This morning, I happened to stumble upon a CNN photo gallery of children partaking in a MMA fight … in a cage. Participants as young as age five are allowed to compete in the Thunderdome, where “they punch, kick, tackle and choke each other,” with their hands and feet.
I asked myself, “How many parents would actually let their kids do this?” The answer: a lot.
It’s considered to be one of the fastest growing youth sports, with about three million boys and girls already involved— but is this safe? Is it condoning violent behavior among children? I happen to think so.
Kids are encouraged to pummel, chokehold, and beat each other, wearing no headgear or safety gear other than gloves thinner than standard-issued boxing gloves. “Supporters tout it as a tool that encourages discipline, exercise and self confidence,” the post says, adding that it’s also a “gateway to teaching kids other concepts besides victory, such as courage, defense against bullies and good sportsmanship.”
Maybe so. But in my opinion, allowing kids, who are still learning wrong from right, to fight at such a young age does nothing but encourage them to act violently. I have a hard time sitting back and watching parents let their kids’ brains and bodies become scrambled eggs before they’re even in the second grade. But I’m not a parent…and these aren’t my kids.
So, should there be an age limit on such a brutal sport, or should a child’s age of participation be at the parents’ discretion?
Vote in our poll below and then from 4:30-5:00 p.m. ET, @TheFrisky will be discussing the question and poll results on Twitter. Be sure to join in on the convo and use the hashtag #ThisOrThat. See you then!