|Posted by mmaroadshow on May 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM|
Why Mixed Martial Arts is the Best Choice for Your Children
(A parents view at life and the sport)
Since before my daughter was born I knew I wanted her to take martial arts. In my lifetime I have known too many young women that have fallen the unfortunate victim of a sexual assault. I could not help but think the only way to ensure this doesn’t happen to my little girl is to arm her with self-defense techniques. Thus began my journey to fulfill my responsibility as a parent and safeguard my daughter from the uncertainty of the outside world.
I had decided traditional karate instruction was not for us, while it is a great martial art, I was worried we would simply be paying for promotions through a belt mill, and I wanted my girl to actually learn something. So we went to the next logical place; kung fu.
While kung fu (and its many forms) is an amazing style there seemed to be something missing. My daughter would learn the mechanical movements, repeat them in sequence and get a different color sash, but she wasn’t grasping how she would use the techniques to defend herself. We learned a lot about muscle memory and breathing control but these concepts were lost on a seven year old.
After about five years I had the pleasure of befriending an amateur MMA fighter. We spoke at length about fighting. I would ask questions like “How come I never see kung fu masters winning in the octagon?” or “with so many styles out there why don’t MMA fights look more like Bloodsport with Jean Claude Van Damme?”
Through this discourse my friend taught me that there is a difference between Hollywood stunts and practical martial arts. He taught me about efficiency in striking and economy of motion. I learned that not every fight will be had on your feet and knowing how to grapple and submit can be as important as knowing how to throw a punch or a kick.
I was convinced to keep an open mind. I knew it was time for my daughter to learn something new.
After relocating to Alabama I had learned of a gym that offered classes in the ever mysterious art of MMA. I enrolled my daughter and she begun being instructed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Boxing. I watched as her passion for martial arts sored. She was so excited to go to class and wouldn’t think of missing a day. She absolutely fell in love.
The pivotal moment for me was connected with an incident from my daughter’s past. A few years ago she was being bullied and attempted to use what she learned in kung fu class to defend herself. She failed in the attempt and was beaten up. From that moment all confidence in herself and her martial art was lost. I was able to see that confidence completely restored with MMA.
Unfortunately her MMA gym was sold to a new owner after 8 short months and they were no longer offering instruction. So on the search I went to replace her martial arts teachers.
I scheduled interviews with a number of places; a Systema school, a Krav Maga school, Karate school. These were all the martial arts schools I could find in our area. We met with each one and was invited to sit in on a class. My primary concern was still that she be able to learn how to defend herself, but her interests were more specific than that.
At only 12 years old she took command of these interactions and asked highly relevant questions; “Do you allow sparring? If not how does one get an accurate gauge as to their progress? Do you only rely on forms?”
Based on these answers she was able to make a decision. Her decision was no. Without the ability to interact in combat with an opponent my daughter felt there was no accurate way one could truly judge that they had learned or progressed in their art form. There was no test of agility or reflex, no challenge that simulated real combat to be had.
Depressed we all but gave up until someone told us about “an MMA gym I passed by in Foley”. That is when we found Outlaw MMA. http://www.outlawmmallc.com/
What my daughter has learned at Outlaw demonstrates precisely why MMA is an intelligent choice for all parents.
Her confidence is extraordinarily healthy because she has acquired real and practical martial arts skills. She is humble because she has learned (through regular combat and competition) to respect her opponents. She is eager to learn because her instructors always have something new to show her. She gets to be a part of a competitive sport which is a wonderful experience for school aged children. She gets to be a part of a team, which teaches her the importance of relying on others and being reliable.
As a parent I couldn’t possibly ask for more from a sport. My daughter competes in a safe and controlled environment with encouragement and instruction from caring and knowledgeable teachers who are arming her with practical information she can take with her for a lifetime.
Special thanks to:
Anthony Lee, South Alabama
Submitted "Guest Article"
* This article is a "Guest Article" and was submitted by a father wanting to tell his story with his daughter. These views on other martial arts decipline are not necessarily those of Alabama MMA News. Saying this, this article is very well written and should be shared.
Categories: General MMA News