Fighting knife crime with faith and fencing – BBC Stories


I always tell these stories
about David vs Goliath. What’s the Goliath in your life? What’s the thing that is stopping
you from going to that next level? What’s that thing that you
think you can’t overcome? I’m Steven and I am a fencing
instructor for an inner city youth charity called XLP. And I’m also a Christian. When I think about Jesus, I think about how he invested
his time in his community. He served people on the fringes. Fencing has been something that’s
never been done in the community that I grew up in. So I thought it would be a
brilliant way to start something new. I’m hoping that I’m carrying
myself like Christ and hoping that the young people that
I’m working with lives are being transformed through
the work that we’re doing. When I first told people about
fencing I think their reaction was a little bit negative. I put it
down to a lack of understanding and people would link it a lot to knife
crime or the motion of stabbing. And things like that. And I just
wanted to break that perception. I’ve lost friends to knife crime. And a mindset of someone that would
stab another person comes from anger, fear and I’m trying to teach the
young people the opposite of that. If you know what it takes
to keep yourself calm. To respect other people. It means
you’re less likely to get yourself involved in the knife crime epidemic. I love the start of every fight. [Salute!] Where you have to salute your
opponent before you have a fight. Regardless of if you’ve won a
point or lost a point. They’ve still kept the same energy of respect. There’s a lot of kids that would
never travel to the other part of the estate because of a
gang issue or because they’ve had issues with someone else.
And if we didn’t have this fencing course where would those young people
be able to meet in a positive way? The idea of teaching fencing was for a young person to come down and learn a skill. But I m hoping that
the Christian values that they learn. Respecting one another. Loving your
neighbour like you love yourself. Things like that I’m hoping
are there for a lifetime.


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