It doesn't come up often for me...even when people ask "so what have you been up to?" I don't usually chose "I'm finally remembering to lock the triangle on my omoplatas!" as a response. But, today it came up twice.
I was at a Chinese meeting, talking to a lady from Macau who has family living in São Paolo, so of course, I had to mention BJJ. She responded, "But you..." as she began holding her hands above her head...I'm assuming gesturing to make some indication of my size. "But you strong!". Yeah...I strong.
A few hours later, my cousin asked me (jokingly) if I were a black belt yet. I laughed and told him I was still a white. He looked at me surprised. "Still?" "Yes, belts take a while in jiu jitsu." Insert look of confusion and Bruce Lee sounds.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no stranger to activities that make for awkwardly dorky conversation..."You're a handbell soloist? Like that guy in front of stores during Christmas?" "What's that you're reading? The Sillma-what-ion?", but there's something different about BJJ. Maybe it's just me, but it seems to go beyond causing thoughts of "You're a strange one..." to deeper questions of motives and character (depending on whether they're familiar with MMA). It's definitely not enough to keep me from going to class, but I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth being added to the rotation of "normal conversation."