Strictly Baby Fight Club

2008 ,    »  -   71 Comments
Ratings: 4.56/10 from 18 users.

Strictly Baby Fight ClubThe Cutting Edge strand enters the competitive and sometimes obsessive world of child Thai boxing, focusing on four families who are investing everything into making their kids the best young fighters in Britain.

Children as young as four or five are becoming the latest recruits to organized fighting, where some people’s attitude is that if you’re good enough to fight, you’re old enough.

The programme follows five primary school children: Miah and her twin brother Kian, Thai, Connor and Sohan.

The documentary looks at the extraordinary fitness regimes undertaken by some of the children, and hears from the parents who are passionate about the positive effects that Thai boxing has had both on the kids themselves, and on their relationships with them.

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71 Comments / User Reviews

  1. ron

    And we claim to be an intelligent species? One day, if we make it, we might evolve to the level of bonobos.

  2. esmuziq

    that boy will be big , i hope so

  3. dustin

    Wow these parents are ridiculous. A-hole parents usually make a-hole kids.

  4. Atli


  5. Scott

    Almost as bad as child beauty queens.

  6. cezen

    This surely is a joke.

  7. matt

    stupid abusive parents need a good dose of theraphy

  8. Lyd

    The kids are trying to please their parents but they look very unhappy and stressed. Poor wee things.

  9. matt

    The parents are selfish, abusive and need to be jailed up.

  10. Prix

    I've seen so much stuff on the internet that is really disturbing. But this...this is just unbelievable. How can parents do this? Why would they do this? What is there to gain? Why?

    No words to describe how disturbing this is.

  11. Alex

    Why am I always mistrustful of people who use the expressions:
    "at the end of the day"
    "I'm not being funny, but..."

  12. ez

    yep, pretty sad. I have nothing against a kid being athletic or learning martial arts, but this is too much. Nothing should consume a kids life like this, except the desire to have fun. I do think we wait too long to start teaching our kids responsiblity, but this is too earlier for this much disipline and competition. I guess trhey will grow up more responsible and driven though, less apt to be intimidated or afraid of public situations. But I wonder at what cost and is the net gain worth it?

  13. carpenter

    These Brits parents need help !! especially the guy who made his daughter fight while she was crying. Poor girl, would never let me daughter do stuff like that.

  14. Leonardo

    I take a little fighter stud over a fat ass tv watching kid any second.

  15. Lester W

    @ez or ez2B12 right?
    The study of martial arts has been one of the most beneficial aspects of my life. I suggest it to everyone.
    It has allowed me to walk away from most fights because I already know I can beat up most people...

    @ everyone else though:

    I think the idea of children learning to fight is perfectly normal and healthy. The tragedy is this is another example of parents living through their children's lives. They, the parents, are analagous to other parents that force their children in beauty pagents. Every sport is filled with parents like this. Here in Texas, come to football game sometime.

    I do understand though, it's hard for some people to see fighting as artful or skilled because of the extreme examples of brutality that are shown in highlights of events and competitions.

    Keep in mind however that there are much more injuries in every other sports such as cheerleading. I've only read about one person dying in any martial arts competition. Even then, there were medical conditions that contributed towards his death.

    ********Your child is many, many, many times more likely to die if they participate in Equestrian as in comparision to MMA.

  16. Lester W

    But at the end of the day, what about a fat kid watching MMA? I'm not trying to be funny but fat kids aren't really people anyway.

  17. ez

    @ Lester W

    Like I said, I have no issues with kids learning martial arts. I learned a very little myself at about thirteen and it was beneficial to my self esteem. I was only objecting to the way these parents have made their and their childrens life about nothing else. I learned to walk away from fights for a whole different reason, and it didn't take martial arts to show me that. Wahtever works for you though. Yes I used to be ez2b12, this is easier and is what everyone called me any way.

  18. princeton

    "Yes I used to be ez2b12, this is easier and is what everyone called me any way."
    LMAO i guess it did stick.. thas just awesome bro.
    and i completely agree with you. never needed martial arts to walk away from a fight (and this is from someone who's been in quite a few).

    @ all
    Actually.. most martial arts heads I knew used to get the Ish beat out of them. I think martial arts is good physical exercise, but it mainly works on other people practicing that same martial art. real life combat is just too chaotic and unpredictable. random chance moves and factors can change the course of events quite rapidly and I've seen many get hurt pretty bad. i'm in texas too.. and in my opinion, i'm too old and mature (+ friendly) to mix it up with anyone.. i've seen too much in my day to take that chance with my "temple", nothing my hands can do will sting worse than the 2 million volts I pack (completely legal)

  19. Imightberiding

    You Texans & your weapons.

