Martial arts risk management news

Vol. 1, 2017

Assessing your martial arts program’s risk management readiness

We encourage you to frequently assess your business for potential safety hazards and risks. Some areas may require daily assessment, while others require weekly, monthly, or yearly assessments. Record your assessments, establish procedures for correcting hazards, and keep a well-documented file of your efforts to maintain a safe program and instruction. Here are a few key checkpoint areas for your assessment.

The word safety highlighted

  • Do you have a formal safety inspection process to routinely examine your school and equipment? Does this process include inspecting bathrooms, external walkways, parking lots, and parent waiting areas for potential hazards?
  • Does your equipment safety check include checking sources like the Consumer Product Safety Commission for potential equipment recalls?
  • Is someone accountable to inspect the facility?
  • Is someone trained in CPR and first aid available during each class?
  • Do you have a plan in place for handling emergency injuries, and is it reviewed with staff at least quarterly?
  • Are critical telephone numbers posted by an easily accessible telephone for easy reference?
  • Are procedures in place to address supervision of athletes by opposite-gender students and teachers?
  • Are policies in place for managing visitors? Are they clearly posted in visible areas?
  • Do you have a policy for cleaning wet floors?
  • Do you have a plan in place for clearing ice and snow from walkways?
  • Do you require the use of protective equipment, including headgear, mouthpieces, foam boots and gloves, groin protectors, breast/chest protectors, and forearm and shin guards for all students during sparring events?
  • Do you review your safety policy annually with staff, students, and parents?
  • Do you review your safety policy annually for effectiveness? If you find additional corrective measures are necessary, do you have a process in place to add them to your current program?
  • Do you have students and parents sign waivers and informed consent agreements annually? Has an attorney recently (within the past two years) reviewed the wording in these contracts?
  • Do you require signing new informed consent agreements and waivers when a student progresses to a new belt?
  • Do you review and reinforce class-specific safety rules with each class before it begins?

Additional program assessment areas that can help support a safe martial arts environment are available on the Markel risk management library website under the title, Safety checking your martial arts school. 


Announcing new Safety 1st award program – Nominate your school today!

Think of Markel’s Safety 1st certificate as a report card from your insurance company, giving you an A+ for safety. If your school/studio is selected to receive the Safety 1st designation for 2017, you will receive:
Markel Safety 1st logo

    • Markel’s Safety 1st certificate
    • A press release you can use to announce your achievement
    • Rights to use the official Safety 1st logo
    • A listing in Markel’s nationally distributed Risk Management News
    • Recognition in the Safety 1st Hall of Fame on Markel’s website

Is my martial arts school eligible? You can nominate your school if you:

  • Have been a Markel customer for at least 3 years, and
  • Have a liability, property, or auto policy with Markel
  • Have a concussion management plan

*Note: Schools with an accident medical policy only are not eligible for this program.

Learn more
  Nominate your school


The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.