I saw the "2006 West Coast Open Beatbox Battle" come across the Laughing Squid list, and my first thought was not "Oh, I want to go!", but "How can I get in?!". So I email the guy, and he asks if I know Sam Rogers, who performs solo as One Mouth Band--he's participating, I think competing. I don't know him, of course--I've been out of the scene for years.
I realized tonight I've never ripped the album I made with The Irrationals, so I'm listening to it tonight (it's darned good, you should buy a copy), and I go to look at the website and see what's up. Guess who their bass/vocal percussionist is? Yep, Sam Rogers. Kick ass. So I have no idea what these beatbox folks do, or what the fans like to listen to; I'm not outclassed, because I'm listening to what I've done and in fact I'm very very good, but it looks like it'll be down on the stiff competition end of the spectrum. In reality I'll probably lose, because it's based on audience applause, and while I'm charming and sociable, I'm not exactly charismatic in that crowd-raising way. Though I've been thinking over the years: maybe that charisma is just the willingness to step forward and take the audience, without fear or hesitation, and if I set everything aside and just do it, everything will work out.
We have this kid in the dojo now, 16 or so. Nice guy, scrawny, for lack of a better word, though about my height. He's fun to train with, but he's got a bit of machismo going on, and hasn't quite internalized yet that skilled people who are twice his size are exercising enormous restraint in making sure he doesn't get hurt. He has this bravado, and charges in to the attack really fast, and I can't wait for the day he can take falls well enough that I can safely give in to my urge to send him flying across the room. It's not a malicious desire: more that it would be fun, since I'd have his momentum to work with, plus the fact that I can pick him up and throw him.