Following GB’s successes at the 2012 London Olympics, Boris Johnson, David Cameron and others have reappraised the physical and moral benefits of Boxing, identifying its’ potential in tackling some of the problems thought to be blighting young people.
So, why look to boxing specifically to solve broader social and health problems, when it entails such obvious risks?
The sport is now being touted for its beneficial impact on the physical and mental health of young people. In the context of recent concern amongst policy-makers and commentators about an obesity ‘epidemic’, ‘anti-social’ behaviour and a purported increase in childhood depression [Ref: BBC], perhaps boxing can play a positive role.
Advocates of the sport argue that young people could do with a good dose of the discipline, self-reliance and hard work that boxing instils, and that the sport should be more widely encouraged. But others vehemently disagree.
Some Doctors say ‘Boxing is an obscenity that should not be sanctioned by a civilised society’. Others remain unconvinced of whether boxing, or any competitive sport, should be used to serve these kinds of agendas at all.
But some critics go further still and argue that endorsing a sport in which the primary aim is to render your opponent incapable, is culturally beyond the pale. However, manysupporters have compared boxing to a game of chess because the unthinking, wild, tactless player usually loses the match.
Also a number of recent studies report that boxing is a good mechanism for dissipating aggression and stress; besides that, controlled participation is said to reduce young people’s tendency to part-take in violence and walk with weapon; this is because they become more self-confident in themselves.
"Kids are not tough before they come here, they are afraid; and it's that fear that makes them carry weapons. We teach them to have confidence, and they think without fear." [Mr Isole Akay MBE].
The current tends indicate that an increasing number of adults are also participating, and enjoying contact combat classes; and for those who would rather throw punches and kicks and not get hit back, there are alternatives like Boxercise, Boxfit and now more recently, AboveBoxing.
What are your thoughts? - Are you For, Against or Undecided?
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