  20. Imightberiding

    More power to yall down there. Also completely agree with both your & carpenter's opinions re: the parents. That poor little girl at the beginning was crying even before she got in the ring & after that it seemed at every fight she was forced to face. I almost think that some sort of child protection agency should intervene until that wanker of a father realizes the potential psychological if not physical damage to his daughter he is directly responsible for.
    Cheers! Enjoy a night at the fights!

  21. Leonardo

    what psychological damage could this cause, that one can actually prove? NONE. Most kids are bored out of their minds in front of TV eating cheerios for breakfast because their parents 'love them so much'. Perhaps giving kids soda for breakfast should be considered nutritional child abuse, at least it can be showen in a lab. Yet the nanny state does nothing to stop that.

    We tend to forget that 100 years ago children were just really weak little workers, and happy at that. 40 years ago the teenager hadn't been invented, so they could not express themselves by being bratty aholes.

    I like when children (below 12) have jobs, learn danger from real life, learn how to take a punch or shoot a gun...or fall of a tree and roll...or fix daddy's truck. It makes them resilient, more patient, more persistent. I think it makes them more prepared than cheetos, web porn with both hands and daddy fixing the truck.

  22. princeton

    @ leonardo
    just because i don't plan on forcing my kids to get into a ring while crying to go and beat up another kid, does not mean that they'll just sit in front of TV all day eating cheerios... such a false dichotomy and narrow minded view point.
    I agree with children taking on responsibilities early in life and adventuring into the world (even working and fixing stuff.. all great activities and empowering).. but getting into a ring to fight some other kid is not what i wanna teach my kids, and just for the sake of my amusement (or vicarious life) makes it abusive. you have to be lying to yourself to not realize the implications it has on your child's general worldview and concept of self-esteem.. you can be a great person without being the biggest baddest fighter and those little fights will not do anything to defend them in real life situations where their life may be on the line.

  23. Leonardo


    Everything has implications and it is up to parents to try to gage what talents their kids have and steer them in that direction.

    See, I think taking a child to church is abusive. Same for feeding them sodas or alcohol before 21. Same for videogames replacing real sports or absent parents letting TV teach their little fat pumpkins about everything but critical thinking.
    All this does not mean I want to legislate my opinion. That is why what I wrote is not a false dichotomy because it was not meant as a proposition to hold one point over the other. It was a way illustrate situations that are so called normal to be worse in my mind as others that seem so bad beacuse of their graphic nature.

  24. JibJab

    Wrong on so many levels.

  25. allan

    The fact is the level of fighter rises every generation. So if you want yourchild to excel, you have to start them out young, really young.

  26. Canadian

    I have gotten over my initial reaction of horror for this, especially for the boys who seems to really enjoy this. This, although violent, is far more empowering than beauty pageants. but for that girl who cries before every fight, shame on the parent for doing that to her.

  27. dustin

    I would bet that those of you who think its ok are young and male. While those of you who think its not ok are older and probably 50% female and 50% male. The statistics would be interesting.

  28. Carol

    I think couples should have to be tested to have children. These would fail, how is this still possible, without any interference from social sevices?! This is child abuse and they're making a video out of it? Absolutely outrageous

  29. Kiteboarderjoe

    This is as good as any activity for kids. They are focused and motivated. It's safer than kitesurfing, which is what I'll have my kid doing when she's old enough. Those here that are critical of these parents don't get it. These kids are winners, and their parents are great encouragers and providers.

  30. Reasons Voice

    Pehapse a first for me but have to agree with @Leonardo on this one. Deveoping a tallent in children, whatever that tallent may be, is crucial. Tiger Woods anybody? Not to mention the Asian educational system that promotes specialization and kicks our western back-sides.
    Ohh and @Carol; Really? Controll the reproductive rights of citizens? Wow. I'll leave that one alone as I am all but positive that if some beurocrat came to you and told you that you were unfit to have children you would likely claw their eyes out of their skull.

  31. Lester W

    I think I can take that little girl.

  32. princeton

    i agree with u about church, sodas and even some foods. not so sure about video games tho, will have to give it some thought. also, i am not sure those parents just perceived an innate ability in their children and developed it, as much as them merely pushing the activity on to their children. many talents can be detected by parents and nurtured and expanded on, but i am not so sure mma is in that category. the lessons and skills one learns from thai boxing with other kids, are not exclusive to thai boxing (gymnastics) and to my mind its not the fact that the kid may get hurt (and brains being rocked around like that at that age is nowhere near healthy) but the nature of the sport.

