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Full contact youth fights: Are helmets necessary to protect the brain? Should kids kick each other with full force in the stomach or should they wear body protectors?

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Full contact thaiboxing fights can be brutal. Face injuries happen very often, brain injuries are possible. Kicks, knees and punches to the body are pretty hard.

Maybe in thaiboxing youth fights helmets should be mandatory. Some people argue that body protectors should also be mandatory.

On the other hand kicks to the legs and in the midsection usually don't cause injuries. For example in one thai fight, a 12 year old boy could hardly walk after he took some low kicks. Then his opponent started to work on his midsection. He punched and kicked the boy in the gut a few times, clinched him and rammed a series of knees in his midsection until he went down. He came back on his feet in time and his opponent instantly attacked his stomach again with knees. After a punch to the head the kid stood half knocked out in the ring corner with the back to the pole, and his opponent kicked him 8 times with full force in the stomach, the kid just tightend his rock hard sixpack abs and endured 8 kicks until he went down. After a massage he went back on his feet and smiled again. Tough fight - no injury.

In kyokushin karate boys punch each other in the stomachs without gloves and in mma and thaiboxing kicks and knees to the midsection are without protection anyway. With good training and hard abs boys and even some girls can endure many hard punches in the stomach, so thats no problem.

In northern Thailand they had youth fights with helmets and without gloves. I would say the fights were more aggressive, because the heads were protected and the boys didn`t mind to take punches in their tummys. Sometimes they don`t even try protect their stomachs, they just tighten their abs and punch and knee each others midsections.

So in my opinion the main danger in full contact youth fights are brain damages and face injuries aren't good either. So helmets or fights without strikes to the head are good in youth fights. But punches, kicks and knees to the body are no problem and wearing body protection would be exaggerated. MMA and Thaiboxing should be tough, but not with lasting damages.

What is your opinion and experience about full contact youth fights and protective gear?

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Not an expert, no experience at all but I think helmets protect against cuts and bruises but do nothing to protect the the brain. In my opinion the larger target and increased mass may even make things worse.

Edited by jpmoral
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