Can Boxing In Schools Help Reduce Knife Crime​ In The UK​?

Boxing in school curriculum

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:

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.

Knife crime needs to stop!

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:

BCC graph on teenage homicide in London

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.

Children Boxing Class at Bakersfield Boxing Club

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?

Jamie - Boxing Life

I'm a boxing analyst, amateur boxer, and blogger looking to pass on my boxing experiences and passion to anyone looking to learn or find out more about the sport of boxing. Whether that be gear reviews, fighter analysis, news, training tips, or my own personal journey, I'll be covering it on 'Boxing Life'.

4 thoughts on “Can Boxing In Schools Help Reduce Knife Crime​ In The UK​?

  1. This is really interesting. I just love the sport of boxing. Its litterally all i watch on TV and I even have a 13 year old son that want to be a professional boxer.
    Boxing a great way to stay in shape and make good money but it is also great at letting all that built up anger flow out of you. So i do think boxing can be a great to reduce crime.
    Great article, I am definitely going to share this on Facebook and see what my friends think.

    1. Hi Garrett, thanks for your comment! That’s great to hear about your son wanting to get into boxing. I really do believe boxing can help people needing to let off steam and put them in the right direction before it’s too late.  Thanks for sharing! 

  2. Hi Jamie! You’re an amazing writer! This article was very compelling and it’s interesting how much rage these kids have. I would love any alternative that could help them learn how to properly handle emotions rather than using knives on others.

    I see how intense boxing is. It takes a lot of mental discipline and energy, so I can see how it could contribute to creating more discipline and confidence. Many successful people who came from very bad upbringings credit sports or some trained physical discipline with helping them to learn transferrable skills that positively helped in the business market.

    Do you think boxing could also help them actually process the emotions better because they are physically hitting things or what do you think is the psychological reason for boxing being so relieving of rage?

    1. Hi Tiffany, thanks for your kind words!:)

      Personally growing up I have been brought up playing all sorts of sports, but for me boxing has always given a focus and discipline to those not sure where to go. That’s why I’m not surprised when successful people say they contribute a lot of their traits and confidence from when they played a sport in their younger years.

      In terms of emotions, I think boxing does help as the majority of the time it’s in a controlling manner. For example, you quickly learn by hitting heavy bag with rage really fast and hard is not always the best thing to do as you get extremely tired quickly. So mentally it helps discipline you not to do that as you learn to control your emotion or else you will lose all your energy.

      Thanks again for comment Tiffany.


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