A Muay Thai teacher from Preston is confident that involvement in martial arts can help keep young people away from trouble.
Rachel Joiner, the lead instructor at Red Kite Muay Thai, introduced her own daughter to the world of martial arts at the age of three.
And she believes that teenagers should be encouraged to take up combat sports as a way of keeping them out of trouble on the street.
“As young people become teenagers, that’s when there is new paths that they could take,” Rachel says.
“But if they can get into a martial art and have a desire to be good at it, that can help keep you on the straight and narrow.”
Youth participation in martial arts currently stands at roughly 10%, which is similar to the involvement in Rugby and Cricket (Statista).
Across all sports, participation drops when children start to to become teenagers.
But Rachel, who’s spent 13 years coaching Thai Boxing, believes there needs to be more of an incentive to keep teenagers attending martial arts classes.
She added: “So as long as you’ve got the right amount of coaches in that class then you can change it and make it more challenging.
“Equally, you could shift them into the adult class – with the parents’ permission of course.”