sport, or at least I haven't encountered many of them. :)

  8. It's a interesting debate for sure. I'm old school and I definitely align myself with the master-student way of thinking. My coach, Renato, with whom I've trained for 11 years, is like my BJJ older brother. He's family and, in general, BJJ builds family-like bonds.

    But, your coach/school has to be helping you get better. If that isn't the case, you'll have to change. It's just a big deal, especially if you've invested any kind of time with that school.

    Also, if you move away or the academy can't accommodate you work schedule, it's perfectly acceptable to leave. Still, you have to show the right respect to your initial coach.

    Bottom line - respect!


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