Martial Arts First AidAs an instructor you will need to be first aid trained. This will be a requirement of your insurance and is possibly also required by your venue and/or your association. Even if it was not a requirement it makes sense for you to know basic first aid. You will be responsible for a group of people when running your classes and it will be you that they look to if an emergency situation occurs or if somebody suffers an injury. It is also a useful life skill to have for outside of the training studio.
First aid is emergency treatment given to an injured or sick person before professional medical care is available. This means that you are making the injured or sick person comfortable and attending to any immediate injury until paramedics arrive. For minor injuries there may be no need for further medical care or if it is required, but not immediately, you can fix the casualty up in such a way that they are able to leave the studio and attend a casualty department or visit a GP surgery themselves.
Courses
There are many different first aid course providers which offer a whole variety of courses which can range from the very basic to extremely comprehensive. These can range from a few hours to days long and the price can vary a lot too. It might be worth you talking to your employer to see if they would be willing to send you on a first aid course. It is a legal requirement for workplaces to have a registered first aider and it could be an opportunity to get sent on a course without having to pay from your own pocket.


One of the biggest suppliers of courses nationally in the UK is the St John Ambulance and this is who I did my training with. They offer a number of courses that are suitable for Martial Arts instructors two of which I have summarised below. Check with your insurance, venue and association if there are any specific requirements with regards First Aid training but if not then pick the one which you think suits your needs most.
Sports First Aid – This is aimed at anyone involved in sporting activities – from referees and coaches to players and gives training on the types of injuries or medical emergencies that can occur whilst doing sport . So it is ideal for a martial arts instructor and will give you the necessary first aid skills to deal with a whole range of sporting injuries. The course includes coverage of the following;
• Asthma
• Bleeding
• Bone, muscle and joint injuries
• Burns and scalds
• Chest pains
• Choking
• Communication and casualty care
• Emergencies in public
• Head injury
• Extremes of heat and cold
• Primary survey
• Resuscitation
• The role of the first aider
• Sprains and strains
• The unconscious casualty.
This is a 6 hour course and can be more expensive than some of the less comprehensive courses but it does specifically cover most of the types of injuries that may unfortunately occur in the training studio.

Basic First Aid – This course teaches the very basic everyday skills required to give first aid when minor accidents happen. This course does not cover resuscitation.
• Communication and casualty care
• Looking after yourself and the casualty
• Treatment of minor bleeding and minor burns
• Treatment of an unconscious casualty
• Priorities of first aid and managing the scene
• Treatment of a choking casualty
• Treatment of fainting, bites and stings, sprains and strains.
This is the least expensive option but still gives you enough skills to be able to treat you students should they have a minor injury in the training studio.
Others – Other courses offered include essential first aid, basic and essential first aid and activity first aid. These courses all offer elements that would be useful for a martial arts instructor with a group of students.
First Aid Equipment
If your venue has a well-stocked first aid box then ask the owner if you are free to use the items in it if a situation occurs. Make sure you know where to get the box from and if it is under lock and key make sure that you have access to the key. If you do not have access to the venue’s first aid equipment then you will need to get a hold of one yourself. This should contain sticking plasters, adhesive tape, bandages, antiseptic wipes and possibly heat and ice packs for muscular injuries. A good example of a well-stocked box can be seen by clicking here. You can get these from Amazon, Ebay, high street chemists or even supermarkets.
Details
Make sure that you know of any pre-existing conditions that your students may suffer from. For my club I have a new student data sheet which I use for anybody coming to train with us. On this sheet I have a question about medical conditions so I know about anything I need to right at the start. This could be things like asthma, allergies, diabetes etc. For younger students you will want to get consent from their parent or guardian to administer first aid to their child. An example of my new student data sheet can be found by clicking this link. New Student Data Sheet template

If you get yourself trained up, have the right emergency equipment on hand and know of any potential issue with your students then you should be well equipped to deal with most emergencies that could occur in the training hall.

