And now, the Minister for Corrective Services is giving both prison wardens and inmates the same opportunity.
Angene has brought in a martial arts instructor and a yoga instructor to conduct trainings at Arorangi Prison.
He said the training opportunity will help them to meditate and to understand discipline.
“I did taekwondo training before and I know about martial art. It is not about attacking each other - the art of these techniques is all about discipline,” he said.
Most of all, practising martial art and yoga teaches the importance of human life and will help with their mental well-being, Angene said.
Martial arts instructor Shihan Dan Turua said for the inmates, the training exercise is not martial art but physical and mental training for only a certain group of inmates.
An hour-long fitness programme will keep their mind off their problems and hopefully make them become a better person, Turua said.
In the last four months, prison wardens have also undergone training with Turua in his Martial Arts Centre in Tupapa. They receive their final training award today.
Turua, affectionately known as Papa Dan, said the course with the prison wardens is known as the “Elite close encounter tactical combat system workshop”.
The workshop has been set up for those in similar work fields such as police and security officers.
He has conducted similar trainings with security officers in New Zealand and Cook Islands Police.
“This is only to enhance their skills in controlling restraints against violent or very hard to control people, it is not about bashing them - just about trying to control them,” Turua said.
He said the prison environment can be a hectic place to work, but prison wardens need to know how to control a situation in a calm, harmless way.
The training is about upskilling the officers and teaches a person how to be kind to people, knowing how to handle any situation and fear management.
He is looking forward to the next 11 or more prison wardens joining the training exercise.