Friday, July 15, 2011

If You're Looking for a Fight

[For multimedia experience, press "play" on Looking for a Fight, below.]

Has BJJ changed the way you look at conflicts?

When faced with a conflict, I usually feel adrenaline and nervousness. My mind races—how can I get what I want out of this?

I noticed the strangest thing the last few times conflict arose. It was almost excitement. How would this turn out? My mind traversed possible paths and outcomes. Then a smile crept over my face, much like the one that curls up on me when I slap someone’s hand in congeniality before a grapple.

“We better play Sporcle today, or else!” a student tossed out on the last day of school. “Is that a threat?” I asked, grinning happily, almost stretching out my hand for the initiating slap. (We did play Sporcle, but it was content-related!) Approaching the boss about getting something that costs a lot of money? What take-down should I use?

BJJ has helped me see and feel what I knew intellectually: that a conflict isn’t a beginning, middle, and end, it is a web of responses just like a jiu jitsu match. It doesn’t have to be stressful. It can be fun.

We recently went to see the Sweetback Sisters perform. In fact, we went through a lot to see them perform. Our car broke down on the highway en route, and, kids in tow, I took a cab to Enterprise Rent-a-Car, hopped into the “only model they had on the lot” (a swanky Grand Marquis—totally felt like Grandma), picked up Husband at the AAA–approved mechanic nearest us, and continued on our journey.

Today in the car I was singing their song, Looking for a Fight.

Husband, who now assumes that I’m thinking about BJJ all the time, gave me a funny look. “I’m wondering . . . if the concert had been on [night you practice jiu jitsu] or [other night you practice jiu jitsu], would we have gone?” I evaded the question. I wasn’t looking for a fight.


  1. So true. I've never been scared of confrontation, but since starting training, I have less hesitation from jumping into the fray. Not saying that's always a good thing, but it's valuable if conflict can't be avoided.

  2. I'm keen on trying out as many different musical genres as possible (as I'm sure won't surprise you, I track my listening online ;p). Country is one of the genres I've had trouble getting into, though it's been getting easier more recently, probably helped by a cool music documentary I watched a while ago.

    Still, the only country star I can honestly say I'll listen to more than once is Dolly Parton, and that's kinda cheating as she seems to be more of a cross-over artist (at least the tunes of hers I like, such as 9-5, Here You Come Again, Starting Over Again etc, which are all quite poppy).

    Unless The Band counts? They often sound a bit country. Well, country rock, which I guess is a bit different.

  3. @Slidey: Country's not usually my thing, either. The Sweetback Sisters classify themselves as "honkytonk." Don't ask me the difference. Wikipedia can probably do a better job. As for Dolly, she's one of my faves, too. Have you listened to the stuff she's done with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris--Trio and Trio II (it's all here)? They are two of my favorite Sunday-morning albums. I especially like their version of "After the Goldrush."
    Now you will have to excuse me while I go immediately to your listening log. : )

  4. My Dolly Parton listening pretty much extends to those three aforementioned songs and 'Jolene'. All off some old greatest hits CD which I presume belonged to my mum.

    But that does remind me I should really check out some more of her stuff, given that she's been putting out albums for quite a long time now. ;)

    I love comparing musical taste (hence why I constantly throw up that link), so let me know if you've got your listening tracked anywhere.

    I love music documentaries even more: the '#### Britannia' series is the best of the recent ones I've seen, even when it is covering genres I don't particularly like, such as metal. Some YouTube links for the various episodes here, here and here.

    If anyone ever wants to babble about music to me, feel free to do it over email. Babbling about BJJ and music never get dull. :D


You Can't Fight City Hall

In the mid-90s, while alt-rock raged across the airwaves, twenty-something Shark Girl used to visit two elderly Italian sisters who lived ...