Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Everyone Teaches for a Different Reason

I was going to say, "Everyone teaches martial arts for their own reason" but then I thought, scratch that martial arts part. Everyone teaches anything for their own reason.

My own reasons are a bit personal, I think.

Some people say, "I learn more from my students than they do from me."

Although it sounds really good, I can't honestly say that. Maybe if I had grown up in Santa Monica and had a perfect little life, I would learn from my students what it means to overcome adversity. Believe me, I know. I know the challenge that it can be to get out of bed and go to school knowing that you'll have to sit in classes where other students are disruptive, when you'll probably have to get in a fight just to go down some street to get home from school.

I didn't learn that from my students. I learned it when I was my students' age.

One benefit I do get from teaching is to review the basics of judo, and you can never go over the basics too often.

Some weeks, judo practice is the only exercise I get, despite best intentions to the contrary. The main reason that I started a judo class at Jamestown College, over 25 years ago, is that I was so busy with work, family and a pile of other responsibilities that I would never have gotten to class except that I was teaching it and I had to show up.

It's been that way ever since.

While it may make me sound like a jerk, I don't feel obliged to teach judo "to give back". I've held more offices in judo organizations than I care to remember, started as an assistant instructor when I was 13 years old. I also run a company that makes educational software that teaches kids math. Frankly, I feel I have done my share of 'giving back' as much as I was given.

So .... why am I teaching judo on Friday and then spending the next two days doing a judo mini-camp with 20 kids that includes practices, tutoring, team dinners and a Christmas party?

I do it because my students are worth it.


My day job - 

Games that make you smarter. Learn math, learn social studies, try not to die in the woods, or in the rapids or when the bear attacks you ... just try not to die, okay?


Haylee said...

Hi my name is Haylee and I am 13 years old. I am a HUGE fan of Ronda Rousey and I look up to her. I have heard rumors that she is going to retire after her loss to Holly Holm is that true?

Haylee Naylor said...

Hi my name is Haylee and I am 13 years old. I am a HUGE fan of Ronda Rousey and I look up to her. I have heard rumors that she is going to retire after her loss to Holly Holm is that true?

Brody P said...

Great ending to your blog, I am certain that your students feel your worth their time as well. i think you have done and dealt with enough in your life to be selfish sometimes.

Subway Singer said...

Dr. De Mars,

I always look forward to your articles. Thank you for your insights and keep up the good work !

Unknown said...

Dr De Mars,
Just started reading your articles. Very interesting and insightful. Enjoyable reading. Hope you expand some or all into a book.

Ron Poorman said...

Dr.De Mars,
I just started reading your articles. They are interesting and insightful. Fun to read. Thanks for taking the time to write them.
Best regards,
Ron Poorman

Anonymous said...

The true Phd's are not the ones that expend so much energy on the ridiculous bucket of minutae that is part and parcel of your mundane rantings and ravings concerning other people's inadequacies. The real Phd's are the theoretical particle physicists whose days are spent unraveling the mysteries that define our reality. You should take a step back, think before you speak and take a lesson from these truly smart and enlightened people. Only then will you discover the wisdom that has so effortlessly eluded you.

Cuivre said...

Mr/Ms. Anonymous- I'm confused on who you are referring to when you use the ambiguous pronoun "you". The readers in general, or Dr. DeMars, specifically? Why not think of a more imaginative nickname to go by- May I suggest "Mr. I imagine my I.Q. to be better than yours, but at the expense of my E.Q.". So, why are "truly smart" people like you wasting so much of your time reading something you do not respect, written by someone you do not respect? You could spend this time reaching yet another level of your self-defined 'enlightenment', thus widening this [imaginary] gap!

Anonymous said...

Thats an interesting mundane rant concerning imagined other people inadequacies, anonymous. Meaning - it is you who is actually making it.
I bet it isnt coming from any kind of Phd, because someone with a PhD is not that dumb or so obviously incapable to understand the self defeating reality of such a nonsense argument.

It is especially hilarious to see that declaration about what supposedly real Phds are. Only one who could claim such nonsense is someone who never went to school or someone who is deranged an out of touch with reality.

Its psychos like you who should take the step back and think before you speak - obviously. Not to mention taking lessons from truly smart and intelligent people.
Only then will you discover the wisdom that so laughably and effortlessly eludes you.

Ventus said...

Speaking about teaching and training...