  33. mike bussy


  34. LonelyWolf

    What's the dif? Cock fight, dog fight, kids' fight? Adults have no consideration or regard for little creatures.
    Might as well start a "baby organ harvesting"! What about "baby porn"?
    Under the guise of "sport" I guess anything goes?
    Parents ought to be put in the ring too, before the kids and whose mother wins first, her kid gets to fight. Imagine! Seeing bitches claw each other? or fat slobs jiggling their rolls against brainless sticks?
    C'mon, this is barbarian to say the least! Not even the Romans or Hitler would have thought of such inhumane torture for kids!All under the pretense of love and sports.
    I am beyond disgusted!

  35. LonelyWolf

    As in dogs, male dogs and bitch as in female dog?
    As in chickens or male chicken is a rooster or a cock?
    Nothing derogatory in the comment, just plain English. Restricting words, but not restricting abusive parenting? Aren't we hypocrits?

  36. Lester W

    Hmmmm, dog fighting is analagous to kids fighting? I think the plural here is what matters.

    As was said earlier in this post, forcing children to fight is wrong.

    But it's not exactly the same as giving a child an AK-47. Nor is it the same as training dogs to fight for Your Own sick pleasure. That is exactly what these particular parents are guilty of. Vicarious living.

    And I would even admit that these parents are probally as stupid as people who train and fight dogs...

    However, I think you are pretending a moral stance against, as you say "kids' fighting" because of this sensationalist piece. If you Really look at these particular martial arts and to be honest, ANY martial arts system you would see a psychologically positive hobby and an even more physically challenging activity that is truely beneficial to practically everyone involved.

    Settle down, reflect and realize your emotional response to the images on the screen.

  37. Snowman


    You are being absolutely ridiculous. How do you compare a competitive, organized sport to "baby organ harvesting" or "baby porn"? And where do you get off saying that kids fighting in martial arts is more inhumane than the holocaust?

    The only 'disgusting' thing about this entire situation is the attitude of the parents. The kids obviously enjoy getting in the ring (minus the girl), just not dealing with their parents over the top expectations and 'coaching'.

  38. Charles B.

    Looked like merciless "bully training" to me. I like to know how they treat other "normal" kids at school. Dollars to doughnuts they're the bullies!

    A "cage match" for 9 year olds?!?!? Now THAT is "child abuse"!

    If they were older and don't turn out to be evil minded bullies and make the Olympics at a normal decent age, then goodie goodie for them, but pre-teen children are just too young to teach this kind of mindset to in my opinon.

    I'd be grieved to my core if my 5 year old said, "I'll batter her" in any context!

    Listen to the perents at ringside! So abusive! I'd like to track these kids over the next 20 years and find out how many go to prison for violent offensives, or become a CEO of some cutthroat company where the end always justifies the means.

  39. LonelyWolf

    Dear Snowman,

    I might be ridiculous in my comparison, a bit exaggerated, but I know exactly what I am talking about.

    I have been teaching Martial Arts for over 35 years and I am also a parent. I am perfectly qualified to judge on both sides of the fence.

    Children who are emotionally and physically pushed by their parents into doing grown-up activities are going to pay the price in their teens if not sooner.
    Children's development is being retarded and/or damaged in many ways, earlier and earlier.

    As they grow, their bodies grow in spurts and when damage is inflicted early, the body's natural defense kicks in and grows a protective barrier against such injuries. Brains get knocked and little ruptures happen, internal organs get injured and displacement and tumors happen, unbeknownst to the child or parent. Then, the surprise comes! Terminal illnesses.

    If fortunate enough for none of these to happen, their minds absorb the early brutal education and wrap that information for later use in relationships, in work ethics, in everyday life.

    We, as adults, have the tendency to push children to be mature, yet as we get older, we try to be children again, by being silly and buying toys to get back to childhood and making complete asses of ourselves.

    Martial arts, at least the way I see and teach, encompasses more than just beating the heck out of someone. It means being aware, being respectful even for the life of your opponent, being helpful and conscientious, focused and strong, not just physically, but spiritually. Being able to raise to any occasion and getting through the most difficult situations without causing damage to either side, but making it clear there's no other way but surrender. Monks taught this discipline and it was taught responsibly, until the modern world took over and is teaching the discipline for anything else but honor. That is wrong.

    Baby cages are nothing more that exploitation of miniature people for the sake of monetary gain. The kid in the video talks about buying things for his parents, which is noble, but easily guessed that the parents dangled that common carrot in their training of him. Material gain is the objective for the trainers, be they parents or coaches; not character or development.

