Rener Gracie was the subject of a lot of backlash once the video footage of the incident he described as ‘spiking’ made it online.
In reality, the incident that led to injury in the $46M jury reward case was a Leo Vieira rolling back take gone wrong. Not exactly scandalous.
Gracie released a 22 minute video about his expertise in the case and provided these details about how he came to form his expert opinion. Some of the points Rener makes are:
• A BJJ instructor attempted a rolling backtake technique on a student, causing the student to suffer a broken neck and become permanently disabled.
• The instructor used an incorrect grip configuration, causing the student to land on their head instead of rolling over their shoulder.
• Proper technique is emphasized in BJJ and accidents can happen even with no malice intended.
• Gracie shared their expert opinion and knowledge to help prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
• The rolling backtake technique can be done correctly from two common grip configurations.
• The most important aspect of the correct application of the rolling backtake technique is the user’s shoulder chokes the back of the recipient’s head.
• The Greener incident was a tragedy for everyone involved.
• The modified arm configuration involves wrapping the arms around the torso and over the recipient’s arm.
• The inability to shock the head and the recipient’s inability to base out and support themselves are two major concerns with the modified arm configuration.
• Control of the head is the number one prerequisite for the safe application of the rolling back take.
• When the arm is wrapped around the torso and locked in place, the shoulder cannot reach the back of the recipient’s head, which means that there is no control of the head during the technique.
• The recipient also cannot support themselves with their arm if things go wrong.
• The consequences of executing the technique improperly are devastating and comparable to being spiked on the head.
• Jujitsu involves grappling techniques that require precise execution to avoid serious injury.
- The instructor should not execute a technique that can paralyze a student unless they are self-aware that they can do it safely.
- The grip used by Mister Interaude disabled Mister Greener’s left arm and left him with no control over himself, resulting in a catastrophic injury.
- The technique used by Mister Interaude had never been taught at Delmar Giu Jitsu and had a slim margin for error.
- The witness testified that the injury was preventable and that the technique should not be used on white belts at full intensity by black belt instructors.
- Students should be taught the technique before it is used on them at full intensity in live sparring.
- If at any point during any technique, a black belt instructor feels a shift in the position or the grip such that the risk of injury to the recipient has gone up in the middle of a technique, the instructor should abort the technique.
- It is safer to change the grip or abort the technique if the risk of injury has increased, rather than to force it, especially when doing so increases the risk unreasonably for the recipient.