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Health & Safety in Martial Arts

We believe in......keeping you safe

We are not health & Safety Consultants, but please find a quick read on some basics.

There is a Government site that helps anyone with Health & Safety Law, we strongly recommend you take a look.

We have some examples of Risk Assessments & Health & Safety Policies for martial arts classes & gyms; email us at

Medical Cover for Martial Arts Events

The law has placed full responsibility onto the organiser of an event for medical cover, should it be appropriate - this applies to a small church fate right up to a global gathering festival.

What if... you are holding a competition where people are fighting & members of the public attend, you, as the organiser have sole responsibility for the welfare of those people.

Health & Safety Law has backed the NHS by putting full responsibility onto the organiser for having an ambulance in attendance. The NHS are NOT obliged to prioritise sending an ambulance to an event as it is the organisers legal responsibility to already have one on site.

What if... If a member of public has a heart attack, unfortunately at your event & dies due to no ambulance, then the family sued you for negligence, how do you think that oversight would affect you?

What if... If a competitor accidentally took a shot that caused their windpipe to collapse & all you had onsite were first aiders who were not able to do a tracheostomy, which resulted in a fatality, then the family sued you for negligence, how do you think that oversight would affect you?

Protect the Competitors, Protect the Spectators, Protect Yourself

Risk Assesments

A risk assessment is the systematic process of evaluating the potential dangers that may be involved in an activity or an undertaking. These are vital in sport as it allows those in charge to analyse the risks that their sport has and how they can eradicate or minimize these risks.

When you own a gym, you have to conduct a risk assessment to highlight all the potential risks to enable measures to minimise the risks and also to inform the people who train & work there of these risks.

For those who do not run fulltime gyms, please understand that while you are taking a class, those four walls & all activities taking place under your supervision make you liable for the safety of both your students & any public watching.

An example of this in Martial Arts is the instructor follows normal practice by including sparring in the class.

The risk that is recognised is that a student may get hurt when sparring.

The assessment to minimise the risk would be to only allow sparring to take place when protective equipment is worn, to only do technical sparring in mainstream classes, to only allow full contact sparring among those who are training for competition, to not allow complete beginners to free spar, but to begin with controlled supervised combinations.

First Aid

First aid is the help given to a sick or injured person until full medical treatment is available. This is used regularly in sport when people get injured & attention is required, for example with ice or a bandage before they can get to the hospital. This is vital for student's wellbeing as how they are treated before they get to hospital can make a huge difference.

You are required to have a process & be compliant regarding this, for example, under no circumstances are you allowed to administer drugs, not even an Aspirin, but you must take care of any injuries. Cold compress, elevation etc. are positive action & for many minor bumps this is all that is required. For anything that is above this, you should advise they get checked out by either their GP or A & E. You must record the incident in an accident book & if the injury is substantial, the only advise is they should go to hospital. If it is a serious injury or a life & death injury you should call 999.

What if... The accident book is the most commonly overlooked part of the process. This is for your protection also - nobody can stub their toe then come back 3 weeks later claiming a more serious injury if they have signed that all they did was stub their toe!

Emergency Procedures

The emergency procedure is a plan of actions to be conducted in a certain manner, in response to an emergency event. This could be a fire drill, bomb alert or any other emergency. They are put in place in sport in order to keep students, officials and spectators safe in case of an emergency. It means there are routes for evacuation and ways to stall the effects of the emergency in order to maintain the safety of everyone involved. An example of this is in venue there are many fire exits located around the building so if a fire was to occur there are alternative ways out for people inside of the venue.

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