This guidance is based upon best advice provided by, and is compliant with, UK government directives.

The principle aim of this guidance is to safeguard against the potential spread of the COVID 19 virus whilst allowing for a phased return to full karate training. It will be updated as and when new information is received

It must be noted that clubs will also be obliged to follow any further regulations that are required by any facility they might use. This guidance should be followed in conjunction with any such requirements. Private dojo owners will be further bound by regulations that will have been laid down by their local authority inspection.


Each club must ensure the following:

  • A full Risk Assessment must be undertaken which is made available to all members prior to each session.
  • Safe and orderly entry and exit to the dojo observing social distancing protocols. Participants should queue outside at appropriate social distance. They should not    enter the dojo until invited.
  • Mandatory Health check prior to arrival. Members must be pre-screened before attending any sessions. A simple health check questionnaire should be completed    asking if the participant has experienced any illness since the previous session. Should a member report having any symptoms of COVID 19, then they must not be allowed to train and must report immediately to the NHS for a formal test.  Instructors must make a clear note of such an occurrence. For those that hire facilities, this check might be conducted by the facility management (instructor must check)  and might include ‘track and trace’ QR code.
  • The dojo must have clear markings where each person should stand.  Each mark must cover  3x3 metres  square. The member should occupy the middle of that square. This is to ensure that adequate distance is maintained at all times even during practice. It is possible for a member to occupy other parts of their allocated space, but all members in the class must occupy the same space within their allocated area, which maintain social distancing. Instructor must constantly observe that social distancing is maintained throughout training
  • On entry a member must be directed to a designated marked position and wait for the session to begin. This may be particularly challenging for our younger members who must be constantly monitored.  A full explanation will help to maintain this.
  • Members should arrive changed and ready. It is anticipated that changing rooms will not be open. There should be no changing in toilets, or the dojo. It is also recommended that members will bring a clean pair of gym shoes to wear during practice.
  • If members require the use of toilets, then masks must be worn. Private facility owner must ensure that toilet are cleaned as directed by their Local Authority Risk assessment of their premises.
  • Instructors must ensure that members do not congregate more than is necessary to enter the dojo and that social distancing is maintained.
  • Members must wear a mask when entering the building and at all times whilst moving through the building. Masks may only be removed from training purposes.
  • Sessions should be pre-booked.  For larger clubs we advise that bubble/pods are formed which would decrease the potential for contamination between members.
  • Members must travel to the dojo as per the prevailing government advice. Car sharing and group travel is not allowed at this time unless members are from the same household, or social bubble. When leaving the same travel protocols apply.
  • Payments for sessions should be contactless where possible.
  • A record of contact details of all those that attend sessions (including spectators) must be kept to assist the governments track and trace programmes. Clubs are legally obliged to ensure they have this information. Members must be advised of this record, and that they do not have a choice to ‘opt-out’ of this obligatory requirement.
  • The dojo must be ventilated as best as possible with doors and windows open at all time, unless otherwise directed by the facility provider. It is recognised that some modernised facilities will have appropriate ventilation. In facilities where such ventilation is not available, it is imperative that the appropriate risk assessment is undertaken to identify how this can be mitigated.
  • Cleansing gel needs to be used before and after practice. It is the responsibility of both the instructors and the members to ensure that antibacterial gel is readily available.
  • SPECTATORS…. This is not allowed. There is no spectating of any session. If parents are in attendance due to escorting their child to the session, then full social distancing must be maintained.  They must also be seated and movement around the space is forbidden. There must be no indoor communing/congregating and masks must be worn at all times and throughout.


  • Only NON CONTACT training is allowed at this time. Though some family groups could practice with contact, this should not happen in ‘public’ sessions as it will give the wrong impression and must not form any part of the community training programme at this time
  • Drilling in moving lines (like marching) is only allowed if participants are in a single rank, and have clear ‘lanes’ to move up and down. There must be no entry into another person’s marked space at any time.
  • Appropriate shoes should be worn at all times. Bare feet present significant risk of transmission to the dojo surface through perspiration. Members will bring a clean pair of gym shoes to wear during practice. Members are not allowed to train in sock (or similar) as this present number of risk such as slipping, as well as being unhygienic.
  • No Ki-ai. Forcefully driving air from the body (as in shouting) increases the risk of droplets being spread, and would require greater social distance needed between participants as well potentially infecting surfaces around the members. In this context, Instructors need to be mindful of their own calls/commands, and should seek to increase distance between themselves and the assembled class
  • Face covering are not compulsory at this time, but consideration must be given to their use. Note, that some facilities will insist on their use.
  • Sharing of any equipment is prohibited.
  • Instructors must refrain from guiding, or touching any members limb during practice
  • Should injury occur then appropriate action must be taken as per first aid training and guidance. In the first instance, self help must be actioned, but if this is not sufficient, then first aid protocols are invoked. Coaches must be adequately

