Pankration, a version of Mixed Martial Arts for children as young as 5-years-old, is a fast-growing sport in America with more than 3 million children fighting inside of a metal cage and learning to kick and punch, often without benefit of headgear.

For the parents and supporters, the sport is a form of exercise which also encourages fair play and huge amounts of discipline. But detractors find it brutal and unsafe, likely to lead to concussions and other long lasting injuries to ligaments and bones; others worry about the behavioral effects of a sport in which small children are taught to strangle one another.

According to The Daily Mail, Senator John McCain has called the sport “human cockfighting” and has tried to get it banned.

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