MMA Training for Teens

Mixed Martial Arts for teens is becoming one of the fastest growing classes in the gym, with the numbers steadily increasing due to popularity of the UFC which has a huge teenage fan base. More than ever, teenagers between 12 - 17 are training in martial arts classes. The martial arts industry has not seen this many people of this age group training in the arts since the days of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. Subsequently more parents are becoming alarmed about the safety risks and dangers of what is mostly perceived as a violent and barbaric sport. The field is split between worried parents who are concerned about broken bones and parents who see the value in their adolescent's becoming empowered and confident while being able to defend themselves as well as develop better character qualities. 

Safety by Comparison | Martial Arts vs Popular Sports

Most middle and high school kids play sports that involve a huge amount of inherent risk, but because of popular culture and tradition those risks are often overlooked. The statistics of injuries  occurring in most high school sports is raising some eyebrows. 

Sports Concussion Statistics:

  • 3,800,000 concussions reported in 2012, double what was reported in 2002
  • 33% of all sports concussions happen at practice
  • 39% -- the amount by which cumulative concussions are shown to increase catastrophic head injury leading to permanent neurologic disability
  • 47% of all reported sports concussions occur during high school football
  • 1 in 5 high school athletes will sustain a sports concussion during the season
  • 33% of high school athletes who have a sports concussion report two or more in the same year
  • 4 to 5 million concussions occur annually, with rising numbers among middle school athletes
  • 90% of most diagnosed concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness
  • An estimated 5.3 million Americans live with a traumatic brain injury-related disability (CDC)

Concussion Rates per Sport

The below numbers indicate the amount of sports concussions taking place per 100,000 athletic exposures. An athletic exposure is defined as one athlete participating in one organized high school athletic practice or competition, regardless of the amount of time played.

  • Football: 64 -76.8
  • Boys' ice hockey: 54
  • Girl's soccer: 33
  • Boys' lacrosse: 40 - 46.6
  • Girls' lacrosse: 31 - 35
  • Boys' soccer: 19 - 19.2
  • Boys' wrestling: 22 - 23.9
  • Girls' basketball: 18.6 - 21
  • Girls' softball: 16 - 16.3
  • Boys' basketball: 16 - 21.2
  • Girls' field hockey: 22 - 24.9
  • Cheerleading: 11.5 to 14
  • Girls' volleyball: 6 - 8.6
  • Boys' baseball: Between 4.6 - 5
  • Girls' gymnastics: 7



Injuries occur in all sports. It's foolish to assume that you won't get injured playing any sport, however the numbers above indicate a high number of concussions in training as well as games. MMA Training For Teens is no different. There are risks. However, the amount of injury is lower than most sports because of the controlled environment and most MMA & Martial Arts injury stats are based off of adult competition where people are usually competing at a professional level. 

Martial Arts classes see an annual amount of 6 million participants nationwide. Considering the amount of people training in MMA & martial arts and the amount of injuries that occur, the risk is considerably lower than most other sports. 

The benefits out weigh the risks

As outlined above, there is risk in most sports. However, the benefits of teenage youth sports programs out weigh the risk of injury because of the character defining qualities forged while playing those sports. Any athlete in any sport understands the dedication, determination and focus that goes in to playing their respective sport. Allowing fear to dictate our lives leaves us not taking action which leads to doubt. That lack of confidence because of doubt has a trickle effect which can play in to other aspects of our lives. Confident people often make better decisions and do not let others influence their lives. All sports are great for kids, teenagers and adults, but we have to understand the risk and know that it's part of the game. Some of the best athletes are those who learn how to overcome adversity by going through an injury and learning how to bounce back from it. Do your research, learn about the risks and find out for yourself why that sport is a good fit for you before committing to it. MMA training for teens is just another option that can be utilized to gain confidence and become empowered, much like any other high school sport.