Roundtable Discussion 013 : Cage-Fighting Kids
“What are your thoughts on the ‘Cage-Fighting Kids’ controversy?”
…Should kids be allowed to continue to “Cage Fight”?
We at the Combative Corner look forward to reading your comments! Please post them at the bottom of the article.
disagree: I don’t know if it’s my old age or what, but most of what I see is what is going on underneath; parents refusing to grow up. When I was speaking to my friend about this the other day, we shared the exact thought:”Grown ups” these days are nowhere near the grown-ups of yester-years. Everything that an adult may do in their free time doesn’t have to be shared by the child. An adult for example my choose to drink, smoke, seek a sexual partner, or any number of things in dance clubs, bars and entertainment venues. The location of these cage-fighting events are in such a place. As for the activities that go in such places, you would not wish (at least I hope you wouldn’t) to expose a child to this environment and/or the goings-on that occur in said environment.
Nothing against mixed martial arts and/or cage fighting competitions, but leave it to those mature enough to understand for themselves what they are getting into. Children will always want to emulate athletes or figures in popularized sports (such as MMA) but let’s make sure we are able to keep them safe (proper equipment, responsible refereeing), and expose them to an atmosphere that fosters (friendly) competition; not one that resembles a gladiator’s arena, or worse, prison. If families want to cheer their children on, they can do so in various judo or jiu-jitsu dojos the world over, or in their own backyard under the watchful eye of their parent(s).
disagree: “Cage Fighting Kids” This is not a surprise to me, I knew it was going to head towards this. The kids follow adults. Kids will do what adults do. Just as it looks shameful for kids to fight in a cage, so too does it look shameful for adults to fight in a cage. It is a disgrace to Martial Arts, it’s a disgrace to the intelligence of human beings. Animals may fight in a cage, but human beings are supposed to be beyond the intelligence of animals.
As a society we are going backwards, not forwards in our progression in intelligence. Children are following in our footsteps and we are clearly setting a bad example. Don’t blame the children, blame the adults, blame the society, blame the people, & blame the government for not stepping in to do something about it. It is political, the government will be paid off to allow this type of organized violence, like alcohol & cigarettes, the government is banking off of cage fighting, & it does not look like it will stop.
Adults have become more violent & therefore children will become more violent. This is not a beautiful expression of Martial Art, it is a violent ugly expression. Children should be wrestling while smiling & giggling, they should be play fighting like what they do in WWE, all for fun, not out of real anger or violence. Anytime your aim is to hurt somebody, to put somebody else in pain out of anger, that is not Art, that is hate, it can be seen in all sorts of competitive fighting, not just in the cage.
disagree: What is my personal stance on these “Cage Fighting Kids”? People will do anything for money. I do not watch or care for cage matches as that is a sport. I understand that adults choose to fight in there and that is fine. But to out your Child in DANGER is more then a cause for this to be looked into deeply by Law enforcement. I do not call any of this Martial Arts. I call this a shame.
agree: If it were a fight, then I would be upset that there was no protective equipment. However, it was not a fight. It was a grappling match. I really don’t understand the uproar or how it is dangerous or a bad idea.
I think our young boys and girls, especially in North America, have been “pussified” and are in need of this kind of physical activity. To compete, as grapplers, can be very beneficial to a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Grappling is fun and it can teach you a lot about yourself. It also requires a lot of discipline to get good at it.
There is no shame in what these kids did, and no shame in their parents allowing it. I personally think that it takes a certain amount of bravery to subject yourself to this kind of public scrutiny. And the kids…hell, there is no questioning their bravery.
There is also, on a spiritual note, a state of consciousness that is experienced in the ring that is ineffable. And unless a person has been in that position, he or she cannot understand it. Not to sound flaky, but if you’ve ever competed in a ring or a cage you know what I’m talking about. And this ineffable thing I am talking about was a critical experience in the evolution of my own consciousness.
With much deep respect to my colleagues here at the Combative Corner, I can see that I stray from the commonly shared value system in this regard. Although what I teach is not meant for sport, but for incapacitation or elimination of a threat, I would be honoured if any of my students decided to fight in a ring or a cage. I would support them 100% and I would be their #1 fan. And if I had a child, and he or she decided to train and compete like these kids did…I would be there every day to motivate, encourage, and build my child to be the best person he or she could be, and the best grappler he or she could be. And I would be the loudest cheerleader you’be ever heard.
somewhat disagree: I have objections to the “cage fighting” kids event, but not because the event was a serious danger to the kids. It was largely a grappling match, and even if there was striking, kids at that age are not really strong enough to seriously injure each other. The one potential safety issue is that the kids were not wearing head guards. A sprung ring floor (or possibly the support posts of the cage) can still cause a jarring impact to a child’s head. Kids may be resilient, but rattling the brain around can have serious developmental implications.
What is disturbing about the match was that it seemed staged for the spectacle. The event was not a kid-centric affair; it was ticket-holder only, and featured primarily real cage fighting with adults. The commentary from the announcers made it clear that the kids event was more about entertaining the audience than building character in the kids. Even though it was technically a grappling match, the kids event was in every other aspect like an actual cage fight. It makes you wonder if the event was a misguided glorification of combat sports or if the parents were vicariously living out their fantasies of fighting in the cage. The kids cage fight looks like a show for the amusement of the audience and for the profit of the sponsoring club.
somewhat disagree: While I agree that this was more of a grappling match than an actual MMA fight I still have issues with the way the two boys seem to be put on display for the people there to see the main event. It’s one thing to let a kid compete in a grappling tournament and to be cheered on by their parents, classmates and peers but it is another thing entirely to put them on display as part of an opening act to a main event.
The parents of the two boys competing in the “Cage Fight” are just like any other sports mom or dad that sees some talent in their child and instead of nurturing and encouraging it in a “normal” way go
overboard. I personally don’t have a problem with the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and think that there are some very talented athletes that compete in the sport as well as some that give it a bad name which can be true of any sport. I know the popularity of MMA is growing fast and with it the inevitability that children will become interested in it but I think that there are some things that should be just for adults.
This article was written by the above authors/professional martial art instructors after viewing the following video