Rener Gracie’s criticism of standard BJJ practices might have long reaching repercussions

There’s been a lot of buzz about the court case that awarded Jack Greener $46 million award after he suffered a catastrophic injury in a BJJ class.

The jury’s decision has raised several questions, and the controversy was amplified when Rener Gracie posted on social media explaining that he testified as an expert witness during the case.

His post sparked agitation among some members of the BJJ community, who blamed him for taking advantage of the unfortunate event for his profit.

Gracie is estimated to have made over $100,000 for his expert testimony, thanks to the expert witness fee totaling $3000 per hour.

Dan Lukehart was one of the loudest critics of Gracie from the get go. He had access to the court documents, and shared some of Rener’s direct quotes during the trial. This was a response to Gracie releasing a 20 minute video trying to rationalize his choice to testify in this case.

“Additionally, pursuant to CACI 472, Michael Phelps and M.Phelps, Inc. d.b.a. Del Mar Jiu Jitsu Club are directly liable for their conduct, as their conduct increased the risks to Plaintiff Jack Greener over and above those involved in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. ”

“Specifically, the failure of Defendants Michael Phelps and M.Phelps, Inc. d.b.a. Del Mar Jiu Jitsu Club to adhere to the requisite standard of care by failing of have any type of written documentation, including failing to have a written curriculum or policies and procedures of any kind, that would have allowed instructors to know which moves are permitted to be used and which rules are not permitted to be used, nor did they keep track of the students by their age, belt level, or the techniques they were taught or had learned.”

“Not only do Defendants’ expert and Plaintiff’s expert both have a written curriculum and track the student’s development including the techniques they have learned, but even Mr. Iturralde, since leaving Del Mar, utilizes a written curriculum for his beginner students. Defendants Michael Phelps and M.Phelps, Inc. d.b.a. Del Mar Jiu Jitsu Club also failed to have separate the classes for beginner students and advanced students. ”

“In his deposition, Iturralde was critical of this practice, testified that now, at his studio, he has separate classes for beginner students and advanced students to ensure that white belt students are taught and train with other white belts. Likewise, the respective experts, both of whom own and operate Brazilian Jiu Jitsu clubs, separate their classes to ensure that beginners receive the appropriate foundational training before being paired with higher ranking belts. ”

“For the forgoing reasons, Defendants Michael Phelps, and M.Phelps, Inc. d.b.a. Del Mar Jiu Jitsu Club are liable for their actions and inactions that increased the risks to Jack Greener above and beyond those risks inherent in a BJJ class.”