Too Small to Brawl
Special Report: Too Small to Brawl
"This sport is not going to stop," Pat Schultz, a mixed martial arts trainer says.
But now this dangerous and potentially deadly pass-time is spreading from the adult world to kids!
Mixed martial arts experts teach young boys and girls the basics of ultimate fighting...transforming young kids into wannabe warriors.
Tyler, who trains, says, "It's pretty cool."
Jadelynn explains a move - " You take the wrist and you grab the wrist and then push down.
And their parents are their biggest supporters.
"She will be able to protect herself from something as far as assault," Joe Grimshaw, Jadelynn's dad, says.
" It teaches focus and control and discipline, which is huge for him," says parent Dorothy Benoit.
But many are asking, is this sport too rough--and are these kids too young?
Even the kids admit - some of these moves can be really painful..
"Sometimes when I do arm bars, I think I'm gonna hurt their arm, or elbow," nine-year-old Leo says.
Just look at this "key lock" position.... one doctor says shoulders can get dislocated by this move.
"If you pull it back and lift it up, it will hurt a lot," eight-year-old Justin says.
Add to that, choke holds, kicking and body punching, and Dr. Michael O'Brien says there is the real possibility of some permanent damage.
"The exact joints that they are putting compression across are not fully mature yet," Dr. O'Brien says.
But trainers say, these moves are safe.
"I have never had a kid hurt. I have never had to send a kid to the hospital. Nothing," Tim Gillett
Mixed Martial Arts trainer says.
"There's a million sports a lot more dangerous than this one," adds trainer Schultz.
Right now Missouri is the only state that allows young kids to compete in a watered-down version of ultimate fighting. In Massachusetts, there are no laws governing mixed martial arts, including ultimate fighting. So there's nothing keeping these kids from having full-blown brawls.
Parents who let their kids train say it may not be for everyone-- but that doesn't make it wrong...
Parent Jason Mello says, "Hey bring all the cameras you want. Come look at it. If this ain't for your kid, don't bring your kid. That's how I feel about it."
Others don't feel the same.
"I think it's definitely too small to brawl," Eric Landry, trainer at Ignite! Boston Sports Club says.(Copyright 2008 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)