Health & Safety

This document forms part of the AOAA Rules and Regulations.

It should be considered in conjunction with the policies and guidelines of the National Governing Body (AMA)

Health and Safety Policy

  1. Martial arts, especially with weapons, is, by definition, potentially dangerous.

  2. Instructors will, at all times, ensure that training is safe and that appropriate equipment is used

  3. The AOAA will follow and enforce any government health directives in force at any time.

  4. The welfare of our students is of paramount importance, and Instructors will, at all times, take due care and keep students aware of potential hazards.

  5. Students will be required to fill out a ParQ form before commencing training.

  6. Students’ special medical needs will be taken into consideration by the instructors.

  7. Students may from time to time need to fill out other forms required by the Government or the governing body.

  8. COVID-19: Students will be required on a legally binding form to state their freedom from contamination by COVID 19. This is essential for our insurance to be valid. See below for detailed C-19 instructions.

  9. Anyone knowingly not declaring contamination will be expelled from the AOAA and their licence revoked.

  10. There will be at least one First-Aider available at every session

  11. Lead Instructors will be expected to have a current First-Aid certificate issued by a recognised organisation.

  12. A register will be kept for all lessons. The register will be an integral part of the instructor’s log.

  13. An Accident Log will be kept for use by instructors. Individual instructors may in addition keep their own records.

  14. There will be a First-Aid kit available for use at all sessions.

  15. Instructors will identify and locate the nearest defibrillator station in the unlikely event that it will be needed. An instructor must be prepared to send another person to obtain such equipment with all due haste.

  16. Fire regulations: Instructors will ensure that students and participants are aware of local fire regulations at every session. Fire Marshals will be appointed for large events hosted by the AOAA

  17. Equipment- Post COVID, all students will be required to provide their own equipment suitable for their grade or training level. (In cases of individual financial hardship, the club will help source previously-owned kit to ensure that all students may train on an equal footing.)

  18. All members will be issued with a Code of Conduct document and a Discipline document. The conditions therein form part of this Health and Safety Policy.

  19. Risk Assessments- regular risk assessments will be made, and new RAs made for each new venue or event.

  20. No smoking (or vaping) is allowed anywhere at club venues, including the car parks.

  21. No smoking (or vaping) is allowed within the confines of tournament theatres.

  22. It is not in the interests of the AOAA for members to be seen smoking in public especially when wearing club uniform.

  23. Substance abuse and doping- The AOAA will not tolerate substance abuse, doping, or the taking of illegal drugs. Such activities will result in instant dismissal and revocation of licence.The AOAA abides by the World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standard Prohibited List.

  24. Child Protection- The AOAA adheres to the Child Protection Guidelines issued by the AMA 2008. Please refer to the document on Child Protection Policy.

  25. All instructors shall hold a current DRB certificate. These can be issued through the governing body as an integral part of the application for instructor’s Insurance.

26. Nutrition- Instructors will promote healthy eating and nutrition. Guidelines available through the AMA

27. Sessions- The instructor will prepare a suitable session plan for each class.

28. Warm up/warm down- the session will begin with a suitable warm-up and stretching, and end with a warm-down accompanied by further stretching.

29. Exercise outside the class will be encouraged and promoted.

Environment- interior

  1. The training environment should be suitable for the lesson being taught.

  2. Floors should be padded vinyl or sprung wooden for sword play and instruction. Mats and/or crash mats should be provided for classes which involve throws and falls.

  3. Floors should be kept free from hazards, litter, debris, loose boards, holes and cracks.

  4. Kit should be stored to the sides of the training space in specially designated areas

  5. The floor surface should have sufficient grip to allow twisting, but not be slippery or wet.

  6. Adequate ventilation should be provided

  7. The training space should be comfortably warm and provision made to cool down or warm up the training hall through the lesson as required

  8. Blood spills should be wiped up using a suitable cleanser and disposable wipes to prevent possible cross-contamination

  9. Lighting must be adequate for safe vision, especially considering that vision is impaired when wearing a fencing mask. Artificial lighting should avoid glare and be well positioned. Windows should have curtains or blinds to avoid glare from sunlight. In the event of curtainless windows, the instructor will position his class so that the sunlight will not affect performance.

  10. Ideally, beams and projecting surfaces should be padded to avoid injury.

  11. It is recognised that the foregoing padding is not possible in general purpose environments, so restrictions must be placed on class movement, and a watchful eye kept during sparring

  12. Instructors, coaches, and students should all be made aware of fittings in the training area which may cause a hazard or which may be damaged during training.

  13. Stacked chairs, shelves and similar loose items must be checked for stability, and where possible, isolated from the general training area.

  14. Spectators must be placed in a safe zone at a suitable distance from the training students. This especially important during club competitions. ECBA rules apply to competition areas inside the classroom.

  15. There must be adequate space for the number of students attending a session.

  16. How Instructors cope with a crowded space is dependant on the circumstance but trained instructors should be able to use common sense and experience to determine a safe outcome for the class.

  17. Good discipline is vital in a full class. The Instructor and students will adhere to the Code of Conduct and Discipline documents attached hereto.

Environment- exterior

All the above considerations for interior environments above apply to exterior environments with the following modifications:

Grass surfaces:

  1. The grass should be reasonably maintained and not higher than ankle height

  2. Grass is slippery by nature and participants should wear cleated- or studded- soled footwear to ensure adequate grip

  3. The display/fighting zone will be roped off to keep the general public from contact with the combatants. A secondary rope, where possible, will be in place to ensure a minimum of a sword’s length between combatants and onlookers.

