How do you bond with your kids?
Some mothers take their daughters to the Macy’s MAC counter. Others have them save up for an Oahu trip to Sephora or a fancy new pair of patent leather, glittery, totally-impractical-for-the-playground pair of slippers. I’ll be honest and say that these types of “Mommy and Me” outings and purchases irk the hell out me–especially when they involve little girls that shouldn’t need makeup or kitten heels.
Then again, I’m questioning my decision to introduce my seven year old, gorgeous tomboy to the world of local MMA.
That’s right folks: I took my little girl to HXC: Undisputed, at the Lahaina Civic Center, this past weekend and she loved it.
I’ve heard the argument that MMA is a violent sport and that violence isn’t okay for kids. Part of me wants to argue that “violence,” which Wikipedia defines as the “exertion of force so as to injure or abuse,” is a natural part of the world around us. Life is violent; but I know that those that oppose it don’t want to hear that crap.
On Saturday, before the fights, I tried to explain the situation to my daughter. I told her about the referees and how it’s their job to control the fight and stop it if one of the fighters can’t continue. I pointed out Dr. Kamaka and told her that he was ringside to help anyone who got hurt. I told her that the men that were about to enter the ring loved to fight and worked very hard to become good at it.
“Why do people want to hurt each other?” she asked.
Good question, I thought.
It’s my opinion that the violent nature of MMA is misunderstood. It’s not just about beating the hell out of someone. It’s about dominance and submission. Survival of the fittest.
MMA is so addicting because it satisfies a very animalistic urge in people. Under the lip-liner and fancy clothes, we’re basically just mammals that throughout the years have fought and killed for food, shelter and power. Most people like the fact that in modern society we don’t have to do that stuff anymore (now we enter the rat race and take out loans for fancy cars,) but at the same time, something’s missing.
That something? Battle.
As a kid, I went to a ton of boxing, kickboxing and wrestling events with my dad. I liked it from the moment that I was exposed to it; but over the weekend I began to wonder if as a little girl I just wanted to be like my daddy and therefore clung to things that interested him.
Of course, this made me wonder if my daughter was just trying to be close to me by participating in something that moves and excites me. It’s a strange thing, the parent and child relationship.
It turned out that the fights were pretty clean on Saturday. There wasn’t a ton of blood (I’m into the gore, but wasn’t so sure about my daughter) and there was minimal shit talking between the fighters. No one appeared to be seriously injured and she enjoyed herself.
I must say that it was pretty awesome watching her perch on her seat, watching the bouts with excited eyes. I felt pride when she’d jump up for a better view. We shared a big hug after the event and she said, “Mom we have GOT to go to more of these things!”
But I’m not sure if she’s actually stoked on the sport, or just happy to be doing something with mom. Am I no better than those mothers I bash at the MAC counter? Do I just want my daughter to be a mini-me?
I have no doubt that going to the fights on Saturday satisfied something primal within my daughter. But was it blood lust or simply gaining her mother’s approval?
Starr Begley is really super-duper excited that Kendall Grove put a whooping on Evan Tanner and his beard. MTW