Children Cage-Fighting?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Bill Mattocks, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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  2. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Ever since the early days of the UFC, people have had a bad taste in their mouth about MMA and cage fighting. Sure, in the beginning, it was more 'brutal' than we see today, but sincce the change over, I think that fighter safety is a much higher priority today, than it was years ago. Early days, we'd see very bloody guys, getting pounded. Now, the slightest bit of blood, any fighter that isnt safely defending himself, the ref steps in.

    Should kids do MMA? Sure, why not. Under the proper supervision, I think it'd be more productive for them, instead of sitting in front of the tv, playing video games and eating junk.
     
  3. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ok, this one I can nail because I know the people concerned, the video btw was posted on the internet without the parent's permission. The boys weren't 'cage fighting' they were grappling/wrestling (no strikes at all) in an exhibition match in a small promotion. The media picked this up and turned it into a circus. Now having children in the cage may have been unwise in hindsight though many of us know that it is a safe place for groundwork. The ref Neil Hall is a very decent guy. a good friend and a good ref, he does our shows, he would have no truck with children 'cage fighting', in fact we don't allow children under 16 to do head shots and they are usually at least 14 before they have an amateur MMA match. what the kids were doing in the video is nothing more than what thousands of North American children do..wrestling. Next year in the London Olympics there will be two types of wrestling as well as Judo, TKD and boxing. In this country under tha uspices of the ABA children will be competing in boxing comps and as many of you know there are children competing every weekend in karate and TKD matches where head shots are allowed and some of the children are younger than these Lancashire boys in the video. Lessons have been learned, perhaps there has been naivety from MMA people but never have children been cage fighting here. I will give you Rosi Sexton's views on this. She's already been inteviewed by the BBC on this subject, she is our best ad for MMA here being an academic, a medic and a pro fighter.

    [h=1]Cages, kids and the media[/h]Posted on September 22, 2011 by rosi sexton
    [​IMG]You may have noticed that “cage fighting” seems to be back in the news again with outrage about a video of some children fighting at a mixed martial arts event in Lancashire.
    As it turns out, one of the boys and his parents are good friends of mine. He’s a great kid – polite, well mannered and dedicated to his sport. His parents are also wonderful people, totally devoted to their son and very upset at the way this is being portrayed. For that reason, I’d like to set the record straight.
    Although the tabloids are calling it “cage fighting”, what the kids were actually doing was grappling. In a demonstration match. There were clear rules, with no punching or kicking allowed, and neither of the kids was hurt – although one got a little bit upset and frustrated at one point. A bit of a non-story really, except the fact that it happened to take place in a cage. If this same contest had taken place in a sports centre with everyone dressed in martial arts outfits, the Daily Mail would have been utterly uninterested.
    Having said that, there were a few things about the event that (in hindsight) weren’t ideal.
    My young friend’s dad and his martial arts coaches were told that the event was to be a “friendly demonstration grappling bout”. On the night, there was apparently some confusion over the details of the rules, and it turned out to be a little rougher than expected. I’ve no doubt this was due to an honest misunderstanding and the competitive nature of the boys, and as it happened there was no harm done.
    With combat sports becoming increasingly popular amongst all age groups though, I think it’s important that we have a serious discussion about how best to allow children to train and compete in a safe environment. At the very least, there should be clear rules about which techniques are or aren’t allowed, and specific guidelines for officials when refereeing junior matches.
    It’s also unfortunate (and worrying) that the video of the match was posted on a public website – especially without permission from the parents. Seeing children “fighting” in a cage is an image that inevitably draws very negative reactions from people unfamiliar with the sport. Obviously, nobody involved in the event expected this level of media scrutiny.
    Perhaps a lesson to learn here is that we all need to be conscious not just of how things are, but of how they might appear. If you’re putting on an MMA show – even the smallest local grass roots event – then behave as though the world is watching. Because they might be.
     
  4. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    They weren't doing MMA however. We do have children training here, usually groundwork ie Judo, BJJ, grappling etc and standup..karate, kickboxing etc usually separately but they don't compete MMA. They will compete in Judo, karate etc same as other martial arts kids.

    We had a lot of TKD people phoning the radio stations, emailing media sites etc saying how much better TKD is and how bad MMA is which wasn't appreciated. It didn't come from other stylists though just TKD.
     
  5. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    MMA, grappling...perhaps I should've chosen my wording differently. :) In either case, no matter what its called, the media will do what they do best...screw things up. LOL. But, whatever the kids are doing, MMA or just grappling, I dont see anything wrong with it. The rules could be modified for their ages, such as you said above, with no head shots. IMO, I'd rather see them do this under supervision of someone who knows whats going on, rather than have some backyard brawl, where the injury risk is 10 times higher.
     
  6. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    This is my Arguement for things like Boxing amongst Adolescents.

    Sure, they could be Injured.
    But its better to be Fighting under Controlled, Limited Circumstances than beating each other up without restraint.

    No Shots to the Head is neither here nor there for me - Ive yet to really form much of an Opinion on it, mainly due to knowing how devestating shots to the Body can be :)
     
  7. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, that's a pretty good summation. The cage gave it an air of a circus, didn't it? Mad Max and all that. UFC and all that. Bloodsport and all that.

    If it was high-school wrestling, it would not attract so much as a yawn from the media, and there would be no controversy. Done on a mat, in a high school gymnasium, as it has always been.

    Put it in a public venue and set up a cage around it with banners that say "CAGE" in huge letters kinds of gives the impression that it is a 'CAGE MATCH', eh?

    If it's just grappling, I certainly have no problem with it.

    But imagine if a high school prom dance was set up on a pole-dancing stage, tickets sold, and banners draped about proclaiming "DRUNKEN TEENAGE SNOGGING LIVE ONSTAGE!" Might be a teensy bit of outrage, even if it was actually just a basic prom dance.

    Image is everything.
     
  8. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    All true!

    I've said on here before that people who say they are 'cage fighters' or like 'cagefighting' don't know what they are talking about, for a while now many of us have been waging a campaign to get the word 'cage' disassociated from MMA, we know it's a long hard uphill struggle with little chance of success but we have to try.
    We have two sorts of people here who are trying to stop MMA, one group is like the woman who posted up on the Daily Mail site that sport is dangerous, she wants children to wear safety helmets when playing soccer, ban all martial arts and have children do things like pageants, she actually mentioned them! As there is a row going on at the moment over an American pageant for little girls shown in a programme here where a mother dressed her small daughter up as a prostitute from the film 'Pretty Woman' that maybe wasn't such a wise choice of pastime to give as an alternative!
    The other type of person wants anything that smacks of even a hint of violence or competition, even self defence to be banned.
    There is another lot who want MMA to be banned and thats the boxing fraternity, again they are skating on thin ice because of the big scandal over the Olympics where the Boxing authorities were allegedly given a huge amount of money so that Azerbaijan can have two medals in London.

    On one of the media sites someone suggested the kids should do Judo instead...DUR! No Gi grappling may even be slightly safer than Judo lol, I've seen Judoka go something fierce, good to watch though.
     
  9. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    The fight night wasn't in a 'public' venue, it was in a working mens club in front of friends, relatives and other fighters. fighters aren't paid, they get some expenses but it wasn't advertised in public as a cage fight night, It was more of an interclub comp with the kids doing an exhibition match, the cage is hired as no one can afford to buy one for a comp.

    I think American High school wrestiling may have it's moments as well, this was posted up on a thread about the Preston fight on a British MMA site.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVCegcfWXp8&feature=related
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I read about this last week. I am ALL for encouraging kids to compete in submission wrestling and grappling tournaments. I think, however, that they should be done professionally and can we throw just a little class in there, too?

    Having kids sub wrestling in a cage is a bad idea. Let's stick with well lit, clean gyms.

    The ADCC's were in the UK. If you look at the pictures and videos posted online of these grapplers competing at all levels, you'll see no-gi submission wrestling. You will not see any cage material.

    I am all for the kids competing in grappling tournaments. But the choice of venue is just ill advised.
     
  11. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah, but the public doesn't know the difference. And the signs said "CAGE."

    Ya think? :uhyeah:
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    CAn I ask what the issue with the video is? While I think keeping the kid's head from inflating too large and teaching him some humility might be in order, I didn't see anything wrong with his technique or execution on the mat. He listened to the refs and didn't seem to be using any dirty technique. He wasn't slamming. His technique was clean.

    And he was competing on actual wrestling mats in a gym. :)
     
  13. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Good they were too, Rosi was competing.

    You will have thousands of Northerners now growling in their beer! A working mens club is a community facility, children are always in there, there's bingo, meat draws as well as talent shows, singers etc, definitely not seedy but they are a lifeline in the poorer areas of the UK which Preston is. Having an MMA comp in one benefits the club as well as the MMA clubs locally.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_men's_club

    This competition isn't seedy either, ring girls if anyone has them are local girls who are unpaid and just wear something nice. I don't know what MMA is like at grass roots in the States but here it's small, friendly and dare I say cosy? It's a group of like minded people getting together for a comp, while in hindsight it didn't work, the kids should have just had a fun experience demonstrating their style, they weren't competing btw.

    We do have bigger shows of course but the ones like these aren't like the commercial ones, the ticket money is used to pay the ref and the medics, there's no profit in them. The drinks sold help the club.
     
  14. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    The issue was that there was no issue. No one went mad at that and as I've just explained the place where the kids were doing there demo is a clean tidy community facility, I'm not sure what you thought it was. The local Scouts, Guides, dance club, OAPs etc all use these facilities as they are kept cheap to hire for local groups.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Okay. Fair enough. I'm not sure why you posted the link, though.

    Oh, and I'm not sure how much you know about American Schools. High school typically starts at the 9th or 10th grade, around 14 or 15 years old.
     
  16. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Posted it because American wrestling was mentioned by one of the posters here. It was originally posted on the British site because it is far more 'show business' than anything we have kids doing, it was also to show that wrestling is an accepted sport in the States by schools and authorities and our kids weren't doing anything different (other than style techniques)
     
  17. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    It's not what they were doing - it's the public perception that matters. Ignoring that is going to end up enraging an uninformed public and getting your sport banned. Simple as that.
     
  18. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    The story is actually long dead and buried having taken place a while ago, as is always the case something new has taken it's place. There's no banning, the police aren't interested nor is anyone else now. It may have just hit the news outside the UK but here it's old news.
     
  19. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Waving your hands in the air and declaring it a non-issue does not make it a non-issue. Nixon tried that. Didn't work for him either.

    You don't get to decide what the public considers an issue. The public does. I'm sorry you don't get that.

    I completely understand your explanation of what happened; but you've ignored my comments about how the event was presented, so let me put it more bluntly; putting those kids in a cage marked 'CAGE' in huge letters was flat-out stupid. Whomever did that was an idiot. I don't care if they are friends of yours or not; if you did it, I'd tell you you're an idiot for doing so. It's not about what happened there, it's about public perception.

    And the government reaction often comes long after the original 'issue' in the press. You may think it's long done and buried in the UK, but you may be in for a surprise down the road. And pretending it doesn't matter does not make it not matter. It matters because people do not understand the difference between 'Cage matches' and 'grappling' and they'll go with that the easiest explanation; in this case, the signs and the cage lending credence to the old theory that if it quacks like a duck, it's a duck.
     
  20. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Tez, I am assuming there were more matches at this event. Was it an all ages type event(the competitors) or were the other fights in the same age range? Perception is of course important, but if this was the only "junior" event on a night of 10 fights, it would be easier to explain why the fight was held in a cage. If all the fights were of "junior" age, the cage choice becomes questionable.

    I don't see anything wrong with what the kids were doing.123
     

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