Paved, gritted or tarmac surfaces

No general training, competition or display will be allowed on hard surfaces under club insurance.

Controlled movement on paved roads will be allowed under the supervision of an Instructor if in a carnival parade or similar.


A shelter or shelters will be provided on each open-air site to protect kit and participants from the elements and to deter pilferage.

Risk assessments

Full risk assessments will be made and made available to venue operators and other interested parties.

Amendments and additions

AMA Covid 19 Policy Guidelines and Recommendations – 5-010620

All instructors and practitioners should continue to follow government guidelines at all times, especially social distancing, hand washing and/or using hand gel. (government rules on social distancing)

The Venue

  1. The entrance to the venue, the hall itself and any public areas should be cleaned and disinfected before and after each class. (Government guidance for non-hospital facilities cleaning)

  2. Doors should be left open where possible so that door handles are not touched, also windows to allow the air to circulate.

  3. Changing rooms should not be used for changing and therefore not available for use, unless needed for toilet facilities, following the guidelines on distancing and cleaning areas. Communicate this to all members and ask them to arrive dressed in the appropriate attire, plus coats or tracksuits would keep the training garments clean and ready for use.

  4. Hand sanitiser should be made available for the use of all attendees.

  5. Markers should be in place on the activity floor indicating where to stand for social distancing training. Mats, Cones or tape could be used.

  6. On entry to participate: members do so at their own risk. Also, each member affirms he/she is not training against medical advice.

  7. The attendees list should be sent electronically to reduce the risk of contact/contamination.


Attendees should arrive already dressed in the appropriate training attire, which should be clean and then washed after each session.

Attendees should wait outside the venue either at the 2m social distancing or in their car and wait to be invited into the venue.

The instructor or allocated person should invite individuals to enter separately and if possible take their temperature. Anyone with a high temperature should not be allowed in and asked to return home and seek medical advice.

4. On entering, each attendee/guardian should sign a declaration of health, example attached. This could be emailed out in advance to give the attendees the chance to read it and understand what they are signing. If anyone is unwilling to sign the document they should not be allowed to enter and asked to leave.

5. Attendees should use the provided hand gel at this point.

6. Attendees must provide their own facemasks.

7. Footwear and any outer clothing (i.e. tracksuit or coat) must be left in an appropriate safe place. This could be allocated by the instructor or club helper.

8. Attendees enter the training area must stand at one of the markers, do not stand with 2m of anyone, unless you are from the same household.


  1. Everyone to remain 2m apart during all of the class including the instructor. This will mean smaller class sizes which will relate to hall size and distancing.

  2. Families from the same household or people living in the same accommodation will be allowed to practise closer together and will be the only people allowed to have any physical contact within the sport.

  3. The AMA recommends that no equipment eg sparring mitts be brought into the venue. However, in the case of this club, equipment is required for training.

  4. Students will be sent a list of required kit for each session and should only bring that kit.

Bag and pad work etc.:

  • Pads and bags must be cleaned and/or sanitised before use.

  • All equipment, bags and pads etc., must be cleaned and/or sanitised after use.

If anyone shows signs of Covid 19 or is feeling unwell during the session, they should leave the immediately, seek medical advice and follow government guidelines for isolating.

Suspected infection

If anyone who has been training, subsequently discovers that they have Covid 19 or signs of Covid 19, then everyone training on that same lesson should follow government guidelines and self-isolate, including the instructor. This must be recorded on the Instructors’ attendance list for that lesson, as this may be required by the authorities.

The infected, or suspected infected, person or guardian should contact the instructor immediately, to protect the spreading of the virus.

The instructor should make sure they have contacted details for all attendees and that the attendees have the instructors contact details. These should be written on the declaration form on entering the venue.

If training outdoors, then please follow the government’s guidelines for instructors:

Toilet Facilities

Provide hand sanitiser.

If possible, the toilet facilities should not be used, except in extreme circumstances, i.e. medical, health, personal, or emergencies.

The following instructions should be given at the beginning of each class:

Anyone using the toilets should use the hand sanitiser after use and not use the taps and basin. Unless full cleaning equipment is available following government guidelines.

After each use, the toilet should be sprayed with disinfectant and cleaned with a cloth. If possible, one person should be allocated this job. It could be one parent or club helper.

Leaving the Venue

If the doors have been closed, they should be wedged open to allow everyone to leave without coming into contact with the door handles etc. this again reduces the risk of infection.

Each participant should leave separately at the 2m social distancing.

Time should be allowed for each person to be able to put on their footwear and still keep the social distance.

Attendees/guardians should be instructed to shower and wash their training immediately they return home.

Insurance - Covid-19 Exclusion

As it is a known event, Insurers have imposed the following endorsement on all new business and renewals:

‘Coronavirus Absolute Exclusion

Notwithstanding any other provision (including any communicable disease extension), no cover is provided under this policy for any claim, loss, cost or expense of whatever nature directly or indirectly arising out of, contributed to by or resulting from coronavirus disease (COVID-19), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or any mutation or variation thereof.

This exclusion also applies to any claim, loss, cost or expense of whatever nature directly or indirectly arising out of, contributed to by or resulting from:

(i) any fear or threat (whether actual or perceived) of; or

(ii) any action taken in controlling, preventing, suppressing or in any way relating to any outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or any mutation or variation thereof.’