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KO'd N DOA
8/06/2009 2:44pm,
I found this article, and as the topic of kids and MMA and training keep coming up on Bullshido, this will add to the amount of information in the archives. What is a bit different is the reference to the kids choosing MMA over Kung Fu and Karate, and indicates the rise of MMA is the cause. It also briefly compares acceptable skills varity of kids MMA programs.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/5-and-fightin/article1242523/




Dave McGinn
Wednesday, Aug. 05, 2009

The newest mixed martial arts facility in Canada is expecting plenty of interest from people who want to learn the intense take-downs and submission moves that have helped make the Ultimate Fighting Championship so popular.

It's also expecting many of these would-be fearsome fighters to be arriving at the gym straight from kindergarten.
“Kids like it because it's so hands-on and they're doing the stuff they're seeing on TV,” says Saleh Kablawi, president of Ultimate Fight Club, the new facility in Vaughan, Ont.

“They're able to put somebody in an arm bar, they're able to defend themselves and control their opponent and submit them.”

As more and more mixed martial arts gyms open across Canada, kids who might have once asked their parents for karate or kung fu lessons now have an opportunity to fight like competitors in the televised Ultimate Fighting Championship octagon.

In generic terms, the sport is known as mixed martial arts, and allows for several varieties of fighting techniques, including boxing, wrestling, judo and jiu-jitsu.
And while instructors say the classes are a great way to build self-confidence and enjoy some harmless horseplay, parenting experts say there are some questions you should ask before enrolling your children.
Three years ago, when Joel Gerson, president of Revolution MMA, opened his first mixed martial arts facility in Ontario, children had few if any options to learn the sport.

“Nobody was doing MMA for kids back then,” he says.
Today, the kids programs at the two Revolution MMA locations, including “Munchkin MMA,” for kids between the ages of three and five, attract large numbers of youngsters, many of whom have been encouraged by parents who themselves are fans of UFC.

“You don't see a lot of three-year-olds watching the pay-per-views going, ‘I'm going to learn an arm bar,'” Mr. Gerson says.
Max Marin, the head trainer and owner of Canuckles, an MMA studio in Calgary, has seen his kids' program grow exponentially since opening in 2000. “We started off with one kid. Now we're up to like 80 kids,” he says.

“They learn exactly what the adults learn. That's striking, wrestling, submissions.”
Arm bars, guillotine chokes and neck cranks can be frighteningly violent when performed by professional UFC fighters – but parents whose kids are in MMA programs praise the sport as harmless fun.

“It's so not about fighting, especially at this age,” says Mark Brunswick, whose nine-year-old son Alec has been enrolled in the kids program at Revolution for the past three years. “They keep it very fun.”
Mr. Brunswick, a 39-year-old vice president of an advertising agency in Toronto, says he is much happier that his son's sport of choice is mixed martial arts and not, say, hockey.
“What's the worst that happens? ‘I lost position on the mat. I lost 10 points. I'll try better next time,'” he says. “It's not like, ‘Hey, you let that goal in, we're out of the playoffs and it's your fault.'”
Indeed, kids who take MMA classes are often drawn to the sport to get in shape, not just to lay a beat down.

“They're also into it for fitness,” says Robin Black, a professional MMA fighter and spokesperson at Xtreme Couture Toronto, a gym opened last summer by UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture.
The 20 or so kids enrolled in the gym's under-10 program get to do plenty of tumbling around, but there's absolutely no hitting, Mr. Black says.
“Definitely, kids under 10 are not going to strike each other. That's just not going to benefit them in any way and it's not going to be fun for them,” he says.

The point, says Mr. Marin, is to have fun and gain the self-esteem that comes from knowing you can defend yourself.
“As the kids start to become more mature and experienced in the program, you will always see their self-confidence increase,” Mr. Gerson agrees.
But parents should ask their kids a few questions before enrolling them in MMA class, says Alyson Schafer, author of Honey, I Wrecked the Kids .
“Do you think fighting is a way to solve problems? Do you think that might is right? Are you impressed by people's prowess? If they've got the rest of their values lined up and they still want to burn some energy in that format, I can say I don't get it but I support you.”

