Martial Arting With David Mamet

In which a Pulitzer Prize winner tries to teach me a choke hold

Robert Gallagher for TIME

Pulitzer prize winner David Mamet poses for a portrait.

David Mamet has me in a rear naked choke hold, and I'm quickly losing oxygen. He has knocked me to the ground and spun me on my back, with his right arm hooked tightly around my neck. He is 24 years older than I am and quite a bit shorter, but it has been determined in less than 20 seconds that he can kick my ass. "That was very good," he says, his breathing only faintly increased as I get up from the mat and suck in air. "You moved it from a double-leg takedown to a single-leg." Yes, my first...

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