The term "self defence" is used in these guidelines to include all forms of physical intervention training.
1.Self defence involves close contact. It
is important to ensure that students pay close attention to their personal
hygiene. Finger and toe nails should be kept short and in good condition.
2.Appropriate clothing must be worn
during training. It is your responsibility to advise your students what
clothing to wear. Martial arts clothing should be discouraged. Socks, tights or
stockings present a slipping hazard and should not be worn without suitable
3.The chewing of gum or the consuming of
any food or drink during training is prohibited. Sips of water are permitted.
4.Remind all students that it is
essential that clothing contains no buckles, buttons or any other sharp or hard
objects which may cause injury either to themselves or to their partner. Remind
them also to empty their pockets.
5.Spectacles must not be worn whilst
practising exercises. However, if a student is unable to see a demonstration
without them, they may be permitted for the duration of the demonstration only.
After the demonstration, they must remove their spectacles and place them in a
safe place, away from the training area. Hard contact lenses must be removed
prior to participating in exercises.
6.Remind all students that it is
forbidden to wear rings, watches or jewellery of any kind whilst practising.
Any rings that cannot be removed must be securely covered with strong, thick
7.Any cuts or abrasions, no matter how
minor, must be adequately covered.
8.You must ask at the beginning of every
training session whether any student has any injury, illness or other problem
which might cause difficulties with the session. Remember, you are not expected
to make a medical diagnosis, and you must, therefore, act on the side of
caution. If you are in any doubt about the fitness of a student, you must not
allow them to participate in the session until they can provide medical
certification of their fitness.
9.Thorough warming-up and cooling-down
exercises must be carried out relevant to the training undertaken.
10.Remind all students to inform you
immediately if they receive any injury, no matter how slight, during the
session and you should act upon it exercising caution as to whether or not to
allow them to continue training.
11.At the end of each training session, you
must enquire whether any student has received any injury, no matter how minor,
during the session. Any reports of injuries must be entered into the accident
12.Remind students that they must follow
instructions carefully and execute moves smoothly and without excessive force.
Remind them that the object of the training session is to control their partner
and not to inflict injury. It is incumbent on you to ensure that your students
follow your instructions exactly and do not use excessive force when
13.De-escalation and communication skills
should be taught and emphasised throughout the training as a preference to any
physical intervention. Even where a physical intervention proves necessary
dialogue with the subject should be maintained with the aim of calming and
diffusing the situation so that the physical intervention can be reduced or
terminated at the earliest possible opportunity.
14.The dangers associated with conditions
such as restraint asphyxia and excited delirium should be thoroughly explained
to students. Given the risk of serious injury and death arising from these
conditions it is recommended that they are included in the safety briefings
given to students and sufficient emphasis placed on explaining the issues in
respect of all techniques and exercises which may give rise to these
conditions. Appropriate guidance should be provided which should include
tactics to prevent these conditions from arising.
15.Restraining a person on their front
(prone position) is especially dangerous although there may be occasions when
this cannot initially be avoided. In such circumstances, the person should be
moved to a different position as rapidly as possible so that they are not being
restrained in the prone position for longer than is absolutely necessary and
never for more than three minutes.
16.Although students will benefit greatly
from practising techniques repeatedly, care must be exercised with all
joint-locking techniques since repeated application (even with minimal force)
can cause injury. It is recommended, therefore, that not more than twenty
applications of a joint-locking technique are applied to a joint during any
eight hour period.
17.Remind all students at the beginning of
every session how to indicate submission and that they must immediately cease
applying the technique when their partner indicates submission or is in
discomfort. It is incumbent on you to supervise the class closely to ensure
that no techniques are continued after submission has been indicated or anyone
is in discomfort.
18.Appropriate safety mats must always be
used whenever any throwing or take-down exercises are being practised or where there is a risk of
students falling to the floor. Ensure that mats are in good condition and are
kept clean. Ensure that they do not drift apart during training.
19.A students-to-instructor ratio of 12 to 1
should not ordinarily be exceeded. In all cases it is incumbent on you to
ensure that you are able satisfactorily to supervise all students in your
class. In many situations it is likely to be more appropriate to have a minimum
of 2 instructors present at all times.
20.Ensure that the mat or floor area is of
sufficient size for the number of students practising. As a general guideline
only, you should allow a minimum of 6.5 square metres per pair of practising adult
students. This is only a minimum guideline and the type of training being
undertaken must be considered. If there is a risk of students knocking into
each other then it would appear that there are too many students for the area.
21.Where relevant, ensure that students know
how to breakfall and/or fall safely before they are permitted to practise
throwing or take-down techniques, and that the appropriate falling skills are
practised at the beginning of every session where they may be needed. In all cases,
students must be cautioned against reaching out with a straight arm in the
event of falling, stumbling or being thrown to the floor.
22.There should be rapid availability of a
first-aid kit and emergency medical treatment.
23.If you are in any doubt about a reported
injury, seek medical assistance immediately.