If you have trained in martial arts or have a child that has been part of a well organised kickboxing class, you will be fully aware of the benefits to physical & mental health. Kickboxing allows students to progress at their own speed, rewarding them for their progression & instilling a sense of worth, respect for others & a grounded self confidence.

In addition, kickboxing helps to develop a genuine all-round fitness that compliments many other sports & also a student’s life skills which can have positive, tangible impacts daily. This is evident with students with dyspraxia but I have also seen the lives of children low in confidence, self-esteem or social skills, literally come out of their shells & blossom as a result of a passion for kickboxing.

It is for these reasons that I feel kickboxing should be just as valid, if not more so than any other sport at GCSE. Currently, a student can not choose kickboxing as one of their sports at GCSE.

I am fully aware that the martial arts industry is fragmented. Sadly, politics, money & the desire for power in martial arts has separated many organisations into various disciplines & this has resulted in there being no single governing body to determine quality. This does create logistical issues regarding assessment of students at GCSE but it must be possible to negate this issue through an approved instructor list, instructor validation criteria or syllabus assessment.

Let's hope the Government realises the huge potential kickboxing has to improve the lives of young people & make the decision to include it as an option in GCSE PE. With all the current focus on child obesity, fitness & social integration, it would seem naive to choose any other course.