What is going on with the massive draw to Ultimate Fighting Championship and Mixed Martial Arts gyms? UFC/MMA isn't just grown-up guys trading punches on pay-per-view anymore; the sport is so popular that children as young as 6 are learning, and this is happening locally at several gyms. ...
Instructors at these facilities say there is a right way and a wrong way for children to get into mixed martial arts, which is a combination of martial arts, wrestling and boxing. Instructors say that when children start out, they are not allowed to hit each other, but my observation at a local gym showed otherwise.
Medical experts say if children are allowed to cage fight, it can lead to significant injuries to the neck, bones and ligaments. Martial arts at its roots requires a lot of training and teaches children discipline, but it appears that UFC/MMA is just not the same disciplined sports as karate or Tae Kwon Do.
Meanwhile, the adult version of ultimate fighting is incredibly intense and thus, in a way, is promoting violence to the youth of this community. They are joining these gyms with the assumption and goals of doing just that. Some critics of ultimate fighting call it "human cockfighting." An Associated Press survey found that Missouri may be the only state that explicitly allows youth fights. In other states, it is a misdemeanor, and some states have no regulations.
I think it is time we look at the situation locally and ensure that these gyms are not promoting violence, as the sport itself seems to do.
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