Thursday, 22 September 2011

Martial arts governing body blasts child cage fighting and demands ban

Questions raised over insurance cover for child cage fights

The National Association of Karate and Martial Art Schools (NAKMAS) has called for a ban on child cage fighting, involving children as young as five, warning that it carries high physical, mental and emotional risks.

NAKMAS has questioned whether any insurance provider in the UK covers the practice.

NAKMAS has criticised child cage fighting after a recent news report showed young children, estimated to be eight years of age, taking part in the practice in front of an adult audience. Neither child was wearing any protective clothing during the fight.

Joe Ellis, chair of NAKMAS, says:  “Cage fighting for children is a time bomb waiting to happen. Cage fighting is far too risky for children, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have evidence that young children are also involved in full contact karate and the risks involved in this practice are identical to that of cage fighting.

"The fact that some adults find it entertaining to watch children beat each other up is disturbing. The practice needs banning in the UK and the organisers brought to their senses.

“Children are not developed emotionally or physically for cage or full contact karate and NAKMAS will be writing to all local authorities asking them to consider banning the practise on local authority owned premises.

“Whilst NAKMAS is heavily involved in equality for all at national, regional and local level, and does not want any age group to be restricted from learning a combat or martial arts sport, cage fighting is too high risk for children.”

No protection

NAKMAS is also urging premises owners to refuse access to such activities and points out that there are unlikely to be insurance providers in the UK providing cage fighting insurance for children.

Joe Ellis says: “Combat tournaments of any kind require risk assessments to be carried out and insurance in place to protect participants and the organisers. In the event of any legal action brought against the organiser of the event, it is also likely that the facility providers, would be litigated against in the event of negligence or injury claim arising.

“NAKMAS provides welfare, child protection procedures, health and safety policies, equality and disability policies to all affiliate clubs as well as extensive insurance and legal protection for its members. I would like to see proof that the organisers of these so-called cage fighters have adequate policies and procedures in place for provide this type of protection.”

To find out more about NAKMAS visit

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