Filing Lawsuits Against Teammates When Getting Hurt

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Unfortunately, we live in a world where you can sue and file a lawsuit against anyone for pretty much anything and get something out of it.  I am not well-versed in law, but I do know right from wrong, and what it means to value the people around you.  This is especially true for jiu-jitsu and any martial art.  We all harp on the fact that the people you train with are your family, but what I heard the other day bothered me to the point I needed to let everyone in the jiu-jitsu community know.

Everyone trains for a different reason, but we are all there for the same purpose.  We are there to have fun, make friends, feel better mentally and physically, and forget about any worries that we have.  As we all know, the schools you belong to and train at, along with the jiu-jitsu community as a whole, is a tight knit group.  Just think about when you meet someone new and they say they train jiu-jitsu – you instantly turn friends.

Jiu-jitsu isn’t all fun and games though.  Of course, we all know that there is a possibility for injury.  None of us want to get injured, and we don’t want to hurt our training partners.  Also, I know damn well no one wants to worry about getting sued for accidentally hurting a training partner.  All of us have been injured, and most of the time, it is by someone we train with. However, that doesn’t mean they intentionally did it or we should demand them to pay for any hospital bills associated with it. 

We are all taking a risk when we do jiu-jitsu or any martial art that we obviously all think is worth it.  If you get hurt, examine why it happened.  What could you have done to avoid it?  Should you have tapped earlier?  Did you try to defend the wrong way?  Was your ego getting in the way?  This is a true story where a teammate sued another teammate for something so small!  It wasn’t even an injury where they would have off the mats for any period of time.  All instructors and gyms owners should beware of this potentially happening at their gym.


  1. Never forget that what you think is right/wrong is your perspective. Reality is never so black and white. I don’t know what was behind the decision to file a lawsuit, but I’m sure it wasn’t for no reason, even though it may have looked like a small thing to you. Sometimes we need to try to see things from the other one’s perspective; maybe there is another problem that he saw but you didn’t see that also needs to be dealt with.

  2. Most any lawsuit will be thrown out because of the assumption of risk. However if someone intentionally injures a training partner (applying the move after a clear tap out), then a suit would be appropriate.

  3. I completely agree with this article. That being said, I am going to sue Luka Mirkovic aka Honkey Kong for messing up my elbow.

  4. I don’t know what to say. Like I saw in one of the previous comments we have to look the situation in all perspectives. If the issue occurred accidentally, ok, but I think we all know someone else that appears to hold a lock or a choke a little even after the training partner have tapped out.


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