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Two Takes on Kids in MMA

AOL sports Writer Michael David Smith does a thorough job pasting a bad AP story about kid's MMA and comes out strongly in favor of MMA, parents and sense:

As for parents who send their kids into MMA: Good for them. Have you ever seen 6-year-olds play sports? They're clumsy and weak. I would be much more worried about a kid with no coordination accidentally hitting another kid with a bat in Little League than I would be about a kid hurting another kid in MMA.


I'm guessing the writer means "sucker punches" in the same way he meant "bare-knuckle," which is to he doesn't mean it at all. But it's good to hear that no one was hurt and they were wearing proper padding. And so we can conclude that these little kids, who in most cases wouldn't be strong enough to do serious damage to each other even if they tried, aren't getting hurt, and we can all have a juice box and go home happy, right?

Now imagine my surprise when friend of Bloody Elbow and MMA-writer par excellence Sam Caplan posts this piece of fuzzy headed nonsense:

It should be illegal for anyone under the 18 to compete in a mixed martial arts fight. If someone is 16 and they are emancipated, there should be an exception made because they are legally an adult and should be allowed to decide what's best for themselves. But under no other circumstance should a minor fight MMA. If they want to train and learn technique -- I'm all for it. But what is the point in having kids fight? It seems like the Little League syndrome where a bunch of failed athletes force their kids to play a sport in hopes of living vicariously through them.

Ridiculous Sam. Completely untenable position and really inexcusable from someone as knowledgeable about sports and MMA as you are. The fact is that kids box in massive numbers and its pretty safe. As Smith points out -- kids just can't hit that hard. Plus headgear. Plus gloves. And then you've got all levels of kid football and baseball which are very dangerous yet rightfully celebrated as a huge part of American childhood culture.

Let's get it straight, kids training and participating in supervised MMA with proper adult supervision, rules and padding (including headgear), is a good thing. Period.

Because the alternative to kids participating in safe, sanctioned rules-based MMA isn't BJJ training, its felony fights. Personally I'd rather my kid put on some headgear and gloves and romp around in a padded environment than go out and get his head slammed onto concrete or broken glass with no adults around to get help if someone gets hurt.

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