Is 8-years-old old enough to cage fight?
Police in the United Kingdom are investigating whether two children, as young as 8, were put at risk by event organizers after they wrestled each other in front of a crowd of adults.
A video (above) of the bout has been posted on YouTube and while some completely condone the event, others believe it has crossed the line.
Child protection services are calling the fight "disturbing" and advocating against any parent allowing their young child to participate in such a violent sport, saying:
"We would strongly discourage parents from letting their children take part in this kind of fighting. It's quite disturbing that some of those involved in the bouts were as young as eight, an age when they are still developing, physically and mentally."
The father of a boy in the ring says otherwise and doesn't see any problems with allowing his son to participate, explaining:
"He loves the sport. It's not one bit dangerous, it's a controlled sport. He likes to do it, he's never forced to do it, he wants to do it, so leave him to do it. He'll never get hurt, it's a controlled sport, he could never get hurt. Until he gets a bit older and he starts doing physical contact, kicking and punching, then maybe, but at his age it's wrestling, like grappling."
Michelle Anderson, the owner of the club which held the event, is also defending the fight, saying:
"The children were not doing cage fighting, they were just grappling. There was no punching, kicking or striking. The event was perfectly legal. There was only one fight for kids, which was a demonstration fight. The other fights were for adults."
Thankfully, there was no kicking or punching, but what shocked us the most is the lack of any padding! Children can begin wrestling as young as 5-years-old, but at least the sport requires head gear.
Perhaps what is so striking about the video is the presence of 250 cheering adults, announcers commentating on the match, or the giant metal cage that has become synonymous with brutal mixed martial art fights. Would the public be having the same reaction if these two boys were wrestling each other in a school gym or in their family living room?
This is a VERY controversial debate, so we'll let you be the judge! Are people overreacting to the video or are supporters of the event underestimating the dangerous position they put these two kids in?
In a previous post about the dangers of youth boxing, we asked FitPerez readers, "Is boxing too dangerous for kids under 19?" The answer was overwhelmingly "YES"!