Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Sweet Science

One of the many decisions you have to make as a parent is what activities you want to enroll/encourage your kids in. Some people sign their kids up for everything and see what sticks, some target something like gym or dance or whatever and some just say they can do whatever they want as long as it's not (insert sport here).

So Margaret and I have a bit of a disagreement and we wanted to see what our blog readers think. I want to get Booker into Boxing as soon as he's old enough and Margaret thinks it's the dumbest idea ever.

For me, I think Boxing is great for kids. It's great for strength, flexibility, and endurance and does a good job of teaching all of those sports things like hard work and competition. It also gives kids toughness and a sense of real confidence. A lot of the Apostles boxed as kids and President N. Eldon Tanner introduced boxing in the school where he taught to "meet the needs of idle youth" Boxing is also good from an injury standpoint. You're much more likely to get hurt in a running sport, especially if there are collisions involved like in football, soccer, hockey, baseball, etc... Really you only have to worry about the occasional broken nose or something.

Some people think Martial Arts or something would work better, but I disagree. Martial Arts often is a lot more dancing and memorizing forms than hard cardiovascular and strength work. Plus there's a certain dork factor there.

Margaret's beef is that it's violent and teaches Booker to hit people, and that "he could get hurt, or his face could get mangled. Plus, have you ever seen Billy Elliot, he could hate boxing and just love dancing." I suppose she's got a point there. That Billy Elliot loved to dance.

So what do we think Blogiverse? Healthy athletic activity, or dream-strangling face-mangler?


Booker Bean said...

No fair. You can't use apostles as examples in your stupid argument.

Spence said...

1.) You can find martial arts that will include cardio-vascular work. Who cares about dork-factor if he's learning things that will allow him to stand up for his dorkiness. Martial arts provides just as much discipline, and a more balanced approach to violence. I think a 3-8 year old will get a bit of a mixed message from a sport that doesn't include much more technique than "dance around until you get a clear shot".

2.) Boxing involves a lot more head shots than martial arts. There's a lot of brain development that goes on between birth and, say, 15 years old. Head trauma can impact that brain development. I'd personally be nervous involving my kids in boxing before late teens. I'd be okay with jujitsu or tae kwon do long before then.

3.) Just out of curiosity, when did these "apostles" start boxing. Seems more of a collegiate sport to me. It's great cardio, but again seems bad for developing minds/bodies. There's plenty of sports out there that will give the same cardio, just as good discipline, without the constant head injury. I don't care how many pads you put on the boy, the bottom line is that he and the other kid will be trying to hit each other in the face as hard as possible.

I admit, I'm biased. I can't think of a single boxer I admire. I can think of a few martial artists that have more than two brain-cells to rub together. But there it is.

Good luck, Margs.


Jacob said...

I have to agree with Spencer's pro-MA arguments. Though the problem I have with finding a martial arts class is that the signal to noise ratio approaches zero in most areas. Most of the teachers are crap and most of the styles are, as you say, more dancing and form memorization.

That said, Pat Evers once told me that there were two martial arts that are actually helpful in a fight: Boxing and Ju Juitsu. If my kids had *any* interest in either, I'd push for Ju Juitsu if only because they'll learn submission techniques that don't pummel someone senseless.

Eli said...

I think hockey does everything you are aiming for more efficiently. I disagree that it's more dangerous than boxing. Hockey players rarely have career-ending injuries. It also has the advantages of being a team sport and being very easily to find a place to play in AZ.