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Why I want my Children to be MMA Fighters

So there I was in another airport trying to find a breakfast place. Unable to find a seat anywhere and enduring the effects of far too many red bulls from the night before I decided I would skip eating and just enjoy a coffee while hovering around the TV at my departure gate.  To my surprise there appeared to be a newscast wrap up of the prior night’s UFC event in Las Vegas. Mainstream indeed. 

Then I noticed the caption on the screen read “Is Watching UFC Bad for your Children?”  

Well, the answer is flat out no but that didn’t seem to be the prevailing sentiment with my fellow passengers on this flight.  Without even watching the snippets on the TV that were designed to shock and amaze the average viewer, the folks around me were already in disgust.  Children should not watch UFC and in fact ultimate fighting and mixed martial arts should be (of course) banned.  Then I opened my mouth…

I don’t think I made any friends as I boarded a five hour flight but that was just fine with me – it was time to do my duty as an informed MMA fan.  I started my passionate explanation of the sport but admit somewhere along the way a soapbox may have made its way under my feet. 

The five reasons I delivered in support of why parents should want their children to be MMA fighters

1. Fitness – how much time do your kids spend on the couch flipping channels watching TV?  Ever asked an MMA fighter about their day?  It goes something like this: I get up and go to the gym for two hours, stop to have a drink of water and then train for three hours.  In the evening I head out for a few hours of… training.  These guys are insane about their physical fitness.  Ever tried wrestling a friend for a full minute?  Try three five minute rounds and see if your heart is pumping.  If you want your kids to be in the greatest shape of their lives, encourage them to train MMA-style. 

2. Discipline – the regimented training routine, learning jiu-jitsu, wrestling, boxing, karate, muay-thai, helping others to understand the sport and the pure competitiveness of it all.  There are no amount of time outs that you could give your child that would equate to the disciplined approach they have to life that comes from an MMA upbringing.
3. Humility – I’ve been around professional athletes from all the “mainstream” sports and none are more likeable or respectful to their fans than an MMA fighter.  These guys appreciate the support they receive; they understand the importance of the fans to build this sport from the ground up to mainstream.  Ever catch Tiger Woods hanging out in the hotel lobby after a big tournament win so he can have a beer with his fans?  After Affliction Banned there were stars like Arlovski, Fedor and Couture just having some food and giving back to the fans in their own way.  Show your kids how to be humble and grateful when success comes your way; show them a professional MMA fighter.

4. Courage – 20,000 fans, millions watching on pay per view and an imposing opponent… or completing a really good spreadsheet.  Which do you think takes more guts to tackle?  Teach your children to have no fear.

5. Competitiveness – the desire to win is never greater than in a one on one sport.  Take that to the next level where the sport is organized battle.  Show your children what it feels like to compete and win as well as how to learn from defeat.

With that I boarded the plane. I’m sure the crowd behind me continued to generally think of MMA and the UFC as brutal and vicious, but there were a few heads nodding along with me at the end of my tirade that originally were against it… and a few new fans was worth the effort. 

Yeah there is blood now and again and a mismatch in the ring is just as brutal as a mismatch in the business world but the sport has so much to more to offer than the negative clips you see now and again. 

Take the time to research it, talk to someone in the game today and you will be impressed with them as people let alone athletes. 

  • dudeman668 says:

    I agree with you because i want to ba a fighter also

  • m says:

    It’s funny to see all of these guys defend their beloved league of MMA knuckleheads.

    The funny part is that THEY are the ones who are being used up and spit out until they can’t fight anymore. The sport is so new there aren’t many who have come out and shown how they were used and tossed when they couldn’t make their league money anymore..

    The time will come when these slaves don’t have the physical strength to fight anymore end up being homeless, jobless, injured, and forgotten.

    What was his name?

  • doomrider7 says:


    It’s pretty obvious that he’s a trol and should betreated as such, by ignoring him.

