Just for kicks

ladies fighting

As you may well be aware I’m not one to get into a scrap. In fact, to quote Dylan Moran, “I’m not a fighter, I’m a bleeder.” However this weekend I went along to the Leisure Centre in Bury St. Edmunds to watch my brother take part in a kick-boxing tournament.

For the uninitiated (like me) it should be made clear that this is a LIGHT-CONTACT sport (which apparently means that instead of just beating hell out of each other they put gloves, head and leg guards on first). The emphasis is not on knocking your opponent out, although I did see one big bloke crash to the mat unconscious after getting kicked in the head. Rather the victor is determined by points scored, not just from the blows you land, but also the techniques you use. Apparently a full spin-kick is highly regarded.

kicking little girls

What most surprised me (although it probably shouldn’t) was how many women/young girls there were taking part. More startling (should that be shocking?) was the age of some of the competitors. The youngest kid was just 6 years old. Is it ‘right’ for children to be taking part in a sport like this, even low-contact? On the plus side I guess it channels aggression, teaches self-discipline and builds confidence. On the minus side it promotes violence to impressionable minds as a something that they will be rewarded for. Hmm, tricky one.

Anyway for the full photos head over to my Flickr.

Also in case you were wondering my brother’s opponent had to retire with a dislocated shoulder in the second round and the bout was declared a draw, bad luck Pete!

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