Information for Children and Young People

Safeguarding Children in Martial Arts (SCiMA) encourages the participation of children and young people in martial arts to develop discipline, respect for themselves and their communities and to develop learning skills. Martial arts provides a framework for improvement on three levels physically, mentally and socially. While there are numerous benefits the pursuit of excellence is a challenging journey, through which children and young people should be supported.

Reasons to participate

Today's culture that seems to glorify violence in everything from music to video games and television shows, even martial arts-centered action films seem to be filled to the brim with violent behaviour. But this isn't what martial arts is really about. As a child or young person there are a number of reasons to participate in martial arts training.


Build self-discipline: one of the principles of all forms of the martial arts is an absolute focus on self-discipline.


Develop social skills: children and young people involved in martial arts are able to get to know one another through shared pursuits.


Stay fit and healthy: enrolling in such a physically demanding pastime not only discourages an inactive lifestyle but also gives you an enjoyable activity.


Set and achieve goals: most forms of martial arts are based around an accomplishment system using colored belts or sashes that signify the wearer's competence and skills. Striving towards the next level instills valuable lessons about setting and achieving goals.


Increases self-esteem: confidence comes with achievement, so self-esteem levels will rise with every level achieved.


Develop respect and tolerance: learning any martial arts style will require respect for yourself and others, an appreciation of difference and an understanding of diversity.


Encourage non-violent conflict resolution: traditional styles teach peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution skills and emphasise the importance of avoiding a physical altercation.


Improve listening skills: in order to master the skills you learn to listen and understand isntructions and benefit from developing this skill.


Develop teamwork skills: working together to learn new things and accomplish goals is an important life lesson, martial arts can help a child to learn that lesson.


Improve other areas of life: the benefits of martial arts training does not end in the Gym, Dojo or Kuan. Confidence, increased fitness level and new cooperation skills will also help children and young people to navigate the academic and social aspects of school and have an all-around good influence in the home and into adult life.


Reasons not to participate

Martial arts as a sport has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in all forms of martial arts from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account.

If your Instructor or club do not consider the safety of children and young people as a priority and adhere to the child protection guidelines adopted by the relevant NGB (approved by Sport England and the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit) then this would be a reason not to participate in that martial arts club.


If you have any concerns you should contact the Child Protection Hotline.


What does SCiMA do?

SCiMA is focused on implementing child protection policy, developing safer recruitment practice and enhancing coaching standards with a view to professionalising martial arts instruction, in the United Kingdom and partner organisations in the Republic of Ireland.

SCiMA services will include:

• SCiMA registered martial arts coach database
• Child protection and safeguarding training
• Safer recruitment practice
• Anti-bullying awareness
• First aid essentials

Although self-governing, SCiMA will work in partnership with national and international organisations to promoting best practice in martial arts coaching and organisational management. This includes local and national government organisations, in the UK and internationally.

For more information contact us