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UK kids cage-fighting compared to cock-fighting and bear-baiting: A fan’s take
A huge controversy has erupted over video showing two young boys, aged 8 and 9, supposedly, "cage-fighting."
Watching the video, if you understand ground fighting, you'll recognize good technique—in a grappling match—with no punches or kicks thrown.
Brits have gone mad because the event took place in a cage usually reserved for mixed martial arts (MMA) fights. Adult MMA matches followed the ground fight between the two boys. "Scantily clad" ring girls were also noted as being present between bouts.
Cock fighting and bear baiting
John Cameron, representing the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in the UK, was contacted regarding the event. He is quoted on video saying, "This kind of event is really reminiscent of old cock-fighting and bear-baiting. It is completely inappropriate for young children to be used as entertainment for adults."
Please don't get me wrong. I'm not a fan of chaining a bear to a post and then setting dogs on it. I wouldn't like to watch cock-fighting either.
But I will hit the mats and grapple—without wearing headgear—knowing that responsible adults are on hand to provide instruction and maintain proper order. When punches or kicks are being thrown, I wear shin guards, protective headgear and a mouthguard.
Is there a difference between fighting in a cage and cage-fighting?
MMA or mixed martial arts includes Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), wrestling, boxing and kick-boxing. These two boys were grappling, meaning using their wrestling and BJJ skills.
The police were called.
"Police: We Won't Stop Child Cage-Fighting"
Mike McCarthy, North of England correspondent, "Police have said they are not going to take action against the organisers of a cage fighting event involving children as young as eight. Footage of the fighting, posted on the internet, provoked a storm of controversy and was condemned by the Government and campaigners. It shows the schoolboys grappling in a cage without protective padding or headgear in front of a large crowd. One is shown breaking down in tears during the event at Greenlands New Labour Social Club in Preston earlier this month."
The expression "breaking down in tears" is emotionally loaded, especially when referring to a young boy who is experiencing a difficult time during a martial arts match. That particular expression is different from "started crying." Young boys do cry when they get frustrated. If I were to describe someone as "breaking down," I would be implying that the person just can't take it anymore over some wretched or dreadful situation.
This was a sporting event, not cock-fighting or inappropriate behavior towards children. Because I understand Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), I watched the video with an eye towards looking for good technique, which I saw. Both boys are well-trained in grappling. No punches or kicks were allowed.
The police officers saw nothing amiss. Never once did it look to me like either child was in danger on the video footage provided.
Gareth A.Davies, MMA journalist (currently nominated on as one of the Top 5 MMA Journalists of the Year for the World MMA Awards), gave his response in his article entitled, "The ignoranti namely the BBC and Sky condemn MMA (and boxing ) yet make fools of themselves." He said: "Look closely at whether the children in the video - and they are clearly children - are actually involved in combat. They are not. They are grappling, and their work is a mixture of wrestling and jiu-jitsu, a form of Brazilian-Japanese floor combat, designed to help a small man fight a bigger man. This is not MMA. Take away the cage, the ring card girls, and put a gi (uniform worn for fighting) on the boys, and there would have been no interest in the news pages in this story. What it is not - is mixed martial arts."
Much ado about nothing
All this outrage is as surprising to me as the fuss over the increase in price of DVD rental and streaming services offered by Netflix.
My bill went up around $5 per month. I spent a few minutes noticing whether the services are worth it to me or not. Yes, they are. I get my money's worth every month. It's a non-issue to me.
I see it as the management team at Netflix taking the necessary steps to manage their business. People—outside of the situation—think they know better than the people (inside) who are studying the situation as their main cause of concern.
I have been known to drive around looking for the cheapest price for gasoline, too. One day, I noticed that I saved $1.70 by filling up at a station with lower-priced gas. The cheaper station sells generic gas—not a recognized name. I decided that I prefer name-brand gasoline. I make the best choices that I can to save money, to take good care of my car's engine, but most important, to avoid running out of gas whilst driving around looking for the best price.
Everyone makes personal decisions based on his or her own experience. What looks like a technical grappling match to me looks like child abuse or cock-fighting to another.
My roommate is an after-school program leader for children (K-12). She watched the video and started laughing at the fuss people are making over what she termed "martial arts."
NatGeo is currently filming an episode for is "Taboo" show, which will, no doubt, cast dubious glances and unwanted aspersions on MMA—the fastest growing sport in America.
It's unfortunate that people get the wrong idea.
Here's a video (a film By Bobby Razak, produced by Tapout films) of two young American boys, the Ruffo brothers—Carlos and Giovanni, who are shown practicing MMA with some well known UFC fighters. These kids are highly skilled and confident. They're not being abused. They're practicing MMA.
More from this contributor:
Cheryl Ragsdale, BJJ blue belt, trains in MMA with UFC Fighter Kenny Florian and Keith Florian at Florian Martial Arts - follow @thatgirlisfunny.
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