When to let children watch MMA?

Makalakumu

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When do you let your children watch MMA matches? Why did you make that decision?

I have two children, 5 and 8, and I am leary of letting them watch MMA with me. I want to deliver a clear message about fighting and I'm wondering if watching to grown men agree to fight each other in a fairly brutal way would confuse it.

I've been thinking about entering a jujutsu tournament and bringing them to watch as a way of easing them into it. I did most of my competing before they were born when I had time to train at state and regional championship level. Also, I think if I get them involved with Judo or some other aggressive martial sport, that will definitely make it less confusing.

Anyway, I'm sorry for the rambling post. There are a bunch of thoughts roaming through my head. I'm very interested in hearing what your general opinions are regarding kids watching MMA. What do you do it? Why?
 

teekin

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I think getting them involved in Judo is an excellent way to teach them the basics of MA as it comes with a full traditional heritage and dicipline. The rules are quite safe in the beginning and not untill later and in the upper ranks do the nastiness and dirty tricks show up. By then they can have an ethical base on which to base their own conclusions.

lori
 

Tez3

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You don't seem to have the different sets of rules we have here, there's amateur rules which means no head shot at all, then semi pro which is head shots standing and of course pro rules. We also have No-Gi comps which are ideal for children to watch, just the fights on the mats. It seems all you have is the UFC type promotions.

We let kids come to our promotions because they are martial arts competitions with good sportsmanship and a pleasant atmosphere. Quite often the kids will do a kata demo and some sparring comps before the main fights start, it's always received well by the audience.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Like you I am a little wary and my children are a little older. However, I grew up watching boxing with Muahammed Ali and all the great heavyweights, plus Larry Holmes, Spinks, etc. I started watching around five or six and I guess I turned out all right.
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So I think you can go either way however at least in my house we are waiting a bit!
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Stac3y

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My guys are 9 and 11, and I don't let them watch UFC-style MMA or boxing. Only controlled-contact competition like point sparring, etc. (Though I must admit that, in Texas, at least, point sparring can result in some blood and bruises in the teen and adult age brackets.) I don't want them watching stuff where people are actually trying to HURT each other--it's too violent, and a bad example for young kids, IMO. I'm pretty restrictive re: violent media, though, compared to most parents.
 

K831

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I don't find MMA to be all that violent. My children are to young to watch TV, but I have a 10 yr old and 16 yr old brother and they watch the fights with us older brothers all the time.

I would be more concerned with them watching the day to day antics of some of these guys and idolizing them than just watching a little scuffle in a refereed and safe environment.

I am curious, for those of you who have said it concerns you;

Are you equally careful about what your kids watch when it comes to the pervasive amount of sexual content, innuendo, crude humor, disrespectful attitude, drug use, dishonesty etc displayed on virtually all TV shows these days?
 

Dave Leverich

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I have a 7 year old daughter (ok, almost 7, a month) and an 11 year old boy. They both watch some. My son likes it more as he's done a couple of years of wrestling now, my daughter likes it as well because 'thats what daddy does'.

I just make sure that they understand that it is a competition, and that they see the sportsmanship and honor behind it. If someone is a bad sport/d-bag, I use that as an opportunity to teach them via example of how NOT to be and why.
 

Bruno@MT

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I think getting them involved in Judo is an excellent way to teach them the basics of MA as it comes with a full traditional heritage and dicipline. The rules are quite safe in the beginning and not untill later and in the upper ranks do the nastiness and dirty tricks show up. By then they can have an ethical base on which to base their own conclusions.

lori

+1.

Judo would work.
Although in my case it would be ninpo / jujutsu because that is what I do and because there are specific curricula for teaching kids which omit the 'riskier' stuff.

Genbukan is a fairly strict organization when it comes to manners and behavior. Combined with an appropriate curriculum I think it is a good foundation for children, both pyhsically and mentally. That said, if my kids prefer judo or TKD, or ballet or whatever, that's fine too.

As to the topic at hand: my oldest daughter is now 4, and I think I would let her watch an MMA match if I was there to comment and help her put things into context. However we don't let her watch tv shows involving violence, bullying or other such things. We usually watch the news but change the channel when they show carnage like from haiti. My daughter is 4. She doesn't need to see crushed corpses just yet.
 

Steve

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When do you let your children watch MMA matches? Why did you make that decision?

I have two children, 5 and 8, and I am leary of letting them watch MMA with me. I want to deliver a clear message about fighting and I'm wondering if watching to grown men agree to fight each other in a fairly brutal way would confuse it.

I've been thinking about entering a jujutsu tournament and bringing them to watch as a way of easing them into it. I did most of my competing before they were born when I had time to train at state and regional championship level. Also, I think if I get them involved with Judo or some other aggressive martial sport, that will definitely make it less confusing.

Anyway, I'm sorry for the rambling post. There are a bunch of thoughts roaming through my head. I'm very interested in hearing what your general opinions are regarding kids watching MMA. What do you do it? Why?
I don't have a problem with the kids watching it, but I make sure that they understand that it's a sport and the athletes who are competing train very hard to do so.

My kids ultimately don't care very much about it, though, so it's not that huge a deal. That could partly be because I've never made it a big deal.

Edit to add that in reading some of the other responses, are you asking when is a good time to let them watch MMA or when you should get them into MA? I'm confused.
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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I don't have a problem with the kids watching it, but I make sure that they understand that it's a sport and the athletes who are competing train very hard to do so.

My kids ultimately don't care very much about it, though, so it's not that huge a deal. That could partly be because I've never made it a big deal.

Edit to add that in reading some of the other responses, are you asking when is a good time to let them watch MMA or when you should get them into MA? I'm confused.

When to start watching MMA?

From the responses, it seems everyone likes the idea of getting involved in a sport (judo) in order to make the link between that and sport.
 

Stac3y

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I am curious, for those of you who have said it concerns you;

Are you equally careful about what your kids watch when it comes to the pervasive amount of sexual content, innuendo, crude humor, disrespectful attitude, drug use, dishonesty etc displayed on virtually all TV shows these days?

Pretty much, yeah. Potty humor, well, I'd like to avoid it, but my boys generate more of it than they've ever seen. <sigh> I don't allow them to see anything with graphic drug use or anything that glamorizes drug use. I don't allow them to see anything that shows "cheap" or promiscuous sex, but love scenes that involve committed partners are okay (though they say "ewwww!" and change the channel as soon as anyone kisses.) We watch things with them and discuss the behaviors they see and why they are ethical or not, etc. We are very open with them about drugs and sex and the risks incurred.

So yes, my husband and I are pretty strict. We try hard to reinforce things like "Sex should be only between adults in committed relationships," and "Violence is not acceptable unless you are defending yourself." "Respectful behavior is good and will pave the way to a smoother, more successful life." And they are good boys. Really good boys. I'm proud of them.
 

Nomad

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I have 7 and 10 year old girls, and I don't forbid them to watch UFC, as I like to watch sometimes. Generally, they're simply not interested.

OTOH, since she's been training karate for many years, the older one will sometimes watch a fight or two and comment on it (mostly OUCH!, or "I'm sure glad we don't do that stuff!")

To me, it's just another aspect of martial arts, and in itself, neither good nor bad for the kids to be exposed to. It's all about putting what they see into context.
 
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