NAKMAS National Governing Body

Urgent Coronavirus advice to all NAKMAS accredited affiliates
Coronavirus - Updated 19 March 2020
A message from the NAKMAS National Management Committee

Dear Members

As the Coronavirus continues to impact communities around the world, our thoughts are with all individuals personally affected and the dedicated medical professionals working to protect us. During this time of great uncertainty, we want to send a message of support to our members.

The health and wellbeing of our community is our primary concern and in these challenging times, we must stand together. We are impressed to see the resilience with which our members are facing this unprecedented situation.

At NAKMAS we are working hard to limit the impact of the virus for our members. We take our role in supporting you, your club and/or your business very seriously and recognise the trust you have placed in us as a membership organisation. We want to reassure you that we are continuously evaluating and exploring how we can best support you during this challenging time.

While NAKMAS can only offer limited legal advice, we strongly recommend all instructors/clubs/groups follow the guidance laid out by the Government and the World Health Organisation that all social gatherings should be postponed until a safer time. In line with this NAKMAS recommends that classes, gradings and courses are temporarily cancelled after the weekend in line with school closures.

NAKMAS is in discussions with the insurers concerning the NAKMAS insurance scheme about extending the insurance period over the time of inactivity given that there is little or no exposure during that time.

NAKMAS has also issued a press release asking the government to consider financial assistance for self-employed, freelance and sole traders who don't necessarily have business premises but work alone in the leisure industry supporting, educating and providing sporting opportunities for the public.

Our Head Office is open as usual to receive and process new/renewal memberships, DBS applications and clearances, registration of grades etc. It is an ideal time to ensure Disclosures received are logged at Head Office or perhaps complete an equality module while you have time. Our aim is to maintain our service as far as possible through this unprecedented period.

We recommend you try to keep in touch with your members if you can, a few ideas:

sending out a bulletin with some ideas for solo training, quizzes, information about aspects of training etc
recording class videos which could be distributed
• Issuing homework for junior members which could be emailed back for comments
• Deliver historical and technical knowledge through virtual media

Adult members who have DBS checks – charities like Age UK and local foodbanks are crying out for volunteers currently. Show the community that martial artists care… it may bring some new students when you reopen as well! Send us your stories to publish on social media.

NAKMAS will be regularly publishing any updates to this advice. We are basing all our actions and advice on facts, following information provided from trusted governmental sources, the World Health Organisation and others.

Although I'm the National Chair, I'm not a paid employee of NAKMAS but a volunteer. I myself head the Kent Karate Schools and have been in martial arts for 43 years, a significant amount of time as a full-time professional instructor. I have also Chaired three national martial arts governing bodies during my professional career.

As a fellow chief instructor, and co-founder of NAKMAS, I feel a huge sense of empathy and moral duty to provide professional and personal support to every chief instructor or head of organisation within NAKMAS. My heart goes out to you all; please be aware that you can contact me at any time through the Head Office.

If you need anything from us, do not hesitate to get in touch. We will do our best.

Wishing you all good health,

Joe Ellis, National Chair
For and on behalf of the
NAKMAS National Management Committee

Click here to view the NAKMAS press release dated the 19 March 2020

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Coronavirus - Updated 17 March 2020
NAKMAS is mindful of the growing concern among chief instructors within NAKMAS with regards to the Coronavirus.

We, as martial artists, know the importance and benefits of regular training within martial arts, e.g. physically and mentally, and NAKMAS is encouraging and supporting NAKMAS accredited affiliates in continuing to run their classes during this difficult period if possible. NAKMAS is not, at this stage, advocating the closure or suspending martial arts classes during this epidemic. However, NAKMAS will continue to monitor the situation and we will advise our affiliates accordingly. In this respect, members and affiliates are encouraged to visit this page frequently for regular updates and of course take note of any Government guidelines as a priority. Insurance cover and legal protection remains the same during this period.

The difficulty for martial arts and sporting classes arises if leisure/community centres or facility providers decide to close their centres or halls during this crisis. In this respect, this is very little you can do other than to seek another hall as a temporary measure if you still want to continue.

NAKMAS advises that grappling and throwing should stop and concentrate on other aspects of the syllabus. This could provide an excellent opportunity to deliver theory, e.g. history and technical discussions.

Of course, use your common sense: no shaking hands, high fives, hands on partner work. Students and instructors to wash/sanitize their hands before and after class, after money handling etc.

NAKMAS has been made aware that one chief instructor has been infected with the coronavirus. He is now isolated and one of his instructors is continuing to run all his classes in his absence. This is commendable and our support for him and his family is sincerely offered.

