Guidelines for children training in MMA

The Swedish MMA Association supports children´s training and considers physical activity for children to be based on play and movement and includes wrestling, stand up fighting and many different exercises from Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The training gives children both body control and self-confidence, as the combat situations, in our opinion, are essential for the child’s development. Thus, the training should be based on playful learning of the exercises and techniques that MMA can offer.

Boxing gloves, dental protection and suspensoar (optional for girls) are important equipment for everyone, when the children start to grow and develop, small gloves and leg protection can be added.

Children´s training should be divided so that the children are approximately in the same development and maturity phase 6 years – 10 years, 11 years – 14 years old. Group 15 – 18 years old, is determined by maturity and physical development if they are to participate in a youth group or also be part of training with adult groups. Each club, association and instructor must always keep a record of the group´s composition and adapt it to its level and needs.

The youngest age group 6 – 10 is where play and movement in form of gymnastic exercises, basic exercises in wrestling, playful exercises from stand up fighting is the essential focus. Here also lies the focus on teaching and conveying the basic values. A great responsibility lies with the instructor to convey moral and social values within martial arts. It is the instructor’s responsibility to inform that it is only within training the children are allowed to wrestle. No locks and chokes will be taught to the youngest children.

The group 11-14 year old will continue to play and move, but the children will gain a deeper understanding of MMA. They shall practice locks, and stand up fighting towards the body. It is important to know that children can handle external influences, such as falls and collisions, better than adults. Due to its softness and elasticity, it can unfortunately also be permanently deformed, which is the disadvantage. The skeleton ceases to grow in length between the 16-18 years old, but continues to develop and adapt until the age of 20. It is therefore important to teach children to tap when the lock is marked and to let go as fast as the companion taps out.

Children under the age of 15 years old should not participate in full contact sparring towards the head. Sparring should always be carefully supervised by the trainer.

MMA shall promote the development and lifelong mobility for all children. For the children´s trainer, an important task in MMA to convey and anchor respect for human rights and the fundamental democratic values of Swedish society. Anyone who trains children should show respect for each person’s self-esteem and respect for our common environment.

The inviolability of human life, the freedom and integrity of the individual, equal value of all people, gender equality and solidarity with vulnerable and vulnerable are the values that the child trainer should keep alive in the work with the children. The value base expresses the ethical approach that will characterize the training. Caring for and respecting other people, including justice and gender equality, as well as values and norms, primarily through concrete experiences. Adult approaches affect children’s understanding and respect for the rights and obligations of a democratic society, and therefore adults are important as role models. Claiming basic values requires that values be clarified in the daily training activities. The activities will be conducted in democratic forms, thereby laying the foundation for growing responsibility and interest in the children, in order for them to actively participate in society in the long run.

Child training should help develop children’s sense of responsibility and social preparedness, so that solidarity and tolerance are established early. The association will encourage and strengthen the children’s compassion and empathy in the situation of other people. The activity shall be characterized by care for the individual’s well-being and development. No child shall be subject of discrimination on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion or other beliefs, sexual orientation of any relative or disability or other offensive treatment.

The activities will aim at developing children’s empathy and empathy for others, as well as openness and respect for differences in people’s perceptions and ways of life. Children’s need to reflect in different ways and share their thoughts on life issues with others should be supported. The growing movement across national borders creates a cultural diversity in the associations, which gives children the opportunity to base respect and respect for every person regardless of background.

The association should be open to different perceptions and encourage them to be presented. Each child should be given the opportunity to form his / her own perceptions and make choices based on their own circumstances. Participation and trust in their own abilities should thus be founded and expanded. All parents should be able to leave their children to the association with the same confidence, ensuring that the children are not unilaterally affected in favor of one or the other view. Everyone who works in the association should claim the fundamental values that this script speaks and clearly disregard what is contrary to these values.

Adults ’ways to meet girls and boys, as well as the demands and expectations placed on them, help shape girls and boys perception of what is female and male. The association will counter traditional gender patterns and gender roles. Girls and boys will have the same opportunities in the association to try and develop abilities and interests without restrictions based on stereotyped gender roles. Children’s training shall, no matter where it is organized, be equivalent. The standards of equivalence are stated in the Children’s Convention, and the association will work to achieve these goals. Care about well-being, security, development and learning of the individual child should characterize the work of the association. Every child’s different conditions and needs shall be taken accountable for. This means that one organization structure cannot be the same where everywhere and that the organization’s resource should not be distributed equally.


The organization shall lay the foundation for lifelong learning. The activities should be fun, safe and instructive for all children participating. The associations will stimulate children’s development and learning in a safe environment. The activities will be based on a holistic approach to the child and the child’s needs so that care, development and learning form a whole. In cooperation with the home, children’s development to becoming responsible people and community members will be promoted. The organization will support the families in their responsibility for the child’s education, development and growth.

The task of the organization involves working with parents to ensure that each child is able to develop according to his or her circumstances. The activities should be adapted to all children in the association. Children who temporarily or permanently need more support and incentives than others should get this support designed with regard to their own needs and conditions so that they develop as much as possible. The trainer’s ability to understand and interact with the child and gain the trust of the parents is important, so that the participation in the organization will be a positive support for children with difficulties. All children should experience the satisfaction in making progress, overcome difficulties, and to experience being an asset in the group.