Beware of parents who watch too many movies like "300" because they may come away with ideas. Ideas like training children as young as 6 yrs. old to be ultimate fighters.
Apparently there are parents in Missouri who believe that "Ultimate Fighting" is an appropriate athletic outlet for young children. Yes I said "Ultimate Fighting", the sport where grown men beat each other into submission by virtually any means necessary.
Forgive me for being amazed that while so many parents are worried about violence in the schools, on the streets and from terrorists that other parents are training their children to be 21st century gladiators and hoplites. And the argument that these parents are using to justify their child rearing technique is that ultimate fighting is teaching these children self defense skills and self discipline.
However, when I stop to think of all of the violent video games that parents buy for themselves and their children I guess the next logical progression was ultimate fighting.
King Leonidas would be proud.
Ultimate Fights Expand to Include Kids
By MARCUS KABEL
CARTHAGE, Mo. (AP) — Ultimate fighting was once the sole domain of burly men who beat each other bloody in anything-goes brawls on pay-per-view TV.
But the sport often derided as "human cockfighting" is branching out.
The bare-knuckle fights are now attracting competitors as young as 6 whose parents treat the sport as casually as wrestling, Little League or soccer.
The changes were evident on a recent evening in southwest Missouri, where a team of several young boys and one girl grappled on gym mats in a converted garage.
Two members of the group called the "Garage Boys Fight Crew" touched their thin martial-arts gloves in a flash of sportsmanship before beginning a relentless exchange of sucker punches, body blows and swift kicks.
No blood was shed. And both competitors wore protective gear. But the bout reflected the decidedly younger face of ultimate fighting. The trend alarms medical experts and sports officials who worry that young bodies can't withstand the pounding.
Tommy Bloomer, father of two of the "Garage Boys," doesn't understand the fuss.
"We're not training them for dog fighting," said Bloomer, a 34-year-old construction contractor. "As a parent, I'd much rather have my kids here learning how to defend themselves and getting positive reinforcement than out on the streets."
Bloomer said the sport has evolved since the no-holds-barred days by adding weight classes to better match opponents and banning moves such as strikes to the back of the neck and head, groin kicking and head butting.
Missouri appears to be the only state in the nation that explicitly allows the youth fights. In many states, it is a misdemeanor for children to participate. A few states have no regulations.