    The children don't know any better and adults can and will manipulate such innocence. It feels good to hit a live target, but parents should hit each other first and then ask the question if their kids should be subjected to their brainless desires. The parents of such children should be made to watch slaughters by kids in other countries. I am one of those children from a Communist Ear, and believe me, the deprogramming is hard if not impossible.

    Why not start children on fire drills and put them in a suit? Why not give them a gun like they do in many countries and send them on suicidal missions. as they are?
    Children who fight as they do in that video, are being conditioned to be bullies and trophy hunters; little shinny plastic parts put together and made in China, to push and promote the bizarre adult desire of irresponsible parents for fame and elusive fortune, because of their own failed dreams.

    Is Thailand and Thai boxing a role model for the future generation? The land of child pornography and slavery? What are people thinking, why is the public being brainwashed into thinking this is all right?

    Ask the nuns and peace keeping volunteers who have been killed by children mercenary soldiers if they could have been spared. NO! Children are by their very nature cruelly innocent and when they are trained to be violent at an early age, they will continue. Look at the bomb strapped kids! Look at the machete kids! Look at the way children are manipulated and tell the world we are going in the right direction!

    I will stand my ground and I will never agree to this sort of competitive exploitation! We are a brutal society as it is and irresponsible teachers, parents and coaches, praising brutality and MMA promotions, is wrong!

  40. eski

    Seems there are more f'd up people online than in the actual program... If the kids want to do this, im all for it, but some of you people out there have way twisted ideas... These parents are trying to live out their own dream through their kids and nothing could be more tragic in my opinion... Specially the ones who called their kid Thai, and telling him how c@#$ he was and so on... Id bust a move on them... and one more thing... Wow, texans are crazy...!

  41. GreenBee

    @ Prix

    I agree with you completely! These parents aught to be ashamed of themselves. That little girl crying and being forced to fight... and all the the parents (except Sohan's) saying their kids started fighting as toddlers! 2 - 2.5 year-olds fighting in a contact sport competitively, is the most ridiculous, ludicrous AND DANGEROUS thing I ever saw or heard of. I have worked with children aged 2 - 4 for ten years, and seen my share of toddlers. These little ones need to be nurtured, thought the ways of te world with tender care, not thrown in to the ring, before they are mentally or physically ready for it. Children that young and even 5 year-olds, are not ready physically or mentally for the rigorous training that they are put through. Their bodies are still developing, bones, brain, muscles...etc... to be put under such pressure is detrimental for these and other bodily systems as well as for their bodies as a whole. This said, such competitive honing is also detrimental to their social life and to how they perceive other and interact with other people, other children and adults alike. From the tender age of 2 - 2.5 these children are indoctrinated to fight hard, to do anything and everything in order to win, thought, to be fearlessly competitive, uncompromising, and in the case of that little girl who cried before a fight but was forced to fight anyway, to put their feelings aside and fight and beat te hell out of their opponent, even though that may not be what they want to do at all. These parents are living their dreams thought their children (Sohan's father actually said so!) which is condemnable in the list, and abuse at the most. Also, the level of stress that these children are under 24/7, 362 days a year, would be unbearable even to most adults, from running 5 miles a day (which is way to much for the body of a 10 year-old to handle), all the way to the constant buzz of "you must win, you must not loose, you must win" in their ears and the bad mouthing they get from their parents for not fighting the way their parents think they should. This is in no way batter than child beauty pageants. Such behaviour by parents is utterly disgusting and disgraceful. This doc was very painful and unpleasant to watch.

  42. GreenBee

    They should let kids be kids, these kids do not have time left for that. Time to play, read, and plain old enjoy their childhood, enjoy being children, which we get to do (all of us) only once.
    I bet that when they are all grown up they will not be thanking their "caring" parents for what they have put them through as children. Such parents are steeling their children's best years.. And for what??? For their own entertainment, and for having exiting lives through their children. Because they do not have lives of their own that are exiting enough for them. These kids are thought that compromising is weak, that they should strive to be number one, no matter at what cost to themselves and their physical and mental well being. They are thought that winning is all that matters, all that is important in life. Well it's not. There is much more to life than winning a fight and gaining another trophy or belt to hang on your wall.

  43. Salem

    I'm a fighter and I don't like children fights. Childs should have a child life. I don't like to see this poor girl crying before the fight. I don't understand how parents can do that with there own childs. Really I'm disapointed and sad. Can you really imagine the impact of a brain damage at this age? A good fighter needs to use his brain. We are not in Thailande where little boys have to fight to eat. A sad story.

  44. Lester W

    I keep my kid at home in a vacuum with head gear on. I give him 15 doses of antibiotics and prechew his food so that he can swallow easier. I read everything before he does and I also watch everything before him, you know Just in case...