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Karate Club Website ContentThe website that you set up for your martial arts club is used for multiple purposes and so the content must be created to reflect this. The website is a 24/7 advert for your club, it is a showcase for you and your students achievements, it is a hub of information for new and existing students on the art, it provides details of events, maps of venues and contact details for the school. It can be used for all of these things and more. Below I outline some of the pages and content for those pages that can be included on a successful martial arts club website.
Home Page – This is the header page for your whole website and generally the first page that site visitors will come to. This should include you club name prominently displayed along with your logo and a short introduction about the club. An example of some introductory text would be
“Welcome to the website for . We offer martial arts training in the traditional art of . We are a family run club who aim to train in a friendly atmosphere to give children and adults alike the many benefits that come from learning a martial art”
It is also a good idea to put a contact number and email address on the home page so the visitor does not need to go searching for your details should they want to get in touch. You should make things as easy as possible for the visitor so they don’t become frustrated and leave your site before deciding to contact you. You must also make the website visually pleasing with a complimentary colour scheme that does not hurt the eyes and with suitable fonts etc.
You may want to include some pictures to break up the page. A good idea might be to include a photograph of your students looking happy.
This page should also contain a navigation bar, that includes buttons to access each of the other pages on the site or at the very least should include a list of hyperlink text to link to other pages.
If you are on Facebook, Twitter etc. you may want to include buttons to link to those sites too.
Instructor Details – This is the page where you tell the world all about you. This is no time to be too humble. You need to sell yourself to prospective students so that they have a reason to want to come and train with you. Include your rank and years of experience. Mention any competition successes you have achieved and any specialist training with well-known martial artists or masters/grandmasters. Don’t lie about anything or make things up, if you are caught out you could be humiliated, just make sure anything you have achieved is written about in such a way to make it sound great. As the instructor you are the major selling point of the club so sell yourself.
Include a photograph of yourself. You decide if you want to look friendly or scary. You will know whether you are attracting families and children or if you are catering for cage fighters etc. The image you choose should reflect your clubs demographic. The photo could be of you in action, performing a kicking or hand technique, or it could be from a press cutting from one of your successes or it could be a traditional pose. Decide what will work best.
This is also the place to mention that you are fully insured, hold a first aid certificate and that you are DBS checked (formerly known as CRB).

 


Information on the art – Most martial arts have a rich history going back to their origins. On this page you need to give a brief history of the art including the date it was founded, in which countries it was practised, the founder of the modern form of the art and details of the association that your club is a part of. Describe what is involved in the art, whether it relies heavily on kicking or throws or locks, for example. Mention any weapons used in the art. Include details of any famous practitioners of the art and statistics such as how many people practice the art worldwide. Include pictures, to break up the text. The pictures can be of the founder, students performing moves, historic pictures etc.
Master Details – If you are affiliated to an association then this page would include details of the grandmaster and senior master of your association. Include photographs and details of their rank, experience and successes. This will be similar to your instructor page but at a higher level.
Class Details – This is one of the most important pages on the site as without any class details how will anybody find you?
This page should include the days and times when your class is held as well as the type of class at those times. So, for example, if you have classes for under 10’s on a Monday evening and for adults only on a Tuesday then make this clear on this page. Include details of the venue such as the address, transport links, disability access and whether there is parking available. If possible also include a photograph so that they can easily find it. You can get widgets from Google to add Google Maps to web pages so add a clickable map to your page with your venue highlighted.
News and Events – This page is where you can write about any latest news with the club. It can also be used as a noticeboard for upcoming events and to impart messages to your students. You might use this to give details of forthcoming testings or competitions or maybe to advise on any class time changes or cancellations. Any success that the club has had should be highlighted on this page too. Again, this is an opportunity for you to show off what is good about the club.
Student Information – This page can be used to display information that the student may need to learn as part of attending the class. It could include codes or tenets of the art they are studying, terminology in the origin countries language, rules on etiquette etc.
Galleries – This page includes photographs of students and instructors. These can be general photos of students in class or can be from competitions, testing or other special events. My website also includes a gallery of scanned press cuttings about the club. The galleries page will be a big hit with your students who want to see pictures of themselves performing techniques etc. but it will also be proof to prospective students visiting the site that you have a thriving club. Seeing your students having so much fun in the pictures and reading press cuttings about the clubs success will make then eager to join.
Links – On this page you can add links to other websites. You may link to other clubs in your area or to your official Association website. You may also want to link to the website for your venue. Also add buttons to link to your Facebook page, twitter and Pinterest accounts. You may also link to the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of your association and of other clubs. If you are adding links to clubs then ensure that you ask the webmaster of those clubs to add your website link to their site too as this could improve the SEO of your site.
Contact details – You will have already included some contact details on your home page but it is worth having a dedicated page for all of the contact details. This page could include:

  •  Your contact telephone numbers; both mobile and landline.
  •  Email address
  •  Postal Address
  •  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest buttons

This is by no means an exhaustive list and there may be more content that is relevant to your club or art that you can include. You don’t have to include everything above or present it in the same order. This post was just to give you some ideas of what your site could have on it. Ultimately the site is there to promote your club and to give a sense of community to your existing students so create content with that in mind.

