Deborah Jump’s Story

Author: Deborah Jump
Deborah Jump’s Story

Deborah Jump travelled to the USA to research the effectiveness of martial arts in engaging and empowering communities, particularly for young people.

The Fellowship

Deborah's Fellowship involved her travelling to New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles during the summer of 2009. She was interested in how martial arts and boxing impacted on young people's perception of violence and crime. As a former youth worker and youth offender manager, Deborah wanted to explore how sport could be beneficial in reducing youth crime, and thereby increasing social capital among young offenders.

One of the highlights of her trip was interviewing Freddy Roach, a renowned boxing trainer who has coached Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao. Freddy described how boxing helped both him and his brother to turn away from crime; he felt that without it he would either be in prison or dead. This was a recurring theme with many of the people Deborah met during her Fellowship.

The Results

Upon returning to the UK, Deborah was able to apply much of the learning from her Fellowship in her local community, first as an instructor at a local martial arts club, and then later at a boxing gym.

As a result of her Fellowship, Deborah secured a scholarship at the University of Manchester to study this topic in more depth as part of a PhD. Deborah has since gone on to secure a lectureship at Manchester Metropolitan University as one of the UK’s leading academics in this field. Her work helps to shape young people's offending attitudes in a more positive light, which inevitably creates social capital and raises aspirations for not only the young people themselves, but the wider communities from which they belong.

A number of Deborah’s presentations and papers on this subject can be found here: