Friday, April 11, 2014

Raising Ronda Rousey

I don't usually have time to listen to interviews Ronda does, but the past two weeks, I have been in North Dakota with a lot of time spent in hotel rooms, and I was amused to hear Ronda's side of her childhood on The Fighter and the Kid podcast.

It was a little bit like those stories my mom used to tell me about how she had to walk 10 miles to school barefoot in the snow and it was uphill both ways.

First off, the water thing, I am actually NOT one of those people who believe that not drinking water during practice makes you tough. On the contrary, where some judo coaches refuse to let kids go off the mat to get a drink, when it is hotter or they are working hard and sweating a lot, we take water breaks every 30 minutes. Otherwise, we take a few minutes for a water break every 45 minutes or so.

However, it is true that I take a dim view of those people who run off the mat every five minutes for a water break or to go to the bathroom. I totally don't get how you can have a class of 35 kids and 20 of them have to use the bathroom in a 90 minute class.  You know how often I can go 90 minutes without peeing - every fucking day.  You're not fooling anyone when I turn around when it's time to do matches and every other match you're off the mat because you were getting a drink or in the bathroom.

Let's face facts - there are three reasons those kids are always running off the mat. Either they are lazy, they're bored or they're scared. They are out of shape and want to rest, they really don't want to be at judo anyway, they're parents made them be there, and there is one or more kids they don't want to get matched up against.

Here is my view on it - if you don't want to be here, stay home. If you are out of shape, stay on the mat and work out and you'll get in better shape and if you keep at it long enough, you will eventually beat that other kid.

Those stories about me arm barring her in the living room ARE true. I still do that, but these days it's always because she starts it. I will be sitting there minding my own business and she will jump on me and attack me yelling,

"Always be ready."

I'm fairly certain that constitutes elder abuse. I'm contemplating pressing charges.

It's also completely true that I would grab her when she was playing around with other kids before a match and tell her to go sit in a corner and think about winning.  It is true that between matches she was supposed to either sit by herself or sleep.

I have noticed over the years that most of the people doing that are trying to avoid thinking about fighting because they are scared. It's a good idea in general to face your fears and not avoid them.

I've also seen many people exhaust themselves before a fight jump roping, running sprints. Again, they are just nervous. It doesn't make any sense to be getting tired before you fight. Watch sprinters at the Olympics - do they run 10 sprints all out before their event? Of course not.

Rest, focus, warm up, win.

And another thing …. since I'm in my ranting mode, whoever started that story about Ronda not wanting to go to judo when she was a little kid and me making her go (for the record, Ronda did NOT say this happened on the podcast) - it never happened.

It was quite the opposite. I would drive her to judo 7 or 8 times a week - on Tuesdays we went to two practices, at Venice from 7-8 then hopped in the car and she worked out at Hayastan from 8:30 - 10. Every day she was somewhere, Gardena, West LA, Baldwin Park, Hollywood. Traffic in Los Angeles blows, and after working all day and driving back home in traffic, some days, the last thing I wanted to do was get back in the car and drive another two hours across town. I would say to her,

Ronda, do you really want to go to practice tonight?

And she'd answer,

Of course, Mom. Why wouldn't I want to go to practice?

On top of all of that, if there wasn't anyone her size to practice with, I'd take falls for her. See that picture up there? She is a 14-year-old brown belt and I'm a 42-year-old statistician taking dozens of falls for her because I'm the right size and I know enough to give just the right amount of resistance.

Did anyone seriously think what I wanted to do after a 14-hour day was drive in rush hour to somewhere I'd get thrown 150 times? I don't expect any medals for that - it's what millions of parents in America do every day, cart their child to gymnastics, piano lessons, wrestling practice, academic decathlon or a million other things. When we're children we think the world revolves around us and that is exactly what mom or dad wants to do most because we are so charming and adorable.

Then we grow up and realize that what they really wanted to do was sit home and drink a beer while reading the paper or watching TV, but they loved us, so they got their old tired ass up and took us wherever we needed to be.

Rant off.

Since you're now done reading  this blog and not doing anything, 
buy my book on Amazon or at Black Belt and write a nice review about it. 


