I’m getting grief for criticizing the “sport” of children’s Mixed Martial Arts.
Jerin Valel via email:
I think the British reporter in the peace was very irresponsible in his presentation of the topic, and was driven by sensationalism.
This is “my” sport so I take exception to it. I was a former professional MMA fighter and Coach, and moved on to become a reputable referee travelling the world over.
All though i don’t support drinking alcohol in a crowd context, what the two young athlete did was not MMA in its true definition, as there was no striking allowed (punching, kicking, hitting).
What they did do was a submission grappling match (which is combination of Wrestling, and Brazilian Jiujitsu on a wrestling mat), which you can find at many local elementary schools (it’s amateur sport). Its seems that in order to allow kids to follow and support a sport they love (MMA – orgs like the UFC), some parents and small organizers/promoters allow kids to compete at submission grappling in a professional MMA cage prior to the start of and event (it’s always a draw with no winner, more of demonstration). This is similar to “tim bits” 4 year olds hockey teams playing on the ice before an NHL game (for the experience), and we all know the beer that is consumed and fights that happen later at a hockey game.
I’ll concede that in some circumstances MMA could be a healthy sport. Safer perhaps than Women’s Elite Gymnastics.
That concession out of the way, I vote to remove boxing from the Olympics. And remain convinced that children’s MMA will escalate in violence, perhaps reaching the level of Canadian ice hockey someday.