Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Martial arts a key component in resocialising population and reducing crime

Published:Wednesday | February 1, 2017 | 2:00 AMJason Cross
In this file photo, students are engaged in karate sessions at the Trafalgar Division Celebrity Performing Arts summer camp.

In ensuring that our youth are properly socialised and to steer their lives away from crime, Peter Bunting, opposition spokesman on national security, is convinced that structured programmes like martial arts and other uniformed activities should be key components in developing a healthy population.

Speaking with The Gleaner last week, Bunting acknowledged that the duty of teaching children social values, and discipline cannot be left up to parents alone, since, he said, people do not have to be responsible adults to produce children.

"It is good to have young people, particularly young boys, in our case, to be involved in some kind of structured programme, whether martial arts, cadets or other uniformed groups. My own experience as a parent tells me that children who didn't get the adequate socialisation at home can still get it from a teacher who might take a special interest in them."

"[There are as] many opportunities to get this structure brought into their life that can train them, make them disciplined, resocialise them, and instil values in them, [and] I support that," Bunting declared.

As security minister, Bunting introduced a construction internship programme for at-risk youth, in collaboration with the Jamaica Defence Force's (JDF) Engineering Regiment.

"We introduced, when I was minister, a construction internship with the JDF Engineering Regiment, where we identified at-risk youth and got into a one-year programme where they would be learning construction skills. In fact, they would get hard certification at the end of it," said Bunting.

"More than just the construction skills, they were being supervised by soldiers, picking up critical success factors of punctuality, discipline, self- and impulse control, which made them marketable."

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com