So I have made it abundantly clear that I support Kid’s in martial arts and kids competing in the different disciplines of MMA. I have also talked about Pankration which is the closest thing to kid’s MMA available. It allows striking and grappling but does away with the more dangerous aspects. The show I am involved in allows kids to get themselves into the spotlight. They walk out to their choice of songs, they participate in a cage, and they get all the aspects of a big show without the danger of being struck in the head or having a heel hook tear their knee. There are obvious reasons that kids shouldn’t fight in full blown MMA fights.
I always say that it doesn’t matter when a fighter starts, they have a shelf life.
Your body can only take so much of the abuse involved in the training and competing in MMA. If you get kids started young in full rules MMA, their bodies wouldn’t be able to take that kind of abuse for years and years. With that all said, there are countries that condone extremely violent competition for kids. Muay Thai in Thailand is one such example. Some of these kids turn pro at the tender age of 8 and accumulate hundreds of fights before they are teenagers. Craziness that is engrained in their society and is perfectly acceptable in their culture.
A recent story making the rounds comes out of Russia. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov made news in Russia, and the world after his three sons aged between 8 and 10 fought in the ring in a brutal mixed martial arts contest. This is a breach of rules in Russia. In video footage posted by Kadyrov on Instagram, his 10-year-old son Akhmad is shown knocking his opponent out within seconds at the contest in Grozny, watched by his father in the audience. The head of the Russian Mixed Martial Arts Union, Fedor Emelianenko, condemned the holding of the children’s fights during the Grand Prix Akhmat-2016 competition in Chechen capital Grozny. Where he was quoted as saying “What happened at the tournament in Grozny is unacceptable and cannot be justified.” The children’s fights were announced, under false pretenses, as exhibition performances in order to clear the red tape, but were far from that.
Emelianenko said that children under 12 are not allowed to compete and those over 12 are supposed to wear a helmet.
“I am really outraged by the fact that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov was watching all of this.” ~ Fedor Emelianenko
Stated by Emelianenko, a famous fighter, is a member of President Vladimir Putin’s council on developing physical culture and sport. Russia’s sports ministry said it would investigate. “We will find out about this situation and we will request information on this,” deputy sports minister Pavel Kolobkov told TASS state news agency. Kadyrov was inaugurated for a third term on Wednesday after winning almost 98 percent of the vote. The muscle-bound leader regularly posts photographs of his gym sessions. Often called “fight without rules” in Russian, the combat discipline of mixed martial arts allows blows with legs and hands. Putin is apparently a fan and in 2011 climbed into the ring at a tournament in Moscow to congratulate Emelianenko on beating American Jeff Monson, who has since acquired a Russian passport.
Not mentioning the trauma involved to the body of a young child, it can certainly have mental repercussions as well. I don’t need to let you know that the benefits of martial arts far outweigh the negatives, but MMA is not a sport that kids should be exposed to at a young age. Martial Arts Styles are complex and can aid the physical, mental, and emotional development of children. The art of beating people up and being rewarded for knockouts is far from what kids should be taught. Pretty insane stuff, but at least an Icon in MMA is doing his part to make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again.