When a trainer encourages his pupils to try other trainers that is a sign he or she cares more about them then themselves, or to be precise, their ego.
When i first read how mrs AnnMaria pushed Ronda to train with others to me it was a huge sign that you love her more then yourself. Some people would say its normal for a mother to love her kid more then herself but thats actually not that common.

It is also a sign of someone who is capable of accepting facts despite or against some feelings. Overriding ego by accepting objective reality. (great podcast interview at Brutally honest radio, btw)

Another great sign of a very good person is the ability to admit a mistake and own to it, to accept responsibility for some failing, if the objective facts would demand it. Even if its only a part or the overall responsibility or blame it should be admitted to. It should be owned to.
That was of course a subject of one of the blog posts here.

I see Ronda doing that when it comes to this last fight, but i dont see Edmond owning to his part. At all.

It was always visible to me that they had formed a relationship and that they care for eachother a lot, but... you know, how strong a love or relationship is, or who of the two cares more about the other then their ego really shows up when the going gets tough.

I see Ronda taking all the blame on herself... and not a word from Edmond.
There is that small part in the ESPN article where he talks more about what someone wont take away from "we", what "they" might lose - then whats actually best for Ronda. He is not admitting to even a small part of the blame or responsibility.

As if he has none.
As if its all Ronda fault.

Dolce has a small interview a week or two ago and among other things he said that "it may be that the fact Holly is a better striker then Bethe was not properly vetted and taken into account in preparations".

If Ronda has a team and a head coach that need to "vet" that a multiple world champion in boxing is better in striking then some beginner from Brazil... then she is in a completely absurd situation. Not just bad. But so bad its absurd.

Two days ago an article with a full word for word transcript of Edmonds advices in the corner during Holly fight was released on BloodyElbow site.

When you just read that, it looks like its a transcript from some completely different fight Ronda was winning.

There is no instructions to even try to avoid Hollys punches, there is no instructions on how to actually fight a type of fighter Holly is, which is supposed to be be a rather well known part of some basics in boxing, There is no word about cutting space in ways that would prevent Holly from just running around and staying out of Rondas reach. or even about defending punches. All he tells her is to keep her hands up but Holly punches were going straight in between Rondas hands even when she had them up.

At no moment does he even acknowledge that Ronda is seriously hurt, let alone change or adjust the tactics for it.

As you can see there is only constant repetition of pressing forward, feinting (whatever that was supposed to be) and trying to hit Holly with a left hook... as if thats how you defeat multiple boxing champion who is a Southpaw counter striker thats running around and staying out of range.
there is one request to get Holly to the fence in the second round when Ronda was barely standing on her feet.

And all that was "beautiful and great". Ronda was "having Holly where they want her..."

Ventus said...

So... in fact he had nothing to offer except to pump Rondas ego by telling her it was all beautiful, despite reality, as if that alone can win fights. As if thats even believable to someone as hurt as Ronda was.

He even claimed later on that Holly did not win striking exchanges.
That would be laughably absurd if it was funny to me, which it is not. Its just absurd.

It is so absurd that i dont need to be any kind of expert to see it or talk about it. I doubt you can find any other coach or boxer who would read that and say any of that is even close to being acceptable in any way.


Seeing how Ronda has decided to stay with him as a coach... someone should at least try to talk to her about adding some other people or trainers to the team. Not the Edmond team but her team.

At least that should be acceptable to her. If she wants to have real chance at getting back and winning the belt from Holly she MUST do it.
If she doesn't all that she will have is hoping for a lucky punch or a lucky takedown.

I dont think Edmond has any right to refuse or argue against that.

If he really loved her as much as she loves him he would be the first saying that.
But as he seems incapable of admitting to it, and lucky enough not to be cut out completely, him refusing even some additions to the team would be way too much.

It would be absurd.


On the other hand. According to the transcripts from his bankruptcy case, him and Ronda have the same accountant. Some guy named Narek Alumyan, who had almost exactly the same case of bankruptcy himself:
- a 2011 bankruptcy case of his own with over $700,000 in debts, less than $3,000 in assets, and a claim of fraud by Burbank City Federal Credit Union -

And that guy is supposedly running a lot of Rondas businesses.

Seeing how misery loves company and bad things rarely happen alone, but rather come in groups - i suggest running an independent audit of all Rondas finances as soon as possible.

If everything is ok at least you will know its all ok.
If its not... no better time to find out then as soon as possible.

Mike Landers said...


I have thought and felt all of the things you wrote.

And just how lucky did Edmond get when this loyal young champion walked through the door to his gym?

