MMA – how young is too young?

MMA – how young is too young?

How young is too young for mixed martial arts?

Although generally seen as an adult sport because of the extreme violence of their fighting, mixed martial arts (MMA) are performed at ages increasingly younger in North America – which is probably inevitable, given the popularity of this discipline.

In Québec, the Nordik Fight Club on Boulevard Charest Est, recently began offering training sessions for children 7 to 11 years old, and the owner of Xtreme Fight Club Beauport  intends to offer the same for next spring.

At Nordik Fight Club, since the fall there are around a dozen children that train on a Friday night, before then it was much less than that.

Nevertheless, whereverMMA is taught to children, the same questions arise… at only seven years old, are these kids a little young to learn the same sport that has left the great George St-Pierre with a messed up face and possibly a concussion?
Is it acceptable to show such young children moves to inflict excruciating pain?

In the United States, organizations such as the U.S. Fight League (USFL) have been putting on MMA tournaments for kids 5 years and up since the early 2000s. More than three million children of all ages indulge in it, according to ESPN sports network numbers. The organizers and their supporters, often parents,  argue that their sport is a good outlet for children who might become calmer in other spheres of their lives, and that mixed martial arts teaches self control.

But that does not stop the controversy following the sport at this level. Several doctors have publicly denounced the risks of concussions, and CNN made quite a stir on the Internet recently by publishing a photo essay on the world of children fighting that showed kids crying, others wincing as their arm was twisted and some wearing edifying nicknames like “The Beast ” or better yet, ” the Arm Collector “.

Where do you stand? Got an opinion?
………………………………………………………………………. Staff Writer

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