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  • Writer's pictureBrad Parker

Attempted Manslaughter for BJJ Technique?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique

A federal jury in Little Rock, Ark., has convicted former jiujitsu instructor at Misawa Air Base of attempted manslaughter of an airman during a fight in an on-base café.

What drew my attention to the story is the charge that the defendant tried to "snap the neck" of the victim.

Looking up additional stories surrounding this, there is scant discussion on what the particular technique was that prompted that charge -- and led to the ultimate conviction. I'm wondering if the defendant attempted some sort of rear naked choke or guillotine on the airman and it is interpreted as a lethal technique by the prosecutors and bench. Maybe I missed the BJJ seminar about snapping someone's neck, but it does bring up the legal ramifications of using certain techniques. We know more state and municipal agencies are classifying choking or strangulation techniques as near-lethal or lethal level of force. Probably a good reason to stop referring to the rear naked choke as such or worse as "Mata Leão" (Portuguese for 'kill the lion'). More importantly, make sure you are instructing the proper technique or you learn the technique properly to apply it correctly and minimize the consequences.

Rener and Ryron Gracie give a really good tutorial on this technique with a good overview of what can go wrong and why.

The best description of the incident seems to be an Air Force Times article here which describes security camera footage showing that the defendant initiates the fight. It also describes that the defendant's son put an airman in a leg lock while the defendant tried to snap his neck and later stomped on his head several times.

Anybody have more information on this case?

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