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Serra brothers split, Nick locked out of BJJ gyms

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Matt and Nick Serra have parted ways with their BJJ Academies in NYC, going so far as having Matt covertly change the locks on their gyms to keep his brother out.

Ray Longo, Nick Serra, Pete Sell, and Matt Serra together

Former UFC welterweight champ Matt Serra and his brother, Nick, have officially parted ways with their Brazilian Jiu-jitsu academies.

The pair of siblings, who were the first Renzo Gracie black belts in America, are no longer working together on their NY-based schools as of last night. Nick Serra wrote this lengthy post on his Facebook page explaining his side of the story and the circumstances leading up to the division:

To My Students and Friends,
It is with a heavy heart that I write the following, but I feel that it is best that you hear it from me. As many of you might have sensed, there has been an unspoken tension growing between my brother Matt and me over the last several months. Originally, it was my preference not to air our grievances and private business matters in public. However my brother has forced my hand by claiming that I am merely an employee and was never an owner of any of the Serra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academies or their affiliates. I have tried, in various ways, to contact my brother and resolve this situation, but under the cover of darkness he changed the locks of the Academies, generously stating that he "will arrange to have me paid for any outstanding time worked and will have whatever personal affects I have at the academy delivered wherever I like". It is also for these reasons I have chosen to take an indefinite leave of absence from Serra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the academies that I co-founded with my brother, where I have taught thousands of students, and where I have trained for over 15 years. For the sake of my family, friends, and students and out of respect for the tradition that has been passed on to me from my Master Renzo Gracie, I have chosen to continue to teach in a more harmonious environment in which I can concentrate fully upon my students. For those of you who wish to continue training with me, I will be resuming classes at my longtime friend and Black Belt Tom Muller’s facility: Commack MMA, located at 6096B Jericho Turnpike, Commack, NY 11725. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Best Wishes to All of You,
Nick "Mad Monkey" Serra
"Home is behind, the world ahead, And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night, Until the stars are all alight."
J.R.R. Tolken

From the sounds of things, it was a professional parting of ways, with both parties doing their best not to hurt the other in interest of their business together. However, when family is involved, business can quickly become personal.

It should be noted that on the official Serra BJJ site, the "About" page has this quote about the creation of the gym, which implies Nick having some ownership in the academy:

In 2001, when The Barn could no longer handle its growing student body, Matt and Nick opened a small school in East Meadow and, two years later, another in Huntington.

It is unknown if their personal relationship has also suffered from this or if the tension was solely based around business, and if it has, hopefully the pair of brothers can rebuild it in the near future after the dust settles.