Martial arts master jailed for breaking a student jaw and tooth

Sergio Robalo, a highly skilled jiu-jitsu fighter and black belt instructor, has been sentenced to two years in prison for brutally breaking a student's jaw during a martial arts class due to his dissatisfaction with the student's work ethic. The incident took place in August 2013, during a training session when Robalo lost his temper with Graham Jenkins, a student in the class.
The confrontation occurred when the two were sparring, but it quickly escalated beyond the bounds of the training session. As Jenkins was changing after the class, Robalo delivered a devastating blow to Jenkins' face, shattering his jaw with a single punch. This heinous act led to Robalo being handed an additional two-year jail term, on top of the previous seven-and-a-half-year sentence he was serving for a robbery in his home country of Portugal.
Robalo admitted to inflicting grievous bodily harm during this unprovoked attack at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. The court heard that the assault took place at a gym in the Burslem area, where Robalo served as a jiu-jitsu instructor.
The victim, Mr. Jenkins, had looked upon Robalo as a friend but was at the receiving end of the instructor's wrath during the session due to what Robalo perceived as a lack of commitment to the class. Jenkins' attendance had dropped off following a family bereavement, and on his return to the gym, he felt fatigued and needed to rest. This led to an altercation during which Robalo demanded that Jenkins spar with him, even though there was a significant skill level disparity between the two. When Jenkins tried to tap out of the fight to concede defeat, Robalo persisted and eventually struck Jenkins in the face, causing a broken jaw and tooth.
Prosecutor Fiona Cortese described the defendant's aggressive stance and the subsequent punch that resulted in Jenkins suffering severe injuries. Following the incident, Jenkins required metal plates to be inserted due to the fractures in his jaw.
This unfortunate event highlights the danger of unchecked aggression and the severe consequences of violent outbursts, particularly in a learning environment. Additionally, it underscores the responsibility instructors bear in maintaining a safe and respectful environment in martial arts classes.