Thread: Cage-fighting children
09.22.11, 03:27 AM #1
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LONDON — Britons are reacting with a mix of condemnation and cheers to footage that shows an organized cage fight between two boys, one 8 years old and the other 9.
A social club in the north-west of England has been hosting cage fights with children as young as eight.
The Greenlands Labour Club in Preston, Lancashire, hosted a ticket-only fight night that included the eight-year-olds' bout which lasted 10 minutes.
In video footage, one of the boys who is bare-chested, stands over another child who is on the floor of the cage. A man in the front row can be seen urging one of the children to keep his chin up, as another man raises his arms in the air. The smaller child has his arm twisted during the bout.
The crowd shout encouragement as the two children wrestle each other in headlocks on the floor of the cage, while others can be heard cheering their names.
At one point, one of the children appears to burst into tears, and medical staff are called in to check them. None of the children are wearing headgear or padding, but the organisers pointed out that they were not allowed to kick or punch each other and that it had been "an extremely good event."
There is no suggestion that any of the bouts at the Reps Retribution night, which also included semi-professional events, breached any rules or licencing laws.
The British Medical Association said it was disturbing as it is opposed to boxing and cage fighting. "This example of cage fighting among young children is particularly disturbing, especially as they are not even wearing head guards," said a spokesman.
"Boxing and cage fighting are sometimes defended on the grounds that children learn to work through their aggression with discipline and control.
"The BMA believes there are many other sports, such as athletics, swimming, judo and football, which require discipline but do not pose the same threat of brain injury."
The sport, also known as Mixed Martial Arts, encompasses a range of martial arts that are used during bouts in cages.
Steven Nightingale, 28, a professional cage fighter who runs the Reps MMA gym in Preston, said the sport is safe and growing in popularity.
He said: "Competitions start from the age of five, it is definitely a big up-and-coming sport. It is all based around martial arts. The kids are not getting hit or anything at all when they are under age. We do not let them strike — punch and kick — until the age of 14 or 15."
Asked about the crying child during one bout, he said: "The kid has never been beaten before, he is the one who wins the gold medals.
"When they get beaten, they are going to get emotional, also the referee and corner man said you do not have to carry on."
Nightingale denied a packed social club was the wrong environment for the bout, claiming it would help their progress.
Paul Jackson, manager of Warriors gym in nearby Plungington said: "The main question I would ask is why were the parents allowing them to do that? I wouldn't really agree with anything like it.
"It's like a circus performance but if it's consenting adults, that's different. It depends on what the rules were as well.
"If they were joint-locking then I'd be questioning that because the bones aren't developed fully yet."
Michelle Anderson, owner of Greenlands Labour Club, who attended the event on September 10, said: "There was nothing wrong with it.
"The kids were there to fight; they have fought before. The parents were there. Would people rather these kids were out on the streets with guns and knives?""Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton
09.22.11, 04:47 AM #2
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better make sure to have some open spots in prisons in the future. We have some likely residents.
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