Safety First and Always
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On this page you will find information about the safety of martial arts and the key actions that make the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy so safe. Below you will also find relevant and topical PDF documents relating to Shaolin Academy Safty procedures and processes.
Health and Safety is important in all aspects of life, both personal and professional. However, due to the nature of what we do, it is especially vital in the martial arts. As a responsible organization the Shaolin Academy ensures the security and safety of our students as effectively as possible, in accordance with the recommendations of the Martial Industry Association, the Governing body responsible.
Most martial arts is the focus on the outcome rather than the student. Instructors, often young and with minimal training. need to prove themselves and be financially successful, focusing on quick and immediate success. They drive their students to visible and spectacular achievements, but, at a cost to the student. There are many consequences including psychological, self-esteem and others but only one can be truly show, physical injuries. Often, martial art instructors are made instructors just because they reached their Black Belt without the need for any additional training with the excuse that this is, this was the way it was done. Yet, we know better than to teach "Monkey see, Monkey do".
Following are some extracts from the Sports Injury Bulletin;
Head injuries are a substantial risk. In one study, for instance, 57% of participants in Tae Kwon Do had experienced some form of head injury. This could range from mild concussion to
intra cranial bleeds. Case reports of internal cardioid artery dissection, stroke, aphasia (loss of speech from brain lesion), hemiplegia and ophthalmic trauma resulting in loss of vision. . .
A survey of four mixed martial arts tournaments over a four-month period revealed 103 episodes of cervical neck injury in 427 respondents. Five cases required hospitalization and resulted in neurological deficit.
Karate Kid finger; this is a recognized phenomenon in the little finger of karate participants. The ulnar dorsal digital nerve of the little finger is vulnerable to contusion when the hand performs karate chops. Fibrosis within the nerve sheaths and between the fibers may result. and requires surgical intervention. This injury can be the result of overuse or poor technique so it should be borne in mind where participants complain of pain and paraesthesia (abnormal skin sensations, nerve tingling etc) along the ulnar border of the little finger and hand.
Monash University brought together the following based on Emergency Department (ED) Admission of Martial Art's persons; Of the type of martial arts involved, karate was the most common in both ED presentations (55%) and hospital admissions (39%), followed by tae kwon do (12% ED presentations and 19% hospitalizations) and judo (6% ED presentations and 8% hospitalizations) . . . .
And the Victorian Government Better Health site suggest that some martial arts are more dangerous than others;
Karate and kick boxing account for about half of all martial arts injuries in Victoria.
The Sports Bulletin has given this a rating in the term of "Injuries per training hours";
These sports are rated at one-injury-per-50-participation-hours (Squash for example is rate one injury per 1,000 hours although ARF would be much higher.)
Over the years various individuals have sought to organism martial art teaching standard. The Victorian Government even started issuing licenses to professional martial art instructors but this scheme ... dissolved. There is though one individual who continued with his efforts and founded the Martial Art Industry Association. This body, recognized by the Australian Government and sought out when issues relating to martial art complications arise, has created policies that martial art clubs can 'choose' to adhere to. Following are the main documents;
The Shaolin Academy feels that the Safety of it's members and instructors is paramount. Injuries and Accidents leave more than just physical damage and the Shaolin Academy feels that it's instructors need to be well versed in Student Handling Situations, Effective and Efficient Teaching, Problem and Interesting Situation Handling in addition to the Safety Focus. Thus Shaolin Academy members who wish to become active Shaolin Academy Instructors need to go through a two fold process in addition to achieving their Red/Black Sash.
The MAIA has an instructor accreditation process that requires all applicants to attend a full day seminar and then complete a training/education project thereafter. In addition, the MAIA requires that all prospective graduates have a Working with Children Ceck and the Level 2 First Aid training.
Shaolin Academy Accreditation
The MAIA covers the important aspects of safety, yet there is more to a good instructor than know 'their stuff' and being safe (although this is already good). Shaolin Academy training takes it from there and covers a host of Human and Situation Management Subject internally (Sijo was a professional learning and Development Manager and Sibok was a Nursing TAFE Owner/Manager and has several Diplomas and Associate Diplomas in Education, Nursing, Management, OH&S, etc.). Together they developed a fairly comprehensive program to develop 'their' instructors. Following are some of the subjects covered as examples;
Martial Art is about Safety, not just the here-and-now but also the future. Shaolin Academy seeks to look at the total member, Physical, Mental and Spiritual; for a Whole of Life view even if the member is with us for a few years only. The guiding principle is;
Is this what we are teaching and training safe to teach and train, use and practice, now and for the life duration of the member; to the best of our knowledge
If the answer is yes, then it is a technique we will teach, if not, than not.
As with most traditional and structured martial arts styles, the Shaolin Academy has a 10 level structure which requires a student to reach a reasonable level of proficiency before progressing to the next level. The main criteria for this proficiencies is Safety, as cited above. If the technique is Safe it is passed at 60%, if not, than the student is asked to go back and redo the training and learning of the technique. Higher marks are given if the item demonstrated show high degrees of Accuracy, Control, Usability and Function.
Shaolin Academy techniques are not always the most effective, but always the safest in the style and type of usage.