 

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Karate insuranceReasons why you need martial arts insurance

It is a sad fact that in life accidents happen. In a martial arts class where training is putting strain on the body and where potentially dangerous activities such as weapons training, breaking or even locks and throws are happening then the chance for injury increases. There is also the chance that property or parts of the venue could be damaged. The insurance is there in case the injured party or owner of the damaged property wants to pursue you for compensation and although you may not be specifically at fault you could still be liable to pay costly legal fees and damages. Unless you have deep pockets it pays to have an insurance policy in place to cover any of these unforeseen circumstances. It may, in fact, be a requirement of your venue or association that you have a valid policy in place before you are ever allowed to teach your first class.

Types of insurance for Martial Arts instructors

As a martial arts practitioner you may already have personal accident insurance cover but as an instructor there are many different types of insurance that you can take out such as; Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, Loss of Earnings, Personal Accident, Sports Equipment insurance.

Some examples of what each insurance type covers are below;

  • Public Liability – If a pupil injured themselves while training in one of your sessions they may bring a claim for compensation against you and this would be covered under Public Liability insurance. This insurance would also be used to cover you for a claim from the owners of your venue if one of your students damaged the venue or equipment within the venue. Policies offer various levels of indemnity, usually in the millions, your level of cover depends on where you need it for, some venues will insist on an ‘at least’ value.
  • Professional Indemnity – If a student suffered an injury that resulted from your advice or instruction then that specific instruction may be brought into question. Professional Indemnity insurance can guard against this.
  • Loss of Earnings – If you were to suffer an injury during one of your training sessions which means that you could not work (i.e. earn) for a period of time then cover for loss of earnings would ease that time.
  • Personal Accident – If you were to injure yourself in such a way that you would require physiotherapy, for example, then having personal accident insurance could help meet the cost of that treatment. Insurers offer differing levels of cover with policies available to cover physiotherapy, hospitalisation, broken bones, emergency dental, loss of limbs, loss of sight and even death benefits.
  • Sport Equipment – The equipment that you need to aid your teaching could be damaged, lost or stolen. Having sport equipment insurance can mean that you get the money to pay for new replacement equipment or for older equipment you may get back the current market value of the equipment.

There are many insurers out there that specialise in martial arts insurance so shop around to see what policies and cover will suit your club. I use a company called Insure4Sport which I found very easy to set up the policy with. I had an email within minutes of completing the online form with instant cover.

The cost of insurance varies depending on the level of indemnity required, the number of add-ons you select and the amount of excess that you are willing to pay. Excess can be applicable to things like Medical Expenses, Physiotherapy, Loss of Income and Sports Equipment replacement. You should end up paying between £60 to £200 for an annual policy. I have not found any insurers that offer monthly payments so you will need to pay for the insurance in one lump sum once a year. This means that you should keep an eye on renewal dates so that you are not caught out and left without insurance should it expire. Most companies will send reminders close to your renewal date anyway.

Eligibility for martial arts insurance

To be eligible for insurance most insurers will have minimum requirements and expectations of you.

  • Persons applying for insurance should be a UK resident.
  • Persons applying for insurance must be in good health.
  • Persons applying for insurance must be qualified to a minimum standard by a recognised body
  • Persons applying for insurance must hold a valid first aid certificate.
  • Your insurer will expect you to maintain an accident book to log any injuries no matter how minor.
  • Your insurer will expect you to have carried out a risk assessment and have written evidence of this. This should cover use of equipment and especially safe use of weapons.

Remember that you must notify your insurer as soon as possible of any change in circumstance that may affect your insurance.

Hopefully you will never have to make a claim on your insurance but having a good policy in place gives you peace of mind if anything ever did go wrong. Ensure that you have cover in place before your first class and then you can get on with teaching.

 

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net