Frank Shamrock was on ESPN trying to defend kid’s MMA, which seems to be the next hot topic that people are using to try and demonize mixed martial arts. And he gets his ass kicked pretty bad by some stuffy old dude who manages to call it ‘heinous’ and the parents involved ‘lacking critical thinking skills’. The dude continues that putting your kids into this is going to fuck them up on an emotional level. Frank didn’t do too good of a job countering that argument, which I think was the most damaging one of the bunch.
Frank missed the opportunity to explain that this kind of training and fighting isn’t going to lead to emotional scarring because there’s a massive difference between a kid getting hit by their parents in their home or by the bully in the schoolyard and a kid getting hit while training or fighting in MMA. I don’t think there’s going to be any children who willingly participate in the sport that are going to come out with any kind of emotional issues because of it. Sure, mean kids will still be mean. But it will give meek kids the confidence to be strong and confident. Martial arts have a long history of helping kids with all sorts of issues sort themselves out.
Personally, I’m against having kids under the age of 12 throwing punches at eachother, but that shit has gone on in a whole bunch of other martial arts for ages, and no one ever gave a crap about that. What most people who are fanning the flames on this issue are doing is showing you grown athletes beating the shit out of eachother in the UFC and then juxtaposing little kids ‘doing the same thing’.
But these kids can’t do even a tiny fraction of that damage to eachother, or even manage the same amount of damage they can take from getting a softball in the mug or a kickslide to the ankle or a football helmet to the knee. Or a skate over the fingers, or on and on and on and on. Shit, let’s look outside sports at all the dangerous things kids do that are more hazardous than taking MMA lessons. God knows I would have been a LOT safer growing up if I’d been forced to attend mixed martial arts class rather than play ‘Boner Airlines’, where we loaded kids up on the giant swingsets at school and launched them over the monkey bars. And that was with our friends. If we didn’t like them, we’d just send them headfirst into the metal swingset beams.
Yeah, kids are fucking animals.