Mixed Martial Arts is a fantastic sport for children to get involved in. Contrary to some newspapers printing negative stories of children competing, martial arts has been proven time and time again to promote discipline, fitness and respect among children. It is my personal belief that MMA can literally save a child or teenager from a more rocky path.
I personally see children come from unstable family backgrounds or kids that are involved in difficult social groups evolve by training Martial arts. They become more confident, but more respectful. More capable of self-defence, but less likely to be an aggressor. Learning how to fight under the correct coaches does not turn you into a 'thug.' Instead, it allows you to learn your body and grow in confidence whilst adhering to a set of rules and guidelines that keep you from falling down the wrong path.
If you're a parent or guardian looking to get your child started in MMA, there are a few essential pieces of information you'll need to know. Presented below in a handy guide with our recommendations attached. Get them involved!
1. Find the right gym
For children to get the perfect start in their training they need to be in the right environment. It is a stereotype of MMA that the gyms are full of rough, masculine characters that would be hostile to newcomers. However this is just not the case at all. Any reputed MMA gym will be a welcoming place to train for all ranges of experience. Remember: An MMA club makes money from its members, so they are keen for new people to start training.
Find your child a very 'child friendly' gym, where there are kids classes and the correct safety measures in place to protect your children from any harm. Googling 'Kids martial arts classes' in your local area is a good start, or asking on a local Martial Arts group board.
2. Pick up the right kids MMA gear
Cheap kids MMA equipment, or cheap kids Muay Thai equipment, is fairly common. However, the market is flooded by flimsy, scaled down adult gear that is not purposefully made with children in mind. This is usually due to the pretty lousy reputation MMA holds in the media and companies reluctant to release their own childrens equipment for fear they will be made to look negative.
However, here at fightstorepro we are committed to providing kids with the best technical training equipment around. The first essential purchases for a child involved in martial arts are a Gum shield
and a Cup
. Both of these are the only real definite purchases, as all other equipment will usually be provided by the gym till the child wants their own.
A gum shield
is a widely available protective item that fits into a child's mouth and protects their teeth from impact. We stock a junior gumshield at this link.
is a protective plastic or metal enclosure that protects the groin. Held in place by a 'jock strap' or compression shorts, cups are seen in other contact sports but especially useful in MMA or Muay Thai. We currently do not stock a junior cup but to get an idea of what brands make good cups, check out our range here.
After the essentials: Introducing the Revgear and Sandee Kids rangees
Using gym equipment is fine, but after awhile your child will want their own boxing gloves, headguards, shinguards etc. Don't worry! We are one of the UK's best retailers when it comes to selling kids boxing gloves and kids MMA equipment.
Revgear is an American MMA brand and they make gear specifically engineered for children. Their range is unique to Revgear, and their products are not just adult versions made smaller. Instead they are made FOR kids.
Check out their kid's BOXING GLOVES (In 6oz or 8oz)
Buy 6oz for a smaller fighter and 8 for ages 10+
Their kids Shinguards are excellent for both MMA and Muay Thai.
Available for £24.99 these shinguards are great for protecting your child's shins and feet.
They also make MMA gloves specifically designed for kids
. Also priced at £24.99, ridiculously good value.
Whilst any old pair of shorts are okay to wear in an MMA gym, if your child wants their own MMA shorts, grab a nice pair of Revgear Kids shorts.
Revgear also make a child's headguard which is ESSENTIAL if your child is engaging in heavy sparring or high impact. Available HERE
Sandee Muay Thai
Sandee Muay Thai is a Thailand based brand that has a long standing in the country. They produce a range of child specific equipment and their kids PU Boxing gloves and Shinguards are excellent quality and excellent value. (Boxing gloves £29.99 and shinguards £34.99) Click the images above to purchase them in our store.
Once your child is kitted out safely and has a gym to go to, proceed to the next step.
3. Watch your child grow as a person through Martial Arts
A somewhat cheesy step to list, but an important one. As a parent, letting your child take their first steps in Martial Arts might be heart-wrenchingly difficult, especially when they compete. However, with your support and the right environment/gear, they will become so much more as people. It's an exceptional sport to be a part of and will grow their confidence, physical athleticism and their respect of other human beings.
Quite simply, getting your child started in MMA or martial arts will really help them grow and will make you both proud and pleased you let them get involved with the fastest growing sport on Earth.
Written by Craig Thomas Boyle