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26/11/2014

Mixed Martial Arts, Ultimate Fighting And Children: Seven Reasons Why This Is Very Dangerous



The New York State Legislature is now considering the legalization of mixed martial arts and ultimate fighting championships. These sports are currently legal within many US states.

A few days ago, I received a call from a free lance journalist who was writing a piece on the pros and cons of having youngsters under the age of twelve competing in mixed martial arts contests and ultimate fighting contests.

According to this reporter, more than 3.2 millions children under the age of twelve are now in training for these kinds of events.

Frankly, I find this number to be a bit hard to believe. I don't think it is accurate and I hope am I right about this.
When the writer asked what I thought about the idea of children battling in cages, I shared the fact that I was quite disturbed about youth participation in these events and I outlined my major objections.

First, recent research has pointed out the dangers and problems associated with concussions in contact sports. We are learning more and more about the problems connected with head injuries all the time. Mixed martial arts and ultimate fighting may contribute to this serious problem. In short, we need more research on the concussion risks associated with these fighting styles.

Second, mixed martial arts may expose youngsters to other potential physical injuries which need to studied very carefully by physicians.

Third, we have a significant problem with bullying in our schools and amongst our youngsters. These sports may exacerbate the bullying problem in America. Do they sports promote or curb violence, aggressiveness and bullying? More research is needed on these issues as well.

Fourth, karate, judo, aikido, jujitsu, boxing, wrestling and taekwondo seem to have many safeguards in place to protect young and athletes who are competing in these sports. Moreover, many teachers and practitioners of these arts use them to promote confidence, focus and discipline. At this point in time, the same can not be said for ultimate fighting and mixed martial arts where there is a huge emphasis on harming your opponent.

Fifth, I believe that people should be eighteen years of age before they are allowed to fight within the confines of a metal cage. Youngsters, with their still maturing brains can simply not make informed decisions about these sports.

Sixth, we have a problem with overzealous sports parents in this country. It could be hard to regulate and manage mothers and fathers who see their kids being harmed. In addition, some children may gravitate to these kinds of contests to please their parents and not because they love the sport and really want to be engaging in these kinds of contests.

Seventh, once a child is injured, there will be an outcry of emotions about regulations and safety needs associated with these styles of fighting. I think it best if we take a proactive approach and prevent injuries before they occur to any of our youngsters.


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