Friday, September 23, 2011
More Kids Cagefighting Controversy
In another instance of self-inflicted damage, the MMA scene is back in the news. This time due to complaints raised about young boys grappling as a demonstration in an adult club before the main events.
Readers may know I have a more nuanced view of the sport after helping train two fighters in our local area. While the crowd at the events I attended were like any other drunken louts at football games, the fighters showed respect for the process, winners consoled loser's and there were bonds between fighters.
While I am steeped in traditional martial arts, I appreciated what I saw and realized the nature of evolving fight-sports.
None of the techniques these kids in the video are using are much different than the wrestling seminars I attended as a youth.
What looks bad is the spectre of adults in a drinking club cheering and raging outside the cage. It just looks bad. I mean we are critical of the occasional little-league parent that acts like this on the sideline, so it's little wonder that the presence of the cage and adult behaviour tainted an otherwise safe wrestling match.
Here's a few snips from "The Guardian":
"Council chiefs have ordered the review of the licence of a Lancashire club after it staged cage fighting using children as young as eight.
Concerns were raised after the boys took part in a fight at the Greenlands Labour club in Preston before a 250-strong adult audience. The city council will be checking to see whether any licence conditions were breached and will ask the club not to stage similar events involving juveniles.
A video of the bout on 10 September, posted on the internet, showed children fighting in a cage without protective padding or headgear.
The deputy leader of Preston city council, John Swindells, said: "I, like many other people, am appalled by the incident of cage fighting involving children taking place in Preston. I am really concerned about the potential of harm to the children who were as young as eight years old."
"Police will not be taking action over the event. A Lancashire police spokesman said the force had looked into the matter fully and there were no issues to pursue."