Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Your judo sucks" doesn't mean what you think

I read a nice article yesterday on Bleacher Report about my darling daughter, Ronda and was very surprised to see they had a video of ME competing, winning the finals of the Panamerican Games.  Because (I am not making this up) video cameras were a brand new expensive thing toward the end of my competitive career any tapes people had were on 8mm or super 8mm cameras. Yeah, I know you don't know what that is. My point is, there weren't many videos of me competing.

After some people saw the video on the Bleacher Report site, they made the comment that my judo sucks. This comment has been made my whole life and it used to offend me. For the last twenty years or so, it has just made me laugh.

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

That particular match was the finals of the Panamerican Games, which I won by ippon. I won every match that day by ippon. Natacha Hernandez, who I fought in that video, moved up in weight division and won the world championships the next year. It was the second time I beat her that day, the first time was by arm bar.  So ... I beat everyone in the Panamerican Games in under five minutes, including the soon-to-be world champion - twice - and my judo "sucks".

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

So ... I beat everyone in the Panamerican Games in under five minutes, including the soon-to-be world champion - twice - and my judo "sucks".  Seriously, can you read that last sentence and not shake your head? I understand why people say that. I really do. If you are comparing the throw I did to any book on technique, it looks terrible. I am sure my feet were placed incorrectly or I would have thrown her properly flat on to her back. If I was better at grip-fighting, I would have had two hands on her instead of one. I'm sure all the books show that, too.

Instead, I went for kata guruma (a fireman's carry, which is no longer legal in judo, by the way) - and missed. You couldn't get much more terrible technique than that, no? When she stepped back, I threw my arm over hers, dropped to my knees and rolled her on to her back, not even for  a score - terrible technique again.

I kept my arm, over hers and trapping it, in the exact same position it was in when I was standing. Notice I have the exact same grip on that arm that I had when I was standing as when I pin her. If you read this blog often, you know that is one of the points I emphasize over and over, transition from standing to matwork. A second point I emphasize is thinking about matwork from the time you grip. I roll her into the pin, and after a bit of a struggle pin her and win the match. I had just the right grip to be able to pin her. I was "lucky".

 I don't think that word means what you think it means. 


Stephen said...

The youtube comments read:

Can I give this two thumbs up for the Yankee Doodle Dandy ending?

sgs138 40 minutes ago

Ronda rousey is like her mother!

judorican973 1 month ago

Classy classic video - thanx for that, I needed to see where the new "Face of Womens MMA" Ronda Rowdy Rousey got her heart from.

pphillipsppp 3 months ago 2

dude are you blind there is!

henklip in reply to gusto1978 (Show the comment) 9 months ago

wow very good. why tha hell is there no womens judo in the Olympics?!!!!

gusto1978 3 years ago

If women were able to compete in the Olympics, she would have been our first Judo Gold Medalist and made history.

flounderthemex2 3 years ago


And on the primary website, looks like they edited out the comments you were reacting to.

Anonymous said...

That article about you and Ronda was very interesting. You two have great stories. I can't wait for part 2.

They can say what they want but they can't argue with results. Let the lions do it their way. I'm #TeamAnaconda!

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Interesting about the comments. I didn't think they were that offensive that they needed to be edited out.

#TeamAnaconda - that's funny!

Sylver said...

What sucks is that you keep getting the same stupid comments 30 years after the fact.

"Maximum efficiency, minimum effort", not "fancy technique, never mind the result"

Stephen said...

May not have been that offensive, but when comments get too stupid ... makes a site look bad.

Stephen said...


Steve Scott said...

There are a lot of "experts" on the Internet. None of them did what you did AnnMaria. You were the first American to win a World Judo Championship...period. You did it and your critics didn't. While people like you are on the mat training, the "experts" are sitting in their mother's basement in their underwear pecking away at their keyboards. As "Unknown" said; what sucks is you getting the same stupid comments 30 years after the fact.

JOL said...

I like your spirit too. Just today I had a few mutant throw/takedowns finished with submission (I have experience with sub.) against two green belts (I am the ever offensive white belt) and all I hear from my teacher is "that was nothing, that was ugly, that was slop." Well excuuuuuuse me! Nobody's letting me perform picturesque versions of these throws in randori. And I'm not sloppy. I'm careful with my partners, I'm respectful, and all my stuff is honest. At least I've got the guts to try things instead of stiff-arming with my butt 5 feet away waiting for another cheap tani-otoshi counter (no offense to tani-otoshi). I'd say "sorry I beat you" but with their attitudes I'm not. I'm going #TEAM ANACONDA!!! YEAH!!! P.S. Your critics are a bunch of dull clods!