In traditional martial arts your dojo was considered sacred and was never challenged. Joining a dojo or discipline was like joining a family, the ideals of the system and your instructor became your own ideals.
Tides have changed over the past few years as MMA has become more mainstream. Athletes have had to evolve and rather than training in one discipline, they have to travel to receive more well-rounded training.
However, when do old loyalties die? When is it acceptable to turn your back on training partners and give information that could possibly result in his defeat?
If you watched the first episode of “UFC Primetime,” you know the situation I’m speaking of. Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy requested to train with Matt Serra to gain firsthand knowledge on how Serra managed to finish Georges St-Pierre at UFC 69.
Since Hardy feels his hands are his best weapon against GSP, his thought is that Serra’s guidance will be invaluable.
Here is where it gets complicated. In the same episode, St-Pierre was shown training with Renzo Gracie. He has actually been training with the Renzo Gracie academy for the past seven years and is very loyal to that camp. Renzo is also taking advantage of having GSP around due to the fact that he has fought his next opponent Matt Hughes.
The situation becomes complicated with the connection between St-Pierre and Serra because Serra is the first American student to receive a black belt under Renzo. Serra has cornered and helped Renzo train for several fights. Renzo has also trained and cornered Serra in several fights including his recent battle with Hughes.
So the question is, how can you train someone to defeat a student who trains under your original teacher?
There have been memorable times where the Gracie’s have voiced outrage for men who jump from camp to camp and Renzo is no exception. BJ Penn was called a traitor and a snake for leaving the Gracie camp only to challenge Renzo to a fight when he had moved on.
Why would Serra have such a grudge, when GSP had expressed excitement to train him during season four of “The Ultimate Fighter?”
Is it as simple as just saying that the old ways have died? Are camps simply a place you visit only to have to fight each other tomorrow?
We’ll get a glimpse at “UFC 111: St-Pierre vs. Hardy” on Saturday night.