Saturday, 1 October 2011

As the crowd roars....

"As the crowd roars, cage fighters aged 8 and 9 do battle... even after one breaks down in tears (but police say they won't take action against it)
  • Police will take no action against the organisers of 'barbaric' cage fighting
  • Organisers defend event as 'perfectly legal'
  • Jeremy Hunt condemns the contests"

This is the headline in the Daily Mail, let’s be honest it’s not the best way to promote a Sport - or is it a Sport?

I have to agree with most of what is said about cage fighting in general in that it is, “Hard, Tough, Barbaric and Spectacular.” I personally have no great love for it but if grown men or women want to do it by all means let them participate, after all they are grownups. I am told it is becoming more regulated and a lot safer which is only a good thing. Children – NO! They need to be protected until they are old enough to make their own decisions.

I watched the competition mentioned above and did not see any kicking and punching unlike others I have seen on the internet but to suggest, as some did, that this was no worse than kids doing Judo or Wrestling is absolute rubbish; many of the techniques I saw being applied - neck cranks, arm/leg locks, strangles etc would never be allowed in either sport. Remember, Judo and Wrestling have had nearly a century of rule development to make the sports safe, eliminating the most dangerous of techniques.

The supporters of this Kiddy Bashing tell us is that is just like MMA. Is this supposed to mean something - a mish-mash of fighting styles with no governing body or one set of rules? Well that has now finished, SPORTS ACCORD which is the controlling body of all world sports has asked FILA  (International Federation for all Wrestling Styles) to take over MMA which is now called FILA Grappling MMA. In Great Britain the governing body is the British Wrestling Association and I would recommend everyone to join this legitimate organization.

Let’s be honest the reason they did this in a cage was to create an image that it was something different from the normal forms of grappling, a crowd puller hence a financial success.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt today condemned cage fighting among children as young as eight as 'barbaric' and expressed shock over an apparent lack of restrictions on the activity.

I totally agree yet he, along with his government, allows the British Taekwondo Board of Control to teach children as young as three to kick and punch, surely that is just as barbaric.

The fighting in a cage symbolizes wild animals fighting; caged because they’re a danger to the onlooker, a spectacular not unlike Romans watching gladiators fight to the death. Do we really want this type of blood lust instilled in our children?

For those who are not content with traditional grappling sports by all means develop your own system but make sure it is safe with codes of conduct and ethics.

Yet I think Kids Cage Fighting will get bigger because there is money to be made organizing events, starting clubs etc and you will always have parents trying to live through their children doing things they cannot or will not do.

As for me I will stick to the traditional styles.

Martin Clarke Sambo Grandmaster 8th Dan Judo

For more information on Sambo visit:
 Contact Martin Clarke at

No comments: