Why Ronda Rousey

I got into the MMA bandwagon late. I got onto the women MMA bandwagon even later. When people mention women MMA fighters, I'd imagine she-males. hahaa.

Along came Ronda Rousey 2 years back and changed UFC forever. I only studied her in detail following her lost to Holly Holm. Intrigued with her personality, I bought her autobiography and read it. And I realized with chilling revelation, that her principles and mine coincide.

Buy her book here.

Some excerpts from her book that inspire me (it also explains why she is so bad-ass):

  • I bow when I enter the cage, a slight nod that is a habit from my judo days. I stomp my left foot twice. Then my right. I jump and stomp them both. I walk toward my corner. I shake my arms. I slap my right shoulder, then my left, then my thighs. I touch the ground. My corner unfurls my sponsorship banner behind me. I bounce from foot to foot. I squat and pop back up. I stomp my feet once more. Then I stop.
  • A lot of people get self-conscious about not being ready before a fight. They walk out feeling cold and unprepared, believing that feeling will disappear if they could warm up a little bit more. It gets into their head.
  • I was raised to be ready to fight at a moment’s notice. I hardly warm up at all, and yet, I am so prepared to fight that at the beginning of a match, I am almost forcibly holding myself back, just waiting for that referee’s hand to drop.
  • If you’re fighting yourself, who wins? Who loses?
  • This was an early lesson on the importance of always believing that if I wanted something bad enough and tried hard enough, I could make it happen.
  • The knowledge that everything good can be taken away at any second is what makes me work so hard.
  • The moment you stop viewing your opponent as a threat is the moment you leave yourself open to getting beat. You start thinking you don’t have to train as hard. You cut corners. You get comfortable. You get caught.
  • I don’t lean on the old wins. I always need a new one, which is why every fight means the world to me.
  • I forget wins all the time. I forget entire tournaments and countries, but the losses stay with me forever. Every single loss feels like a piece of my soul has died. I’m never the same after a loss.
  • A loss leads to a victory. Being fired leads to a dream job. Death leads to a birth. I find comfort in believing that good things can grow out of tragedy. 
  • Judo was the opposite of swimming. One hundred percent of my focus had to be in the present moment. There was no time for introspection
  • The fact that she is a junior national champion doesn’t mean anything. That’s why they have tournaments, so you can see who is better. They don’t award medals based on what you won before. If you did your absolute best, if you were capable of doing nothing more, then that’s enough. Then you can be content with the outcome. But if you could have done better, if you could have done more, then you should be disappointed. You should be upset you didn’t win. You should go home and think about what you could have done differently and then next time do it differently. Don’t you ever let anyone tell you that not doing your absolute best is good enough. 
  • If you're an athlete  & want to win, something always hurts.
  • You’re testing how far you can push the human body, and whoever pushes it the furthest wins
  • When it comes to fighting, physical strength really has very little to do with it. One of the tenets that judo is founded upon is “Maximum efficiency, minimum effort.
  • People stay in jobs they’ve outgrown because they’re afraid of having to prove themselves anew. People stay in unhappy relationships because they’re afraid of being alone. Athletes stick with a coach who can’t help them develop further because they are afraid of being tested, of not measuring up to someone else’s standards, because they’re afraid to upset someone they care about. They let fear hold them back.
  • If you’re unwilling to leave someplace you’ve outgrown, you will never reach your full potential. To be the best, you have to constantly be challenging yourself, raising the bar, pushing the limits of what you can do. Don’t stand still, leap forward.
  • The new coach might not be any better than the one you have, but will be able to teach you something you don’t already know. 
  • My mom always says that to be the best in the world, you have to be good enough to win on a bad day
  • You have to win so clearly that they have no choice but to declare you the winner. You have to be able to win every match twice on your worst day.
  • At the beginning of a match, you and your opponent both start from zero. Where you take it from there is up to you.
  • Other people’s advantages are not an excuse for you to lose; they should motivate you to beat them. Just because a person has all the development resources—all the coaches, all the scouting, all the tools to train at the highest level—just because a person won the last Olympics or beat you the last time you met or is pumped full of steroids, they don’t get an extra score on the board when the fight starts.
  • “You are the bad draw. You be the person other girls hope they don’t have to face.”
  • You don’t look at the matchups and hope to have a good draw, making it easier for you to win. It doesn’t matter who you have to fight and what order you have to fight them because to be the best in the world, you have to beat them all anyway
  • But there are many elite-level fighters who don’t fight to lay it all on the line. They fight for points. They will get ahead by a minor score, then spend the rest of the match trying to make it look like they’re fighting when they’re really running away. It’s like fighting a lawyer. It’s not about who’s right or wrong, it’s not about justice, it’s about who can find the loopholes in the rules, and eke out a win.
  • In competition, that hesitation means the difference between being on the podium and being eliminated.