Kerry said...

What an enjoyable story. I must say, that, IMO, if only half of the world's parents were/are as bad as you, it would certainly be a much better place.

I had "good" parenting when I was a child, without doubt, but my parents certainly did not support me or make the efforts and sacrifices that you obviously made for your children.

I was the oldest and my parents very young when I was born. They tried and I believe that they did their best, but, as you've said before, there isn't really a book or instructional guide on parenting. I can't complain, because I did okay, because of or in spite of that.

A good thing that comes through your writings and the things that Ronda has said, is that your children also seem to understand and appreciate what you've done for them. That has to be satisfying.

You and Ronda and all of your children deserve all of the good things in life. May you all enjoy life to the fullest.


mike ripple said...

Love the patch, Dr. B! Ha Ha
As always...interesting shit.
I am always enthralled to read your perspectives. It sure is better than tapping in to Joe Blow Hard's MMA blog site filled with all the anti-Rousey vitriol.
It seems that instead of being in awe of hard work and the inevitable result, the hoards of morons would rather spew anything derogatory....Ronda is being protected by the Dana & UFC or Ronda cheats multi millionaire agent (the latest bit of moronic antipathy) or Ronda's striking is shit... and so is Edmund T...and so is her mother. The assholes out there are targeting you as well! Insane!!
I simply don't understand why people have an aversion towards other peoples successes.
Could it be that neither you nor your daughter(s) fit that cookie cutter mold for which her next opponent is tailor made?
It all makes me so, so sick so...I return to the only blog spot that I like to read.
And that is here.

BTW, do you think that the story about walking ten miles in the snow with no shoes has been told to everyone on this planet at one time or another? Because, I thought my grandfather was the only one who had ever done that.

Best Regards to the whole Rousey, DeMars, Burns/Ortiz clan!

Two things I am grateful for today:

1) Not physically able to shoot bullets thru the internet at people typing on blog sites.
2) Not owning a gun

Mike Ripple

mike ripple said...

Oh yeah...a couple more things...

About the is a true story.
Typical August weather in New Orleans, 100 degrees F, 100% humidity, 2 a day pre-season football practice.
Absolutely no water throughout 3 hour sessions (6 hrs/day)
We would all pray for rain the previous day, the day before practice so that the little holes in the field would fill with water (and mosquito larvae) so when the coach was not looking....and you know the rest.
True story!#!

I sincerely hope that you have bountiful success with your new company, 7th generation games. We here in the heart of the south are always pulling for you, Dr. B, I mean, Dr. D.

Mike R

wetzel parker said...

"You know how often I can go 90 minutes without peeing - every fucking day."

you are fucking fluent in funny, AnnMaria.

miss ya, chic.


Anonymous said...

Peeing during warm-ups? Tying one's pants during push-ups? I have a flyer for that....

Oh! And getting into kids' heads matside??... I have gotten proactive on that, check!

Yeah, get old tired ass up to take you around some more...

My parents would not drive us,.... anywhere, ..... I suppose, thankfully... I would get in the city bus for ten cents one-way (socialist/green mid-western city!), and go to the mall, in fourth grade.
By sixth grade, I could bike myself across town to evening judo practice.

When my first child was born (btw, I took my young son to a Marti Malloy judo clinic, and when she described in detail the day of her 2012 Olympic performance, it sounded uncannily like my birthing day! but that's another story!!), my husband and I ruminated on parenting, 'cuz man, it comes up fast and furious!

We concluded that getting up off one's ass was pretty much necessary and damn nearly sufficient for good parenting (and birthing, Ha! but I digress..), IF you were a so-called upstander, and had common sense.

Good on ya... I kind of wonder where my corporal existence is going, but apparently, I just need to work in a little more cardio on the mat (before and after taking falls for My little bubble-boo), and at the other corners of the county where I find myself with him all week long...

HEY! Jump rope! it's 'jumping rope', ARRRGH, not 'jump ropING', ugh, that one kills me!!!!

So, thanks once again for the PRO TIP: jumping rope!!! CHECKity-check!