A recent match with a tough wrestler from Chicago reminded me of an important concept: your love of fighting will forever require coordination. Not coordination as in balance; coordination as in your ability to set up meetings with strangers and make them memorable.
Between bouts of dominating me into submission, my opponent shared his fighting history. Like most men, he engaged in youthful roughhousing during his teen and college years. And like many of us, his first coordinated matches with strangers made him nervous and a bit scared. He knew deep down that his desire for masculine combat was an appreciated part of his masculinity and easily satiated by joining a jiu-jitsu club. But he also acknowledged that the feelings were also primal and erotic. His desires for fighting became jumbled and intertwined with his desires for men generally. Matches that culminated in sexual release certainly weren’t requisite. But they definitely became the most memorable ones. Today, he reaps the bounty of a network of dozens of trusted past opponents all around the country and the world. He’s had multiple matches with his favorites over several decades.
I wanted to ask him directly “To what do you attribute your high success rate in finding the specific kind of opponent that you like?” But in fact, his secret was revealed in a side conversation about his professional life: He knows precisely what he wants. He can articulate it well. And then he coordinates all the details in his life to make it happen – sparing no expense to get exactly whatever outcome he desires.
Intuitively, I knew he applied the same rigor to his wrestling passion: when he sees a match opportunity that he wants – he freely and generously allocates time and financial resources to connect with his desired opponent. He asks probing questions to ensure “fit”. But once he’s established that “this is someone I want to meet”, he relentlessly manages his time to maximize these opportunities. He recognizes that clarity of purpose is essential for leading the kind of life he wants both in business and in the ring. In the case of our match, he added an entire day onto his business trip, booked a larger suite to ensure room for fighting, and probably even missed an important meeting to be with me.
That made me feel special. And I had to acknowledge that this match wasn’t just like all the others. He really wanted to spend time with me.
I left our match humbled by my repeated defeats but invigorated by the time I spent with this guy. I wondered why we spent so much time talking about fighting and our personal lives before we even locked up. Afterwards, however, I realized this too was part of his laser-focused approach to match coordination. He invests in the relationships first so that will ensure that both opponents feel comfortable and excited during match. Intimacy and trust are essential ingredients for meeting strangers for matches that have an erotic component. And my friend clearly realized that those ingredients must be timed – or coordinated – in the right order to make the final product truly excellent.
The experience re-affirmed in me that however I coordinate future matches, I want to apply the same principles this guy does.