Teaching and Instructing
The purpose of this
Code of Ethics is to establish and maintain standards for Martial Arts
Coaches within “WBF”
and to inform and protect members of the public using their services.
The Code of Ethics
sets out a series of standards in respect of integrity, responsibility,
competence and confidentiality. “WBF”Coaches must be fully aware of
this code, accept their responsibility to students, colleagues, “WBF”,
their National Supporting Body, and to society in general.
This Code of Ethics
is a framework within which to work. It is a series of guidelines
rather than a set of instructions, and should be used in conjunction
with the “WBF” Coaching Programme and other appropriate guidance (i.e.
from National Supporting Bodies)
Arts coaches should be a minimum of 18yrs of age. For Martial Arts that
use a grading system, Coaches should have a minimum of 1st Dan
/ Degree. For other Arts an equivalent level of skill and experience is
required. Coaching is a deliberately undertaken responsibility, and
Martial Arts Coaches are responsible for the observation of the
principles embodied in this Code of Ethics.
must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every human being and
their ultimate right to self-determination. Specifically, coaches must
treat everyone equitably, within the context of their activity and
ability, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, cultural background,
sexual orientation, religion or political persuasion.
good Martial Arts Coach will be concerned primarily with the well-being,
safety, health and future of the individual student and only secondarily
with the optimisation of performance.
key element in a coaching relationship is the development of
independence. Students must be encouraged to accept responsibility for
their own behaviour and performance in training, in competition, and in
their social life.
Arts Coaches are responsible for setting and keeping the boundaries
between a working relationship and friendship with their students. This
is particularly important when the Coach and student are of opposite sex
and/or when the student is a young person. The Coach must realise that
certain situations or friendly actions could be misinterpreted, not only
by the student, but by outsiders and could lead to allegations of
misconduct or impropriety.
relationship between Martial Arts Coach and student relies heavily on
mutual trust and respect. This means that the student should be made
aware of the Coach’s qualifications and experience and must be given the
opportunity to consent to or decline proposals for training and
3.5 Where physical
contact between coach and student is a necessary part of the coaching
process, coaches must make sure that no action on their part could be
Arts Coaches should clarify in advance with students and/or employers
the number of sessions, fees (if any) and method of payment. They
should also explore with students and/or employers the expectation of
the outcome of coaching.
Arts Coaches have a responsibility to declare to their students and / or
employers any other current coaching commitments which may cause a
conflict of interest. Martial Arts coaches should also find out if any
prospective client is currently receiving guidance from another
teacher/coach. If so, that teacher/coach should be contacted to discuss
Arts Coaches who become aware of a conflict between their obligation to
their students and their obligation to their Chief Instructor,
Association, National Supporting Body or other organisation employing
them must make explicit the nature of the conflict, and the loyalties
and responsibilities involved, to all parties concerned.
Arts Coaches should communicate and co-operate with other Martial Arts
and allied professions in the best interests of their students.
Arts Coaches must communicate and co-operate with registered medical and
ancillary practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment and management of
their student’s medical and psychological problems.
by Martial Arts Coaches in respect of qualifications and/or services
shall be accurate and not make any unreasonable claims. Coaches must be
able to present evidence of qualifications advertised upon request.
Arts Coaches shall not display any affiliation with an organisation in a
manner that falsely implies sponsorship or accreditation by that
Arts Coaches should refrain from public criticism of fellow
coaches. Differences of opinion should be dealt with on a personal
basis and more serious disputes should be referred to WBF or to the
appropriate National Supporting Body.
Arts Coaches must not encourage students to violate the rules of their
sport/art and should actively seek to discourage such
action. Furthermore, coaches should encourage students to obey the
spirit of such rules.
Arts Coaches must not compromise their students by advocating measures
which could be deemed to constitute seeking to gain an unfair
advantage. Above all, coaches must never advocate the use of prescribed
drugs or other banned performance enhancing substances.
Arts Coaches must treat opponents and officials with due respect, both
in victory and defeat and should encourage their students to act in a
7.5 Martial Arts
Coaches must accept responsibility for the conduct of their students in
so far as they will undertake to discourage inappropriate behaviour.
Arts Coaches inevitably gather a great deal of personal information
about students in the course of a working relationship. Instructors
should treat this information as confidential unless otherwise agreed
with the student or their parents / guardians.
does not preclude the disclosure of information, to persons who can be
judged to have a ‘right to know’, relating to students when relevant to
a) Evaluation of the
student within the sport for competitive selection purposes.
concerning students for professional purposes.
c) Pursuit of
disciplinary action involving students within the sport.
d) Pursuit of
disciplinary action by the WBF or other relevant Body involving fellow
coaches in alleged breaches of this Code of Ethics and Conduct. In all
of these cases, the student must be made aware of who the information
will be provided to and why.
e) Legal and medical
requirements for disclosure.
to parents/family where the health and safety of students may be at
g) In connection
with action to protect children from abuse.
