MMA, also known as Mixed Martial Arts, is a hot debate these days for involving kids.
MMA is a mix of grappling arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Judo, and stand-up arts such as Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Karate.
In the match of MMA, the primary goal of the team player is to either knock out their opponent or create circumstances, which would make them submit. The bouts are efficiently fought in the wrestling cage.
Though critics initially condemned this form of combat sport for the brutality involved, it eventually emerged as one of the world’s most spectator-based sports.
States like the US allow their kids to a full-fledged fight in a cage, even when they are just 7 or 8 years of age. Countries such as Russia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Sweden, Romania also recognize MMA as a legal sport, while in France, MMA is permitted to a certain degree.
Videos of such fights happening between kids under the age of 10 with zero protection have appeared on many online channels like YouTube, Facebook, etc.
What is even more annoying is a drunk crowd acting all crazy and excited is shown in the background of an ongoing fight between kids.
In one of the videos we came across, we saw an 8-year-old kid lifting another kid high off the floor and dangerously pile, driving the kid right down on his neck and head.
Most gyms also try to teach kids as young as 4 the art of mixed martial arts.
However, the questions that come are – kids’ MMA when are they old enough? Isn’t MMA dangerous for kids? What are the benefits for kids to join MMA training? How young is too young?
In this article, we have answered those queries and provided our readers with doable solutions.
However, before we move ahead, we will first list some MMA pros and cons, which would help you know – When are they old enough?
Before we move ahead, let us make you aware of all the pros and cons of this hybrid combat sport, especially for kids.
First, We Will Try Answering the Question – What Are the Benefits for Kids to Join MMA Training?
Benefits for Kids to Join MMA Training
Many kids have been involved in amateur boxing for decades. This practice involves repeated blows to the head, even if they put on headgear.
Kids are involved in ice hockey, rugby, gridiron, and a few get a concussion even though they are wearing headgear. Other sports, too, like snowboarding, motocross, skateboarding, and gymnastics, have higher injury rates.
Despite knowing how dangerous a particular sport is, cheerleading for such games is one of the inhuman activities prevalent around the world.
Note that lower knockout rates can prevent you from brain injuries when involved in MMA.
Fitness of the cardiovascular region is enhanced via aerobics exercise involving sparring in the ring, jumping rope, or running. Muscular conditioning is ameliorated via calisthenics such as pull-ups and pushups or weight training.
However, please note that weight training for youngsters is not recommended.
Kids’ MMA may be considered a prudent way to teach your kids the self-defense tactic. The mix of ground and stand up fighting efficiently prepares kids for actual fighting better than other sports.
Disadvantages of Kids’ MMA
Here We Will Work Towards Answering the Question – Isn’t MMA Dangerous for Kids?
Taking back-to-back blows to the head before the kid’s brain has developed can create huge problems. Also, with headgear, it is hazardous. Kids must not be punching each other in the face with adequate power and strength.
Young kids as small as 5 years are rewarded for kicking, punching, physically attacking, twisting limbs of children of the same age.
By physically hurting each other regularly, kids become more desensitized to pain.
List of Injuries Prevalent in MMA
- Hyperextension of joints
- Fractures due to falling
Various diets to make weight limits are not suitable for the body, especially when it is about a child who is in his/her growing stage.
Some parents forcibly make their children fight whether they are willing or not. Such ignorant parents try to live their vicarious dreams through their children.
‘How Young Is Too Young?’
Just imagine if a child begins fighting at the age of 5; what condition would his body be in after 15 years of being choked, punched, ground and pounded, knocked out, etc.?
Isn’t that when he/she should be focusing on beginning a career and not ending it?
Though there are some unified martial arts rules, common etiquette like self-discipline, respect, and courtesy are not taught in mixed martial arts (MMA).
Thus, the answer to the question: Isn’t MMA dangerous for kids? Yes, it is dangerous.
Kids’ MMA: When Are They Old Enough?
To effectively teach MMA techniques and allow children to practice them, note that teaching them the art of MMA can begin from the age they are 7 years old until they are at least 18 years old.
However, they should not enter into a fighting bout and compete at that age as any injury, which is internal, can last for quite a long time, especially when they are in their growing years.
When kids turn 18 years of age, they can make their own decision whether they want to continue MMA or not.
Kids under the age of 18 should be taught under the supervision of a well-trained instructor who controls grappling and stops sparring very closely.
Firstly, any practice for the actual competition should not be allowed for ages under 18, but it should be under strict safety vigilance if allowed on a few occasions.
Courtesy, self-discipline, and respect for one another should be prioritized while practicing mixed martial arts, just how it is taught in conventional martial arts.
When Training, Your Child Should Follow the Below Listed Rules:
- Touching elbows & knees should not be allowed of each other.
- Striking the back of the backside of the head should not be allowed.
- Kicks to downed opponents involving the body or leg should not be allowed.
- No fish-hooking, hair pulling, head butts, eye-gouging, or grabbing the opponent’s shorts or gloves should be allowed.
- All fights should be restricted to just 2 rounds. With each round to be a maximum of 2 or 3 minutes
- Wear a shin guard and a headgear
- Wear a groin protector and a chest protector
- Ensure ample rest for the kid so that their body can recover
Following the aspects mentioned above would provide the parents with comfort that their child is training in compliance with this sport’s rules. Make sure that your child trains under an instructor’s guidance to avoid any fatal injury.
So, those parents anxious to get their child enrolled to learn MMA should first try and fetch answers to these few questions: kids’ MMA when are they old enough? Isn’t MMA dangerous for kids?
What are the benefits for kids to join MMA training? How young is too young?
Mind it; this is an important consideration before you decide to put your child train on this form of combat sport.
Even if your child is too young as 7 years old and is willing to learn MMA, you can get him/her enrolled in a school but ensure certain things before you go ahead with it:
- The child is only there to learn and not compete in a fight with other kids.
- Crucial importance should be given to self-discipline, respect, and courtesy when practicing the game with others.
- The trainer should be experienced and amiable in his way of teaching.
If your child has any history of physical aggression or has any mental condition, ensure communicating with the mental health expert before getting him enrolled in the MMA class.
In martial arts, Taekwondo and Karate are forms of martial arts training suitable for peeps of all ages. This art form emphasizes teaching discipline, manner, and patience, which are much needed when into martial arts training.
Few martial art centers also enable the entire family members to join. Of course, all teens or kids may not want to join martial arts along with their parents.
But suppose there is any shy kid or a reluctant kid who unnecessarily gets involved in physical activity. In that case, parents can also consider joining the training class to watch their kids.