    I've known a few dozen children that have gloves on since the age of 4 and 5, including myself, with no more long term damage than Any other sport. Basketball has been much more detrimental to my health by far. It's really not even close.

    How hard can kids really hit???? Seriously, think about it.

    @Lonely Wolf
    First of all children would make terrible firemen because they

    couldn't hold the hose up and kids would certainly be awful suicide

    bombers because they couldn't hide enough explosives to be effective


    Seriously though, I do see now where your righteous indignation comes

    from. Which style did you teach by the way? I'm just curious

    because I've seen many people fall into the metaphysical aspects of

    their particular artform because what they've practiced and believed

    in for years has been exposed as not being that important in a real

    life self defense situation.

    We do agree that these parents are living through their children.

    This vicarious living through your child is incredibly bad parenting.

    I will also concede that children with a bad upbringing should be

    monitered very closly and possibly banned from pursueing any combat

    sport(and maybe football too)if they, the child, show evidence of

    mental problems. The same restrictions that are required when kids

    have physical limitations or handicaps.

    You said:
    """"As they grow, their bodies grow in spurts and when damage is

    inflicted early, the body’s natural defense kicks in and grows a

    protective barrier against such injuries. Brains get knocked and

    little ruptures happen, internal organs get injured and displacement

    and tumors happen, unbeknownst to the child or parent. Then, the

    surprise comes! Terminal illnesses."

    You are absolutly right about kids being drawn to aspects of sport

    that are a danger to their development into adults. Teaching a kid to

    throw a curve ball too young can mess up his ability later in life.

    It's why there are so many "tommy-john" surgeries now. This has to

    do with stretching and tearing of the tendon. Striking is not

    repetitive enough for this type of injury because of the variety of

    punches and kicks that are taught. Head injuries are also minimized

    because of head gear and the considerable lack of power that children

    have to throw strikes.

    Grappling should also be taught under tight supervision because with

    the right amount of leverage, a child could break another's arm or

    ankle. At least dislocate it for sure. Kids aren't taught to be

    animals. When someone indicates(taps) that they want to quit, the

    fight is over. Injuries can obviously occur but they are not regular

    problems that children in MMA deal with. Not the ones I know at


    This, as you say "protective barrier" happens only on the shins,

    elbows, knuckles and foot padding. You know, the areas where a

    callus builds up. Internally, this would be called bruising. This is

    bad, obviously, but I have yet to see a shread of evidence that shows

    this internal bruising / damaging happens because of fighting.

    Especially in children whose power and speed is generated from their

    little arms and legs.

    I think that's why 25 year olds don't fight 12 year olds. I'd be

    undefeated. Kids should always be required to wear head gear and well

    padded gloves(I say 12 ounces until they can handle 16's)Proper

    equipment reduces damage considerbly. Also, full contact sparring

    should not be a daily activity. Certainly not All-out fighting. Most

    train at 50 - 75 percent strength so you don't hurt your training

    partner. You of all people should know this. Everyone else watches

    this and only sees the perceived brutality and assumes that kids must

    do this all the time. But that's not true.

    If a kid is fighting at this pace everyday, I would have to agree

    that they are probally more susceptible to all types of injury.

    Mainly physical but mental as well.

    There is not a causal link showing more brain ruptures in children

    who participate in full contact sparring as in comparision to those

    who don't. Predisposition to all of these health problems is the only

    common factor.

    When someone gets knocked out, it's because of the sudden jarring of

    their brain. This is your bodies self defense system. It's why you

    always see people getting up from a KO asking "what happened" or "is

    the fight over yet."

    As for "tumors" and "terminal illness", where exactly is the research

    that shows a higher proportion of cancer cases in children who are

    exposed to full contact sparring? I would guess that this is an

    extrapolation based on data that shows more cases of cancer in people

    with internal bleeding or bruising as in comparison to people with

    out internal organ damage. Their are quite a few important variables

    left out here for one to make a statement that kids sparring causes


    The dispute here is whether or not children are strong enough to

    cause these health problems to each other. I say maybe. If a child

    who knows how to punch sucker puches a kid who hasn't ever trained,

    then maybe you might have some lasting problems. I doubt it though.

    Ever hear about that kid who punched that other kid so hard he caused

    internal bleeding? Yeah, me neither.

    Reggie Lewis died running down the basketball court due to a

    pre-existing heart problem. Your arguement is that basketball should

    not be taught to children because they might, might have conditions

    in which basketball or running could be the catylst for an early


    You also say:
    ^^^^"We, as adults, have the tendency to push children to be mature,

    yet as we get older, we try to be children again, by being silly and

    buying toys to get back to childhood and making complete asses of


    Hey I'm with you here. Yuppies suk.

