Martial Arts Subcommittee
Providing for the safety of children taking martial arts classes is the purpose of new ASTM Subcommittee F08.29 on Martial Arts, part of ASTM International Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities. According to Derek Croley, a master instructor, and James Green, P.E., also a martial arts instructor, and longtime member of Committee F08, standards for both the safety of equipment and the credentials of personnel will be developed by F08.29.
“The concern of reputable school owners in the martial arts industry has always been that no standards exist to protect the general public,” says Croley. “This will have far reaching implications for the martial arts industry in that a level of safety will be defined and practiced by those schools choosing to follow the ASTM standards. Without any standards, individual states cannot regulate these schools.” Green notes that standards developed by F08.29 will be “an enormous positive first step in terms of safety and instruction. Currently a child daycare facility has more safety standards than the martial arts industry. The martial arts industry instructs thousands of children per year without having any operating safety standards in place.”
The final objective of the standards will be operating criteria for individual schools regardless of the martial art being practiced. These criteria will include standards for the level of expertise for the personnel, including mandatory criminal background checks, training at a level defined by the individual art and adherence to safety standards for all equipment in the training hall. With a school that conforms to ASTM standards, the public will know that the best safety standards available in equipment and personnel are present in that school.
Both Croley and Green say that owners and operators of martial arts schools, as well as other interested parties, are welcome to join in the standards developing activities of F08.29.
Committee Membership: Derek Croley, Croley’s Martial Arts Center
Technical Information: James Green, The White Oak Institute Inc., Asheville, N.C.
ASTM Staff: Christine Sierk