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Kids MMA - An Exercise in Controlling Aggression?
Posted on Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 7:12 am
by IDMA Editor

This should be a normal response. However, in an effort to present both sides of this, kids are scared when they watch a lot of new things like diving, motor-cross and karate. All activities that are widely accepted as normal.

Shark Tank, a MMA school in California that has a successful kids program takes kids as young as 6 years old. The coach, a former Special Forces Instructor does not believe that kids MMA is teaching violence, "that doing MMA with violence is your attitude and they are not doing it with malice or evil intent - it is a sport, it is martial arts, parents need to understand it is martial arts."

But it is- martial arts? This leads to another debate, how much of the sport of MMA is really in the category of martial arts.

Paul Stricker, MD, who served on the US Olympic Team in 2000 and is a specialist in youth sports, says that children are taught the behavior of beating up other kids. "You have to think about how you are allowing children at 6, 7 years of age to be unleashed - so young, giving them permission to hit , kick and beat up other kids. It is not normal child development, " explains Stricker.

It does seem a valid point. Should children even be encouraged to access the aggression used to beat up another child. Is it normal to hone this skill and techniques, even if it is given rules as parameters. As someone who has been involved at various levels in the sport of MMA, I have met few MMA fighters that do not tap into deep aggression to keep them focused throughout their matches. Many proponents of the sport for kids believe that it is a healthy outlet for kids to be aggressive and control aggression.

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