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Airdrie boxing gym owner aims to take fighting off the streets

In light of recent news regarding an influx of youth fighting at a convenience store parking lot in Airdrie, a local boxing gym owner is sending a message about the benefits of taking aggression off the streets and into the ring.
HumblePrint
Luke George (middle) is doing his best to teach youth the importance of discipline and responsibility through the art of boxing at his gym in Gateway, Humble Boxing Academy.

In light of recent headlines regarding an influx of youth fighting at a convenience store parking lot in Airdrie, a local boxing gym owner is sending a message about the benefits of taking aggression off the streets and into the ring.

“We shouldn’t have businesses being affected by kids fighting constantly,” said Luke George, the owner of Humble Boxing Academy in Gateway.

While George is now a multi-ticketed tradesman and a Bert Church High School alumnus, back in his high school days, he said he was known to get in his fair share of street fights.

George, who has been training youth boxers for two years and officially opened a gym four months ago, said he is proof of the positive impact boxing can have on youth from all walks of life. As someone who grew up fighting in the streets, he said he is preaching the gospel of taking those battles into the ring, instead.

The Bert Church alum came from a broken home, losing his mother at a young age, and with a father who wasn’t around much. He added he and his two brothers were usually left to fend for themselves, and they did.

“From my past, I lived for fighting [on the street], but it wasn’t a good lifestyle,” he said. “When I got into boxing, I instantly changed, it was crazy. I went from thinking I could beat up anybody to realizing the harm it can do.”

He said because he feels boxing changed his life so much, he started Humble Boxing in hopes of doing the same thing for youth today.

“We can change the thought process of the youth, I know we can,” he said. “But, they need to have access to this information and they need access to a gym.”

George said looking from a distance at scenarios where youth are involved with rough-and-tumble situations, a lot of it can stem back to growing up in troubled households.

“Low-income families, struggles at home – a lot of violent behaviour stems from family culture or home life,” he said.

He said he can relate to youth who take to fighting as a way to get attention where they may not be getting it elsewhere, like at home. He said it’s why he acted out so much as a young person, and he wouldn’t be surprised if that is what’s happening now.

“We grew up rough, and lived for fighting,” he said. “Sometimes people feel like being tough is all they have.”

The art of boxing, George feels, is the perfect activity to redirect aggression, not only for troubled youth, but youth in general.

“This is the perfect sport,” he said. “You can hit stuff and let out your anger. It’s why I called my gym Humble. You’re not as tough as you think you are, but we can give you the capabilities of being able to be tough and be a winner, not only in the ring but in all areas of life.”

Providing a controlled safe environment for youth is something George feels will not only take the issue of youth violence off the streets, but also help with improving the self-esteem and confidence of young people.

“Having self-confidence allows people to do well in all aspects of life,” he said. “It gives people opportunities to win.”

The Humble Boxing roster currently hosts 10 competitive fighters and 25 intermediates. George and his team are always taking on new clients and are working on a youth program that will be available in January, on top of securing a new location that he hopes will act as a gathering place for people.

The kids’ program, called Knuckle Heads, will feature an incentive aimed at teaching kids the importance of discipline and giving back. Attending two classes a week, completing one to two hours a week of community service, and bringing a positive attitude during classes makes participants eligible for free training.

“We do that, so kids are learning responsibility and learn how to earn everything they get,” he said. “We also want to teach kids how important it is to give back to the community. I’m not in this industry to make money, I’m in this industry to help and create opportunities.”

For more information on Humble Boxing Academy or to get involved with its programming, visit hmbleboxing.com or call 587-777-5442.

Jordan Stricker, AirdrieToday.com
Follow me on Twitter @jaystrickz

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