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 – This also includes Adults at Risk.

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. Warm Ups will include circuit training, stretching and Tai Chi movements.  At the end of each session there is a warm down involving stretching of the whole body.

2. Kung Fu, Kickboxing and Self Defence can involve throwing, grappling and strangling

    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 should include, but is not limited to:

  • Checking the training area for suitability.
  • Checking that there are no hard surfaces or sharp/hard objects around the training area.
  • Having an experienced instructor who will ensure that children are not taught to use locks, throws or strangles which will cause injury.
  • Ensuring that only appropriately trained students compete using these techniques
  • Ensuring that all of the correct safety items and clothing are worn when undertaking these applications

3. Kung Fu, Kickboxing and Self Defence involving strikes, punches and kicks

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. 

Head contact is permitted, but only light contact.  To limit the risk of head injury, students must always wear the appropriate headgear and only engage in this type of move when the instructor is present. Students must also be wearing gloves, meaning that nails are covered which will ensure that no scratches to the face or neck can happen. 

Students training with Maroon Fist Association do not participate in any sparring under the age of 9 years old. 

When sparring or in competition all students must be wearing a head guard, shin guards, foot guards, chest guard, groin protection and gum shields.

When in competition, students will only be sparring against those of a similar age, weight and ability. Their ability will be determined by the grade that they have achieved.  There are different categories for students, dependent on their height and weight.

Foam mats are provided during sparring and competitions.

There is always a fully trained First Aider at all training sessions, who will assess any injury and either treat or call emergency services as appropriate.

There are no special considerations with mixed gender sparring, other than to ensure that all of the correct safety items are worn and that the pair are equally matched in weight and ability.  Most competitions do not have mixed gender categories.

When sparring in the club, the instructor is always present.  During competitions, there are two referees as well as the two instructors to ensure the safety of the competitors

4. Martial Arts involving weapons – Kung Fu

Safe practice should include but is not limited to:

  • No live blades (sharp or otherwise) in the training hall when children are present.
  • Safe protocols for the use of training weapons by children – weapon training does not begin until students reach Purple belt status. This is 5 years after they first start training so they have a full understanding of the respect required when using weapons.
  • 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.