As anyone watching cable TV knows – ultimate fighting is all the rage on pay-per-view. So it was only a matter of time until some parents decided their ­kids needed to ‘train’ to participate in this ‘sport’:

Ultimate fighting was once the sole domain of burly men who beat each other bloody in anything-goes brawls on pay-per-view TV. But the sport often derided as “human cockfighting” is branching out.

The bare-knuckle fights are now attracting competitors as young as 6 whose parents treat the sport as casually as wrestling, Little League or soccer.

The kids wear some protective equipment and helmets, but you just know the rationalization that’s coming…

It looks violent until you realize this teaches discipline. One of the first rules they learn is that this is not for aggressive behavior outside (the ring),” said Larry Swinehart, a Joplin police officer and father of two boys and the lone girl in the garage group.

Riiiight. Now my child does Tae-Kwon-Doe and not only trains on how to spar (hand to hand fighting), but also knows how to wield a sword, nunchaku, and a bo staff very well. Next up is training with weapons called tonfas (like a police baton), and kamas (scary looking!). But the training is very strict, with respect drilled into them constantly. They are constantly reminded that what they learn is kept off the streets and weapons training is limited to the more senior students who have exhibited the proper discipline in class, etc.

But equating cage fighting training with other sports that are dangerous, if proper discipline and restraint aren’t taught, is crazy. Do you really think these kids are all going to be in proper training environments? Besides that, you are training kids for little more than all out fist fights. TKD centers around personal discipline, form, precision, and focus. Ultimate fighting is all out fist fighting. I love this snippet:

Lindsey said the children wear protective headgear, shin guards, groin protection and martial-arts gloves. They fight quick, two-minute bouts. Rules also prohibit any elbow blows and blows to the head when an opponent is on the ground.

Emphasis mine. You’ve got to be kidding. Just wait until one of these kids hauls off and beats a classmate to a bloody pulp with the skills they learned in a neighbor’s garage training for their next cage match. Yes, the same thing could happen with a TKD black belt, but TKD has much more history as a discipline – fighting is only a part of what you learn. And discipline is drilled into them from the start.

These parents are delusional if they think this ends well.