    You then say:
    ^^^^ Martial arts "encompasses... being aware, being respectful even

    for the life of your opponent, being helpful and conscientious,

    focused and strong, not just physically, but spiritually."

    If this is what you actually believe that MMA is all about then why

    do you teach? These attributes sound more like an eastern philosphy

    mixed with a little religous jargon. But if this is what matters so

    much to you, why not just teach buddism or sikhism or kaballah or new

    age meditation exercises?

    Why do you bother to teach people how to throw punches and kicks? If

    fighting is wrong for children then why not just teach physical


    And do you really have to teach students to "value the life of their

    opponent"? If that's the case then those kids should obviously not be

    involved because they are probally a little craz y.

    These character traits are very important possibly the most

    important, but these issues should be taught to the child from their

    parents. It's how most people including myself learned them. Parents

    should not expect nor allow any teacher or instructor to teach their

    children these very important life skills.

    These sports are not responsible for raising your child. They are not

    exploitive because people are not forced or coerced into these

    activities except when parents exploite their own children. This is

    not Muy Thai's fault nor would it be the fault of bowling if parents

    forced thier child to participate in a bowling league.

    The analogies and other comparisons you use are a bit much. Your

    stretching the cause of a few anecdotal cases of specific tragedies

    to encompass an entire perfectly healthy and admirable hobby. Blaming

    the martial arts country of origin is laughable in the debate

    considering where all of the other disiplines come from.

    Take what is useful from a style and leave the rest. "Be formless,

    shapeless. Like water." - B.Lee (like you didn't already know that)

    Learning to fight is what it is. It's not a tool to help you parent

    your child. You are learning to defend yourself against someone who

    wants to hurt you. Plain and simple. Sparring is an exibition of two

    fighters with similiar skills.

    P.S. - The monks that you put in such high regard really do exploit

    children. They are the privileged priest class who take poor children

    and tell them that they are going to be monks. Forever. This means no

    social skills, no proper education, no assests and no choices for

    their own future. The dalai-lama is an a--hole and I wouldn't base my

    life on any philosophy based on any teachings from uneducated

    superstitions like chi or life force or aether or whatever garbage

    they call it now.

  45. Lester W

    Sorry for the spaces. I saved it in my notepad because my computer was restarting to install updates and it left spaces for some reason.

  46. Michael A

    I could not finish watching the video. Is this not child abuse?

  47. Ryan

    You make champions by training them from children. Michael Phelps was forced to swim almost every day and now he holds a record for gold medals and won the US a victory of the China in the olympics.

    These kids if they stick with it will become world famous for their amazing skills. It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a skill. They'll have their 10k in by age 14 lol. Just hope they get a better coach then good ol dad.

  48. Rhys J

    The dad from Wigan was horrible, the doco easily spun how little his daughter was into it... There are positives to be take from the discipline that a sport like Thai boxing can teach a child, it's just that when the weight of a parent's expectation is added to the mix it very rarely ends positively... Like Thai's dad said it's better than letting your kid get fat and lazy!

  49. ReligionIsntAllBad

    Martial arts can be a great way for kids to develop strength and coordination; however, pushing children into competition can turn out to be a disaster, though certainly no one comes to discipline easily and we all need pushes at times. If you think the world is dog eat dog, or zombies might attack at any moment then perhaps you should push your kid into competitive martial arts at an early age. Some kids just want to do it (I did as a lil boy). Personally I am happy to watch my little girl at her non-competitive dance recitals, and help her learn discipline by reminding her to practice and of the importance of seeing things through ... although I might dream of a cage match during some of the boring moments of the recitals heehee :P

    Sure you can justify the parents’ actions by saying ’this is how champions are made’ or ’better than letting the kid get fat and lazy’ but I wonder. Would our kids turn out fat and lazy without each of our little pushes as parents ... can you really force being a champion on someone, especially a little someone without a fully developed mind ... and is it a good idea to try those kinds of things. I don’t have the answers but I would hope you do before pushing your kid into something like this.

    There seems to be a slew of comments from non-parents hehehe ... which I think is totally fine. I will just say to you ... it is one thing to hold a certain belief about discipline and what is acceptable for children of various ages. It is quite another thing to look at your own crying little daughter and force her to follow through with something she doesnt want to do. It can break your heart, friends ... you would only do it if it NEEDED to be done for her sake or you were insane. That is just my opinion, of course :)

  50. Lester W

    You are right, religionisntallbad. Not about religion of course, but about the idea of pushing your child into something they are not enjoying. Vicarious living = bad parenting. It's silly to think that forcing your kid to like something will make them professionals. Although many composers were made to practice for hours each day. That goes for artists, writers, and I'm sure many doctors were forced to study many hours. But a child's success as an adult in their chosen job or skill is not equivalent to successfully parenting. "Well, kids don't come with a manual..." I love that statement. Really??? Have you been to a library? There are tons of books on parenting.

