04 Policy and procedures

The following policies are required to be adopted by member dojo applying for group insurance. Those making their own insurance arrangements may find them similarly useful for their own purposes. They should be displayed in an accessible location in the dojo and brought to the attention of dojo members.


These policies and procedures are a formalisation of existing good practice undertaken in dojos around the country. They ensure an appropriate paper trail for the insurer and formally mitigate and share the risks associated with our activities appropriately between dojo members, instructor and head instructor.


Critical Incident Policy


Primary Responsibility:

The head instructor or dojo management committee has primary responsibility for the implementation of this policy.



Possible critical incidents are listed on the form at the end of this file. All critical incidents involving club members, instructors, parents and visitors, or the dojo and dojo changing or toilet areas, must be acted upon.



[1]       The instructor in charge of a class or activity is responsible for:


a)     Arranging adequate medical, emergency services or government agency attention;

b)    Notifying Head Instructor

c)     Completing “ Critical Incident Report Form” as soon as practical (see attached form).

d)    Head instructor to notify AYA association if an incident is such that may lead to a claim.


Accidents Policy


Primary Responsibility:

The head instructor or dojo management committee has primary responsibility for the implementation of this policy.



All accidents involving injury to club members, trainers and volunteers will be acted upon.

That an adequate and well maintained first aid kit be available for all training activities



[1]       The trainer in charge of a class or activity is responsible to organize assistance, inform the management committee and see that the Accident Report Form is filled out.


[2]       Complete “Accident Report Form” within twenty-four (24) hours of the accident (see attached form);


[3]       When appropriate ensure:

a)     Adequate medical attention;

b)    Notify head instructor

c)     Initiate Critical Incident Procedure if appropriate;

d)    Inform injured club member of insurance options and initiate Insurance claims where appropriate.

e)    Head instructor to notify AYA association if an incident is such that may lead to a claim.



Blood and Infectious Disease Policy


Primary Responsibility:

Instructors, members



Microscopic organisms including infectious conditions, live in, on and around us all the time and can be spread from person to person during and after training activities. Transmission can occur through blood to blood, mucous membranes, bodily fluids, and airborne droplets. While the risk of infection is low it can be further minimised.



  1. Infectious aikidoka should not participate in training activities
  2. It is recommended aikidoka wash hands before and after class and after toilet breaks.
  3. Any person who is bleeding or who has blood on them must immediately leave the mat
  4. Persons who have come into contact with blood may not return to the mat until blood has been cleaned off, bleeding has stopped and the wound is appropriately dressed
  5. Blood affected area of the mat should not be used until cleaned and disinfected with dilute bleach solution (5.25% sodium hypochlorite)
  6. Gloves should be used when treating or come into contact with blood
  7. If you have come into contact with blood and are concerned seek further medical advice.


For further information contact your local medical professional. This policy has been developed using Sports Medicine Australia recommendations (http://www.sma.org.au/pdfdocuments/Blood_pham.pdf accessed 27/12/08). More detailed information is available on their website http://www.sma.org.au.




Instructor Appointment and Accreditation


Primary Responsibility:

The head dojo instructor has primary responsibility for the implementation of this policy.



The association does not accredit instructors. All Instructors are accredited by the Chief Instructor of Australia following recommendation of candidate(s) by a Head Dojo Instructor. Head dojo Instructors should use the following policy to assist in the development of new instructors and to recommend their appointment to the Chief Instructor of Australia.

This policy aims to ensure that instructors are appropriately skilled and able to carry out the duties and responsibility of instruction in aikido and the necessary administrative duties associated by it.

Where a new dojo is being opened permission must be obtained from the Chief Instructor of Australia who will appoint a head dojo instructor



[1]       Appointment


a)   Instructors are appointed where there is need for additional instructors and satisfy the accreditation requirements set out below


b)   Instructors are generally appointed from within the dojo and developed through apprenticeship from minor teaching roles during normal activities, to supervised classes for an extended period.


c)   Candidates should first act as helpers and assistant roles within the dojo for a period of time under close supervision


d)   Instructors are recommended to be appointed /re-appointed annually subject to maintaining the Accreditation requirements.


e)   By written recommendation of a candidate to the Chief Instructor of Australia detailing their aikido experience, time spent as a helper and supervised assistant, their commitment to the Aikido Yuishinkai syllabus and the national seminar program.


