Most children are introduced to a variety of activities during their childhood, With youth sports being the most commonly participated activity. Parents sign their children up for youth sports in order for their children to stay physically active and meet Other kids Of their own age. However, not all activities are considered suitable by society for children to engage in.
Understandably, most parents prohibit their children from participating in activities that would expose them to unnecessary amounts of danger and violence. However, those children are also prohibited from participating in activities that are wrongfully associated with danger and aggression due to the activity’s poor reputation. A prime example is Mixed Martial Arts (MA), which most people view as a sport filled with injuries, violence, and aggression.
However, studies show that MA can be sate, assist in character development, and improve the academic performance of its youth practitioners. Parents should give their children the opportunity to compete in MA because of the variety of benefits associated with MA. The iris misconception held by society is that MA is a barbaric and unsafe sport, Ma’s violent reputation is the product of early marketing strategies for MA events, which were advertised as ‘trial, no-holds-barred tournaments with no time limits, no weight classes, and few rules” (Blessed, teal. 136).
Advertisements filled with blood and gore led the public to perceive MA as *human cook fighting”, which is a first impression that MA has been unable to shake off (Blessed, et al. 136). MA has added several rules and regulations since its introduction in 1993 such as weight classes, round systems, and mandatory loves (Blessed, et al. 139). The new rules and regulations enforced in MA have resulted in a much safer environment for Mixed Martial Artists to compete in (Blessed, et al. 139). Safety regulations in MA hue taken place both during competition and during practice.
During competition, Mixed Martial Artists are required to wear mandatory gloves and fight in specific weight classes with a timed round system just like boxing and other combat sports (Blessed, et al. 139). MA also utilizes the tap-out rule, which allows either athlete to end the contest if they feel that they are in danger via a physical or verbal tap (Blessed, et l. 139). The tap-out is the second most common method of ending a bout, which greatly reduces the number of injuries suffered by Mixed Martial Artists since they are able to end a match before they suffer an injury (Blessed, et al 140).
Referees and ringside Physicians are also present during each MA match in order to to tether ensure the safety tot Mixed Martial Artists (Blessed, et al. 139). During competition, both the referee and the ringside Physician have the authority to stop a match at any time in order to protect the competitors from unnecessary harm (Blessed, et al_ 139). Several additional safety precautions are taken in order to protect Martial Artists during training because most of a Martial Artist’s time is spent in practice.
Gloves, body padding, mouth guards, and headgear are a few types of equipment utilized by Mixed Martial Artists in order to protect themselves during training (Woodward 42). Many MA schools also limit the amount of sparring that its practitioners are allowed to take part in, especially beginning Martial Artists With limited experience (Woodward 42). The results of the measures taken to protect Mixed Martial Artists from harm re so effective that even doctors have acknowledged how much safer MA has become.
Trauma surgeons at Canada’s busiest trauma center, Foothills Medical Center, claim that they have “yet to admit an MA combatant” (Ball and Dixon 2). The doctors believe that based on injury rates, MA is a safer activity than other sports that are accepted by society like Little League Baseball (Ball and Dixon 1). For example, the Consumer Product Safety Committee reports that Little League Baseball contributed to the deaths of thirty-five children from 1983 to 1993, while MA has not resulted in any deaths since it’s beginning in 1993 (Pasternak. T al. 47; Blessed, et al. 140). Although MA has not contributed to the death of a competitor, normal MA rules present too large of an injury risk for MA to be considered a sate sport for children, Even though safety is a priority, full-contact professional Mixed Martial Artists still receive concussions in three percent of their matches (Ball and Dixon II)_ Also, over twenty-five percent of professional MA bouts are stopped due to impact to the head, which is the site of over two-thirds of injuries suffered by Mixed Martial Artists (Ball and Dixon E’; Blessed, et al. 71 Since concussions and damaging blows to the head are too dangerous to be associated with a youth sport, modifications must be made to the rules of youth MA in order to ensure the safety of children and adolescents who wish to become Mixed Martial Artists. MA instructors like Bunny Hucksterism have made their own adaptations to MA training in order to allow children to participate in MA classes Without the risk involved With normal MA.
Bunny Hucksterism has successfully created a safe environment at “Bunny’s Gym” for children to practice MA. “Bunny’s Gym”, located in Winchester, Tennessee, offers MA lessons to children as young as three years old (Graff n. Page. ). In an interview with News Channel Five, Hucksterism reveals that he has never had a child injured inside his gym (Graff n. Page. ). The secret to Hucksterism’s success is the prohibition of strikes to the face (Graff n. Gag. ). Considering how most MA injuries are dealt to the face of a Martial Artist, Hucksterism’s ability to prevent his students from obtaining injuries at “Bunny’s Gym” becomes clear, Although gunny’s Gym has demonstrated a perfect safety record, Hucksterism still makes sure that each of his classes are supervised by overall trainers and at least one doctor (Graff n, Page,).
Facilities like “Bunny’s Gym” create a safe learning environment for children wishing to participate in MA_ The second misconception held by society is that MA will have negative effects on the psychological development of children. Several prominent theorists, such as George Stanley Hall and Harvard Professor Erik Erickson, believe that adolescence is “an important developmental period” for children to establish who they are and what type of adult they will become (Kellogg 3).
