Strictly Baby Fight Club
This Channel 4 documentary from Cutting Edge has already inspired controversy in the UK, with many expressing disgust at what has been reported in the papers. Tonight we get the chance to see the documentary in full, and many of the people involved are adamant that they have been unfairly portrayed by the media.
Thai boxing has become increasingly popular in the UK. Now many people are concerned that the art is being taught to children as young as four. As well as being coached in the martial art they are taking part in pre-arranged fight tournaments (all legal with referees and doctors) in which they are encouraged to kick and wrestle their opponents to the floor.
Strictly Baby Fight Club tells the story of four families, each with a child destined for future success in the ring. Camera crews have been following them over a period of time to provide an insight into the lives of the children who take part in this controversial sport. The show also highlights the demise of youth football and other more tradititonal sports due to local councils selling pitches to land developers.
The parents of these juvenile fighters believe that the strict martial arts regime has given their children self-respect and discipline which is missing in so many young people today.
Strictly Baby Fight Club is an intriguing portrait of a sport which is growing steadily in popularity. Whether the show will change the opinions of the sport’s detractors remains to be seen.