Ben Kunzle is a talented Jiu Jitsu competitor who suffered an injury that left him paralyzed, and he has now been promoted to black belt in BJJ by his coach Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu. Kunzle was a top colored belt competitor prior to the accident and was actually preparing to make a run at the brown belt division of the IBJJF World Championship at the time. He was taking part in a sparring session to help prepare for the competition when he attempted a takedown and slipped on sweat, with his partner landing on top of his neck according to the Miami Herald.
This meant that Kunzle dislocated his fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae, requiring him to be rushed to the hospital immediately. This meant that Kunzle had to undergo an emergency surgery and has had to embark upon a rigorous journey of physical therapy since then. With the help of that physical therapy and an incredible dedication to exercise, Kunzle has been able to come an incredibly long way since he first suffered the injury. Not only has he been able to become a public speaker at the Blue Collar American Dream Conference, but he has also returned to competition as part of a wheelchair rugby team.
Ben Kunzle uploaded the footage of him being promoted to BJJ black belt by Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu to his official Instagram account. He thanked Abreu for the promotion and for an inspirational speech that he gave to Kunzle while he was still in hospital, to which Abreu replied:
“The power of a word can change someone’s life and inspire actions, but the choice is personal to take the step and transform situations into miracles. No world title would ever make you as big as you are Ben Kunzle. Im proud of your daily choices of being hero for you and many, myself. Keep inspiring! Love you.”