Once children reach adolescence, they have a greater chance of exhibiting risky behaviors such as abusing drugs, having unsafe sex, dropping out of school, and committing crimes (Kellogg 3). However, MA is shown to positively influence its practitioners, which prevents youth Mixed Martial Artists from becoming involved in such activities. Children involved in MA programs have shown an increase in discipline, an increase in confidence, and a decrease in aggression (Moorland 28). Children involved in MA are taught discipline at a young age (Graff, n. Age. ). In an interview with News Channel 5, Bunny Hucksterism clarifies that MA training is about learning discipline, not violence (Graff, n. Gag. ). ‘Discipline comes first”, Hucksterism explains, “You don’t just put them out there and say go at it, you teach children to be respectful to each other and be safe with each other” (Graff, n. Page. ). Learning discipline during childhood is crucial because children are in what theorists refer to as a “dynamic and changing period in human development” (Kellogg 3).
During childhood, children establish the type of adult that they will become, which means children must learn discipline at a young age in order for them to be able to control themselves when they are older Kellogg 3)_ Disciplined children who focus their time and energy into an activity like MA are less likely to become involved in substance abuse, crime, and other activities that can have negative long-term effects on a person’s life (Kellogg 3), Although the public generally associates MA with aggression, MA training has been shown to help Martial Artists control aggression.
In “A Review of the effects of Martial Arts practice on Health”, Thomas Woodward states “that Martial Arts do not generally attract violent individuals or promote violence” (Woodward 41). Woodward explains that children who began MA training received the same scores as Other children Who do not participate in MA (Woodward 41). In addition, after ten weeks of training, the same Martial Artists showed a decrease in aggression levels (Woodward 41).
The level Of aggression in Martial Artists continue to drop over time as they become more experienced (Woodward 41). MA possesses the positive qualities of both team and individual sports that can help mold a Mixed Martial Artist into a better person. The team aspect of MA training allows children to develop social skills as well as their social identity Moorland 30).
Children participating in MA take lessons in a class of several other peers that are learning and working with each other in order to improve themselves as Martial Artists, The relationships formed between Martial Arts students lead to “constant group reinforcement; mutual help and criticism; and a sense Of group cohesion with shared goals and ideology (Moorland 30), Martial Arts students also experience benefits associated with individual sports because Mixed Martial Artists compete individually, Mixed Martial Artists become more self-sufficient than other athletes who participate in sports like football because
Martial Artists do not depend on other people during competition, With no one else to rely on but themselves, Martial Artists learn to how to respond to countless situations; overcoming obstacles and solving problems in order to succeed in their competitions (Moorland 30). Children participating in MA also show an increased sense of accomplishment and self-esteem because they know that each victory is attributed to their own hard work during training (Moorland The third misconception held by society is that MA will dull a child’s brain with mindless violence.
A common goal shared by parents is for their children to reform well in school so that they can go on to succeed in life. MA is perceived by most parents as a street-fight between muscular delinquents to see Who can land the first lucky knock-out punch. On the contrary, MA competitions are more like a physical chess match because Mixed Martial Artists are constantly thinking quickly and adapting to different situations in order to overcome their opponent (Moorland 30).
Children who participate in MA perform better in school because of attributes that they acquire through MA training like an increase in motivation, ability to focus, and ability to solve problems. Children must possess the will to do well in school before they can achieve good grades. Without the ambition to perform well in school, even a child gifted with intellect could fail to realize their potential.
According to research performed by the professors in the Department tot Psychology at the University of Stretchable, children who are involved in daily physical activity hold an improved attitude towards school (Moorland 22). The students who showed a better attitude towards school performed better academically than students who were not involved in daily physical activity (Moorland 22).
An article in the Wisconsin Medical Journal acknowledges that MA is an “enjoyable alternative to ‘traditional exercise” that can help increase “aerobic capacity, balance, strength, body fat percentages, and flexibility” (Woodward 40). However, MA training is more effective in motivating students to do their best in school than other physical activities because MA inspires children to become the greatest student that they can be (Moorland 79). In order for children to succeed in the classroom, they must be able to focus on what their teacher is teaching the class.
The ability to focus is crucial too Martial Artist, Which is Why the goal Of MA training is to teach Martial Artists to focus more proficiently. Children participating in Martial Arts programs show an increased ability to focus due to the physical and mental effects of MA training. In a psychological dissertation written by Hoofers university’s Matthew Moorland, Moorland stated that the physical exercise involved in Martial Arts training increases blood flow and signals nerve receptors in the blood vessels, muscles, and joints (Moorland 25).
This reaction is identical to the effects that the focus dedication Concerto has on the body (Moorland 26), MA training provides children with the opportunity to become physically able to focus in school without having to rely on medication like Concerto, Maraud also claims that the mental training associated with Martial Arts helps children toots their thoughts and attention through repetitive exercises, which help calm and organize the child’s mind (Moorland 31).
A study at Ohio State University revealed that students show a “reduction in inattentive and inappropriate classroom behavior and on-task behavior (Moorland 13). MA training teaches Martial Artists to focus effectively by ignoring distractions and focusing on what they are trying to accomplish (Moorland 31). Once children absorb the information from their teacher, they must be able to apply the knowledge that they have learned to glasswork and tests.
Even though a child may understand the information taught to them in class, students must be able to effectively solve problems and think on their feet in order to perform well on tests. During MA training children participate in exercises that allow them to develop problem solving strategies and help them adapt to obstacles Moorland 30). The intuitive thinking skills that are developed through MA training allow children to think outside-of-the-box. Children can use this type of intuitive thinking to overcome difficult problems that present themselves during a test in school or at any other point in their life.