Cage-Fighting Event for 8-Year-Olds Is O.K. With the Law, Say Police


It's hard to imagine that this would happen in the U.S., land of helicopter parenting, staunch litigiousness, and swiftly delivered Internet justice, but Europe is different. After 8-year-old kids were involved in a cage-fighting match (a sold-out event watched by 250 people, some of whom videotaped it), British police launched an investigation into the September 10 child-on-child fight at the Greenlands Labour Club in Preston, northwest England. While people are outraged, police have determined that organizers will not face any legal action because, in part, the club has a license to hold events.

Obviously, people continue to be outraged, because any event in which partially clothed kids are put in a cage to battle it out seems to draw that sort of sentiment. Jeremy Hunt, the government's sports minister, called the images "very barbaric," and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children strongly discouraged parents from letting their kids do this sort of thing.

In the video, 8- and 9-year-old boys grappled and wrestled without protective gear while "a scantily clad female paraded on stage between rounds." One boy seems to be crying. However, the event organizers claim this is safe, and that kids don't get to punch and kick until they reach a ripe old 14 or 15. The father of one of the boys also distinguishes that this isn't cage fighting, this is grappling -- "cage fighting only comes when they're older." Plus, the dad says, "He likes to do it, he's never forced to do it, he wants to do it, so leave him to do it."

Michelle Anderson, owner of Greenlands Labour Club, told the Telegraph [where there's video as well], "There was nothing wrong with it. The kids were there to fight, they have fought before. The parents were there. Would people rather these kids were out on the streets with guns and knives?"

Are those the only options?

Child cage fight organisers will not face police action [Telegraph]
Young boys cage-fighting in UK prompts outcry [MSNBC]

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

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6 comments
David Petty
David Petty

I am not a believer in pugilistic sports, but I don't see much difference between this and judo or wrestling. I'm not sure on the age minimum/limits on golden glove boxing and some karate training where the participants actually hit and kick. The only difference I see is the preception that this is an "underground type" of fighting without rules.

Spoony
Spoony

the media can make things sound however they like, the boys clearly dont punch unlike other fighting arts like karate,  i have seen karate tournaments where young boys are left strike but because people see that form of fight as some how more civilized then cage fighting its accepted. i dont see a problem with these boys applying what they have learn to show off there skills. the media where looking for a 5min slot and dont care about the people involved

DrinkSomeTea
DrinkSomeTea

Rambunctious boys that I've babysat wrestle each other in their bedrooms and living rooms. I'd rather my possible sons wrestle it out in a cage over the remote control than break whatever Chinese heirlooms I'm going to inherit and have featured my married-life home.

texasbreeze
texasbreeze

This is all very wrong. And to think a club owner says it's a good alternative to "kids ... out on the streets with guns and knives." Sure, but isn't the combination of kids and bicycles or kids and the great outdoors even better? 

Someone with a brain T_T
Someone with a brain T_T

That is just plain wrong. If society isn't screwed up enough this comes up. Kids cage fighting? I'm sorry but have you ever herd of a legit sports club? This isn't a sport this is just plain wrong. This is probably making the kids sadistic. Parents should be ashamed, actually they should be embaressed. And this is coming from an 18 year old! Come on people! Get some class!

Bjones24
Bjones24

As a well educated parent of two, I honestly see nothing wrong with it... that is: the way it was portrayed here.

For one, it's safe. Once I read past the shocking headline- I realize that this is NOT some no-holds-barred bloody specticle... It's just wrestling and non-striking martial arts. While the term "cage" envokes images of a deathmatch, it's is tantamount to the playing field, ring, or mat of another sport's competitive arena.

The skill and athleticism required in grappling is undeniable- as is the discipline required to learn martial arts. And given the enoumous popularity of MMA in recent years- it is enevidable that we will have kids wanting to get involved.

The last thing I'd want to see is youngsters punching each other in the face, but this isn't what's going on here.

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