Prepare To Be Appalled: Kiddie Cage-Fighting

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Martial arts lessons have been given to children for a long time. They teach discipline, control and a strict moral code about when violence is actually necessary.  It may not be my favorite movie ever, but The Karate Kid never made me feel nauseous and uncomfortable. This short video of young boys in a cage-match makes me cringe. In fact, I’m just plain disgusted.

This “Cage Fighting Kids” clip is wrong on a multitude of levels. This isn’t a sport where children are training to compete in a match, ordered by rules and guidelines. For grown adults, the appeal of the UFC, which seems to be the basis for these activities, is that there aren’t any rules. You can use any type of fighting necessary.

This isn’t a sport, it’s an exploitation. Adults are betting on the outcome of these matches. Scantily clad women still serve as ring girls, creating a juxtaposition of the fully-matured women in bikinis and the scrawny children competing around them. The kids in these matches are entertainers, not athletes. They are performing for the adults around them, who are encouraging violence, gender stereotypes and unbridled aggression.

 The coverage of these fights has spurred outrage and rightly so. There are a multitude of ways engage young boys in controlled physical activities where they they can learn discipline. The previously mentioned martial arts classes are famous for allowing kids to channel their aggression and physical energy. Wrestling and football are both contact sports that still have rules, head protection and respectability.

These cage matches are disgusting. I’m not quite sure how anyone can watch a young child break down and cry, after being pummelled by another child while spectators cheer and taunt them, without  agreeing that this practice has to stop. And if parents aren’t going to protect their children from this type of situation, than the authorities need to step in and shut it down.