Indeed, while kids may enjoy learning how to take down any opponent, instructors stress that avoiding fights is always best and that what youngsters learn in the gym should stay in the gym.
Mr. Kablawi says the kids program at Ultimate Fight Club will be limited to Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a martial art that focuses on putting opponents into submission holds rather than striking them with punches or kicks.

“You're teaching them a mechanical art that basically doesn't matter how big their opponent is. Once they have learned the art they'll be able to defend themselves and take the person down,” he says.
The classes, for kids four and up, will also have an anti-bullying and healthy eating component.

Mr. Gerson takes it one step further: “We tell the kids, the best self-defense move is to have good cardio so you can run.”



http://beta.images.theglobeandmail.com/archive/00159/kidfight06lf5_159806gm-a.jpg
http://beta.images.theglobeandmail.com/archive/00159/kidfight06lf3_159808a.JPG

1point2
8/06/2009 2:53pm,
Wow, the writer is impressively accepting of the development. Cool.

"And while instructors say the classes are a great way to build self-confidence and enjoy some harmless horseplay, parenting experts say there are some questions you should ask before enrolling your children."
He seems to have left out what these questions are...or am I too tired to read?

Matt Phillips
8/06/2009 2:58pm,
In my experience, the only relevant question is "Will I still be able to kick Jr's ass after 6 months?"

KO'd N DOA
8/06/2009 3:09pm,
I was in T-ball at the 3-5 age. Although having good bat swinging skills does come in handy, a couple of hold downs would have been more effective at avoiding the escalation of violence.

Mtripp
8/06/2009 3:12pm,
Who ever is behind this is a jackass...

I will say again Children under 13 should NOT be choking or joint locking one another, period.

The wisdom of the Kodokan says so. The wisdom of the Sambo College says so.

Of course, the money to be made, says differently....

JP
8/06/2009 5:42pm,
Who ever is behind this is a jackass...

I will say again Children under 13 should NOT be choking or joint locking one another, period.

The wisdom of the Kodokan says so. The wisdom of the Sambo College says so.

Of course, the money to be made, says differently....

But striking is okay?

So, say would a program that included wrestling, kicking boxing and the throws from judo be a more acceptable children's program?

Snake Plissken
8/06/2009 5:45pm,
I dunno.
My 9-yr. old is a shitload more resilient to throws and locks then my old ass is.

Mtripp
8/06/2009 6:46pm,
Actually its not.

Their joints are not set. Twisting them is a very bad idea as it can cause them to not form correctly. Both Japan and Russia came to this position apart from each other, so its pretty strong stuff, same with chokes.

If the concept is to create MMA fighters, then the Sambo world has it correct. Just look how them move children through the program.

Lacking that, boxing and wrestling are fine. Judo is too. I have major problems with 9 year olds learning to cage fight, and I suspect most non-fans would too.

The point is not to give our detractors the bat to beat us with...

1point2
8/06/2009 6:50pm,
Mr. Tripp has the medical and sociological correct in this instance.

Mtripp
8/06/2009 7:40pm,
Mr. Tripp has the medical and sociological correct in this instance.

That is an odd way to put it... is there an instance I should be made aware of where I was incorrect?

After all, this is not a political discussion....

JP
8/06/2009 8:16pm,
Actually its not.
Lacking that, boxing and wrestling are fine. Judo is too. I have major problems with 9 year olds learning to cage fight, and I suspect most non-fans would too.

I think it would be a foolish point to be educating a child in anything that one dimensional. Encourage the adoption of the sport as ways of making better people, fit and with a love and respect for what their bodies are capable of.

Such values, instilled young, tend to stick.

But to teaching a child to "cage fight" is indeed, ridiculous and probably detrimental to the kids on some fundamental level. Look at how stupid some adults are about "being cagefighters."


The point is not to give our detractors the bat to beat us with...

Indeed. There's too much violent stigma associated with the sport to make it a worthwhile setting for healthy competition for children.

Not yet anyway. Too much of that "rawr" bullshit would probably warp their minds.


