Will you be in a safe learning environment? As a consumer, here are some things to consider.

Warm Up Exercises
Over the years, some martial art practitioners have injured themselves performing warm up exercises. As an example, an injury can occur because the “warm up exercise” was created by an instructor who didn’t understand the short term effect, long term effect, that the exercise would have on the human body. When performing an exercise, excessive repetitions of an event can also lend to becoming injured. Maybe the expression “no pain – no gain” should be changed to “no effort – no gain”. If you experience repeated pain when performing a “warm up exercise” stop doing the exercise. Should you experience persistent pain after the lesson seek medical attention.

Solo Exercises
There have been times when martial art practitioners have injured themselves performing a solo exercise. Injuries occur because practitioners do not “warm up” prior to performing a martial art event. As an example, not being stretched out prior to performing physical events can lend to becoming injured. Others have injured themselves because the physical demand of the event exceeded their athletic ability. Some practitioners may never possess the athletic ability to perform complex physical events such as double flying kick or triple flying kick.

Two Man Exercises
Over the years, injuries have also occur during two man exercises. Some injuries occurred because bully partners were intent on proving something. Remember, not all martial art practitioners are interested in entering into a shared learning experience. When engaging in contact events, it’s always a good idea to wear safety equipment.

Safety 3Sparring Exercises
First, there’s a difference between sparring and fighting. Sparring exercises were created so that practitioners could perform newly acquired skills in a relatively safe environment. Again, it’s a good idea to wear safety equipment when engaging in contact events.


Brian K Leishman
Canadian Martial Arts Association