Top doc opposes MMA bill
Medical Association president says martial arts good, brawling not
The Canadian Medical Association is concerned about a federal MP's private member's bill.
If passed it would legalize mixed martial arts prize fighting in Canada.
CMA President, Dr. Anna Reid, said her association doesn't endorse a sport that uses fighting techniques, such as striking and kicking.
But, the CMA does encourage the more traditional martial arts, said Reid.
"We're very much in favour of martial arts, such a judo or karate, as we see them in the Olympics," she said. "But mixed martial arts is not the same as that, and essentially we see them as fights or brawls and they really have nothing to do with the Olympic disciplines that we actually think of very useful for the health of our youth."
If it becomes law, the bill would expand the definition of prize fighting in Section 83 (2) of the criminal code to include martial arts as well as boxing.
Yukon MP Ryan Leef is supporting the bill.
Mixed martial arts fights have been held in Canada before, but Leef said the change would make it easier to hold the events.
He runs an anti-bullying group called Leaders In Life that uses mixed martial arts to teach young people leadership skills.