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Avoid Liability Issues When Signing Up Smaller Students To Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Classes

Brazilian jiu-jitsu remains one of the most popular martial arts in the world. The grappling-centric self-defense art/combat sport promotes itself as the perfect art for a smaller person to overcome a larger, more powerful one. So, the classes do draw in smaller-sized people wishing to learn how to maximize their self-protection capabilities. Since the classes require live wrestling sparring, dubbed "rolling," students refine legitimate skills. School owners do need to be careful about pairing up smaller students with larger ones. If the smaller student suffers an injury, then the school owner may be liable.

The Larger, Aggressive Student May Create Liabilities

Smaller students frequently roll with larger ones without suffering harm. Both students do need to exhibit self-control and emphasize the safety of a partner. Putting a smaller, weaker student with a larger student who is aggressive and reckless is hardly a good idea, though. School owners might assume that requesting students to sign a waiver will help them avoid legal jeopardies. Don't, however, expect a waiver to save a school owner from liabilities associated with negligence. The following scenarios represent examples of possible negligence:

  • Teaming Up Two Inexperienced Students: When the larger student possesses some technical skill and the experience necessary to work with smaller students, the chances of injuries may decrease. A 200-pound novice student known for being clumsy would be a bad match for a 110-pound student who also possesses limited experience. Instructors who allow these team-ups may share the blame for any resulting injuries.
  • Not Telling "Bully" Students to Stop: Sadly, there may be a big, tough student who gets a rush from dominating a smaller student. Bullying behavior of this nature can become the culture of a particular school, and the risks to other students increase dramatically. An instructor has a responsibility to establish acceptable behavior. Looking the other way at rough wrestling and reckless bullying can get the owner into a legal morass.
  • Failure to Properly Train the Lightweight: A smaller person may need to learn specific skills to perform well on the mat. For example, he/she might benefit from learning better defensive postures, breath control, and how to apply leverage with maximum success. Did the instructor take time out to teach these points and others? If not, then the instructor may have done the student a grave disservice.

Anyone injured while rolling or training in jiu-jitsu — or any other martial art — may have a civil case. In the event of an accident or mishap, speaking with a personal injury attorney may be worthwhile. Contact companies like The Bregman Law Firm, P.C., to learn more.