Kids (MMA) Mixed Martial Arts is a combination of grappling arts like Brazilian Jiujitsu, Judo, Wrestling and stand-up arts like Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Karate.
For self-defence skills MMA is one of the best things your child can learn. The combination of stand-up and ground fighting prepares the student for a real fight better than anything else.
Children don’t have to compete in MMA while learning it. Brazilian Jiujitsu and Grappling competitions are held regularly and allow children to compete safely.
The important thing is that you and your child are comfortable and that the children are training in a safe environment under quality instructors.
A compromise is to teach MMA techniques and let kids practice it, but not fight competitively and its not forced upon them to do so.
When the student turns 18, they can make their own decision.