  • austin says:

    rob and ron im 14 and talking my mom into letting me fighting one on one sports helps kids with confidece to mma has a lot to offer

  • Ryan Wells says:

    WOW Rob your the best. lol.
    I have two sons who dream of fighting some day. Not because I’m a fighter but because they love the sport & want to challenge them self. They like the challenge. I love my sons & would do anything to protect them. How can you say they don’t learn respect in MMA. My sons say stuff like when I’m the champ I’m going to teach kids MMA like Randy does. For those who would say MMA is bad for kids have no idea what MMA is about. I train & fight to challenge my self not to hurt anyone. Its all about what your made of. I train with my sons in every class they attend. They have great instructors. You sound like an ass to make an assumption like that. And I don’t care about your resume it really don’t impress me. After reading your comments its very apparent you have know idea what your talking about.

  • Ron says:

    Ok Rob.

    You’re just awesome then.

    You’re a great martial artist, but you have totally missed the point of this article.

    The point is not “You kids should be MMA fighters”. The point is “MMA isn’t nearly as bad as every Tom Dick and Harry parent make it out to be”

    You in fact sound like one of them.

    AND coming from a martial arts AND team sports background I cannot agree that you get the same level of competition from kicking around a soccer balls for 2 hours and hardly getting near it compared to actually hand on hand combat in any of the martial arts.

    You sound like you have no idea what you are talking about.

    When did the author say he advocates punching to kids heads? He is saying when his kids grow up.

    You’re a blow hard dude.

  • Rob Enderle says:

    You are a moron.
    Those reason are vague and generic.
    Fitness? Kid can play soccer and basketball and tennis and be in amazing shape.

    You are not making a point why they should do MMA. Competitivness? Same as above or any other sports.
    Youre escuses are not specific to MMA.

    As for putting boxing there and not judo, youre an extra moron.

    I dont recommend boxing to most sane adults because of the damage inflicted while judo is the opposite, you can put your kids in it without worrying that they are going to get hurt worse than if they played soccer, basketball and so on.

    Anyone who recommends a sport for kids where blows to the head are part of the game shouldnt be allowed to recomend dog food, even less how to raise kids.

    Have your kids join a structured martial art if you want them to do all of your generic five points. MMA is NOT an art form, it is a combination of art forms which is why those gyms that specialize might be good for fighters who come from a background like wrestling and wnt to improve a bit their kicking, punching or judo flips.
    MMA gyms are a hodge podge of do it your own ideas cobbled together by people who make it up as they go along.
    When I saw an MMA report on the net about the kids MMA fad, the first thing I noticed is that these pre-teeens were punching each other in the head. With no headgear.
    You might as well fuck the kids in the ass while youre at it too.

    Tyson: how the hell is TKD gonna help you in a cramped bus? I do agree that martial arts is a peaceful study that instills morals and great values. I can walk into any karate, judo or jiu jitsu class and know that these values and discipline will be respected.
    MMA gyms offer none of that.

    Have the kids focus on one martial art, get good at it and THEN let them try others if they want.

    But as long as idiots like you promote striking to the head for children, Im gonna keep promoting forced sterilization of retards like you.
    Better have two faggots raising a kid than a someone with missing brain cells.

    Dont get me wrong, I like MMA for a long time but MMA is not something to teach children.
    Every respected kids judo/jiu-jitsu instructor pays special attention to how they bring in shime-waza, and locks like juji-gatame.
    Choking is safe and there are no fatalities attributed to the shime-waza but to apply choking on youngsters whose central nervous system and heart have not yet attained complete development is unconscionable and shirks moral, legal, and ethical responsibilities instructors have to follow.
    In most Judo tournaments in the U.S. chokes are not permitted for children before 14 I believe and most federations have this discussion ALL the time. From watching MMA training for kids, I’m pretty sure there is no debate, discussion or concern.

    PS: I’ll toot my own horn before the faggot comments start: Ive got 30 years of martial arts experience and 6 blacks belts in our immediate family as well as 3 instructors including 2 that teach kids and 4 kids and 8 nieces and nephews who practice it too. I also have served on the safety panel of my federation. So I have a better than average experience in these things.

  • Tyson says:

    I put my daughter in Tae Kwon Do. Hear about the 22 year old kid in Canada on the greyhound, who was stabbed to death and then beheaded, we live in a messed up world. Martial arts is a peaceful study that instills morals and great values, also will let you sleep a little better at night when you daughter or son is old enough to stay out late or do things on there own away from home, will teach them how to defend there self with out using a weapon and also defend there self when someone that want to hurt them has a weapon. Safety Its a great confidence booster so I think this is an added reason why kids should do martial arts or mma.

