A number of years ago, one of our Senior Black Belt Instructors was overheard saying “this ain’t tiddlywinks ya know” … hardly a truer word has been spoken!
But, all kidding aside, we all know that we want to be safe in our pursuit of Karate. We want to ensure that everyone from Instructor to student can appreciate Karate for a long time – if we are injured, we can’t train.
Every Black Belt Instructor of the AKF is very aware of the potential for sports injury … especially concussions. Many of us are parents ourselves and work as doctors, nurses, teachers and other professionals who take safety very seriously. The result is that Instructors plan all activities with safety in mind and even though Karate is a contact sport, the incidence of injury in the AKF, including concussions, is virtually zero. The reasons for this are many including:
- The ever present attitude of safety first
- Required First Aid/CPR and Police Checks
- Direct, proven, real-life instruction from Black Belt Instructors
- Black Belt Instructors ensure all training, including Kumite (sparring), is practiced in a safe, controlled manner
- World-class training in proper techniques including
- Partner work
- Controlling the fight
- How to prevent bad situations
- How to fall
- How to get up
- Training in proper etiquette
- Promoting the use of proper protective equipment suitable for the training
- Training to harness and manage the competitive spirit
Another cause of injury can be from improper warm-up and insufficient strength in the muscles and joints. To help combat this, Black Belt Instructors:
- Conduct regular warm-up activities including running and stretching to limber up the muscles and joints before Karate training begins
- Include strength training and range of motion activities to help build strength and flexibility
- Regularly train both sides of the body through line-work and Kata to develop a higher level of coordination and movement
All of these elements, plus more, have helped ensure our clubs are safe environments for Instructors and students alike – all while training hard. This provides for a great learning experience and allows everyone to help themselves, and others, to be safe.