Monthly Funding Needed: $1,700.00
Most young people today have their first experiences with violence virtually… either through video games, videos or television programs. Through this virtual experience, a lot of misconceptions are created about the expression and impact of violence. Real life violence has consequences; it’s our goal to teach this and other important lessons through boxing. My name is Donald Dorch, founder of Kingdom Boxing & Youth Outreach. I am a certified Boxing Trainer through USA Boxing. I am also certified through Safe Sport for Coaching Youth Athletes.
First things first: Is boxing safe for kids?
YES Boxing is no more dangerous than any other sport. Although the American Psychiatric Association has expressed concerns about head injuries, physicians around the world agree that these are injuries that can occur in any sport where hitting your head is possible. This includes sports like football, baseball, soccer, and basketball. In fact, youth boxers spar infrequently and spend most of their time stretching, conditioning, and working out on punching bags. Bag-related injuries, such as knuckle bruises and fractures, are the most common type of youth-boxing injury, not the head injuries pediatricians fear most.
Dr Mike Loosemore from the Institute of Sport Exercise and Health, and doctor to the British Boxing team was interviewed for Vice Magazine in August of 2016, and asked about the dangers of boxing versus other sports. Here is a quick excerpt from the interview:
Are injuries sustained in boxing similar those you’d see in rugby?
You’ll see very similar injuries in rugby union and league, horse racing, cycling, ice-skating, ice hockey, Australian-rules football—anything where you have a chance of banging your head, really.
Do you see many kids with significant injuries?
No, it’s virtually unheard of in kids.
How would you evaluate the risk vs health benefits of boxing?
You always have to have risk-benefit discussions; I think that’s really important. I’m involved in boxing because the benefits are massive. In amateur boxing, we reach a very difficult-to-reach group of young men and women who often never see a doctor, never get involved with any health advice, are often in communities that are isolated. It allows boxers from all different weights to get involved. The police say it reduces violence in some areas to a greater extent by building a boxing club than by building a police station – it has a profound effect on young people and can improve their behavior. It can allow them to progress by giving them self-esteem. To step into the ring you have to be brave.
In 1986, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute began conducting a comprehensive study to determine if amateur boxing poses any risks to the brain. Four hundred boxers from six different cities, all of similar ages, social backgrounds, educational levels, and lifestyle habits were studied and the results were conclusive. To date, it is most thoroughly organized medical study on amateur boxing. Their findings showed that there was no indication of motor skill impairment, slurred speech, or memory loss. There was no measurable damage sustained to the neurological system found in the seven-year study.
Our boxing provides many other benefits for young participants. These include:
Boxing will allow children to be able to defend themselves if they ever need to. This skill provides a level of self-confidence and self-esteem that can combat the painful effects of bullying and peer pressure.
Boxing can be a great way to relieve stress. It can be used as a form of aggression control. Kids have to deal with a lot of emotions throughout their lifetime. Boxing will give them a release and allow them to let out their stress in a positive way.
By teaching kids boxing mechanics, you will effectively be teaching children control and discipline. In order to be a good boxer, a person must be disciplined and go through the motions with precision.
Boxing can help increase overall strength. This can lead to increased bone growth, increased weight loss, and overall healthier being. The more muscles and strength children have, the healthier they will be.
A Different Perspective
Even with all these benefits, many feel that boxing it just too violent for kids. The reality is the our kids are exposed to violence all the time, boxing teaches kids that it HURTS to get hit, that there can be definite real life impact to violence. This is something you don’t learn from video games where lives are regenerated, and hit points are something assigned by a computer. Throughout London, several retired police officers started reaching out to at risk youth in their communities through boxing, and have turned lives around.
Just ask Barry Jones, retired policeman in London. As reported in the Financial Times “It was in the early 1990s that Jones, now 62, and three other officers hit on the idea of using a gym to tackle the growing problem of anti-social behaviour and crime committed by teenagers who aimlessly wandered the streets of inner London. “I was on a street-robbery team at the time, so I was working at the sharp end,” he says. The first place they used was a gym located in an actual police headquarters in Harrow. Various sports were trialed, but, Jones recalls, “Once we opened it up as a boxing gym, we were inundated with people.” Among the recruits were some of the “scallywags who we were dealing with on a day-to-day basis on the streets. I personally recall street robbers showing up. It broke down some huge barriers.”
As more opportunities like these open up, the benefits of boxing towards changing young people’s attitudes towards violence become endless. It has been an increasingly frequent observation that boxing gets kids off the streets and does so while allowing them to channel their energy, aggression, and restlessness.
Because this channeling is done in a controlled, supervised environment, our boxing program actually inspires self-confidence, trust in others, and promotes determination and self-mastery at a young age, which comes very handy when facing our day-to-day problems in real life. To put it shortly, boxing makes “bad neighborhoods” less bad. It is a healthier outlet for the hormones of youth than joining street gangs, using hard drugs, or giving in into the habit of too much alcohol or other questionable practices of young urban life.
Joining our boxing program is easy. Ages 5-18 are welcome regardless of ability. We also need mentors. Simply use the Contact Form below to get started today!