A Dad just posted a clip on Facebook of his kid sparring at a local “Martial Arts” school which I will use to describe it due to their affiliation to the terms, not mine. To connect “Martial Arts” with this irresponsible and negligent training offends my sensibility and makes me embarrassed to be a part of the same profession.  

I would give the schools name and link to the clip but that would be to much for me to deal with. In the past this gym has made up beef with just about everyone over nothing. I don’t need the problems but I will use them to get my points about responsibility across.

So the meat of the story, 2 kids somewhere in the range of 10 years old are sparring with Boxing Headgear, Boxing Gloves, and TKD Chest Gear that is way to big. The 1st thing I notice is that these kids are throwing low kicks with no shin guards. They are not throwing light. These kids are throwing full on kicks with no protection!

One kid shoots a low kick which is blocked with a shin. The kid who shin blocks yells “Ow!” grabs his leg and is then dropped with a right hand. The jerk off trainer tells him to get up and keep going. The scary thing is that the Dad is filming and also pushing his kid to get up.

The rest of the video is more of the same. Unprotected legs throwing big kicks, hard punches to the head, kids getting knocked down and encouraged to get up, plus me doing everything I can to stop myself from punching a hole in the monitor.

I am not an easy trainer by any means. I have been known to be pretty hard on my students. The one thing I am not is uneducated or irresponsible when it comes to training. What I watched had nothing to do with sports science or proper Martial Arts training. What this video is is another trainer who went to some seminars and watched a bunch of videos then proclaimed mastery. No real word experience or proper training. Another idiot with a check book and a good line of BS.

I got off a plane in 2001 to train in Japan at K-1 headquarters in Osaka with a pair of gloves, mouthpiece and a cup. My Japanese trainers, who were responsible for the training of K-1’s best fighters, laughed at me. They made me buy shin guards, heavier gloves, knee pads and headgear. They then educated me to the concepts of safe training. The point was that fighting with bare shins is hard enough. Safe training allows you to live and fight healthy. After all we are training to be better more enriched people and champions – right?

No pads, tough guy training is for the uneducated ADULTS. Everyone should be properly protected in training, especially kids. Getting punched in the face and smashed in the shins sounds like a cool Van Damm movie. Leave the stupidity on the silver screen and let’s get some safe and effective training going in the gym.

I feel sorry for the students being subjected to the uneducated and irresponsible training I witnessed. Another scumbag is making money off of an unknowing public who just wants to train. As Martial Arts trainers it is our responsibility to help our students rise up not get beat down.

OK, I am done. Gotta go train one of my pros and yes he s wearing shin guards!

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