In case you’re not familiar with ultimate fighting, it started off as a no holds barred event, which after people started throwing around labels of “human cockfighting”, further sanctions were put in place and now it is billed as “mixed martial arts”. The end result still involves beating the other guy to a pulp, however. Now, according to a report by the Associated Press, the violent sport is becoming popular with the younger set:
The bare-knuckle fights are now attracting competitors as young as 6 whose parents treat the sport as casually as wrestling, Little League or soccer.
The changes were evident on a recent evening in southwest Missouri, where a team of several young boys and one girl grappled on gym mats in a converted garage.
Two members of the group called the “Garage Boys Fight Crew” touched their thin martial-arts gloves in a flash of sportsmanship before beginning a relentless exchange of sucker punches, body blows and swift kicks.
No blood was shed. And both competitors wore protective gear. But the bout reflected the decidedly younger face of ultimate fighting. The trend alarms medical experts and sports officials who worry that young bodies can’t withstand the pounding.
I certainly have no problem with children being involved in traditional martial arts, I think it’s very good for their minds and bodies. But this is taking it to another level. Maybe I’m overreacting, but I’m just not too keen on enrolling my kid in a sport that has its roots as a “fight to the death”. How about you, would you allow your child to be involved in junior ultimate fighting?
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