• Dexter Hastings

D&A gives Knife crime the thumbs down

D&A gives Knife crime the thumbs down

Professional Boxing trainer and martial arts expert Anthony Hull told the Birmingham Boxing Column why himself and the lads at D&A boxing school of excellence were giving knife crime the thumbs down. Anthony talked candidly about growing up and dealing with the darker elements of Birmingham. Anthony told the column “When I was young I grew up in a rough area where I had no choice but to fight racism as it was still common. My dad trained me from a young age, from 4 years old I was competing in several martial arts tournaments and boxing as I got older. Myself and my cousin took time out to go to the gym but sometimes we couldn’t afford to go so we trained in my garage with a old bag and gloves that were old and had no form or cushion in them”.

“My dad was Military trained, he always said a weapon is for one thing killing or causing severe harm. As I got older myself and my cousin started door security, we were still younger than our seniors so we had to stand on and prove ourselves. As time went on our names where known so we built a reputation, it came to the point where we had to accept we may not be coming home to our families because of the reputation we had gained. With gang members and gunmen trying to make a name for themselves It went from going to work to fighting for our lives’, with fighting that regular we couldn’t go to town with our families because you could guarantee something bad would happen”.

Anthony continued “The reason D&A Boxing School Of Excellence was born is because a lot of my friends and family were getting hurt, friends got killed I have been stabbed a number of times, shot at and with my cousin getting stabbed, nearly losing his arm and his life for simply visiting a chip shop on his work break” "When I have been stabbed or any of my friends, it has caused massive retaliation and innocent people get hurt, it's not fair on innocent people and on their families because they might be just out simply having family time or socializing. I strongly believe that the lad who was killed the other night at the boxing event was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, anybody who carry's a weapon is either looking for trouble or has very low confidence in dealing with any sort of situation. I believe carrying a weapon you putting yourself in a serious situation".

Anthony finished by saying “D&A gym is open to the public to bring the community and kids off the streets, to actually learn them self defense, but also to learn them how to deal with difficult situations. D&A started as a business, as a gym, but we’ve grown into a big family. It’s not all about fighting and fitness it’s also about observation and awareness, we hope to grow in numbers, people know D&A as a place to learn and a safe environment for adults and children”.

Dexter,s Thoughts

Many thanks to Anthony and the lads at D&A Boxing school of excellence for the support and having their pictures taken to show awareness. From what Anthony has said this is a subject very close to his heart with himself and his friends being involved in knife and violent crime. I myself have grown up in one of the roughest parts of Birmingham (Newtown) and many a time have seen weapons being brandished and used against myself, my family and friends. Touch wood I have never been stabbed but have seen the aftermath of my brother being chopped with machetes and friends being slashed and stabbed so I have got a great dislike for anyone who needs to carry a weapon.

D&A and all the other gyms around Birmingham and the Black Country who try and put our young people on the straight and narrow by teaching them the noble art of boxing are doing their part. They are not just teaching these young people how to fight, if you know anything about boxing you will know that fighting is only part of the formula. They teach these kids respect for other people and themselves, they teach focus, discipline and dedication and give these young people a chance to realise that street life is not the only way for them to go. If the government gave more funding to these gyms we might not have this broken Britain that we see today.

Like the lads at D&A and the other boxers and supporters who are trying to raise awareness please print out a poster and have a picture with you thumb down, then send it to the column. If it stops 1 person from carrying a knife or a weapon it will all have been worth it.

Save a Life Drop the Knife