    The real issue here is rather or not this particular sport/activity is physically or mentally damaging to the child. I think the answer is complicated. I would argue that it is much less damaging than football or even basketball. There are parents who don't allow thier kids to take place in these sports as well and I simpithize with them more than those who get outraged about MMA while putting on their 6 year olds football helmet.

    I have been involved with all three (basketball, football, MMA) since an early age. Basketball has caused much more damage than MMA ever did. It's really not even close. Torn ligaments(plural), ruptured patella, dislocated shoulder and hip, broken nose and broken toes. That's just off the top of my head.

    M. Ali ended up being almost brain dead because he was over medicated and over the hill when he faught heavy weight champion L. Holmes. Their is an ESPN doc on the 30 for 30 series dealing strictly with this fight. People often equate the constant barrage of punches that boxing has to MMA but these two sports are not the same at all. The gloves that boxers wear are too padded and cause your brain to bounce around. This brusing is what causes the serious injury. When you add kicks to the equation, it allows for fighters to take even less strikes to the head. Much less in fact.

    The biggest glaring fault these parents have is forcing their child into activities which are not necessary and should only be classified as hobbies. The hobby should also be fun or your just gonna raise a child with loads of justified resentment towards their parents.

    Good luck with your daughter my friend. I think you'll do OK though. Anyone who actively watches documentaries can't be all bad:) Hopefully she wont want to be a cheerleader. Cheerleaders rate of injury is the highest of any atheletic program.

    My point is that this is sensantionalism meant to pull at the heart strings of thinking adults. Who really wants to see kids crying and getting hurt? You just want to slap that guy in the head and call child protective services.

    That being said, I think the outrage that people feel watching this is unfounded and short sided. Although some of them are obvious bad parents, I would wager that the rate of bad parents is no greater than any other sport.

  51. Lester W

    Oh yeah, kids don't hit very hard. Believe me, I beat up children as much as possible.

  52. Richard Best

    I'm not trying to be funny but............As with most Parents doing this, they couldn't fight well themsleves, so they make their kids live the dream for them. I wonder what the kids dream really is to be..... I had to LOL at the kid saying he is gonna buy a big house and all that stuff. I have been around MT for years (not that I was much good)and used to share a home in Bangkok with a multiple world champion. There is almost no cash in this sport unless you get to K1 level standards.
    At the end of the day MT is a sport you do for love, if you wanna earn cash, spend your time reading about the oil industry as a kid and become a project manager in Nigeria or Kazakhstan. Then you will get some cash.
    As for the parent making his crying daughter fight, shame on you. Why don't you find out what she likes to do, encourage her in that direction then her confidence will grow anyway. She MAY choose MT at a later date, but don't be surprised if you have pushed her into ballet with your blinkered view on child psychology.

  53. TommyG

    Like religion, I feel that the decision to participate should rest solely on the child. I'd like to see less motivation from the parents to compete, and more toward learning the core philosophy's associated with a martial art. If your child is crying from a loss, he or she is not ready. Most likely they are more upset from disappointing there parents. The same parents who attempt to live life through there children. Mixed Martial Arts is the future of fighting, and I support children in sports. Although, I second guess the stress and pressure placed on them to win.

  54. diana makustah

    how pathetic, the parents couldn't make it so they force their children too!! big heroes yous are.

  55. Tristan Price

    a touchy subject whether kids so young should fight or not. i mean why not its a recognised sport and boys will be boys there is obviously passion in these kids although being brought up in an atmosphere of violence im sure there will come a time in there lives as with every child and any sport, career or hobbie whether or not they want to persue it.if you want to be the best at anything then dedication and training is a vital part as long as no kid is forced to live in the shadows of there parents failed dreams then i say go for it. rip him top dog!!!

  56. Sieben Stern

    that crying little girl in the beginning broke my heart - there's nothing wrong with training to learn discipline and strength, but making kids beat on each other is akin to dog fighting. :/ no different that pageants or forcing your kid to just study all the time.

  57. steelpaladin

    They're like Spartans..

