Field Notes on Wrestling in the Wilds of Dawn (Part III)

The correlation between levels of testosterone and aggression feels most on display when two men compete against each other in a combative sport, like mixed martial arts, boxing or  wrestling. Wrestling, like all the other combative sports, has one goal: exert physical dominance over another human being to win a match. 

This testosterone is on full display when I pass the District Martial Arts studio every day on my way to work. Inside, bright fluorescent lights illuminate a sparse and brilliant white room: white ceilings, white walls, and white mats.  Spaced evenly around the room are twelve pairs of bodies, tightly wrapped around each other like perfectly aligned pretzels on a baking pan. 

I’m learning all I can about grown men wrestling at dawn. Let’s call it a case study–one in which I record  little snippets of observation each day, where the snippets are equal to the length of one red traffic light.

Here is what I’ve observed so far: Their physicality is impressive. I’ve seen full body takedowns, flip maneuvers, and scissor holds. But I’ve also noticed moments of shared congeniality; times when they laugh, shake hands, and help each other up off the mats. There is a gentleness in their body language during the in-betweens. The contradiction between combatant and companion is most intriguing and warrants further study (at least through June 17th).

2 thoughts on “Field Notes on Wrestling in the Wilds of Dawn (Part III)

  1. You are a keen observer, my friend. I appreciate the analogy of wrestlers to pretzels on a baking pan. As to “The contradiction between combatant and companion is most intriguing and warrants further study”.. I agree and look forward to Part IV.


  2. I read all three of your wrestling slices just now, first backwards and then again forward, as you wrote them – I, II, III. Not haivng a childhood like yours, not having wrestling brothers and having raised 2 girls, this was a window into a different world. I learned so much from your 3 stories.Gratitude for a dad that taught you much through wrestling. Sadness at lossing a peer who excelled in this sport. No wonder you watch while at that one trafic light as you drive to wrok. So much occurs in this sport and all sports and human interactions. So much can be combative. So much can be companionship. So much I am still trying to understand about human exchanges. Reading on this topic across three stories is enlightening. Thanks for shairng. Glad I took time today to read stories by Amy. Better late than never.


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