Current heavyweight and former world champion Tyson Fury in an interview last week with Kugan Cassius for IFL discussed the issues of knife crime in Britain right now. Claiming that more needs to be done with this issue and that by bringing boxing or combat sports into schools and communities might help reduce the ongoing problems. Clip below:
Not long after Fury’s interview with Kugan, another former British heavyweight champion, David Haye, in an interview with ITV brought up the issue claiming that if some sort of combat sport whether that be boxing, karate etc be introduced at a young age, it might discourage kids and young adults from wanting use knifes/weapons as they will be able to defend themselves. Clip below:
Something needs to change ?? pic.twitter.com/p4KYmNDGbP
— David Haye (@mrdavidhaye) August 4, 2018
Now after doing some digging around online, I wanted to see the actual evidence for this and to be honest the stats are quite shocking. Particularly from this article on the BBC, which I’ll share some stats below. Now being from Glasgow, Scotland myself, knife crime at one point was very much big threat throughout the city about ten years ago. Officially labeled as the knifing “Capital of Europe” at one point, not something you would really want your home city to be associated with. When knife crime was at its peak the Scottish Government brought in a violence reduction unit (VRU) which has clearly helped the situation over the years. In 2006/7 there was over 10,000 recorded incidents, which then fell to just over 3,000 in 10 years later – a 69% decrease! You can read more about how Scotland reduced knife crime here.
Now it seems to be the complete opposite happening down south in England and Wales, particularly in areas of London which has seen a 22% increase in knife crime! Teenage homicide is also at it’s highest in London since 2008 and something clearly needs to be done! See below:
Now where can boxing or combat sports come in to help this issue? Well personally, I truly believe they can help due to controlled rules in place and the fact no weapons are being used – just your own two hands. However, there is still a stigma over boxing when people think about children or young adults taking part in sport. Basically that it is training children to fight or be even more aggressive than they need to be. In fact, I see it as introducing the following traits in young people – discipline, respect, fitness and most importantly self-confidence. These are traits we want to inspire the next generation to have and by introducing the boxing skill sets and routines you can give this to more young people. I’m not talking about throwing two kids in together to spar, but introducing things like pad work, skipping, shadow boxing or heavy bag drills in groups of young children/adults. By introducing these boxing skills at young age, it will help them have self-defence skills and possibly help young people not feel the need to carry knifes as they can protect themselves with their own two hands.
Now, I’m not just saying boxing or combat sports can help this next generation to stop picking up knives, it’s a wider society problem clearly. But more needs to be done by government and police to resolve this, maybe a VRU is constantly needed across the UK to stop this from rising and clearly a crack down in young gang activity has to be looked at too. Other sporting activities can also help this situation, as they help just as much at bringing the traits to young adults which I mentioned above.
This article has clearly been more of a United Kingdom focused issue, but It would be good to hear about different perspectives from other countries. Make sure to comment below if you think boxing in the school curriculum might help reduce knife crime or is this too big issue for combat sports to help solve?