  58. Timothypj

    This was a wonderful documentary. Unlike the people who want to 'pussify' the male in this screwed up world, I totally condone and love the fact that these kids are learning to be responsible and are learning how to WIN and LOSE. I was a professional boxer for approx 7 years and trained many childeren over that time. I can take a timid little kid with bad school grades and turn their lives around in a matter of weeks.
    Not ONE of these kids were FORCED to participate in their chosen discipline. Of course kids will want to quit, get scared or possibly not train correctly for the fight. Training is the ultimate preventative measure in avoiding injury. It is the adult , the parents and coaches who must 'push' the child to do these things. Too many of you want to make life EASY for kids.. and it ruins them. That is why we have spoiled little selfish sissy kids all over the world.
    To those of you who disagree with these sports all I can say is you don't get it and are most likely overweight liberals who sit a play video games all the time. Hat's off the the parents that have taken the quality time to see to it that their childeren are very well trained and disciplined. Good Job.

  59. Timothypj

    OMG!! are you serious???? hahahhahahahaha

  60. Timothypj

    Give me a break. How much damage can be inflicted by a 50 pound child who is wearing nearly as much protective gear as their body weight.. I doubt seriously that you are a 'fighter'.. good Lord. I am a retired middle weight champ (boxing) I have trained kids all of my life and have NEVER seen an injury more serious than a bloody nose in a little kid. I did have a rule (in most cases) that a kid had to be 10 years old, not for any other reason than their attention span. It is hard to condition a child any younger than that because they lose interest very quickly.

  61. Timothypj


  62. Timothypj

    you are making a mountain out of a mole hill and I would NOT allow you to teach my child ANYTHING.

  63. boxingfan03

    So true man,

    In life you have to learn to work hard and learn disciplin through hard labor.
    These kids are just learning it younger than average.
    There was this guy at my gym. He was a drug pusher, dropped school, but when he began boxing, he learned so much. Now he's back at school and is canadian champion.
    He was a fool and now he's a champion.

  64. Gary V

    Absolutely disgusting, it is bad enough that adults who are or at least should be old enough to know better fight, but to get little children to do it is just sickening. What sort of an example is that teaching children ? No wonder that our society is so f--ked up, when we have lowlife chav parents who bring up their future little chavs to be just like them. They should be kept on a short chain along with their pitbulls, so that they can't infect the rest of society.

    OK that should rattle a few cages, now we just sit back & wait for all the replies. That is if any of them have learned how to read & write yet. LOL

  65. matt

    Its just another sport. They arent getting seriously injured, maybe a bruise or two. The girl wasnt crying because she was going to get hurt, she was cryng because she was about to COMPETE and PERFORM, just like a kid will cry at a school play.
    Let them play football then and watch them break arms, legs, pop knees etc. There are less serious injuries in boxing than cheerleading for feck sake!

    I bet these kids grow up more disciplined, respectful and wiser than any other PS3 playing fat kid that the world is producing today.

  66. Vincent

    "Of course my arse is gonna be so big it's gonna be hard to keep it tidy."


  67. Admir Efendic

    and if they dont they will be f***** up nervous wrecks, checking out welfare and dreaming bitter dreams. Then they will spawn kids of their own and f*** them up with their dreams.

  68. bobby321

    its better than gaming or watching tv

    crying was nerves likley yes should have had saftey gear rather than barefoot

    its bit of fun though really and good self defence
    the girl was fine getting into ring 3rd time

  69. Arnold Donozo

    how about 'real steel babies?' there has to be some other ways for little children to be disciplined than fighting and expose them to life threatening injuries. parents should know better. i am a father of three boys and i'd never let them get into this 'contact sport' early. when they grow and can decide on their own... i won't definitely interfere... but for now i let them enjoy what little boys enjoy most: play, enjoy their childhood.. without getting hurt and without getting fat.

  70. Max Milligan

    I don't like the fact kids are growing up in front of video games, that's how I grew up and it did me no good. But I don't like how kids are learning to fight either, not that young. If they choose to be part of the sport when their older, that's a different thing. I know they said the kids wanted to, but I wanted to do anything to make my parents proud when I was young.
    Why can't the kids be put into less violent sports, like swimming and track and field. You learn discipline, good sportsmanship, athletics. I dunno, maybe I'm being too sensitive, but something in my gut just didn't like the idea of young kids fighting. I suppose I just think our culture is too dominated by violence in the first place.

  71. bryan

    I dont see anything wrong with these kids fighting. The parents are making them stronger if anything. i dont see any abuse the kids look happy and healthy. sure they might not look happy during training do you think anyone looks happy training? adults break down and cry too. these are kids so crying is one of the ways they only know how to express their feelings. i can see how people disagree with some of this and im sure some parents take it overboard where it is abusive but i didnt see any of that in this video. No pain no gain! so there has to be some pain!
    I have my first child due in 2 month and this video gave me some good ideas! ill be training him from day one!

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