Parents Could Have Saved Little Kids From Cage Fighting (VIDEO)

cagefightingThere's so much wrong with the video of little kids cage fighting that I almost don't know where to begin. So let's just dive in, shall we? There's a difference between signing your 8-year-old up for martial arts classes and giving permission for them to engage in hand-to-hand combat with no protective gear inside a cage.

The latter is what's being done in England, in a case that's got medical experts, parents, and more up in arms. Kids as young as 8 were taped tearing each other apart, some of them crying, none of them wearing anything to protect their fragile little heads. It looks violent and scary and made me wonder where the heck their parents were at that time!

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But I really shuddered when I saw that the group behind these shenanigans are describing their kiddie fight club as "Mixed Martial Arts." It's certainly martial, not necessarily an art, and definitely not your run of the mill karate class.

Most karate classes aren't violent. I know, it sounds crazy if you've never been to one. And I hear all the time from parents that they have THOUGHT about karate, but they just don't want their kids to be exposed to violence.

That's why you don't sign your kids up to fight in a cage with some sicko directing them to grab your buddy by the nose and knee him in the groin. Sheesh people, there is a middle ground! If you walk into a facility and see this, you walk out:

Traditional martial arts are really focused on conflict resolution and peace at all costs. You wouldn't know it to look at me, but I spent years in the sport as a kid, where I was always taught to defend myself rather than to attack. I spent those years learning to channel my frustrations from school into some healthy kicking and punching (at the air folks) and learning not to hate my puberty-changed body because look what it could do!

I was never really good at it -- the one time I really hurt someone was a complete accident -- but my years in karate made me healthier both mentally and physically.

Watching the kids cage-fighting in England broke my heart because no kid should be subjected to something like that. But I'm also shaking my head because I fear it will turn people off even more to something that can be really good for their kids. REALLY good for kids if you find the right dojo and the right sensei, a place that fits your kids.

What happened in that cage is the fault of the instructors, but it's the fault of the parents too, for letting someone put their kids in that situation. This type of behavior makes a bad name for normal parents who just want their kids to learn some discipline and enjoy exercise.

Did this turn you off?

 

Image via juliegomoll/Flickr

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