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by the Editors
Photo by Peter Lueders – Today

RondaAnnMaria150Tough guys, we have plenty. In fact, on any given day you can’t swing a nunchaku around the Black Belt office without hitting a self-defense expert, an MMA champ or a street-hardened master who has dropped by for an interview or photo shoot.

Tough girls are a different matter.

First off, we don’t have as many women cycling through.

Second, not all the female martial artists we deal with are into fighting; some practice the arts for other, less physical reasons.

These two female martial artists, however, bring some special accolades and history to the table. Both were featured on Black Belt magazine’s recent two-part article series, “Tough Girls: 10 Female Fighters Who Scare Us.”

Dr. AnnMaria De Mars

Background of This Judo Techniques Master: She’s been a judoka since she was 12 and coached since she was 14. She’s also the co-author of Winning On the Ground: Training and Techniques for Judo and MMA Fighters (featuring Ronda Rousey and Kayla Harrison), among other books, and — oh, yeah — the mother of MMA sensation and definitely-a-judo-techniques-expert-in-her-own-right, the aforementioned Ronda Rousey.

Qualifications of This Judo Techniques Master: In 1984, Dr. AnnMaria De Mars became the first American judoka to win the World Judo Championships. That means her judo techniques were first-rate back then — and the fact that she’s remained actively involved in the sport means she’s kept herself up to date on technical developments in the judo world.
Comments Regarding This Judo Techniques Master: “She’s tough,” says Lito Angeles, author of Fight Night! The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Mixed Martial Arts. “I saw her on Inside MMA, and she threw around Bas Rutten pretty well.

“They say judo is the combat art that has the most female competitors. That means it has the biggest base of elite female fighters, and that, of course, means the level of competition is higher. So any martial artist who was a world champion in judo has to have great skills.”

Having great skills entails knowing plenty of throws among one’s judo techniques and being able to do them flawlessly. That translates into having the ability to function on the feet as well as on the mat — which, it could be argued, is better than just knowing mat fighting from having practiced BJJ.

“When a competent judo exponent like De Mars blasts you to the ground — and it’s concrete instead of a mat — a lot of damage can be done,” Angeles says. “That’s a great skill to have.”

Making matters worse for the assailant, with judoka at this level of mastery in their judo techniques, it’s next to impossible to even lay hands on them. “As soon as you reach out, you give them something to grab,” Angeles says. “That’s all they need to off-balance you and slam you into the ground.

“Street self-defense should technically be about stun and run. You don’t approach it like a street MMA fight. You want to do enough to be able to safely get out of there. Judo throws are like stun and run because you’re not attaching to the attacker. The common reflex is for the other person to hold onto you when you try to throw him, but a really hard slam will stun him badly enough to make him let go.”

One Black Belt editor grappled with the person who made No. 1 on the aforementioned “Tough Girls” list &mash; and based on such experience, he’ll readily attest that the list was full of women who can handily kick male butt. (“Isn’t it reassuring to learn that the promises of the martial arts — you know, all those claims about being the great equalizer — are legit?” he says about the incident.)

That No. 1 tough girl? None other than …

Ronda Rousey

Background of This Judo Techniques Master: A judoka since the age of 10, Ronda Rousey has medaled in international competition numerous times. In 2008, Ronda Rousey bagged a bronze in Beijing, becoming the first American woman to win any Olympic medal in judo. For that victory, she was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame. In 2010 she dipped her toe in MMA and continued her winning ways. As of this post, her record stands at 7-0.

Qualifications of This Judo Techniques Master: To complement the world-class catalog of judo techniques and skills she acquired from the likes of Jimmy Pedro, Ronda Rousey is being schooled in grapping and MMA by Gokor Chivichyan and Gene LeBell. “She’s a girl, but she has guy skills,” Chivichyan says. “I think she could fight men at her weight and win with no problem. Her submissions, ground fighting and takedowns are all excellent.”

“Her boxing has recently come around — she busted a pro boxer’s jaw in a fight,” Gene LeBell says. “Ronda has heavy hands. I’d rate her skills as nearly a 10 in everything.”

Also of note is that Rousey is the daughter of Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, the martial artist who occupied the No. 7 spot on Black Belt’s “Tough Girls” list. Coincidence? We think not!

