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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.
(*also includes Adults at Risk)

Warm ups

Classes should always be structured such that the physical intensity builds throughout the class and there are not large jumps in intensity. Technical recap, the drilling of the taught moves and even fight simulation and sparring can be warm ups. The key is to start gently and increase the energy levels.

Throwing, grappling and strangling

The risks include but are not limited to: falling on unsuitable surfaces; landing on the head/spine; bracing falls with extended arms; damage to the joints from locks; strangulation.

Safe practice should include, but is not limited to:

  • Checking the matted area for suitability, particularly where the mats have been joined.

  • Checking that (other than walls and floor) there are no hard surfaces or sharp/hard objects around the matted area.

  • Having a skilled instructor who will ensure that people understand the risks of the moves (e.g. putting hands out when falling, trying too hard to stop any move and that the submissions will do damage).

  • The instructor must always be monitoring the class for potentially dangerous pairings and/or positions.

  • Teach tapping.

  • We ban jumping guard, flying scissor takedowns and tani otoshi (without knee braced with hand) in randori situations.


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.

An additional points when considering strikes:

  • Students must understood that strikes are used to simulate the realities of a fight and should be tailored to their and their partner’s skill level. No strikes should ever be at a level which could possibly cause injury.


An additional point when considering weapons:

  • All weapons should be rubber. Even then students should understand that a rubber weapon can still hurt or injure if used recklessly.

Above all, safe practice means having a suitably qualified and skilled instructor who will ensure that children are not exposed to the above risks.

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