The popularity of Mixed Martial Arts has exploded into mainstream America as well as all over the world. The history of MMA dates back to 648 BC when a form of fighting called Pankration was introduced in the Greek Olympic Games. Pankration was a mix of boxing and wrestling with very limited rules. In modern times we have the Ultimate Fighting Championship on pay per view as well as Spike TV.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, also known as UFC, began their shocking beginning by appearing live in 1993 with the first live pay per view. The UFC was a huge success. However a lack of organization along with being banned in just about every state along with being taken off cable and pay per view the UFC was slowly sinking. In January 2001, a company named Zuffa based out of Las Vegas purchased the UFC. With new rules and weight classes introduced and state sanctioning, the UFC was starting to gain in popularity again. In 2006, the UFC started a new reality show on Spike TV called The Ultimate Fighter that was a huge success. With UFC videos along with the Internet, children have been exposed to this sensational sport and a growing interest developed not only with the kids but parents as well. Should children be allowed in mma is a topic that has been discussed frequently over the last few years.

Kids Martial Arts has been widely popular for the past 25 years in the United States. Millions of Americans have trained in some sort of martial arts at one time or another in their life mostly as kids. Karate and self-defense training are accepted and approved activities for children of all ages. MMA is a combination of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, kickboxing, along with wrestling. Karate and traditional martial arts are performed in routines and they are easy and not physically demanding. Many parents feel comfortable with a child practicing martial arts but with no contact. Mixed Martial Arts is all about the truth in that the techniques that are being used are proven to work and the combatant uses these techniques in live situations on a daily basis in practice. That is pretty much the opposite of traditional martial arts. The problem with traditional martial arts is that they give a false sense of security to children because they have them believe in techniques and concepts that just don’t work.

Most sensible parents don’t want to witness their child being choked out or kicked in the neck. So should children be allowed in MMA? The answer is yes! Children and MMA can go great together if the child is training at a school that has qualified mma instructors. Most MMA gyms offer Jiu-jitsu classes as well as kickboxing programs. The solution is easy with children and mixed martial arts. Kids should start with an individual discipline like Brazilian Jiu-jitsu or Muay Thai. Once the child is proficient in one area then I believe he or she should be introduced into another form of MMA.

Mixed Martial Arts can offer endless benefits for children, which include:

· Self-discipline
· Physical Fitness
· Teamwork
· A sense of responsibility

Children don’t have to compete in MMA while practicing the arts. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and grappling competitions are loaded with kids along with amateur Muay Thai events that allow the children to compete safely. The important thing is that you and your child are comfortable and that the children are learning and training in a safe environment under quality instructors.

Author's Bio: 

Josh was one of 16 fighters from across the United States to compete on The Ultimate Fighter Season 1, which airs on Spike TV still today. As a Mixed Martial Arts Veteran, Josh has had over 25 fights since 1998 and continues his career into 2009. Josh is also a coach and mentor to many amateur and professional fighters in his hometown of Cincinnati, OH.