Friday, January 9, 2015

Sometimes You Need to Move On

Somebody can be the best coach in the world but that still doesn't mean that they are the best coach for you. Somebody can be the best coach for you now, but that doesn't mean they will be the best coach for you forever.

That was brought home to me today watching Ronda at practice.

Ronda has gotten noticeably better.

When she left Boston and started training in mixed martial arts, I suggested that she should still ask Jim Pedro, Sr. if he would coach her in judo. Jim is plain one of the best coaches in the world, and he also is a good person. Ronda agreed with that assessment and that he and his son, Jimmy, Jr. had taught her a lot of judo. However, she said that she thought it would be better just to train with the people in Los Angeles. Watching her train today, I was convinced that she made the right decision.

She has gotten better not just at mixed martial arts but also at applying her judo. If she had stayed in Boston, she would have been doing judo the way Jim has his players train, and why not? They have been the most successful judo program in the country for a decade. 

Sometimes, though, success is not your friend. I have seen this in judo at all levels, from the kid who has won the junior national championships three years in a row to the one who made the world team. I've seen it in mathematics, in business. When a suggestion is made for improvement, the answer is always,

We must be doing something right. We have won 25 junior national medals/ put 4 people on the Olympic team/ aced high school Calculus/ made a $100,000 profit.
Maybe you want to do something else , though.

What I noted watching Ronda today is she is in the driver's seat much more in her training. That is working for her. She has 17 years of experience competing in combat sports, eleven of those years at the highest possible level, in Olympics and mixed martial arts.

If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten. Is that enough?

For some people it is. They like exactly where they are. For others, it's not.

The point many people miss is that moving on is not a bad thing. How many of you are at your first job, with your first boyfriend/ girlfriend? Many of you probably aren't even in your first career or first marriage.

That doesn't mean that those other jobs or people were horrible. It doesn't mean that those positions or people wouldn't be a wonderful fit for someone else. It just means that a time came when you thought the best thing to do was move on.

After I earned my Ph.D., I left the University of California and moved several states away for a job as assistant professor. No one at UCR said,

That ungrateful bitch! How could she do that after we taught her so much and supported her on fellowships for years?

On the contrary, they were all very happy for me and proud that I was doing well.

In martial arts, too often, when someone moves, we treat it like they abandoned their family, when we ought to be looking at it more like they graduated from college or got a new job.


Anonymous said...

That's genius because your advice can used towards a lot of facets of life. Sometimes I read what you post and wonder are you left handed, and where do you feel your mental strength stems from if you don't mind me asking?

Dr. AnnMaria said...

No, I'm right-handed.

I think as Hemingway says, we go stronger in the broken places.

mike ripple said...

An interviewer inquired of Travis Browne, the #3 ranked UFC heavyweight, regarding Ronda Rousey's training at GFC with Coach Edmund. He replied that the synergistic relationship between coach and pupil is, in this case, something that cannot be put into words but must be witnessed to understand.
Brendan Schaub, a former pseudo paramour, stated for the press that you, Mrs. DeMars, are the only reason Ronda Rousey is as dominant as she is and that Coach Edmund Tarverdyan is not a factor.
Personally, I tend to believe her 'mental' game was molded by you and her continued success and domination a result of her relationship with Edmund.

Enosis said...

The martial arts world is very funny that way. Students changing schools/academies/gyms is looked at with such venom. There are also other unique things I notice in the martial arts business that I don't really see in other areas, perhaps that can be a topic for another day. I sometimes am amazed at how common it is for the customer(aka student) to act more like they are a vendor...

DoctorDeath said...

This resonates with me at the moment. I did judo many years ago, then had to stop due to work timing conflicts. Circumstances changed and I was just about to attempt a return to the mats when an opportunity to do Kendo arose. Now, Kendo was the martial art I'd always wanted to try, and so I did. I've achieved shodan (this isn't that much of an achievement in Kendo), but now I'm growing bored with the repetition of the sessions. Whilst Kendo is very much a contact sport, I've been itching for the full-on nature of judo for some time. I'm on the horns of a dilemma, certainly don't intend to say "right-I'm off" and sell all my kendo armour and swords, etc., but may take a sabbatical and see if judo is a better fit for me. Of course, I'm now almost 45 and not in my twenties, but that can't be helped, and I'm in reasonably good shape, so that's a bonus. Sadly both dojos train on identical days. Perhaps a day of each for a hile? Who knows? I'm still weighing up my alternatives!