Additional thoughts:

1. I hope Ronda considers not re-matching until December of 2016 as she will be shooting TWO movies early next year.

An extra 5 months of "uninterrupted" training could be key.

To me it would make sense on many levels to do this even if the immediate financial cost was great. UFC 200- so what (?)

Holly will train over eight months straight for a July fight. She will train in an elite gym with elite fighter and figures to be better than she has ever been.

However, it was not so long ago Ronda was the most dominate athlete alive.

Why should Ronda risk forever wondering what it would have been like if the Queen of MMA had waited, taken her time preparing and then gone back for her crown?

2. Ronda has said she is sticking with Edmond but that does not stop Edmond and Ronda from brining in truly elite MMA advisors; coaches and sparing partners who will fight the Holly-style against her over and over, training round after training round.

Holly correctly looks not to grapple other than escape and stay on her feet. Perhaps chances for judo chokes, locks and non standard takedowns may present themselves as well as the arm bar or knockout.

3. It is a coaches job to be truthful and on top of many different things.

Edmond did Ronda no favors over the years by making exaggerated statements about Ronda while elevating himself to the level of being a psychic who predicts how all of her fights will go. The truth about how great Ronda is should be good enough.

Waiting a year to bring in an outside coach and only at Ronda's request; his fighter losing the calluses on her hands before a fight because she was not wrapping her hands and hitting the bag while on movie set; Ronda looking (in my opinion)in subpar condition entering her last fight, and so on.

I was appalled to hear that Edmond said Ronda apologized to him for losing the fight- that should have been kept private.


Lots have people have extreme self-interest (money) in seeing a July rematch.

I hope Ronda knows deep down to her core that it is ok for her to wait for a date later than July if she likes. She absolutely should not let anyone rush her. It is even ok if she never fights again.

Hope she discusses these things with those who know her the best and love her the most.

Whatever is smartest and best for Ronda with her fighting is what counts right now.

Regardless, I will bet on Ronda and admire how has helped many and truly made a difference.

She will make a difference wherever she goes.

Ventus said...

Hey Mike,

I guess we are not the only ones who have similar opinions about all this. Im pretty sure many people closer to her and with more expertise and knowledge about all this are thinking and saying the same or very similar things.

It feels foolish to me to speak about all these things, on one hand, because im surely no expert and i hate all the "experts" writing all kinds of nonsense about this, but on the other hand i just cant not say anything.

A couple of things:
I think Edmond admitted and said himself he was very lucky she walked into his gym.
After all, any gym in the world no matter how prosperous or well known would be lucky to have her.

But, atleast at this point, and looking at things from my outside perspective it seems to me she cares more about him then he for her.
Hard situations like these are the times where you prove your mettle and show how much you really care. I only saw Justin Flores stepping up and saying he will do anything and everything to help her rebound and win the belt back. No mention of "we" or what he might lose.

I dont think it would be ok if she never fought again. That idea actually never crossed my mind. I dont see that in Ronda. She has no quit in her and when she leaves the sport she will do so on her own terms, not because she lost one fight.
True champions dont do that and she is one of those. Besides, she said she will be back.

She takes defeats very hard and she is still going through it but she will be back. Ive no doubt about that. And... sometimes the wounded beast is the most dangerous beast.

I think she can beat Holly. The loss looked so extreme only because she came into the fight practically unprepared and in a bad mental and physical condition or state. That caused her to perform badly and coupled with the gameplan she had it all made Holly look much better then she really is. It was the case of one bad thing influencing and enhancing another bad thing which amplified another bad thing in the chain, until it all achieved a critical reaction and result.

Holly is a great fighter, but she is not any kind of unstoppable invincible machine. There is no such thing in the sport regardless of what the PR machine spews out to increase the sales.

I also hope she takes as long as she needs to come back at her absolute best. She should not think about the company or UFC 200 now. She has done more then enough for the company and that event will be ok and sell out regardless if shes there or not.

Rushing into things again seems like she would be only practically doing favors to Holly.

Mike Landers said...

Mike Landers said...
Hello Vetnus,

Ronda Rousey Could Have Died In That Fight, Or Become Permanently Disabled. Few say this but it is truer than true.

23 Head Shots and Ronda had something beyond heart enabling her to move forward until the head kick knocked her out. Holly then hit Ronda in the head with two hammer fist blows as she lay prone on the mat. Had those blows been a touch different or had the referee been three seconds slower to end the fight, well

Sometimes even the best in the world need extra time to heal, to all-the-way heal, regardless of what the medical scans show.

