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Waivers

Author Topic: Waivers  (Read 18971 times)

Offline Mell

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Waivers
« on: January 23, 2004, 10:35:13 PM »
I would be interested in see the waivers that each of the schools use for new students to sign when they join a class.  Of the schools out there, who has had their waiver looked at by an attorney?  How many of you do not use an injury/death etc. waiver?
Sibak Mellody Porter
ANDERSON MARTIAL ARTS - Grafton, Ohio
www.ohiokajukenbo.com
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Karazenpo

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2004, 09:59:52 AM »
Hi Sibak, Mell. We used to use waivers for various reasons at the police dept. way back when but have since been told they are useless against liability claims against the municipality. As far as my two studios go, I do have a waiver written up. I don't have it in front of me right now but I'll get back to you on it. Problem, I think with waivers are there are so many ways to circumvent them.  Maybe you can confirm this, a lawyer once told me that when you join a martial arts school a reasonable person must assume there is automatically an 'impled' risk of some type of physical injury, so more or less, let the buyer beware! However, if the injury was deemed to be avoidable and due to gross negligence, than this would legally over ride or 'veto' any waiver. How am I doing so far for a cop?,lol ;D

                                                         

Offline Chief Instructor

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2004, 07:35:33 PM »
Professor Joe Shuras is absolutely correct in saying that no matter how good the waiver is, it cannot cover everything.

In my opinion on legal and public policy, it shouldn't! There are certain rights and protections a person should not be able to waive. Two of these that I will discuss below are gross negligence and intentional acts of harm.

According to Black's Law Dictionary, gross negligence is "the intentional failure to perform a manifest duty in reckless disregard of the consequences as affecting the life or property of another." An example of this could be when a dojo owner has a dangerous condition like a faulty furnace and knows about the condition but does nothing to fix it. One day this faulty furnace spews out so much carbon monoxide that it ends up killing a couple of students and making others very sick.

Intentional acts of harm are self explanatory. This can be an instructor who is angry with a student and decides to teach him a lesson by hurting him. The instructor ends up breaking the student's arm.

When someone suffers a lost, somebody has to pay. In the two instances above, legal and public policy has decided that it shouldn't be the student's fault even if a waiver was signed.
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

Offline Chief Instructor

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2004, 07:58:48 PM »
Just a side story...

Years ago, a great martial artist (Professor John Hackleman) was telling me how great the waiver that his lawyer wrote was. Well, now that I'm finished law school a couple of years ago and negotiated/composed hundreds of contracts and even have four other folks with law degrees training with me, I can boldly say I have one of the best waivers ever written.
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

Offline Mell

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2004, 08:37:13 PM »
To Andrew:  Is this something you feel you can share (copy of the waiver)?

And since you are a lawyer -  Can instructors be held responsible if one student causes an injury to another within the confines of the school?
Sibak Mellody Porter
ANDERSON MARTIAL ARTS - Grafton, Ohio
www.ohiokajukenbo.com
www.watchthelamb.com

Offline Chief Instructor

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2004, 02:00:26 PM »
Please keep in mind that I am not a practicing attorney plus I am not licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. I merely specialize in research and lots of contracts regarding intellectual property. That being said, I will share parts of the waiver that I worked long and hard over so that we can discuss those sections. This will make for a better learning experience and we can all share ideas.

(Now for those that I respect, I am willing to show my finished copy. This includes you Mell! I appreciate your work in the ministry. Anyone who can combine religion and performance arts gets my respect. Keep up the good work and God bless you!)

Andrew
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

Offline Chief Instructor

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2004, 02:17:24 PM »
Can instructors be held responsible if one student causes an injury to another within the confines of the school?

Yes and no! With every legal question there is a depends.

Was the one student a child of the instructor? Did the instructor tell the one student to hurt another student? Was the student on drugs and the instructor knew about it? Does the student have a mental condition that the instructor knows about? Did the instructor sell them defective equipment? Did the instructor improperly show they how to use the equipment? Did the instructor tell the students not to use equipment when he should have? Did the instructor fail to provide adequate supervision?

If the answer is yes, then it's possible that the instructor will be held responsible. Also keep in mind that these are just a few of the possibilities. -Andrew
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

Offline Rob Poelking

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2004, 03:03:09 PM »
Odd, I know I made a post in this section but it disappeared.

Well, Andrew, you kinda answered this already but I'll ask again.

I was thinking that your waiver could be turned into a boilerplate doc and I could keep it on our website for others to used. I could use a "fill in the blanks form" and when completed they could print out the finished waiver.

