WACO (February 6, 2013)--It's a popular, yet violent sport you see on television or pay-per-view and mixed martial arts isn't just growing on adults, but on children too.
GymX in Waco is even offering classes to children between the ages of 5 and 12.
Jake Brennan, an MMA fighter, is an instructor for the class.
"Many people think right away it's like cock fighting, you know putting them in a cage," Brennan said.
"However, I'm going to have to disagree."
Many associate the sport of MMA with a steel cage, two fighters, three five minute rounds, and a winner resulting by TKO or submission.
Yet, Brennan says the sport of MMA teaches kids a variety of life lessons.
"There's such a problem with kids being bullied these days. MMA gives them that boost of confidence to know they're alright walking around school," Brennan said.
Some parents might see teaching self-defense in a ring or a cage as brutal, but Brennan says they teach "attacking" as the last option.
"This stuff is not to be used on a playground. You use it when you need to use it," Brennan said.
And parents, like Chastidy Garcia who have kids in the class, are ok with that.
"I was worried my son would use his MMA at school against kids," Garcia said.
"But I come to find out he knows the right and wrong places to use it, and school isn't one of them."
The MMA class for kids at GymX has classes 4 days a week.
According to Brennan, class attendance can range from 7 to 20 kids a night.
Many could make the argument that children see enough violence in this day and age as it is.
But Brennan says MMA teaches kids the discipline of knowing what's right and what's wrong.