I have to say I am beyond impressed with Ronda’s ability to focus and get the job done in the ring, coupled with her fierce ambition and no-bullshit attitude.
1) Long Term Consistency
You don’t start training at 11 and stick with it for over a decade without gaining expert level skills in whatever you are practicing. Obviously her Judo background has been helpful, especially because many MMA fighters don’t gravitate toward a lot of Judo practice. This leaves a big gap. Currently in MMA, you don’t have a lot of women who have been doing any kind of fighting for many many years from childhood moving forward. This gave her a very solid base of overall athleticism to build her now quite impressive striking as well–as evidenced by her dominant victory over Bethe.
2) Prioritizing Movement
Unlike many fighters who I have worked with over the years, Ronda has an impressive skill set when it comes to pure movement. Just checkout this video of her open training for UFC 190. From cossack squats and shoulder dislocates to rolling, handstands, and cartwheels. A lot of the movements especially at the beginning and end of the video look fairly similar to some of the things from a typical #5minuteflow.
Being able to move your body as you please is the foundation of any type of athleticism. It’s likely this particular trait that has allowed her to progress so quickly with her striking. The smoothness and precision of her movements are clearly something that has been developed over a lifetime of practice.
My friend Jen Sinkler has a great saying called “Unapologetically Strong” which I happen to love. It refers to the common occurrence of people (especially women) apologizing for their accomplishments and feeling powerless to things that happen TO them. This is total nonsense. You can make excuses for what does and doesn’t happen to you or you can own your actions and take no shit. Rousey, from what I’ve seen so far, doesn’t apologize or make excuses and its clear to me that she takes personal responsibility for everything that happens in her life. Many people shy away from taking the blame (or the glory) and would rather fly under the radar. This will handcuff your potential accomplishments and doom you to a life of mediocrity. If you want to be a winner you better take responsibility for your damn self and own up to whatever you get out of life. Focusing on the most important thing is crucial when guiding your actions. I’m a firm believer that you get exactly what you deserve. Based on what I’ve seen, Ronda deserves to be a champion for the hours she’s put in and the laser focus she has directed at her goal.
These lessons aren’t just helpful if you’re trying to be an MMA champion, they are important if you just want to be a person of value. Be consistent, take personal responsibility for everything you do, and MOVE your body.