Sunday, November 27, 2011

Arm bars and Legos

Today,  a boy at the West Coast Judo Training Center told me he did not want to learn turnovers or pins, he wanted to learn arm bars. When I asked him why, he said,

Do you know who Ronda Rousey is? Did you know that she won four matches, all of them by arm bar? I want to be like that.

I told him, that why, yes, I did know who Ronda Rousey was, that, in fact, I'm her mother and I taught her arm bars. He was too polite to openly call me a liar, but he looked very skeptical.

If my judo teaching was a lego, it would be that base piece. You know, the blue or green piece that you stick all of the other legos on to. That piece isn't cool. No one asks for the base piece. They ask for a pirate kit or the safari legos or the Star Wars ones.

Funny thing, though, look at just about any cool lego thing and if you don't have that boring base piece, it falls over. You lay out the beginning of your cool thingy on the base and build from there.


I explained to the skeptical young man that often right before you see Ronda do an arm bar, the opponent is on her back and Ronda is on top of her.


I pointed out that judo matches (and mixed martial arts matches) do not start that way.  .

Everybody who just wants to practice "the cool stuff" is missing two important points:
  1.  If you don't practice the boring basics (which I personally don't think are boring at all) you don't get a chance to get to the cool endings. I further pointed out to the boy who wanted to do nothing but arm bars that politely asking your opponent to lay down on the mat and let you get on top does not really work very well as a means of getting into this position. We spent the rest of the time doing the collect the arm turnover to get in position for an arm bar. We didn't do any arm bars at all today.
  2. As Jim said the other day, "The idea is to win." The final point I told the skeptical arm-bar- assassin - wannabe is that you will find that the better you get at arm bars, the more people you pin. The reason is simple - they are too focused on tucking those arms in tight to be able to defend against pins successfully. After I'd dislocated a half-dozen arms, I pinned a LOT of people. 
I'd have more to say about this but I have to go find A Christmas Carol because I am the mother of an eighth-grader who needs to finish her homework. (I'm also Ronda Rousey's mother, whether that boy believes it or not.)







6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe your teaching could be the base piece for a pirate lego kit as a compromise? Because I mean, it's still a foundation but ultimately it supports something a lot cooler than a smurf, imo.

-Chromium

Dan said...

Maybe her thought you weren’t old enough too be her mother and you were her sister?

Anonymous said...

Please don't let that stupid arm bar assassin nick name catch on. It's doesn't roll off the tongue and there's no poetry to it at all.

Why not Wanderlei feet planted wild hooks machine Silva or Rhadi morote garis everyone Ferguson?

ענת מוקדי said...

I love Ronda Rousey!! she is my god! i want to learn how to do these arm bar... thats all i want as a judoka... but you got a good point, first of all i need the base. God, I hope one day i will meet Ronda, this is the dreem of my life. Please tell Ronda i love her? <3 <3 <3

Gal Shapira from Israel.

ענת מוקדי said...

I love Ronda Rousey!! she is my god! i want to learn how to do these arm bar... thats all i want as a judoka... but you got a good point, first of all i need the base. God, I hope one day i will meet Ronda, this is the dreem of my life. Please tell Ronda i love her? <3 <3 <3

Gal Shapira from Israel.

Wattsdtse said...

I love Ronda Rousey!! she is my god! i want to learn how to do these arm bar... thats all i want as a judoka... but you got a good point, first of all i need the base. God, I hope one day i will meet Ronda, this is the dreem of my life. Please tell Ronda i love her? <3 <3 <3 Gal Shapira from Israel.