Rener Gracie has attracted some criticism from some corners of the BJJ world after it came to light that he was brought in to give testimony as an expert witness in the recent injury lawsuit that resulted in Jack Greener being awarded over $46 million. He was of course compensated well for his time and this is one reason that he attracted criticism, but many around the world also disagreed with his actual opinion itself. Rener has now spoken out about his involvement in the trial and started out by explaining his views on the concept of negligence as a whole:
“I want to start by saying this incident was a tragedy for everyone involved. At no point during the process was I asked to give an opinion on the intent of (the instructor), nor do I have one. I recognise fully that a mistake can be made and there have been no malice intended. I also recognise that it’s possible to make an honest mistake and still be held liable to those that the mistake adversely effected. You could be driving in your car, distracted on your phone, cause an accident that injures someone and even though it was a mistake and there was no ill intent; you may still be held liable for the injuries that the accident caused.”
He then goes on to get into the specifics of the particular back-take that the instructor attempted to do:
“In this incident, the technique that the instructor attempted to do while sparring was a particular type of rolling back-take made famous by Jiu-Jitsu legend Leo Vieira from the turtle position. When applied correctly, this technique directs the recipient of the technique over one of their shoulders or directly over their head but when applied incorrectly, the consequences can be devastating.”
In the rest of the video, Rener starts by explaining the differences between what he deems correct and incorrect application of the technique and goes on to demonstrate them with a partner, along with showing footage of Vieira himself explaining safe application of the technique. He also shows the same footage of the incident that was leaked just days after the trial concluded, although he has had it colourized in order to make it clearer and he slows it down frame by frame as well. Rener Gracie also explains that he was not the only BJJ expert who gave expert witness testimony at the trial, and he quotes excerpts directly from the $46 million injury trial.
The full video of Rener Gracie explaining his expert witness testimony at the BJJ injury lawsuit that saw Jack Greener awarded over $46 million was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Gracie Breakdown: