New martial arts safety rules bans kicks to head for under-17s

Kicks to the head in martial arts will soon be forbidden for young people up to 17 years of age. This, along with the establishment of a new regulatory body, forms part of Minister Edith Schippers' (Public Health, Welfare and Sports) plan to make the martial arts industry safer, more orderly and better organized.

The martial arts authority will take the lead in regulating the martial arts industry. Martial arts academies will also be certified. Other safety measures include clear guidelines for martial arts events, the need to get a permit for martial arts gala and a licencing system for trainers, coaches and referees. More attention will be paid to the safety of the athletes with measures including a medical examination before participating and a contest booklet stating the medical and sporting history of the athlete.

The plan was developed in cooperation with NOC*NSF and the martial arts industry under the leadership of Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan. Schippers presented the plan to the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) today. She has made 500 thousand euros available over the next 4 years for the plan to be implemented