Post Session

At the end or between sessions:

  • Members must leave the dojo is an orderly and organised fashion. They must leave as they arrived, and change at home
  • All members are advised to immediately shower on returning to home
  • All members MUST clean their training clothes (gi or otherwise) between sessions.
  • Any congregating of people must be away from the dojo and outside, whilst maintaining Social Distancing protocols. The social aspects of a club should not be under-estimated as it contributes to over- all well-being of members, but these activities must be conducted in line with government guidance. Congregating outside the dojo is not permitted.
  • There must be no hugging or embracing between members at any point, but especially after a session when members are likely to have been perspiring.
  • If between sessions, then all surfaces must be cleaned using an appropriate steriliser.
  • If multiple classes are held over the day/evening, the instructor must allow adequate time between classes for clearing and cleaning of the dojo. This is to ensure and minimise the risk of contamination, and maintaining social distancing. It is vital there is no over-crowding at any time around entrances and exits.
  • As is usual in a traditional dojo, no drinking or eating is allowed in the dojo or entrance areas.
  • There must be no shared use of drinking bottles at any time


When given the appropriate permissions by Government and Sport England we will move to Phase two

The guidance in regard pre and post training protocols still remain in place, however, in Phase two, training will include light contact work but only in individual clubs and dojo. Members are not allowed to travel between clubs and must effectively remain in the same ‘dojo’ bubble.

Practice allowed:

  • Pad work
  • Partner work… Ippon and Sanbon kumite
  • Sparring (Jiyu Kumite)
  • Members will be allowed to move through another person space. Thus allowing for line drills and group kata work
  • Throws, take downs, locks, holds, grappling and close quarter combat techniques remain forbidden at this time unless specifically mentioned and clear permissions given.

UPDATE 20th March 2021…..   In Phase two age restrictions will apply as follows:

  • Under 18s may return to Indoor training as per guidance in Phase Twp
  • Adults can return to indoor training but only on a 1-2-1, socially distanced session

Note: The same Instructor may not coach an Under 18 and Adult session at the same time. The coach must maintain Social distance at all times


In phase three, training returns to normal. All COVID restrictions to training practice are removed and club members may enjoy a full range of training activity, including internal club competitions.

Training between clubs remains forbidden until such time as Government give notice to end Social-distancing and lift travel restrictions


All restriction are lifted and organised competitions return.

*Each phase above will be determined by the prevailing government advice and directives. There are no specific dates as to when each phase will return and as the Pandemic situation develops it may mean some aspects from each phase are allowed whilst other parts are not.

It is also entirely possible that different phases may apply to different areas dependent on local rules and laws.

Age may also play a part in that children and adult karate may be different, again dependent on Government guidance

In all aspects EKF will modify the above to meet the requirements of the Authorities. Members will be advised through all social media and normal communication channels on all and any developments pertaining to the return to training.

Members must also prepare for the possibility of going back a Phase should the National Pandemic become worse. Government directives will determine whether this would be necessary.


All Safeguarding, child protections, and vulnerable adults protocols remain in place.

Clubs must ensure they have clear, explicit, written permission from parents/carers allowing their child to return to training. There must be a clear paper trail.

It is recognised that implementing the above measures will place significant pressure on time and space. Class sizes will more than likely reduce in number, and perhaps need to be shorter, which in turn places pressure on finances. However, these measures are mandatory if clubs wish to train in their dojo.

EKF require a named COVID officer for each Association. These should be submitted to the EKF registration officer immediately.  These officers will be responsible to ensure their Association is compliant to the EKF return to training protocols.


Link to GOV.UK guidance