Mixed martial arts enthusiasts say skeptics, like O'Brien, don't understand the sport. In Massachusetts, children as young as 8 can box wearing headgear. Children as young as 5 can play football. And both sports, MMA trainers argue, are far more dangerous than mixed martial arts, given the fact that most MMA gyms don't allow kids to strike Discount Nike Free 3.0 V2 Mens UK each other in the head.Parents and kids, meanwhile, see other benefits. Since her two boys Jordan, 13, and Tyler, 7 began going to Gillett's gym in Fall River about two years ago, Tina Benoit said they're in better shape and more self disciplined. Still, last week, when Jordan squared off in a sparring match with 15 year Nike Free Womens Hot Punch Pink old Warren Francis Jr., Benoit could hardly Cheap Nike Free Sale watch, turning away and grimacing as the two boys tangled on the mat."I don't think it's violent," said Benoit. But she worries about neck injuries. And other parents, like Lee Miranda, have also had concerns. But Miranda, whose two children attend Whittier's gym in Wareham, got Shop Nike Free Run 2 Mens Cheap over her fears, she said, partially she believes the training has helped her kids become stronger and partially because she had to. Her daughter, Courtney, 16, loves the sport."You can get hurt, yes. I've gotten hurt a couple of times," Courtney said, listing an injured shoulder and some pulled neck muscles among her injuries. "But you can get hurt in anything. You can't be scared of that."Scott Nichols agrees. Nike Free Run Pink Punch In the weeks before his first amateur fight last April against 18 year old John Morrissey, Nichols, then 16, worked hard in the gym. And ultimately, both his trainer and his father thought he was ready to fight Nike Free Turquoise Women in a real mixed martial arts event, despite his age."I was a little apprehensive," his father Mike Nichols said. "But I knew he could handle himself." The night of the fight, at an event called "Untamed XII," put on by Full Force Productions in Brockton, Nichols, now 17, and his Nike Free Run 3 Mens Cheap opponent both had to wear shin pads. They couldn't use knees or elbows and they had to wear 8 ounce gloves gloves twice as big as the ones mixed martial arts Nike Free running Tiffany Blue fighters typically wear.Still, the two fighters did some damage. The day after the fight, Morrissey said, he had a "big, fat black eye" and he credited Nichols for "jacking me up pretty good." In the end, though, Morrissey won the fight by unanimous decision and Nichols retreated to the bathroom to throw up."I puked about 12 times after the fight," said Nichols. "I was gassed."But the loss didn't sting for long. Nichols is still training today, as are other minors. Mike Littlefield, a Full Force co owner, expects to enter another teenage fighter in an event in Plymouth next month. Nichols himself hopes to have a couple fights in the weeks ahead. And when he graduates from Somerville High School this spring, he already knows what he wants to do.