Children in Mixed Martial Arts

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Tuesday July 7, 2015– While some may say it builds character and discipline, others say it’s barbaric. however, children’s Mixed Martial Arts is a growing sport.

All over the world on a weekly basis children as young as five and six go head to head in full contact competitions, sometimes wearing no head or shin protection whatsoever and often leaving one child crying while the other celebrates victory. Such a controversial subject has divided mma fans on each side of the spectrum leaving questions such as:

• What is the youngest age somebody should be allowed to fight?
• Should the parents of these children be arrested for knowingly endangering children?
• Are these shows a way for promoters to exploit children as labour and sell tickets or is it simply equal opportunities?
• & what kind of person would want to see two children fight anyway?

Parents who have been interviewed by the likes of Fox News, CNN and other medias claim mixed martial arts has taught children to be good winners and fair losers, argue that the sport promotes fitness while tackling problems such as childhood obesity and also prevents kids from becoming a nuisance in the streets.

On the other hand, Paediatricians argue the sport is dangerous enough for adult competitors without adding children into the mix.

‘The necks, bones and ligaments of children are still growing and could become seriously injured due to the brutality of the sport.’ This seems to be a popular view with critics and while we at AM.M.A agree that Mixed Martial Arts does have its dangers, we also believe that any sport can be dangerous if not carried out responsibly. football, rugby and even basketball sees injuries happen just as often if not more, so should children’s mixed martial arts be given a fair chance Or should it simply be banned?

We spoke with a handful of parents who are themselves involved with mixed martial arts to ask their opinions on the subject, almost all of which say they would never risk a child’s health by having them fight at such young ages, one also added ‘a child of such a young age is incapable of making a fair judgement on what risks a fight may carry and is there for unable to decide for his or her self whether they want to, or are prepared to fight.’

This made me look at the numerous gyms and interclubs attended in the past and the amount of children entered to fight. Most clubs won’t let anybody compete on a show or in an interclub if there under 14 years old, yet have children as low as six on their team. Some children today are rolling and striking at levels better than some of the adults who are on shows but yet aren’t allowed to compete, there coaches don’t allow it yet while others argue it’s unfair to hold back a child based on his age and say if the kids trained hard he should be allowed to have a fair match up on a show.

In one of our early reports on M.M.A shows we saw a fight between two youngsters in the octagon, however as well as having medic’s cage side & ready to act, both youngsters also wore full padding and was from well-established gyms. The rules of their bout was no head shots (am-c) and both competitors was over 12 years of age. We found that the show took all possible risks into consideration and both the boys left without any real injuries.

This event shows that children’s M.M.A can be safe if controlled and kept fair but we want the readers’ opinion……
Is it beneficial to a child to fight from a young age or is it an unnecessary risk with nothing to gain?

Thanks for reading

AM.M.A

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