The Unfortunate Price of Cross Training
Recently a friend told me that someone in their community that they knew got kicked out of their academy for cross training at another school (i.e. drop in/open mat) in the same area. Perhaps if this were 10 years ago when cross training at other academies/affiliations were unheard of, maybe this wouldn’t be so surprising. But in a time where many of the highest level of athletes are essentially cross training so often that it isn’t a big deal, this is kind of a red flag and here’s why:
Your professor/coach/instructor is insecure. First of all, it is apparent that they are afraid that anyone who goes to seek out knowledge or training elsewhere (even if it’s just once or twice) that they are going to like it better and leave. Cue the loyalty speech and term creonte here.
Your professor/coach/instructor is insecure. Second, they think that you like someone else’s teaching style, technique, or training better, which means they are insecure about their own capabilities as an instructor and training partner. After all, why would it be a big deal if you learned something from or rolled with someone else? For all they know, you could be supplementing your training from online programs that aren’t from your affiliation (i.e. AOJ, Cobrinha, Keenan, etc.)… it’s technically the same principal but you’re just not physically in a class with them. And like the old Hawaiian proverb says: Not all knowledge is learned in one school. Apparently not everyone believes this.
Your professor/coach/instructor is insecure. If you’re paying for training, you are paying for a SERVICE at a BUSINESS. Technically you have that right as a customer to do as you please as long as you are paying. Unless it says specifically in a contract (which I highly doubt it would because nobody would sign it if that’s the case), you are free to do as you please. This is where our feelings of loyalty to our instructor and academy come into play and of course we won’t train EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME per se, but if you wanted to drop in and train with friends somewhere else, it shouldn’t be a big deal because you are still paying for your membership.
Do you sense a trend here? The price of your cross training is a direct result of the insecurity of the person who is making you feel bad, guilty, etc. for having free will and doing what you want to do despite what they want (which is to keep you all to themselves). Inherently, the main goal of preventing others from cross training is to continue to exert control and dominance on their subordinates. If this isn’t a blaring red flag, I don’t know what is.
I get there are may be some circumstances that lead up to such drastic behavior like kicking someone out of the academy for cross training. However, open communication usually helps to alleviate the miscommunication and misunderstandings of people’s actions. If at the end of the day after having an adult conversation about your training needs/wants with your instructor, it still seems one-sided or they are overreacting – you may want to rethink if it’s worth it to stay where you are. And who knows, maybe getting kicked out could be the best thing that happens to you for your Jiu-Jitsu sanity and happiness…