A Chinese MMA club has sparked controversy after a video featuring the club hit the Internet.
The South Morning China Post reports that police in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, have started an investigation after a video featuring two young teens fighting in a cage went viral on the Internet.
The Pear Video that features the MMA Enbo Club states that close to 400 kids have been taken into the club over the years where the children “either lost their parents or lost someone they could rely on.”
Manager of the MMA Enbo Club, Dong Zhou is seen speaking to a group of kids in the video saying, “Many of you, your pace isn’t good. I just talked with coach. Some people said, ‘I give up, I want to leave. I want to go back.’
“What can you do back home? Shephard cattle or pigs? Or be a beggar? Or be a gangster?”
Some of the kids that have been training at the gym were interviewed and featured in the video. Some of the kids stated that their role model is Conor McGregor and they are set with the goal of fighting in the UFC and winning the gold UFC belt.
One of the coaches at the club, Wang Zhou, was asked if any of the kids get paid for fighting in competitions. Zhou said that they do get paid, “more or less.” Zhou stated that they managed their money and give them their money when they need it.
While the video sparks controversy, some of the kids state that things are better at the club than if they were elsewhere.
One boy, whose parents passed away was sent to the club by his grandmother after he was asked if he liked martial arts. The 14-year-old boy said that sometimes he gets so exhausted from training that he doesn’t want to do it anymore but also said they don’t need to pay for anything there at the club. “Food, accommodations, and clothes to wear, everything” is provided. Food is also better at the club than where this particular boy came from. “They have beef and eggs. Back home there’s only potato.” The boy said back at home, he would likely have to do labor work and find part time jobs.
What are your thoughts on the MMA Enbo Club? Is the club helping or hurting these kids and their development? Let’s discuss this in the comment section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/25/2017.