The Jack Greener case has been a hot topic in the jiu-jitsu community lately. Jack Greener, a former jiu-jitsu student, was awarded 46 million dollars in a court case for a training incident that left him quadriplegic. Jack Greener was injured when his coach, a black belt named Francisco Iturralde, attempted a rolling back take from turtle, which led to Jack landing on his neck and getting injured. Greener spent a couple of months in the hospital and suffered strokes due to this injury. Ultimately, a court case was filed, and after four months of trial, the jury found Francisco Itturalde 100% at fault and awarded Greener over 46m$ in compensation.
Although this isn’t the first time something like this has happened in a recreational sport, this case has been surrounded by many controversies, the most controversial being Rener Gracie’s testimony as an expert witness. According to Rener Gracie, Mr. Iturralde attempted a dangerous technique known as a flipping back take, which should only be tried on experienced grapplers as beginners don’t know how to react to this move. Furthermore, Rener stated that for a black belt to attempt this technique on a white belt should be considered an extreme departure from the standard of care in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. With a statement like this, Rener has put complete responsibility on the instructor and has left no space for people to believe this was just a freak accident. In addition, Rener has profited from this case, as there are rumors that he was paid 100.000$ for his expert testimony. Many influential BJJ figures such as Tom Deblass and Vinicius Draculino have criticized Rener for this as they believe he did this for his own promotion and basically betrayed jiu-jitsu.
Rener Gracie’s main argument is that Francisco Iturralde used a dangerous grip configuration during the flipping back take. Instead of having a classic seatbelt grip, Iturralde used a grip where he covered Greener’s biceps, making it impossible for him to post a hand on the mat. Due to this grip, Jack Greener landed directly on his neck, which led to the injury. Rener Gracie explained all this in a Youtube video on his channel, which other experienced black belts have since criticized.
The most important thing in this whole case is that Jack Greener has recovered recently. He is back walking, rock climbing, and hiking, and although he will hardly recover completely, he is getting better. Nonetheless, Rener Gracie will be remembered for this case as a sellout, as many believe that he used this case for his good and damaged the reputation of jiu-jitsu.
I hope you enjoyed the article, and feel free to give us your thoughts on this topic! Train hard and stay safe!