I’m really into Mixed Martial Arts these days. Watching that is - I’m as lazy and immobile as ever, and I’m pretty sure my 6 year old could beat my sorry ass.

But it’s always a guilty pleasure. For one thing it feels like mindless gratuitous violence. For another, I’m near the worst shape of my life, sitting on the couch watching instead of doing. And my wife really frowns on it.

Tonight as I was telling my dad about MMA and how much I enjoy it I realized I have a good out: I’m Iranian. Wrestling is huge in Iran - it’s sort of the national sport. Wrestling is a big part of MMA. Therefore, I’m perfectly justified in enjoying MMA. It’s my birthright.

Beyond the basic violence, MMA is one of the most technical combat sports out there. There are so many different skill sets the fighters have to bring to bear, and so many different styles, it’s really a deep sport to watch.

I still remember watching an old Japanese movie about the founding of Judo when I was 8 or 9. It had a huge impact and I always wanted to learn. Somehow I got my hands on a Judo book and practiced with my friend, sometimes using the techniques on unsuspecting classmates. Unfortunately I never took it further.

Perhaps someday I’ll take my useless dilapidated self to a Judo studio and learn something. In the meanwhile, I’ll use my race to assuage my guilt and just watch MMA on TV.