DeBlass: ‘Rener Gracie Testifying Against The Instructor Who Injured a Student Makes Me Sick’

DeBlass: ‘Rener Gracie Testifying Against The Instructor Who Injured a Student Makes Me Sick’

The tragic accident that left Jack Greener, a BJJ white belt, quadriplegic has made a shock wave in the Jiu-Jitsu world.

It was reported that during one of the classes, Greener’s coach placed his entire bodyweight on his neck, crushing the cervical vertebrae and leaving the student paralyzed.

Greener, now a quadriplegic, has sought out “compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings, and emotional distress” – and the jury ruled in his favor, making it a point for Greener to be awarded $46 million.

And now, video footage has emerged of the incident that led to the tragic injury.
It seems that the instructor was going for the famous Leo Vieira’s back take against Turtle… But that Greener turned his head awkwardly in the process.

Watch the video below. Beware – it’s graphic:


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A post shared by Tom DeBlass (@tomdeblass)

Many people have, therefore, shared their opinion that there has been no ill intent from the coach to cause any sort of injury to the student.
And that this has been a case of a freak accident.

Here’s what Kit Dale said in the comments:

He just tried to do the old Leo Viera back take. Just a sloppy version that resulted in accidental damage. I’ve seen 100x worse from people wanting to cause harm. This looks accidental to me.

Rener Gracie was called in to testify as an expert witness. Rener Gracie does not allow his white belts students to spar for the first 6 months. Gracie Barra also applies the same principle.

Here’s what he had to say about his view of the case, in a recent Instagram post:

This case was a tragedy in every sense. 23-year-old white belt, Jack Greener, was sparring at a BJJ school in San Diego when the black belt instructor did a technique that placed his entire bodyweight on Greener’s neck causing him to instantly fall limp and lose all function of his limbs.

Jack, an aspiring surf instructor, will never regain full function of his limbs, but I’m hopeful that this ruling will ease the burdens that he and his family will face for the rest of his life.

I’m also hopeful that this case will serve as a much needed reminder to the entire industry of the massive responsibility we shoulder every time a new student trusts us to guide them on their Jiu-Jitsu journey.

Tom DeBlass shared his thoughts on the incident and was critical of Rener Gracie for turning on his own community:

“The instructor, who was slaughtered, Sinistro, was well-respected. Unfortunately, the world turned on him before seeing the video.

I can not imagine what you must have felt, @gentleartsjiujitsu. You aren’t alone now, and your reputation isn’t ruined, brother. Xx

To the student injured, may God help you recover fully. My heart breaks knowing you had to go through the injury you did.”


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A post shared by Tom DeBlass (@tomdeblass)

What do you think?