NAKMAS is also aware that several affiliates that have suspended their classes and are creating Facebook Groups in order to continue teaching and offering online tuition. Whilst this can assist, NAKMAS is strongly advising that such Facebook Groups is set as a 'private groups' and only allow club members access it to. Public Groups are far too risky and members privacy and security should be at the forefront of all minds of all chief instructors.

This link provides government updates:

Sky News seem to offer a well-balanced discussion and updates with regards to the current crisis. You can view Sky News online for free, via the following link:

Top right of the page is a red tab marked; 'Watch Live'. This provides an excellent platform for viewing.

Sadly, social media are delivering a huge amount of 'fake news' and NAKMAS strongly suggesting viewing government and NHS websites rather than social media. Indeed, the public have witnessed some respected television broadcasters panicking the public unnecessary.

Please be aware that the Prime Minister is advised every day by the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Officer. Both have large competent teams around them; they are not simply devising policy over coffee in 'Starbucks'. They are well respected individuals that want to help the public and save lives. Let's allow them to do their job.

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Coronavirus - Updated 05 March 2020
Recently the Government published an action plan to contain the possible spread of the coronavirus.

Your preparations

Many of you are proceeding rapidly with your contingency planning. Some are just beginning that process in earnest.

Either way, the following 'A B C' may help shape your approach. There should be no presumption that one stage will automatically lead to the next, but it is best practice to think about the different scenarios that may emerge.

A: As you are. Our current state.

  • There is no need to cancel or postpone your events or classes at this time;
  • Reassure your athletes, stakeholders, and members, building on the latest Public Health England advice;
  • Remain mindful of guidance on infection control in the workplace - catch it, kill it, bin it;
  • Take sensible steps to discourage club/group staff with flu-like symptoms from coming to work or to a class;
  • Notify the DCMS sport team if you are contemplating postponing or cancelling events -
B: Behind closed doors If the Government finds it necessary to curb travel or large gatherings of people, this is particularly a possible scenario for spectator sports.

  • Consider broadcast options and contractual arrangements, if relevant;
  • Be mindful of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice which may make it more difficult to bring athletes and their teams into the country;
  • Examine your supply chain arrangements, particularly for equipment, and explore contingency plans;
  • Determine the minimum number of staff required to safely stage an event and how you would ensure their wellbeing and manage logistics;
  • Make an assessment of the economic impact of lost revenue and share this analysis with the DCMS Sport team -
C: Cancellation, curtailment, or postponement if the Government finds it necessary to impose restrictions which make staging an event or providing a service impossible.

  • Consider how you would resolve your remaining fixtures and conclude your competition, workforce health permitting;
  • Consider how you would deal with cancelled classes, membership, season tickets etc. Make an assessment of the economic impact of lost revenue and share this analysis with the DCMS Sport team.
  • Please also take every step to help keep our nation active. Being fit and healthy can reduce the risk of infection in the first place. Think creatively about how we can maintain activity levels in such a scenario.
Latest government guidance

The following tailored advice for our sector has been developed. This advises:

  • There is presently no rationale to close or cancel sporting events or classes, but this may change as the situation evolves, so please keep a close eye on
  • Anyone with flu-symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering;
  • For those hosting sporting events, whatever the size, attendees and participants should stay up to date on the government's latest advice on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus, which is here;
  • As the situation progresses advice may follow for the frail, elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions (to be defined) to stay away from gatherings as part of general advice aimed at minimising unnecessary contact with others;
  • For those travelling to sporting events overseas, the Foreign Office's travel advice should be followed here and travellers should note that apart from the countries and territories named in that advice, the government is not presently advising against travel to anywhere else;
  • For those who offer community and leisure services, such as running a local martial arts group or running a gym; hand hygiene should be strongly promoted and encouraged and equipment and facilities should be thoroughly cleaned and wiped down as usual following use. The government is planning to publish specific advice on this shortly;
  • There is presently no reason people should stop doing their daily sport and physical activities as they normally would;
The NAKMAS National Governing Body would like to reiterate the importance of following advice from Public Health England and when you have queries relating to the impact of coronavirus. Hopefully the guidance above will have answered many of your questions.

As we all know, martial arts, sport and activity play a vital role in maintaining health and wellbeing, and NAKMAS will provide further updates when appropriate.

The NAKMAS insurance schemes are fully operative, providing you follow the advice outlined above.

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Contact NAKMAS:
NAKMAS PO Box 262, Herne Bay, Kent, England, CT6 9AW

Telephone: 01227 370055 Fax: 01227 370056

Office Hours: Monday to Friday: 10am until 3pm

While there is a member of staff or Management available as far as possible, during office hours, there are times when we use an intimate call centre. This is mostly first thing, last thing, at lunchtimes or in times of sickness or leave. If you leave them your name, club code, contact number and a brief message, we will endeavour to return your call as soon as we are available. Alternatively you can drop us an email to which we can respond instead.