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Are you prepared?

“Sensei, I don’t feel very good. I feel really lightheaded and I’m finding it hard to focus”, said Sophie.

She started to sway like a willow tree in a strong wind. Then her eyes rolled back in her head and her legs buckled beneath her. I reached out to stop her from falling, and although I had hold of one arm, I was too late to stop it from happening.

Sophie fell.

I bent down to assist her. Her face was as pale as a ghost. Clearly she had fainted and there was a lack of blood to her head. Right away I turned her on her back and raised her legs while asking her to open her eyes.

Her eyelids flickered, then opened. I let her lay there until she was ready to sit up. At that stage I gave her some PowerAde and asked her to breathe and try to calm down and try to relax, as she started to panic about what had just happened.

A few minutes later her mother and I helped her up and sat her down outside in the fresh air.

If you’ve never had anyone pass out in your class before, it can be a startling experience particularly when kids are involved. (Thankfully that’s all that we had to deal with. She could have easily whacked her head on the floor, or broken something as she fell.)

If you’re teaching class it’s critical that you have some basic first aid training so you know what to do in a situation like the one described above.

First aid courses are relatively inexpensive to attend and as an instructor or assistant instructor you should familiarize yourself with the basics.

If you’re the owner of your school, it’s a worthwhile investment to have you and your assistant instructors trained in the basics of first aid.

If you’re an assistant instructor without first aid training, and are just “helping out your sensei”, ask them about making a group booking for you and the other instructors. It’s a great life long skill for you to possess.

I can also tell you right now that your sensei doesn’t want to be held accountable for accidental mismanagement of an injured student, so it’s in their best interest to have you trained.

Many communities offer basic first aid training (one day course) at discount rates through the local community center.

Put safety first, get certified and add credibility to your martial arts school.

– Jason

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