A CHINESE fight club that legally adopts orphaned children and trains them in mixed martial arts is under investigation.
A documentary released on Pear Video – a popular Chinese alternative to YouTube – has courted much controversy in China, leading to authorities in Chengdu, Sichuan province, to investigate the Enbo MMA Club.
Footage showed boys as young as 12 brawling inside a cage, in front of a paying crowd.
The boys and teenagers were among the 400 children from poverty-stricken parts of China that have been adopted and given training by a former police officer named Enbo, who founded the club in 2001.
Some of the children are orphans and most come from poor regions in China.
Enbo said on the documentary: “Some of these kids were orphans, and some had a family that was too poor to educate them.”
He added that the adoptions were all above board and endorsed by the government.
But the South China Morning Post revealed that local authorities are now investigating the club, after an outcry by Chinese people.
One of the youngsters, 14-year-old Xiao Wu, said in the documentary that his life at the club was better than life at home.
“There is everything here – food, clothes and a place to live,” he said.
“The food here is much better than at home. There is beef and eggs here, but at home I can only eat potatoes.
” I will have to take up labouring jobs.”
A coach later reveals that the children’s proceeds from ticket sales are managed by the club.
One trainer, Dong Zhou, says MMA is better than the few other options the kids have.
“Some people said, ‘I give up, I wanna leave, I’m going back,'” Zhou said.