Martial Arts are activities where safe practice is essential to help prevent injury. Children are particularly vulnerable as they are still developing mentally and physically, so training methods need to be modified as described below. All risk assessment and safe practices are maintained to ensure the safety of all student, children and adults alike.
All activities should first include a thorough warm up which is appropriate for the activity taking place. To help reduce the risk of injury, specific attention should be paid to those muscle groups that will be used during later activity.
2. Solo Martial Arts involving throwing – Ju Jitsu
The risks include but are not limited to: falling on unsuitable surfaces; landing on the head; damage to the joints from locks; strangulation.
Solo Martial Arts Safe Practice ensures the following points are covered, but is not limited to:
(a) Checking the matted area for suitability, particularly where the mats have been joined.
(b) Checking that there are no hard surfaces or sharp/hard objects around the matted area.
(c) Having an experience instructor who will ensure that children are not taught to use locks, throws or strangles which will cause injury. We do not teach children under the age of 11 locks or strangle holds.
3. Solo Martial Arts involving strikes, punches and kicks – Karate and Kickboxing
The risks include but are not limited to: concussion (brain injury) from heavy blows to the head; damage to internal organs and joints from heavy blows; injury from inappropriate stretching and other exercises.
(a) There are some key points we must consider in this section, particularly around head contact for under 16s:
– We ensure that there is no sparring for students under the age of 6 years.
– Children between the ages 7- 9 Years old only do sparring drills on pads held by a coach, no physically contact sparring with another student is permitted.
Children between the ages 11-16 are only permitted to spar with controlled light contact with no follow through of power. Students are simply working on timing and distance not in a competitive competition format.
–Equipment is essential for sparring including: Head Protection, Shin and Foot Pads, Gloves & Gum Shield
– Head contact is only permitted to the protected areas of the head guard and it must be light and controlled, no direct contact to the face is permitted.
Light contact sparring to the head is only allowed to those students who have demonstrated a great level of control. Otherwise no striking to the head is permitted at all!
-Weight and Heights of each student sparring is considered to ensure that it
will be an even competition and no-one has an advantage or disadvantage. – All heights weights and abilities are assessed before sparring takes place, irrespective of gender
An experienced Coach is present during all sparring sessions to ensure the safety of the students.
– All sparring takes place on a matted arena.
– All coaches are first aid trained. There is a medical kit available at all
venues including cold compacts. Should the time out show any signs of further injury and it’s felt further assessment is needed, an ambulance will be called.
(b) Avoiding excessive stretching and exercises such as press-ups on the knuckles or hitting heavy bags; the joints of children are still developing and can be damaged by these exercises.
Above all, safe practice means having a suitably qualified and experienced coaches who will ensure that children, junior and adult students are not exposed to the above risks and who can make a training session enjoyable whilst maintaining the discipline essential to learning a Martial Art.