A recent lawsuit shocked the BJJ world when a white belt student suffered a catastrophic injury rolling with an instructor in class and was awarded over $46 million in a judgement in his favour, but now footage has emerged of the actual incident. It’s not entirely clear what the original source of the footage is, but it has since been shared on several different social media platforms by many different competitors and coaches. It’s only a short clip but it shows the exact technique that the instructor used against Jack Greener in rolling, and the injury is immediately obvious on film.
“Full disclosure: I was called to testify as an expert witness in this case. I’ll post a thorough video response in the future, but these are the first thoughts I wanted to share publicly. 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.”
“Jiu-Jitsu is incredibly effective, but it can also be incredibly dangerous if precautions are not taken to reduce the likelihood of injury, particular for beginners. Jiu-Jitsu was designed to empower the weak against the strong. As BJJ school owners and instructors, we have a responsibility to create a learning path that is both safe and structured, so that every student can learn the art and build their confidence from day one, without risk of otherwise avoidable catastrophic injury.”
“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. At Gracie University, the safety of our students will always be our top priority and it will always be a core reason why we do things the way we do.”
The leaked footage of the moment that Jack Greener suffered the injury that led to the $46 million judgement in his favour was shared in a post to the official Instagram account of Tom DeBlass, although it appeared in multiple places at a similar time: