Trading Shots: Would you let your child do MMA?

AnselMgertner54

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If the correct rules and safety equipment are adopted, MMA is just as safe as any other martial arts practiced by millions of children and teenagers worldwide. Experts reckon that the ideal age to start an MMA practice is between the ages of 13-16 when the adolescent body is growing and learning to identify with the adult body. To start MMA training, the child must have a background in fitness, strong muscles, motivation, and strong immunity. I started when I was 6 and was training while my peers played would you rather for kids.
 
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Gerry Seymour

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To start MMA training, the child must have a background in fitness, strong muscles, motivation, and strong immunity.
I question parts of this. There's no reason a weak child can't start training, as long as the training includes developing that strength. Same for fitness (they probably need marginal fitness, at least). As for immunity, I'm not sure where MMA requires any more of that than any other social contact activity.
 

Buka

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If the correct rules and safety equipment are adopted, MMA is just as safe as any other martial arts practiced by millions of children and teenagers worldwide. Experts reckon that the ideal age to start an MMA practice is between the ages of 13-16 when the adolescent body is growing and learning to identify with the adult body. To start MMA training, the child must have a background in fitness, strong muscles, motivation, and strong immunity. I started when I was 6 and was training while my peers played would you rather for kids.
Welcome to MartialTalk, AnselMgertner. Hope you enjoy it here. :)
 

Buka

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I really like MMA. But it's the same question as with any other type or Martial Art -
it depends on the school.

I've been around a lot of wonderful MMA guys. Been around some that weren't as wonderful. They didn't last, though. And I could say that exact same thing with any other art.
 

JowGaWolf

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And with any sport. If I had kids, knowing what I know, I'd want submissions kept very gentle until teens (long-term joint damage potential), and would expect head shots to be kept well outside KO range, at the very least.
This is where I am on the issue. MMA itself isn't the issue that I would be concern with. I would be more concern with the amount of force used in sparring and in competitions. There would have to be some limitations

Just from an instructor's point of view. I've always valued control more than power when it comes to kids. Power is much easier to obtain than control. Control is what they will need when the power naturally comes. Kids at the school I was at would spar but a lot of it was body contact. We didn't encourage punches to the head and we always made sure that the power level was low enough to reduce serious injure to body and ego. The last thing you want is a child to be traumatized by a hard shot in sparring. Things like that build fear. You know me. Spar to learn.

In terms of competition. Full contact is a no. There are other ways to be competitive with a child's fighting skills. K.O.s and destroyed joints aren't required. In terms of a career. By the time a child is old enough to determine that he would have already determined if he was good enough to go into a career of fighting.

For teens and adults, my biggest concern about head shots is not that they do them, but how well they can defend against them. The better the teen and adult is with defending headshots the more likely I will allow them to spar where head shots are being used. But I would also expect the student to have enough control where they aren't teeing up on someone's head just because it was wide open.
 

JowGaWolf

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Saw this on twitter thought I'd share it here an 11 year old fighting at an event Karim Zidan on Twitter
I don't like things like this. This is what knuckle head adults do as adults. There's a lot of mental and social development that kids still have to do. Adults will see this display and know that "It's part of the act." Kids will see it and think this is how they should always be. Any kids competition should have a higher focus on honorable behavior. After all these are the same kids that will be in control when they become adults and we are old. What type of person do you want do depend on as you age. Not all of the kids will continue the fight path. However that, fight mentality, pre fight ego, may last longer than we would like.

Kids see reality in a different light and I think that's something that people have to take into consideration in competitive sports. The same behavior that would cause a parent to fight at a game is probably something they learned as a child.

Some organizers treat kids almost like fighting dogs, with no care about the personal development of the kids. I don't like the exploitation of kids in any shape or form.
 

J. Pickard

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There are some really good and really safe point based MMA schools and tournaments out there that allow kids to compete with less risk than most other sports. Honestly I would rather my child do any type of martial art competition than do something like high school football (American).
 

Steve

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Personally. Im not worried about a lot of contact, but Im careful about blows to the head. I had three diagnosed concussions as a kid and Im sure a lot more that werent diagnosed. Probably as a result of that and all we are learning about brain injuries and such theres no way Id let my kids play football or train in a martial art that included blows to the head.
 

drop bear

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I have a friends kid doing a modified mma. She is 13.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Personally. Im not worried about a lot of contact, but Im careful about blows to the head. I had three diagnosed concussions as a kid and Im sure a lot more that werent diagnosed. Probably as a result of that and all we are learning about brain injuries and such theres no way Id let my kids play football or train in a martial art that included blows to the head.
I cant say how lucky I think I am that I was scared to head the ball in soccer.
 

Tez3

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I'm not sure why some are talking about children and careers in MMA, it's a sport like many others and should be done as a sport. Most children play football, cricket, hockey etc just as they do martial arts with no thoughts of taking them up as a career.
 

Buka

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Any of the MMA places Ive been to were very careful with kids. No shots to the head, no arm bars and no chokes of any kind.

I trained my young nephew that way, then, when he was eighteen, trained him with everything else.

Seemed to work well.
 

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