What's up guys! Something that has been on my mind a lot during my Jiu Jitsu journey is whether "cross training" is beneficial or not. Words get thrown around quite a bit like "Creonte" or people will say "you have no loyalty to your gym". Both Kayla and I have no issue with cross training or anything of that nature. My students pay me. There should be no issue with this in my mind. When a student says they're going to go train with so and so, all I say is "bring me back something good."
We had a slight situation recently where we contacted a school that just opened up and all we were asking is if they had an open mat. We were told that they absolutely don't do that and open mats are only open to students. That's fine. We have no issues with that. Although I don't agree with the mentality, someone is allowed to run their gym how they see fit. This gym also told us that we had no loyalty to our home gym and that we were only looking to get free training. Kinda funny because we run our own gym and if we have no loyalty to it we obviously have no clue what we're doing.
A side note though, numerous gyms in our area are completely open to having people come in for free at their open mats and just train. I love it. That is where I get some really great rolls and get different styles that I'm not used to. Only training with our students means I learn their styles very quickly and can shut down their game. For example no ones plays lapel guard at our gym but me. So I don't have people wrapping me up in my gi. Yes my students get pretty good at figuring out ways to try to shut it down but I don't have anyone playing that style against me. We dropped in to Newborn Cascao Jiu Jitsu in Spokane WA (GREAT people and an amazing atmosphere) and I ran into someone with an almost identical style that I have. It was awesome! Without that kind of experience I feel we are only hurting our journeys. If a student doesn't stay with me because they are able to find a gym that better suits them, who am I to try to stop that? If I pay to eat at a restaurant do they get mad if I eat somewhere else? I highly doubt it but don't know the restaurant industry enough to know.
It took me quite awhile to find an affiliation that best fits me. I started off in 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu and for 8 years only rocked spats, shorts, and a rash guard. I did dabble with the gi but never took it seriously enough to really do well in it. Also I hated getting choked over and over with my collar. I got up to brown belt in 10th Planet Jiu JItsu but one day I did decided that I wanted more mat time so I strapped the gi on and restarted my rank under a Roy Dean affiliate I absolutely fell in love with the gi and actually prefer gi over no gi any day. I got to purple belt relatively quickly but in the end decided that gym wasn't the right fit for me.
I met an amazing man named Randy Stacey about 90 minutes away from us and started training with him. He's a 1st degree black belt under Nic Gregoriades and the Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood. The vibe and the atmosphere at that gym blew all the other gyms out of the water and was the perfect fit for me. It is our home away from home. I received my brown belt under Randy back in September 2017.
It took me awhile to find my perfect fit. You can call me a Creonte all you want but I regret nothing. This is the journey I took and wouldn't change a thing. Now I'm not saying you should follow my footsteps. If you find a gym that is the perfect fit for you right away, that's great. Even if they don't allow cross training. We're all in Jiu Jitsu for completely different reasons. If that works for you then that works for you. The politics is what gets me. Don't tell me I'm wrong for doing it my way. I'll return the favor and allow you to be you. In the end stop worrying about other people and just keep training!
Cauliflower Ear Family