I feel compelled to say something about the young children in the cage fighting story. When I first heard it, I was deeply shocked. The very description, Cage Fighting, has connotations of gladiators fighting to the death for the amusement of the mob, the crowds who flocked to the gladiatorial stadium at the time of the Romans.
I don’t know why it is called this. But I gather it has some aspects of the Marshall Arts, karate & so on. In the West we tend to bring over things from the East & then adapt them. There is nothing wrong with this. Our whole culture & tradition are not the same as the Japanese, Koreans & Chinese. I am sure that in those countries they take Western concepts & ideas & modify them as well.
Myself, I was sent to boarding school in 1954 when I was 8. In those days the régime at such schools was really quite brutal. It wasn’t just that boxing was one of the activities we had to take part in. It was a grim experience. I am neither better nor worse for the experience. But I am different. Boxing? At times I quite enjoyed it. It isn’t a noble art. It is a brutal & unforgiving sport.
It is often said that such activities as boxing & cage fighting keep children off the street where they might be involved in crime. Goodness knows whether this is true or not. It is obviously a statement that can’t be proved one way or the other.
The worst aspect of it was the cheering & jeering crowds. It was George Orwell who pointed out that the worst aspect of boxing was the crowd. In fact for better or worse Orwell said the worst aspect of boxing was the behaviour of women in the crowd.
Cage boxing? Is it character building? I doubt it. Does it keep children off the streets & away from crime? Not very likely. I would have thought it more likely that if they’re that way inclined that they are likely to use their new skills in the act of committing crime. Does it teach them discipline? How can anyone tell unless they completely turn their lives around? I think if any children taking part in Cage Fighting had done so, that we would have heard about it.
I can’t prove any of this. But to me anything that teaches children how to be more successful at fighting is not good. After all, soldiers who come back from war have problems re-adjusting to a World where violence is forbidden & killing is forbidden. As I say I was in the boxing ring when I was 8. I haven’t the faintest idea if it made me a worse person. But I am certain it didn’t make me a better person.