Like MMA, marriage is also a mixed art.

Google “MIXED MARITAL ARTS,” and you’ll be surprised how little the search list will have on marriage compared to the tons of articles about MMA or mixed martial arts. Given the almost unnoticeable mix-up, you may only be realizing just now that what I had initially written was MARITAL, not MARTIAL.

While I am no MMA junkie, I have been acquainted with the multidisciplinary sport since it took flight at UFC 1 (Ultimate Fighting Championship), during the days of Royce Gracie the legend and Ken Shamrock the non-WWF superstar, and back when the UFC phenomenon was only spread through the exchange of the VHS-taped matches among friends. An MMA wannabe at best, my disciplines are taekwondo, wherein I held the white belt for a few months in junior high school; aikido, wherein my older brother twisted my hands left and right as practice, and taught me at length the saving benefits of tapping; and boxing, my dad’s TV addiction, wherein I saw my fellow countryman, the great Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, rise to fame and become the sport’s only eight-division champion. As the family is currently based in Japan, I have become fond of and occasionally play sumo wrestling with my kids, and hope to rub elbows and trade secrets with real ninjas and samurais sometime in the future.

An innocent-looking kid can hurt you pretty good, much like MMA.

But do think about it: Like MMA, marriage and family life is also a mixed art, and probably one of the hardest disciplines that any person can ever master, or even just go into. As a man who has been married for more than eight years, and a dad for more than four, I couldn’t agree more. This viewpoint for me has also been made even richer when I was immersed as homemaker beginning October 2015, when we became foreign residents of peculiar and complicated Japan. Since then, I’ve also had my fair share of busted lips, broken noses, bumps, bruises and injuries – much like MMA, and some cooking, laundry and diaper disasters, to name a few, to add to the fray.

Mixed Marital Arts or MMAritalArts, our little family blog project, was borne out of this whole crazy-but-wonderful experience. I believe this is also a good investment for parents because like photo books and photo albums, you get to collect family moments to remember, rediscover, share, be inspired by, and be blessed and bless others with. For most of us, as is my case, our collection of precious moments is only limited to what our dads, moms, and siblings can recall, and whatever else our drawers have preserved throughout the years. It doesn’t have to be the same case with our children, and those after them.

Life is sometimes a battle for memories, as time dulls detail and age dulls the senses. So, let us go and collect as much as we can to remember as much we can of treasured anecdotes; those ‘whoa’, ‘haha’ and ‘wow’ moments; life’s blessings and lessons; and whatever noteworthy thing the good Lord tosses our way.