25/06/2020 – Fight for Peace’s mission is to support young people to realise their full potential. That means being champions – in the boxing ring, in the martial arts dojo, but most importantly in life. In support of this mission, the role of our coaches stretches far beyond developing athletic ability. Rather, it is about developing young people holistically, supporting them to build the tools to confront and overcome the obstacles in their path to success. 

Anybody who has participated in sport of any kind knows the power of the relationships of trust and respect you build with good coaches. In combat sports, this is taken to the next level as your coach is in your corner, your eyes and ears. The coach-athlete relationship is something very special, the instruction and mentorship we receive from those who guide us being fundamental to our development, in the ring and in life.  

Good coaches innately have the ability to provide comprehensive support to their athletes and fill myriad roles as role models, mentors, motivators, instructors and friends. It is this instinctive quality that the Fight for Peace Life Champions programme seeks to tap into and maximise.

“Life Champions looks at the inherent skills coaches have and how we can use these skills to best support the personal development of young people,” explains Life Champions trainer Ari Johnson. “Supporting the holistic personal development of young people means life coaching through a lens of combat sports.”


Coaches from the Fight for Peace London Academy and the UP Unity & Peace programme in Jamaica are currently participating on the course, which has been adapted for virtual delivery during COVID-19 lockdown.

The nine-week course has covered: what personal development is and how to integrate it into combat sports sessions as well as focusing on mentoring techniques, engaging girls in sport, how to use sports analogies, goal setting and storytelling to motivate and instruct, and safeguarding and child protection. The programme is aimed specifically at combat sports coaches and pulls together life coaching and youth work methodology.

“There is a real synergy in combat sports coaching and personal development, and we are trying to create sports coaches that can support the personal development of young people in a broader sense, creating champions in the ring and in life,” says Ari. “We are very fortunate that at Fight for Peace we have extremely high caliber coaches, including national and world champions, and it’s fantastic to see the similarities in coaching experiences and coaching approaches in both London and Jamaica.”

Adbul Yassine is a boxing coach at Fight for Peace in London and has been participating on the latest Life Champions course: “every lesson we do, we gain more information and ways to achieve better outcomes, and for me that what it’s all about – how we can get the best for these children and young adults.”

“For me, a coach is someone who tries to get the best out of their athletes and a life coach is someone that teaches someone the ability to overcome life’s obstacles. A Fight for Peace coach is when we merge the two – we teach the ability to believe in yourself to overcome a task, no matter the odds, difficulty or adversity you may face in and out of sport.”