Rob Poelking, Black Belt, Original Method
Black belt under Sigung Ray Anderson
http://www.ohiokajukenbo.com

Offline Chief Instructor

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2004, 08:48:50 AM »
Initially I was planning to write a book for martial artists with lots of legal tips and my famous waiver and make a zillion dollars off of it but then I realized I was acting like the jerks who control the RIAA and shut down Napster. Hey, that would be another good topic. More on that later!

But seriously, I am inspired by the hard work and selflessness of wonderful folks that I met on the Kaju Café. This includes Sihing Rob Poelking, Professors Joe Shuras and Gerry Scott, Sigung Brian Baxter and John Bishop, and MANY others. Not only did these folks help me, but they also helped others. It only makes it right if little ol’ me provides a gift in kind.

Thus I’m going to email Rob the information and we’ll see what we can work out about making a fill-in-the-blanks web-based printable document for others.

Mahalo, Andrew
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

John Evans

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2004, 10:44:58 AM »
My waiver is very to-the-point and in plain english.  It basically says that praticing any martial arts is very dangerous and could result in serious injury or death.  I make it very clear that all choices are the responsibilty of the student and at any time they are allowed to refuse any instruction given to them by any teacher or fellow student.  I also add that they are participating in this class by their own free will and totally take responsibilty for their own safety and well-being.

Of course this doesn't excuse me if I just plain out hurt someone on purpose.  But it doesn't really leave any grey area about how dangerous the martial arts are.

In over 15 years of teaching I've never been sued or even charged with anything.  But a teacher should make it very clear to each student (and the parents if the student is a child) that this can be dangerous.  

But I do remember reading somewhere that there are more golf related injuries each year than martial arts.


Offline Nagi

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2004, 11:11:43 AM »

Thus I’m going to email Rob the information and we’ll see what we can work out about making a fill-in-the-blanks web-based printable document for others.

Mahalo, Andrew


Hi Andrew,
If that doesn't work out with Rob I would very much like
a copy for my school if you wouldn't mind? I would like to update my waiver.

Ron
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www.tmi-selfdefense.com

Offline Chief Instructor

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2004, 03:54:50 PM »
I agree with John about the need to mention how the martial arts can be dangerous and result in serious injury or death. I use BOLD print instead of small print.

However, I have seen too many waivers focus of this part of it. My advice is not to miss out on an opportunity to entice people. The beginning of my waiver is designed to perk one's interest. Someone should read it and say wow! And then they are ready to learn about the risk involved. See my next post. -Andrew
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

Offline Chief Instructor

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2004, 03:55:59 PM »
Part 1 of Andrew's waiver:

WAIVER OF LIABILITY FOR MARTIAL ARTS CLASSES (Revised August 2003)

The Martial Arts classes at Maximus Fitness and Wellness and Crestview Community Center provided by Hokkien Martial Arts are designed to provide skills in self defense and enhance self-confidence while having fun. The Chinese Kempo Karate and Modern Arnis classes will cover a broad range of martial arts and self defense techniques taken from Kajukenbo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo/Jujitsu, Boxing, Arnis/Escrima, and other fighting systems. The typical class includes children, teenagers, and adults, all advancing in skills at their own rate and level. Classes will involve training in hand and foot strikes, brick breaking, sparring, self defense techniques and forms so that students may advance in belt ranking. In addition, classes train students for real-life confrontation and assault situations so they may defend themselves and their family. Typically, students work with each other or an instructor in such activities as take-downs, joint-locks, Judo/Jujitsu throws, restraints, choke holds, escape techniques from choke holds and ground restraints, various forms of strikes, sparring and both fighting with and defending against various weapons.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2004, 04:46:35 PM by Andrew Evans »
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

Offline Chief Instructor

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2004, 04:45:44 PM »
Please notice that I teach at different locations and listed them in my waiver. Even though I have blanket insurance policies at both places, this covers my okole. Plus the owners/managers like my thoughfulness.

Now the next part gets more technical. Since my main form of income is not from the martial arts, I introduce the part about "profession." I believe that takes away a ton of liability. You will also see some repetitiveness but that helps covers many possibilities like guest instructors, etc.
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com

Offline Chief Instructor

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Re:Waivers
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2004, 04:46:13 PM »
Part 2 of Andrew's Waiver:

Since the instructors at Maximus Fitness and Wellness and Crestview Community Center and from Hokkien Martial Arts are not in the business or profession of training martial artists, it is not practical for them to purchase liability insurance to protect against any claims against them if anyone in the class is injured. Therefore, all instructors can only teach the class on the condition that everyone in the class agrees that each class participant assumes the risk of any injuries, and will not make any claims against the instructors if they are hurt.
Sigung Andrew Evans, KSDI #888
Hokkien Martial Arts, Topeka, KS
http://www.TopekaKarate.com