 [2]      Accreditation requirements


a)   Hold a current first aid certificate or had equivalent first aid training


b)   Meet their state based requirements for the teaching of young people . Whilst not all instructors will teach children this check is a ‘good faith’ check that instructors are people of good character


c)   Should be aware of the current requirements of affiliation from the Chief Instructor of Australia and the AYA association, such as, but not limited to these policies and procedures.


d)   Instructors should normally be of minimum standard of Shodan Aikido Yuishinkai or equivalent as determined by the head instructor


e)   Aikikids instructors should normally be a minimum of 1st Kyu Aikido Yuishinkai or equivalent as determined by the head instructor


Conduct of Classes


Primary Responsibility:

Primary instructor for an aikido class



The dojo aims to ensure that class delivery is conducted in a safe manner with clear lines of responsibility



[1]       Instruction


a)   Each class will have a nominated instructor responsible for it


b)   In the event of the nominated instructor being unable to attend, it is the instructor’s responsibility to arrange a replacement or for cancellation notices to be placed.


c)   Under no circumstances shall any activity take place without an accredited instructor present.


d)   Primary responsibility is to deliver the Aikido Yuishinkai syllabus as defined by material disseminated through the National and International Chief Instructor(s), founder through resources and seminars.


e)   The nominated instructor retains full authority, even should an external instructor that is senior be present or invited to teach


f)     Warm-ups (normally to rock and stand as a minimum)



[2]       Safety


a)    The instructor shall follow and support the safe conduct of classes policy

b)    Ensure appropriate releases are signed

c)     Deliver or direct the application of first aid as required

d)    Fill out the incident report form as required

e)    The instructor shall be responsible for follow up on any injuries according to the incident policy

f)     Ukemi shall be taught progressively in accordance with the Ukemi Development policy




Safe conduct during aikido activities


Primary Responsibility:

Members and Instructors




These are guidelines for receiving ukemi and a program of development of safe falling skills to be followed by new members. The progression is to be followed and self assessed by members, though some steps may be skipped



[1]       Normal class activities

a)  Surrounding area of the mat should be clear of obstacles or protected in some way. Systemic obstacles and dangers should be brought to the instructor’s attention who will refer to the management committee in a timely manner

b)Practice of techniques should use adopt spacing strategies to avoid over crowding and potential collisions Some suggested strategies are:  

a.     Practice in pairs

b.     Restrict to zones either verbally or with markers

c.     Practice in threes – 3rd person to be lookout and protector

d.     Practice in teams, with a senior in charge

e.     Throws/pins should be in same direction for different groups

f.      Throws/pins should be to the outside of the mat


c) Weapons should not be stored near edge of mat


d)Spectators should be well clear of the mat


e) That members with minor injuries consider wearing visible markers on injured areas (such as strapping tape on affected areas or on dogi)


f) Members not practicing a technique or awaiting their turn 

a.   should remain aware of activity,

b.  be ready and able to move rapidly

c.     should not impede the practice or place themselves in danger.




Return from Illness/ injury


Primary Responsibility:

Member and instructors



To be followed when a member returns to active training after a period of absence due to injury or illness




a)    Where appropriate member should provide written approval for return to training from a medical or para-medical professional


b)    Instructor should arrange a self-assessed modified practice if required for the member e.g. no tumbling, sit down back ukemi etc….


c)     Member shall be responsible for the disclosure of condition to training partners


d)    Member will cease activities that cause discomfort and advise instructor








Primary Responsibility:

Members and Instructors



Guidelines for receiving ukemi and a program of development of safe falling skills to be followed by new members. The progression is to be followed and self assessed by members, though some steps may be skipped.




            Normal class activities

a)   All techniques and receiving of techniques (ukemi) are optional and students may sit out at any time

b)   Partners working together should work at a level and pace that is suitable for the least experienced member

c)   Participation as uke in Tanninzugake should generally be limited to those at or above 5th Kyu or at the discretion of the instructor.

d)   Member will cease activities that cause discomfort and advise instructor

e)   Solo ukemi practice is to be undertaken in a single direction only to avoid possibility of collisions

f)     Ukemi is to be undertaken only when the falling area is visually determined to be safe. This is determined by nage in paired practice, uke in solo practice and by instructor during group ukemi instruction.


            Ukemi skill development

Ukemi shall be taught progressively and safely, supervised by an instructor, in accordance with the confidence, competence, and development requirements of the student, moving over time from simple assisted rolling to unassisted rolling that provides for the safe ukemi of the student at the level of competence required at their level

A suggested progression is

a)   Sit down backwards ukemi (ushiro ukemi waza)

b)   Receiving ikkyo irimi and tenkan

c)   Forward tumbling

a.     breathing stretch exercise

b.     touching toes tumble

c.     tumbling from kneeling position on soft mat (where available) progressing to normal mats

d.     tumbling from standing position

d)   backward tumble

a.     from kneeling

b.     backward tumble from standing


Other Arts and Styles Policy


Primary Responsibility:

Head Instructor, Instructors



Practices from other martial arts and styles of aikido can greatly enhance the practice of aikido in the dojo. As the techniques and ukemi from these other sources may be unfamiliar to aikidoka and their bodies it carries an element of risk. This policy is intended to aid in the safe practice of techniques from other sources.



