Martial arts instructor broke his student’s jaw with one punch
A MARTIAL arts instructor broke the jaw of one of his students – because his victim was not trying hard enough.
Jiu-jitsu expert Sergio Robalo, a Portugese national, has been jailed for the attack, which left the student seriously injured.
Rabalo, aged 34, taught the martial art at a gym in Burslem, Stoke, and Graham Jenkins considered him a friend.
But the defendant became angry because of Graham’s lack of commitment and decided to spar with him. He deliberately inflicted pain, Stoke Crown Court heard.
Graham was shocked and, as he was getting changed, the defendant struck him with a powerful blow to the left side of his face.
Now Robalo, who has since been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for robbery in his homeland, has been locked up for a further two years.
Prosecutor Fiona Cortese said Graham Jenkins attended the jiu-jitsu gym in 2013. The defendant was the instructor. But Graham’s attendance dropped off due to a bereavement and he did not go for 10 days.
When he next popped in on August 20, he soon became tired and decided to rest, which annoyed Robalo. Graham took part in the next sparring match – but lost on purpose so he could again sit out.
“The defendant’s attitude changed,” said Miss Cortese. “He demanded that Mr Jenkins sparred with him.
“Mr Jenkins was a white belt but the defendant was a black belt. In the victim’s view, the defendant was far too aggressive.
“At one point he screamed out to end the spar and he was assisted with the removal of the defendant from him.
“Mr Jenkins walked towards the edge of the mat and started to get changed. The defendant said ‘If you ever do that again’, and punched him to the left side of his jaw once.
“One of his teeth fractured and he fractured his jaw in two places. Metal plates had to be inserted.”
Robalo, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Anis Ali, defending, said the defendant was jailed for seven-and-ahalf years in 2016 for a robbery in Portugal in September 2013 – a month after this assault.
He added: “He felt the complainant was not taking matters seriously. He objected to the approach taken by the complainant. It was a single blow.”
Judge Paul Glenn told Robalo: “You are a highly skilled martial arts practitioner. As an instructor you have to control your temper and use those skills appropriately.
“Because of Mr Jenkins’s lack of commitment you decided to spar with him. You went much too far.
“You knew he was much less able than you were and you deliberately inflicted pain upon him. You would not release when he tapped out.
“As he was getting changed you approached him again. He was already shocked by your earlier behaviour and you then struck him a considerable blow to his jaw.”
Robalo will serve half the sentence and then be returned to Portugal to serve the rest of his sentence for the robbery.
> Sergio Robalo, who was jailed