  • Bwoo says:

    Candlemass, you are ignorant. Would you conisider Bruce Lee to be a poor role model? His idea was Jeet Kune Do which is essentially taking techniques from all styles and applying them to your style, which is what MMA is. The original purpous of the UFC for example was to show the effectiveness of Gracie Style of BJJ against the other styles of Martial Arts. Then they sold the company and it is what it is now. I have never seen atheletes more respectfull towards their opponents than a Mixed Martial Artist. Unlike Football, Basketball, Baseball, and all those other pro sports who are constantly disrespecting one another, and only perform for the money and not for love of the sport, which I see as unethical and poor sportsmanship.

  • candlemass says:

    i would not allow my kids to train MMA style, instead i would allow them to train different martial arts, some of which are and some which are not incorporated into MMA sport. i would not allow them to fight unless absolutely neccessary. fighting can cause brain damage and physical scarring. and also MMA sport encourages roudy stupid behaviour, martial arts is spiritual not physical alone. what MMA has done is take mrtial arts and turn them into a circus, the purpouse of this sport is to entertain though violence and thats completely antithetical to the idea of martial arts. in short encourage your kids to do Martial arts not martial sports

  • Mike says:

    Ron Says:
    “How can you say that you want your kids to grow up and feel the pressure of fighting? It’s got to be an awful amount and you want your kid to go through that?”

    Pressure is an interestng way to put it. Like Jon said in response to you there are pressures created in all sports. ut the funny thing to me is that you are inferring that you would want your own children to avoid any serious amount of pressure while growing up.

    If you are afraid of your kids having to feel pressure in life, then how exactly are you preparing them to succeed in life?

    Life is all about competition and competition = pressure. If you don’t teach your kids to learn to deal with pressure & compete for their place in life then you are failing to give them one of the best tools possible to find success with.

    My kid will begin learning MMA whhen he turns 8. He is 5 now. To me, the sooner he learns Self defense & humility the sooner he can begin to learn how to survive and succeed.

  • Ryan says:

    Completely agree with what you’ve said Jon. Aside from your points, MMA will also teach kids self defense, something other sports do not.

    I am 20, and had a background in amateur wrestling. I had a huge boost in confidence once I became a well rounded fighter, as I am now confident I’d be able to defend myself if someone were to try to attack me for some reason.

    This is especially important with kids now a day, as bullies are always going to be present, and we have to face the fact that the world isn’t getting any nicer.

    Let your kid learn MMA. It gives you self confidence, an ability to defend yourself, and teaches you some incredibly important life lessons.

  • Ben says:

    I’ve known parents to force their kids to play football or to box, but if you look at the stats, more deaths and serious injuries (like paralysis) have happened in football and boxing than have every happened in MMA. In boxing if you get knocked down, you have a 8 count to get back up, at which time you can take more punishment and possibly take more serious injuries. In MMA if you get knocked down and the ref sees that you aren’t intelligently defending themselves, he stops the fight. No sport out there requires the discipline, commitment and sacrifice and offers a bigger reward than MMA does. Any one how still thinks that MMA is as brutal as it once was just doesn’t know about today’s sport. I don’t care if you take the time to learn and then say you don’t like it. I can respect that. Just don’t be ignorant.

  • Jon says:

    Ron, the pressure these kids will feel competing is no more than the pressure other sports parents put on their kids. Have you ever been to a competitive little league baseball game? Hell, how about a children’s beauty pageant? I’ve seen clips of those on television, and the mothers there basically are cutthroat bitches and teaching their kids to be the same.

    In the big picture, MMA is no worse than any other organized sport for children. Any youth MMA program is going to have rules and regulations in place to prevent serious injury, and prohibit anything brutal. Your post makes you sound like someone who still believes it is the days of “human cockfighting”. Get with the times. The sport is mainstream, and to continue to grow, it needs to reach kids.

  • Ron says:

    How can you say that you want your kids to grow up and feel the pressure of fighting?

    It’s got to be an awful amount and you want your kid to go through that?


  • Ray Ray says:

    Good write up.

    I agree that MMA fighters are some of the nicest approachable athletes in the world.


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