Event in Canada allowing GnP, for children

by Tracy Sherlock | source: nationalpost.com

A veteran mixed martial arts coach says he had to stop several children from being held down and punched in the head at a recent tournament, after new rules were introduced allowing youngsters to engage in "ground and pound."

Organizers of a tournament last weekend in Burnaby, B.C., included a new division that allowed children to be hit in the head once they are on the ground, despite rules prohibiting that level of violence. Competitors wear protective headgear.

Previously, hits to the head were permitted only when children were on their feet.

Children are at risk of concussions and other injuries if punching to the face is allowed once they are down, said Chris Franco, owner of Vancouver's Franco Kickboxing-Pankration gym.

"There was one child who is 95 pounds competing against another child who was 150 pounds," Mr. Franco said. "They were both 12 years old, but I stopped the match because I thought the boy might be snapped in half.

"One of my students, who is a seven-year-old girl, had a bigger boy on her in what is called a mount position. The referee wasn't stopping it and the boy just kept hitting her in the head."

Mr. Franco, who has coached martial arts for more than 20 years, said he stopped the fight before the girl was hurt because he believed there was potential for severe injury.

However, Don Whitefield, who organized the new MMA division and is an MMA coach, said that the new rules were "better and safer."

"In the past during this tournament ... there always was lots of blood on the mat and it was not safe," Mr. Whitefield said in an email.

"The only problem I can think of was that some poor-fitting head gear (could slip) and impair the vision when clinching and grappling, since some parents hope their kids ... grow into the gear rather than buying properly fit gear."

Joe Ferraro, host of MMA Connected on Rogers Sportsnet, said only professional adult MMA fighters should use the "ground and pound" technique.

"I personally don't condone children grounding and pounding each other in tournaments," Mr. Ferraro told the Vancouver Sun.

"That's something that has to be taught and learned, and your body has to get conditioned to that. You don't throw somebody learning how to play hockey straight into a body-checking system. They have to learn how to skate first."

Jason Gagnon, who was a referee at the tournament and is an instructor with Mr. Whitefield at West Coast Jiu-Jitsu, said "the most important thing to us as coaches is that the kids are safe. We are very aware that these are not professional athletes, and want to make sure we can run the most successfully safe and fun tournaments for the participants."

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tags: Legislation   Regulation   BC   Canada   

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Recent Comments »

ilk site profile image  

10/31/10 3:16 AM by ilk

"The only problem I can think of was that some poor-fitting head gear (could slip) and impair the vision when clinching and grappling, since some parents hope their kids ... grow into the gear rather than buying properly fit gear."hmmmmmm, such a valuable piece of equipment needs to fit right. if it doesnt then why let them fight? STUPID. where is the safety comes first logic here? oooops, parents fault for buying them big gear lmaohas to be 100% right and safe when dealing with kids...

mumbleBEE site profile image  

10/30/10 9:50 PM by mumbleBEE

I wish something like this was around when i was little i would have loved to compete.Everyone is making it seem like they are forcing the kids to fight with knives strapped to their hands. They are wearing head gear and big gloves.

Biggy site profile image  

10/30/10 9:35 PM by Biggy

^^^ proof that crack doesnt smoke itself.

CRE site profile image  

10/30/10 9:10 PM by CRE

The majority of source material that the commissions and regulatory bodies had access to for determining appropriate rules was GSP footage.Strikes on the ground were deemed "placeholders" or something to ensure that you can continue to hump your opponents leg in an attempt to "pass the guard" so you "don't get caught" actually putting on an entertaining performance.

Anomonis site profile image  

10/30/10 9:07 PM by Anomonis

hey man ease up i sure dont want not like what I doot: found this thread quite interesting

Dycedarg site profile image  

10/30/10 7:22 PM by Dycedarg

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

rumble_fish site profile image  

10/30/10 2:37 PM by rumble_fish

Really dude? You know that children and adults are given different treatment right? For example, the law prohibits children from drinking, driving, voting, etc... In other words, what is acceptable for an adult might not be acceptable for a child. Children pinning each other to the floor delivering blows to one another is not going to go over well with the public. Should kids train in MMA? If the parents are ok with it and lil junior wants to, then sure. But train them at the gym away from the press. It is important to understand that there is a responsibility that is required when running mma/grappling tourneys. You are representing the MMA community, we are still fresh to the general public and slowly gaining acceptance. More acceptance = more MMA exposure. Allowing children to GnP will be counter productive in this movement. Think about it buddy, how would you feel about parents who let their kids drink alcohol? I bet the word "irresponsible" comes to mind. But then again, it sounds like you're a badass who just doesn't care what 99% of the population thinks. Well the rest of us care because that population controls everything, they allow us to hold MMA events in their giant stadiums. You think it's the UFC that doesn't want to bring it's shows to canada? It's the gov't thats stopping them, their acceptance is important for fighters salaries, health coverage, etc. All these things can get better if more people just accept MMA as a whole. Letting kids GnP each other is not a step in that direction.

Chevy site profile image  

10/30/10 1:37 PM by Chevy

I have known Mr. Franco for a very long time. I give him a lot of respect as he deserves it. I believe that when he makes statements in public, it is because he has experience and knowledge of the subject. He knows what possible consequences may come with speaking out and I respect him for being straight up. Maybe it is time for some proper oversight of these tournaments to avoid the anti-mmagallery from gaining strength and losing what we have already.

scrappydoo site profile image  

10/30/10 12:01 PM by scrappydoo

Wait, What? Steamfitter I wanna hear more about this. Ive never heard Soares' name be soiled before.

Vasechkin site profile image  

10/30/10 7:01 AM by Vasechkin

99% of population will consider any type of fighting to be pretty savage. So why stop with kids MMA, let's prohibit Adult MMA as well, also boxing, muai thai, BJJ, and any other martial arts, after all, we don't want 99% not like what we do.