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Martial Arts

Version control: Original 1999 / Updated 2003 / Updated 2016



You must refer to the Requirements for All Sport and Physical Activity (PDF 466KB) to understand your overall compliance responsibilities.

Parents must be informed of full details of the location, supervision to be provided and activities to be undertaken when seeking their written permission.

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Teacher/Instructor Qualifications and Experience

The teacher/instructor must have the appropriate expertise and experience for the program/activity to be conducted. Instructors must be accredited under the Australian Sports Commission's National Coaching Accreditation Scheme or hold current qualifications from a recognised national and/or international sport organisation for the specific Martial Arts discipline to be undertaken.

When considering incorporating Martial Arts in the school program, schools should:

  • Consider the age, maturity and ability of the students to be involved.
  • Be satisfied that the provider/activity leader has relevant Working with Children Check and meets all Department of Education requirements when engaging an external provider.

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Where an adult other than a teacher is engaged to provide instruction, a teacher must be present to take overall responsibility. A supervising teacher to student ratio of 1:24 must not be exceeded.

Students must be instructed not to use breaking techniques (striking at boards, bricks etc).

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Only martial arts approved matting should be used to surround the activity area.

The mats must be regularly cleaned with disinfectant.

Protective equipment (mitts forearm, foot and shin protectors) is to be worn when practising striking and blocking techniques in case limb contact may accidentally occur.

Light Cloth padding is recommended.

A well-equipped medical kit must be readily available.

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An indoor venue is preferred with sufficient space and mats for the number of students participating.

Activities must be sited away from walls, seats, beams or other objects.

The venue surface must be smooth and even as most skills are practised in bare feet.

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The program must include:

  • Appropriate warm-up and stretching activities.
  • Graduated exercises that emphasise strength and flexibility, particularly in the neck and back region.
  • Strength and conditioning activities appropriate to the skill level and experience of the students.
  • Progressive and sequential skill development.
  • Initial instruction concerning prohibited areas of contact e.g. eyes, groin, throat, knee cap.
  • An emphasis on good posture in performance of all techniques.
  • Grouping and pairing of students according to ability.
  • Prolonged, intense sessions must be avoided.

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Students must:

  • Have correctly fitted mouthguards where contact may occur.
  • Not participate in any breaking techniques and only use maximum force with approved bags and strike targets or strike objects.
  • Be free of any physical injury which may affect their capacity to participate or which may be aggravated as a result of participating.
  • Not wear clothing which is fitted with zips, buttons or similar hard objects. Specific clothing recommended for the sport should be worn.
  • Remove jewellery, spectacles and other ornaments likely to cause injury.
  • Tape long fingernails.
  • Secure long hair if it is likely to impair vision or impede performance.

The following safety strategies must be employed:

  • Consider the number of students in the space available, ensuring that students do not collide with others in group practices.
  • Ensure students are aware of rules, safety procedures and potential danger areas.
  • Ensure students do not use prohibited moves.
  • Reinforce with all participants that non-supervised practice is not to occur.
  • Demonstrate and explain all relevant specific techniques. Students should be restricted to these techniques.
  • Ensure the surface is free from dust, dirt and other objects which could be carried on the feet.
  • For techniques involving grappling, throws, take-downs and sweeps, use a shock absorbing surface (50 millimetres thick). Ensure mats are secured together and do not separate during activity.
  • Cease activity if participants (e.g. wrestlers) are close to the edge of the mat and have them resume in the centre of the matting.
  • As excessive and continual striking into the air may result in hyperextension injury to the knee and elbow joints, it must only be conducted under the guidance and direction of the qualified instructor. Striking at pads or shields ensures that this does not occur.
  • Continuously reinforce notions of self-control and responsibility.
  • Competitors are at a level determined by the teacher or instructor and suited to the ability and weight (if applicable) and physical maturity of the participants.
  • Where possible, ice should be available for the treatment of injuries.

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