1.     The head instructor's approval is required before other arts or styles are practiced in the dojo

2.     Techniques should only be practiced where the instructor has clear expertise in these areas of instruction or an appropriate external instructor is engaged.

3.     Unfamiliar movements should be practiced in solo form initially

4.     Solo ukemi training and instruction should be undertaken prior to receiving unfamiliar techniques or ukemi.

5.     Where deemed appropriate students with limited experience should be excluded from the activity

External Instructors

1.     The head instructor remains in charge of the class when an external instructor is teaching

2.     The head instructor should have personal experience of the material to be taught prior to the activity taking place

3.     Guest instructors not covered by the dojo’s insurance policy should sign the RELEASE AND INDEMNITY DOCUMENT FOR VISITING INSTRUCTORS (see appendix)


Visiting Students

Visiting students from other arts or styles of aikido take time to understand fully the practice in the dojo. They should be

1.     Interviewed about their previous experience

2.     Instructed on dojo practices e.g. kata based rather than competitive

3.     Directed to work with senior students in the first instance to gauge suitability for working with general student base


Working with Children and Young People Policy


Primary Responsibility:

Parents, Members, Instructors and Head Instructor



Children and young people are an important part of many dojo, participating in specialist children’s classes and in many adult classes as well. This policy provides guide lines to address unique risks associated with working with children and young people.


Providing a safe Environment


The association advises dojos to develop procedures for vigilance in and around the dojo including change rooms, toilets, car parks and surrounds. Behaviours could include loitering, approaches to children, photography, the media, drop-off and pick-up arrangements.


Instructors will provide increased vigilance in specifically monitoring children in regards to safe breakfalls and the application of any Aikido techniques which place stress on joints.  It is noted that joint locks (e.g. nikkyo, sankyo, kotegaeshi but not limited to these) should only be applied to children under 16 years under highly controlled conditions and close supervision.


Guidelines for Behaviour


All dojo members are to be made aware that they hold a position of trust and that legal sanctions apply to inappropriate behaviour.


Extreme care in the use of language and physical contact shall be exercised so that behaviour cannot be misinterpreted by any reasonable person.


A child or young person should never be alone with another adult person (except their legal guardian) except in the case of emergencies and only if that cannot be avoided.


Dojos should implement procedures relating to sexual misconduct with minors (under 18), inappropriate body contact, inappropriate language, misuse of substances, bullying, leaving the mat during training, over exertion in training, training at appropriate skill level, dispute resolution amongst participants.


Identified Risks

Risks specific to working with children and young people: the association encourages member dojos to implement procedures which respond to the following risk management framework (sample policies are provided in the appendix)


Toilets and Changing clothes

Mixing adults and children on the mat

Verbal or physical abuse such as bullying, name calling, and physical contact that might be considered inappropriate by a reasonable person

Inappropriate parental interference in a normal class

The taking of photographs and video.

Recruitment of persons that are suitable for working with children



Dojos should implement proactive reporting for inappropriate behaviour via the critical incident policy and make all participants aware of the procedure.

Procedures should be made clear to dojo participants by way of notices, newsletters, websites or meetings.

Dojos should implement procedures whereby reports can be appropriately managed.  This should include who receives reports, confidentiality of parties, fair process of investigation, timeliness of resolution, requirement to report illegal matters, forms and written reports.

Head Dojo Instructors should be the initial arbiter of these matters. Where a complaint involves a Head Dojo Instructor, reports should be made to the association Secretary or National Chief Instructor.


This does not remove the requirement to report criminal acts to the Police Service, or the option to report matters to the Police Service where considered appropriate. However, it is preferred that non-criminal matters are resolved internally in the first instance and escalated to the association Secretary and/or the National Chief Instructor if unresolved.


Further development

Finally the association stands ready to assist HDI or their nominee with discussion or models of procedures to assist in the implementation of policy for a safe and enjoyable training environment. The association issues this guidance with a view to greater professionalism in our Aikido activities and to strengthen our insurance profile.

Access and equity


Primary Responsibility:

The head dojo instructor or management committee has primary responsibility for the implementation of this policy.



To ensure access is equitable the following will have to be taken into account in relation to inclusion in the association’s activities to ensure that the association does not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, religion, sexuality, ethnicity, disability or age:

·            Ensure physical accessibility of location and premises.

·            Encourage representatives on the management committee and other decision-making bodies to reflect the diversity of the community (including representation of young persons).

·            Ensure that programs and activities are sensitive to cultural values.

·            Provide information in a manner that is understood and readily comprehensible.

·            Ensure that the management committee, trainers, volunteers and general membership are aware of the anti-discrimination policies.

·            Ensure that information on access and equity is available for club members.

·            Actively assist club members to exercise their rights in terms of access and equity.