Comments Regarding This Judo Techniques Master: “Ronda was a guest on The Ultimate Fighter Season 15 — Dominick Cruz brought her in to put on a clinic,” Fight Night! author Lito Angeles says. “She injured his knee with a throw — that’s why he’s out. She then demonstrated on all the guys on his team, and during the post-throw interviews, they all said she’s a badass. She pinned them down after the throws, and they said she was crushing them. They were all believers. You could tell they underestimated her.”

Starting with a foundation based in judo techniques, acquiring experience in the Olympics and then moving into MMA and boxing is a wonderful progression, Angeles adds. “Some people have criticized her for not having good stand-up, but I think it’s just that she hasn’t had to use it yet because her judo skills are so good — she’s defeated all her opponents by armbar.

“Ronda is the most vicious fighter on [Black Belt’s “Tough Girls”] list. She has no problem breaking arms — there’s a lot to be said for any martial artist who can do that intentionally. She’s hard-core.”

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ENTHUSIASM

“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.”

– Vince Lombardi


“There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” -

- Norman Vincent Peale

“I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.”

– Walter Cronkite

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your heart.”

(Ecclesiastes 9:10) Bible

“Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles.”

– Og Mandino

“Enthusiastic people experience life from the inside out.”

– Nido Qubein

“One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life.”

– Edward B. Butler

“Get excited and enthusiastic about your own dream. This excitement is like a forest fire — you can smell it, taste it, and see it from a mile away.”

– Denis Waitley

“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.”

– Colette

“Enthusiasm is the match that lights the candle of achievement.”

– William Arthur Ward

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” -

- Charles Kingsley

“I rate enthusiasm even above professional skill.” -

- Sir Edward Appleton

“If we seize each opportunity with enthusiasm, someone will surely notice. The “little extra” that is the automatic byproduct of enthusiasm marks the distinction between average and excellence.”

– Neil Eskelin

“To the dull mind all nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Doing what we were meant to do creates fun, excitement and contentment in our lives, and invariably, in the lives of the people around us. When you’re excited about something it’s contagious.”

– Mark Victor Hansen

“Enthusiasm is the best protection in any situation. Wholeheartedness is contagious. Give yourself, if you wish to get others.”

– David Seabury

“You start it – you may as well start it positive, friendly, and enthusiastic — no matter what.” -

- Jeffrey Gitomer

“In things pertaining to enthusiasm, no man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.”

– Doug Firebaugh

“The method of the enterprising is to plan with audacity and executive with vigor.”

– Christian Bovee

“When someone does something well, applaud! You will make two people happy.”

– Samuel Goldwyn

“Identifying your enthusiasms requires courage and heroic creative vision. You have to believe that what you want is possible for you.”

– Marsha Sinetar

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QUOTES

“The only opinion about your dream that really counts is yours. The negative comments of others merely reflect their limitations – not yours.”

--Cynthia Kersey

  

 Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.

-– Peter F. Drucker

 “A positive attitude is perhaps more important at home than anywhere else. As spouses and parents, one of our most vital roles is to help those we love feel good about themselves.”

–Keith Harrell

“Everything you do has secondary consequences. Considering secondary consequences is the hallmark of wisdom and the basis of all civilization.” Brian Tracy

“Working hard is the foundation for any success in life…but many people have what I call the ‘Reverse Disease´…they see ‘working hard´ as ‘hardly working´…and expect the same results…. yeah right.”

–Doug Firebaugh

“An idealist believes the short run doesn’t count. A cynic believes the long run doesn’t matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.”

–Syndey J. Harris

“Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones tend to take care of themselves.”

–Dale Carnegie

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”

–Henry Van Dyke

“I am only one; but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.” Helen Keller

“I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.”

–Woodrow Wilson

“The most effective way I know to understand and clarify life purpose is to develop a personal mission statement.”

–Greg Anderson

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“The trouble with many plans is that they are based on the way things are now. To be successful, your personal plan must focus on what you want, not what you have.”

–Nido Qubein

“When schemes are laid in advance, it is surprising how often the circumstances will fit in with them.”

–Sir William Osler

“Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men’s souls, and a beautiful image it is.”

Blaise Pascal

“The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.” -

- Samuel Butler

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.”

– Dalai Lama

“If I don’t have wisdom, I can teach you only ignorance.”

– Leo F. Buscaqlia

“The most violent element in society is ignorance.”

– Emma Goldman

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