Mr. Tripp has the medical and sociological correct in this instance.


That is an odd way to put it... is there an instance I should be made aware of where I was incorrect?

After all, this is not a political discussion....

I think he was just trying to hammer your point home. The "in this instance," is probably more of an expression than a suggestion that you're wrong someplace else.

But that's just a theory.

2groggy
8/06/2009 10:12pm,
Who ever is behind this is a jackass...

I will say again Children under 13 should NOT be choking or joint locking one another, period.

The wisdom of the Kodokan says so. The wisdom of the Sambo College says so.

Of course, the money to be made, says differently....
Well there's reality, and then there's what they print in the newspapers. I get that paper delivered and read the article. There was even a picture with the caption saying that one girl was applying a "submission" to another girl, when the one on the bottom was still wearing the focus mitts. So the writer might not be getting all the facts quite right.

I trained in BJJ and MT at that Revolution MMA (the one in the pictures) for a year, ending in June, and didn't see anything unsafe or alarming. Joel Gerson, the owner, comes from a competitive judo background, so he would be well versed in the judo way of doing things. From what I've seen of the kids classes, they are a mix of striking, takedowns and newaza. Though I'm not sure what locks and chokes, if any, are taught at what age levels.

2groggy
8/06/2009 10:43pm,
I sent the link to this thread to Joel Gerson, in case he wants to clarify anything. Now I'm off on a 3 day weekend, so if you have any questions for me, I won't see them until Sunday night.

Mtripp
8/07/2009 5:43am,
Well there's reality, and then there's what they print in the newspapers. I get that paper delivered and read the article. There was even a picture with the caption saying that one girl was applying a "submission" to another girl, when the one on the bottom was still wearing the focus mitts. So the writer might not be getting all the facts quite right.

I trained in BJJ and MT at that Revolution MMA (the one in the pictures) for a year, ending in June, and didn't see anything unsafe or alarming. Joel Gerson, the owner, comes from a competitive judo background, so he would be well versed in the judo way of doing things. From what I've seen of the kids classes, they are a mix of striking, takedowns and newaza. Though I'm not sure what locks and chokes, if any, are taught at what age levels.

Well, the BJJ world sees nothing wrong with Children choking and/or armlocking one another, so that is problem one. The MMA styled programs for Children I have seen are BJJ rather than Judo/Sambo based, and as such the kids are doing unsafe activities. So, I will continue to speak as I am until I have seen differently.

KO'd N DOA
8/07/2009 11:01am,
Edit button has been removed for the OP and therefore in order to not do "lump them all in to a MMA" shoe, I broke it down as much as was possible with an article that bounced around quite a bit. For clarification and links.

#1 The Ultimate Fight Club. Vaughn Ontario, http://ultimatefightclub.ca/ It is a brand new facility just opening, and hence the desire to garner publicity. "Kids Limited to BJJ." Mr. Kablawi. "Anti bullying and Healthy eating."

#2 Revolution MMA, Toronto, Onatario. Joel Gerson. http://www.revmma.com/programs_kids.html " We tell the kids, the best self-defense move is to have good cardio so you can run".

#3, Canuckles, Calgary Alberta, http://www.canuckles.com/newconcept/
"The kids learn exactly what the adults learn. That's striking, wrestling, submissions." Max Marin quoted in G&M in the OP.

#4, Extreme Couture Toronto http://www.xtremecouture.ca/
"Definitely, kids under 10 are not going to strike each other. That's just not going to benefit them in any way and it's not going to be fun for them," Robin Black

Matt Phillips
8/07/2009 1:01pm,
As the parent of a young fighter, I personally think positional grappling is fine for 4-8, striking pad work can be added at 8 or 9, and full kickboxing, grappling, or Ammy MMA sparring at around age 13. This is the exact schedule my son has trained under, and there have been no injuries or problems:

Age 4 learned to maintain mount, side control and rear mount.
Age 5 added CMA forms
Age 8 boxing (padwork only)
Age 9 muaythai (padwork only)
Age 13 began full sparring and rolling