Injury Prevention

Injury Prevention


During classes the instructor/sensei is obliged to create a safe environment for members of the club. Most of us think that wearing protective gear is all that is required – we put on our head gear, gloves, shin pads and we feel safe. This is true to some extent, but safety is much more. As teachers we have to explain to students the importance of body mechanics and anatomy. Knowledge of how our bodies are designed and how they work is a key element of healthy training. For example, knowing the structure of the elbow and its mechanics will prevent over extending it when punching. Similarly, when kicking it is better to not use the full motion of the knee dynamically as our muscles do not have time to react to prevent over extension, in this case our hips should be used to help extend our range of movement. These few examples of anatomical knowledge illustrate how this is important to promoting the safe practice of techniques by students.


An additional safety measure is ensuring that training is conducted in a controlled environment.  To provide this as instructors we have a responsibility to pay attention to how students behave.  For instance, observing their fighting manners, their egos and their approach to wearing safety equipment. If we notice that one of our fighters behaves dangerously when sparring or is rude it is up to the instructor to intervene and correct the student, as if no intervention is made this may result in injury.



Another danger at the dojo/gym is a person performing an exercise or drill without guidance and preparation. An example of this would be students being introduced to high throws without prior training of break falls.  This is very dangerous and has in some unfortunate cases resulted in the death of the student being thrown.


On YouTube it is easy to find footage of completely unprepared people fighting and being beaten badly. I believe it is an instructor’s responsibility to adequately prepare students to fight. For example I believe that it is irresponsible for an instructor to teach students light contact sparring when the instructor then sends them for full contact fights – these students will be ill prepared for the experience and are likely to get injured and/or shocked. Consequently when joining a dojo/club, I think it is always best to make sure that you check the qualifications of the instructor along with their insurance and consider whether the methods and equipment that they use during their sessions is as safe as reasonably practicable.


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Categories: general

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