BJJ Creonte: Guest article

Ha! I wonder if they know about the name :)

Creonte is a term that's sometimes thrown around the BJJ community. Here's an article about it that was sent in by a friend from down south:

Probably the ultimate C word in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Like all things in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu everyone has their own take on it.  Kid Peligro wrote about a whole article about it in Grappling magazine in the early noughties, and why it was a problem at first, but increasing less due to more technological times  where ideas, techniques could and were being disseminated much more freely (interestingly this article was before websites such as YouTube even existed).  Royler Gracie mentioned briefly mentioned the creonte concept when he was giving advice on how to choose the right school for them.  But even today as demonstrated by a recent Draculino interview for Budovideos the word can still elicit a negative emotion.  Why I am mentioning the C word?  Simple, I almost became that C word.

I had been training regularly in Jiu Jitsu for 18 months and felt frustrated at my lack of progress.  No matter how good my coach was at teaching I just did not feel like I was making any meaningful improvement. At a recent graduation (June 2011) where one of my newly promoted (to blue belt) teammates comforted me that my promotion would be coming soon, I could not help but feel frustrated.  A UFC fighter with whom I had befriended on Facebook had told me before I could learn to be the hammer I had to first be the anvil, but like Anakin Skywalker my impatience caused me to tempted by the dark side. The frustration of being an anti phenom on the mats was wearing on me.

Eventually it all boiled over and I seriously contemplated leaving.  But I was terrified of being labelled a Creonte.  So I asked a few people for their advice.  A couple of them said not to be concerned with the Creonte label as I had never really demonstrated a desire to compete.  And as a consumer I had the right to pick and choose from whom I learned anyway. Most importantly I was told that despite what I thought Jiu Jitsu was not a martial art that comes naturally to most people it takes a lot of hard work & mat time”.  The common theme espoused by all that was that I should talk to my coach and tell him how I feel. So I did, one of the hardest things I ever did was sending him that e-mail.

To my surprise (and relief) he was really cool about it.  Told me at the next lesson to come in and speak to him and then “we can try to figure it out”.  Fast forward 6 months and I am to my own amazement I was promoted to blue belt; I am assisting with private lessons, enjoying a litany of opportunities that have helped me to enjoy my Jiu Jitsu even more than I dreamed possible.  

So if you ever have doubts about your training, and feel a sense of frustration don’t be afr aid to communicate your feelings.  If your coach has your best interests at heart (or not) his/her response (or lack thereof) will tell you all you need to know.  Leaving your team does not make you a Creonte, not communicating honestly with them before you leave does….

Now go ENJOY Jiu Jitsu!

What do you think? What are your opinions / experiences?


Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

Proudly sponsored by Predator Fightwear: Built for the kill and Brutal TShirt: Made By Grapplers For Fighters

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