The Academy Of Hard Knocks


Published May 2013

A Project To Help Break The Cycle Of Youth Re Offending

Sam Rowe
Name: Sam Rowe
Age:    40
[email protected] Fight Science
Home: Father of five and lives in Guildford
The Academy of Hard Knocks was founded by Sam Rowe. Based at Fight Science gym in Aldershot, the academy has been set up for the local youth to support and guide them down the correct paths.The programme is free and will run for twelve weeks. Its aim is to teach young people the strength and discipline that can be achieved through combat sports. This programme is being supported by Nick Chapman and the Fight Science crew including Fury Lightweight Champion Nigel Whitear and young Jay Dodds. Sam has had local press interest and I even hear local radio want to get him on to hear his story. We have been very fortunate to get to chat with Sam about the programme and why he got involved. In my opinion every town in the Country needs a Sam Rowe, even if only one person changes their life from being on this programme, then I would say this guy has achieved more than the Prison system ever could. These guys are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts and I for one will stay in touch with Sam and follow his success. I caught up with Sam and asked;
Q/ How did you very first get into Combat Sports?
A/ All my friends are cage fighters, if I was ten years younger I would be in the ring myself
Q/ What gave you the idea for The Academy?
A/ I was in jail on my last sentence doing my gym courses and I thought if some-one like me had taken the time with me, then maybe I wouldn't have gone down the path I did.
Q/ Crime amongst youngsters is at an all time high. How do you feel the academy can change the way the students behave away from The Gym?
A/ If I can show them to channel their anger in a different way, then I will achieve the goal I am heading for. We have only been running three weeks and I can already see the change in the students.
Q/ Will the students on the programme have to behave in order to stay on it?
A/  Yes they would have to stay out of trouble to stay on the course, but I'm prepared to go out on a limb for them. They have all been referred by local authorities to come along and see what we can do to help these youngsters. When some go to court I will write letters for them to take to show they are working on changing the life style they are leading. I will also go to court with them if need be and speak out for them.
Q/ Do you see yourself taking The programme across other Regions in the long term?
A/ I have big plans to take this Nationwide and with the right funding we could do this. Also I have a lot of interest from around the World. The USA have already shown they want the academy over there.  
Q/ Tell us about the crew that are working with you on the programme?
A / We have some of the best UK Mixed Martial Arts Fighters on the team, all  have given their time for free to help this pilot scheme in the UK. Including some World Champion fighters. Lee Walker our Head Coach was also the person who wrote the course for the Academy and has made a great job of it.
Q/ Who is suitable for the programme?
A/ This is open to all young people who find themselves on that wrong path. I've got kids who are homeless, ex drug addicts, youth crime and anti- social behaviour. Open to ages 13-25 years old
Q/ Is there potential for students who do well to go onto the bigger stages, like the guys at Fight Science?
A/We have loads of options for these young people, grants for them to set up for whatever they choose to do, or a football course they can go on and I have plans to open the Academy of Hard Knocks music division, teaching them all aspects of music, but this all takes money so I am on a funding mission applying to every fund /grant/ sponsorship deal going. Really the government should pay us to do it but until they do its down to me. 

Well what a fantastic story. Sam has been very honest and just by talking to him you can see his heart and desire to make this scheme work. We hope to catch up with Sam and get a video of him and the guys in the near future. Please follow the links below to check out Sam's site and see the whole team working towards this great scheme that could just bring light to so many young peoples lives. Good luck Sam and keep up all the good work.
This is important so I am going to put this here and ask if you can help please do. If you didn't already know the Academy is run on and fund raising to help with this unique programme you can now donate here what ever you can afford will be gratefully received - Jon
The Academy of Hard Knocks is a project held at Fight Science Gym in Aldershot, owned by Nick "Head Hunter" Chapman, and is run by Sam Rowe to help young offenders to stay out of Jail. Sam supported by a team of some of the best in the UK fight scene including Cage Amateurs favourite Nigel "Pitbull" Whitear have a put a program together which includes a good dose of that rare medicine self respect and respect for others. Not a soft option having spoken to Sam I know he has had to ask a few lads to leave as they obviously wasn't ready at this time and did not have the commitment needed for the task ahead. Big up the guys on the course, the team up there at Fight Science we smell something good happening in Aldershot. Sam recently spoke to BBC Radio Surrey and this is what he said.
Check out what Sam Rowe had to say to BBC Radio Surrey in a recent interview at the Academy of Hard Knocks.

Fight Science
Published 11th May 2013

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