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Policy Approved: 02/06/22
Review Date: 02/06/23
Approved by: Phil Davis


Martial Arts are activities where safe practice is essential to help prevent injury. Children and some adults are particularly vulnerable as they are still developing mentally and physically, so training methods need to be modified as described below.


1. Warm Ups

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. Martial Arts involving throwing, grappling and strangling

   This may form part of the syllabus

The risks include but are not limited to: falling on unsuitable surfaces; landing on the head; damage to the joints from locks; strangulation.

         Safe practice at Yu! MAC includes:

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


  • Checking that there are no hard surfaces or sharp/hard objects around the matted area.



  • Having an experience instructor who will ensure that children are not taught to use locks, throws or strangles which will cause injury.


3. Martial Arts involving strikes, punches and kicks

   Sparring will be involved within the syllabus

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.

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.

Safe practice at Yu! MAC includes:

  •    Head contact to be kept light and controlled and only occur when head guards and gum shields are worn, this will also be under the supervision of an experienced instructor. Any member not following instruction or controlling contact will be stopped from sparring and reassessed when allowed to continue.


  • All under 16’s must wear full equipment when sparring; head guards/gumshields/leg and footpads (there may be exceptions for these items in some disciplines/groin guards (males)/chest guards (females). Although the use of these pieces of equipment does not eliminate the risk of brain injury


  • Height, weight and ability of members to spar together will be taken into account by instructors when matching fighters during sparring practice or in competition events.


  • Sparring will take place on matted areas only.


  • If head injury occurs first aid will be administered and appropriate follow up advised. (Review with medical practitioner).


  • First aiders will be available during sparring and training sessions and medics are available at competitions that are attended.



  • Sparring only takes place under the supervision of an experienced instructor.


*The Martial Arts Safeguarding Group strongly recommend the complete removal of any head contact from training and competition for U16’s.*

4. Martial Arts involving weapons

         Safe practice at Yu! MAC includes but is not limited to:

  • No live blades (sharp or otherwise) when children are present

  • Safe protocols for the use of training weapons by children

  • Good supervision at all times by Instructors


Above all, safe practice means having a suitably qualified and experienced instructor who will ensure that children 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.

An Offline version of this document can be found HERE

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