If they rematch:

Winning Is Ronda's Best Defense. Winning decisively is her best defense.

December is Ronda's best rematch month:

What are five extra uninterrupted months of training and conditioning worth to Ronda? How big are those months to someone who not so long ago was The Most Dominate Athlete Alive and Fighter of the year?

What is Ronda's health and safety worth? I would prefer to see her fight for free in December rather than make millions in July.

If Ronda wins in December, songs will be written, people will scream: Ronda is the Queen and Rocky is a Wimp!

If Ronda fights and wins in December, so much money will continually fall from the sky and hit her on the head for the next year that I will fear for her safety.


I wanted time to reflect and speak with extremely knowledgeable people and read a little before writing about health and safety.

Vetnus, I appreciate your reply, especially as it helped me better organize my thoughts.

Ventus said...

Yeah, Herb Dean, the referee was late on the stoppage there. He reacted too slowly and let the fight go on for a few seconds more where he could have and should have stopped it earlier. Big mistake.

I dont think she should concern herself with money for the rematch in the sense of rushing for it. Its going to sell the same whenever that fight happens. Even if Holly loses the belt to someone else before that, it wont matter at all.

I also think it would be better strategy if Holly fought other fighters in the meantime before they rematch. It will put things into better perspective and have other benefits. While Ronda has full time to recover and focus on everything she needs to do.

I think its going to be alright. I think she will make a right decision in this sense. After all, it is the only right choice to make.
And if she does everything right i dont see any reason why she couldn't win in the rematch.

Also, i just recently re-watched first two Rocky movies, because i was certain one of them has a scene where the coach is throwing oranges at Rockys head to teach him to move it :P , but it wasn't in the first two or maybe its in some other boxing movie i cant remember anymore. Maybe they were tennis balls but i could swear it was oranges...

It made me remember how bad those movies are when it comes to boxing. Really horrible stuff as far as boxing techniques are concerned... among other things in the first movie Apollo was the southpaw, but in the second it magically changed into Rocky being a southpaw. But i dont think letting get hit over and over and over is anything anyone should take as a good tactic to learn from those movies.

Some oranges could be good. They have lots of vitamins...

Mike Landers said...

Ronda can be a soul-crushing favorite over Holly if she does not rush the rematch.

.. and if her camp works hard and smart.

Soul-crushing Favorite.

One situation I have not seen the analysts mention tho I am sure Ronda has thought about it:

If Ronda finds herself under severe pressure on her feet (or stumbling), rolling to her back with legs up is one strong go-to deffense for a wold class judoka.

Sparing and fighting training matches with elite fighters who fight Holly-style; over and over again and again might be helpful. Strong and fast left handed partners who prance and dance and are good at avoiding and getting away. Full fight sparing that may go to the ground. Early sparing going slowly with low speed and force; building as time goes on. No doubt Ronda's judo/jujitsu/grappling tool box is much deeper than we have seen, and in the right spots, she has knockout power- and not just with her fists.

Would be a shame for anyone to rush Ronda into a July rematch, even if the person rushing Ronda was Ronda herself.

There are many reasons why Fortune listed Ronda as a top 40 under 40 Influencer and I greatly enjoy following her adventures, both in and out of the cage- yay Ronda!!

December 14 of 2016 (or later if she needs the time): Ronda's Revenge, the day the queen went back for her crown.


One thing I like about the blogs of Dr De Mars is that she walks the walk of what she writes about and does not just talk the talk. And since friends and values are especially important to me, I enjoy how those themes weave through the blogs of Dr De Mars.

Mike Landers said...

Regarding Ronda's Trainer and Camp

Ronda has Edmond as her head trainer and says she is sticking with him.

Holly has trained her entire career at what the experts consider a top, and many say the very best, MMA camp.

Out of respect for Ronda's choice I will not belabor the idea that training wise there are better all-in-one camps.

I believe Ronda cares about Edmond and loves him (see the clips of them together) and I marvel at her extreme loyalty.

However, Ronda needs more.

By now, even Edmond knows Ronda needs more.

Call Edmond the "head trainer" or head whatever you like and give him 10 percent of whatever you like but please find more. Together with Edmond, if you must, find more.

Bring in more. Travel to more.

Ronda can do it. Ronda can make the comeback. Ronda can win.

Ha! I bet Dana White is saying these very same things and making calls looking for "more"

But no matter what the UFC owners say, Ronda is not ok and July should be out.

When it comes facts, I try not to roll my own.