Martial Arts Coach is privileged, on occasion, to have contact with
students and to travel and reside with students in the course of
coaching and competitive practice. A coach must not attempt to exert
undue influence over the student in order to obtain personal benefit or
10.0 Personal Standards
Martial Arts Coach must consistently display high personal standards and
project a favourable image of their sport and of coaching – to students,
other coaches, officials, spectators, the media and the general public.
appearance is a matter of individual taste but the Martial Arts Coach
has an obligation to project an image of health, cleanliness, and
Martial Arts Coach should never smoke when coaching.
should not drink alcohol during coaching or so soon before coaching that
the smell will still be on their breath when working with students.
should set an example of professional behaviour in their personal
relationships with other coaches and organisations.
Arts Coaches have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the students
with whom they work as far as possible within the limits of their
reasonable steps should be taken to establish a safe working
work done and the manner in which it is done should be in keeping with
regular and approved practice within the Art.
activity being undertaken should be suitable for the age, experience and
ability of the students.
students should have been systematically prepared for the activity being
undertaken and made aware of their personal responsibilities in terms of
have a responsibility to protect children from abuse.
Arts Coaches shall confine themselves to practice in those fields of
sports in which they have been trained / educated, and which are
recognised by WBF or other relevant Body to be valid. Valid areas of
expertise are those directly concerned with Martial Arts
coaching. Training includes the accumulation of knowledge and skills
through both formal coach education courses and by experience at a level
of competence acceptable for independent coaching practice.
Arts Coaches must be able to recognise and accept when to refer students
to other agencies. It is their responsibility, as far as possible, to
verify the competence and integrity of the person to whom they refer a
Arts Coaches should continuously seek ways of increasing their
professional development and self-awareness.
Arts Coaches should welcome evaluation of their work by colleagues and
be able to account to students, Senior Coaches, employers, National
supporting Bodies and colleagues for their actions.
Arts Coaches have a responsibility to themselves and their students to
maintain their own effectiveness, resilience and abilities, and to know
when their personal resources are so depleted as to make it necessary
for them to seek help and/or to withdraw from coaching, whether
temporarily or permanently.
13. Financial Responsibilities
13.1 Accounts for
Associations, Clubs and instructors who receive payment, proper accounts
should be maintained and prepared by a qualified accountant and
submitted annually to the Inland Revenue.
for training fees and equipment should be reasonable. The quality of
equipment sold should be appropriate to the proposed use and be
reflected in the price.
Fees for the training halls should be promptly paid so as not to put the
continued operation of the Association/Club at risk.
of payments made to and by Associations/Clubs should be up to date and
coaching a session or part of a session should be covered by the
appropriate professional indemnity insurance (a minimum of Ł2m cover per
incident is recommended) and any other cover appropriate to their
situation i.e. club liability, errors and omissions, events cover and
participants must have completed an approved licence / insurance
application form before they begin training. This will help to monitor
their suitability for Martial Arts training and will identify the most
common physical, medical or other reasons why someone should not take
The Martial Arts
under the age of 16 years should not be allowed to fight/spar in a
freestyle or unsupervised manner. Any partnered training should be
coaches should make themselves aware of techniques, practices and
exercises likely to physically or mentally damage children. These
should be avoided at all times.
require more supervision than adults before, during and after sessions.
should avoid at all times any terms, gestures, behaviour or contact with
children that could be interpreted as abuse. It is recommended that
parents are allowed access to the Dojo at all times whilst children are
Association / Club should have a Child Protection Policy, a copy of
which must be available on request. Advice and information, or copies of
a draft policy, can be obtained from the WBF
16.0 Health& Safety
Clubs, Coaches and participants have a legal requirement to protect the
Health & Safety of people that they train (and train with). Most
martial arts have an element of contact. Participants should be made
aware of the risks associated with this before they begin
training. Every effort must be made to make sure that the training
environment, practices and equipment will not cause serious injury to
people taking part and also to other users of the training area.
17.0 Criminal Offences
criminal offences should prevent a person from taking part or coaching
Martial Arts. An example would be that anyone convicted of abuse of
children should not be allowed to be involved in coaching children.
Arts Coaches should
act reasonably in these circumstances, ensuring that confidentiality is
maintained. Martial Arts Coaches should seek appropriate professional
advice where they feel this is necessary. Advice is available from WBF if
18.0 Grading Syllabus
Martial Arts Coaches use
training and grading syllabus, it should be designed to develop the
required competence for each grade in skills and techniques in their
Martial Art. It should match the Standards set by any National
supporting body or other authority recognised by WBF
* Throughout this
document “Students” Is taken to include parent(s) or guardians where