Information for Parents and Carers

Safeguarding Children in Martail Arts (SCiMA) recognises that safeguarding children (and keeping children safe and healthy) is everybody's responsibility - a shared responsibility. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults requires effective communication with martial arts coaches and service providers. You need to know that the environment in which your child practices martial arts is safe and the coach is appropriately trained and qualified.

Concerned about a child

There are many signs that may alert us to having concerns about a child. These concerns are based on many different things and because we often can't put our finger directly on why we are concerned we may not seek advise or help for that child. However, it is really important to recognise if we are concerned about a child and share that concern with someone. Act now, don't delay!

Some reasons why we may not report our concerns include:

  • A feeling it may be none of our business? – Safeguarding and protecting children, especially the most vulnerable children is everyone's business.
  • A feeling that reporting will make the matter worse? – In reality, it is best that action is taken early to stop things getting worse. Long-term abuse is much more likely to cause problems for a child as they get older. Even if you think an incident is just a one off, other professional agencies may already have concerns about the child. So your information could be very important.

Recognising signs of abuse

Child abuse can take four forms, all of which can cause long term damage to a child: physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and child sexual abuse. Bullying and domestic violence are also forms of child abuse.

A child may be experiencing abuse if he or she is:

  • Left in unsafe situations or without medical attention
  • Constantly put down, insulted, sworn at or humiliated
  • Seems afraid of coaches or instructors
  • Severely bruised or injured with no explanation
  • Displays sexual behaviour which doesn't seem appropriate for their age

Remember, this list does not cover every child abuse possibility. You may have seen other things in the child's behaviour or circumstances that worry you.

Abuse is always wrong and it is never the young person's fault.

SCiMA Registration Card

The SCiMA Card is envisioned, over time, to become the document that local authorities, schools and private gyms look for as the 'quality' mark for safeguarding children and young people in martial arts for all martial arts coaches.

SCiMA Card Information

More information

Child Protection in Sport Unit focus on child participation in sport.

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) focus on safeguarding children.

Parentline information and a listening ear to anyone in a parenting role.


NSPCC's Childline 24-hour free helpline for children 0800 1111

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