  • Big Jim had little tolerance for people who said they were training to be elite athletes, but failed to put in the effort.
  • When you and everyone around you are immersed in one small community, it is easy to mistake it for the whole world. But once you break away, you realize that no one outside your tiny circle gives a shit about the stupid stuff that was at the center of your little world. When you understand that, you discover there is a much bigger, better world out there.
  • connect seemingly unconnected moves. 
  • You’re sitting in the cubicle at the job that you hate and you feel awesome. And you’re sitting on the beach with a drink in your hand and you feel terrible. How you feel is entirely in your mind. Your mind has nothing to do with your environment. It has nothing to do with anyone around you. It is entirely your decision.
  • But it is just as easy as making up your mind. You can always make a decision. And if that decision doesn’t work, you can make another decision.
  • “Who are you to tell me that I need to think less of myself?”
  • People want to project their own insecurities on others, but I refuse to allow them to put that on me. Just because you don’t think that you could be the best in the world doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have the confidence to believe I can do anything.
  • Being strong doesn’t necessarily make an opponent more threatening, but it makes them more difficult to control.
  • “If it goes to decision, you deserve to lose because you put it in somebody else’s hands.”
  • There were times when I knew that I was in a terrible situation, but I also knew that it wouldn’t last forever. Those are the moments when you have to remind yourself that this experience is a defining moment in your life, but you are not defined by it.
  • Everything in the world is information. The information you choose to acknowledge and the information you choose to ignore is up to you. You can let outside factors beyond your control throw off your focus. You can let aching muscles hold you back. You can let silence make you feel uncomfortable. By choosing to focus only on the information that is necessary, you can tune out every distraction, and achieve far more.
  • The longer you’re in a relationship, with a coach or anyone, really, the harder it becomes to walk away. A lot of people stay places too long because they don’t want to have those difficult conversations or risk ruining relationships. But if the people around you aren’t willing to accept what is best for you, your relationship with them wasn’t as meaningful as you thought.
  • If people don’t believe you when you say something, then you have to prove it. I promised her I would prove her wrong.
  • “There isn’t a best coach; there’s a best coach for you.”
  • I’m not afraid of losing all my money or losing my career, because I know I’m capable of living in my car and rising up
  • I learned to never expect my opponents to just do what I wanted. I would have to make them do what I wanted
  • I needed to be at the gym when other people were merely thinking about going to the gym. I needed to go beyond what anyone else thought was reasonable and then go beyond that. Every day I did that, I moved one day closer to achieving my goal.
  • But I always plan the first exchange. By making the first move, I control the first action, which causes all the reactions.
  • other people’s approval and my happiness were not related.
  • People watch fighters, but they remember characters. You have to keep them excited. You have to make them intrigued. You have to captivate them.
  • “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” Winning is a habit, and so is losing.
  • You can get into the habit of going into a tournament, a meeting, or an audition telling yourself: This is just for practice. If I fail, I can always try again later. If you go in with your excuses already laid out for you, it’s hard to shake that mindset when “later” finally comes.
  • The truth is I fear a lot of things. I just don’t let fear control me. I use it to motivate me. I confront things that scare me head-on, because fear is nothing more than a feeling. The girls I’m facing in the cage, they can hurt me. Fear can’t actually hurt me. Acting without fear is called recklessness. Acting with fear is called courage.
  • People are going to tell you to be logical and to be reasonable. They’re going to say that because no one else has ever done something, that it can’t be done. You have to be crazy enough to believe that you are the one person in the history of the world who can create that change or accomplish that dream.
  • In every match, there is a second when the win is up for grabs and one person reaches out and grabs it. It may happen at the very beginning of a match, when one fighter comes right out swinging and catches the opponent before she’s ready. That opportunity to win might happen in the middle of the match, when your opponent lets up for just a second, to catch her breath or gather her thoughts. Sometimes, the fight is up for grabs at the very end, when you have both been trying your hardest. No matter how tired you are, you have to find a way to dig deep down and make it happen.
  • I decided long ago that I’m going to say whatever I’m going to say, and people are just going to take it however they want. I wasn’t going to waste a single second caring about what anyone else thought.
  • Cannot allow anger to
  • consume me to the point where it impacts my judgment. 
  • A big concept of fighting that many people don’t get is one I call reading the rest beats, like when you’re reading music. One reason why many people get tired in a fight has nothing to do with them being in bad shape. It’s about knowing how to find those tiny split seconds of rest; they can make all the difference in a fight. It is the moments where I’m resting while still putting pressure on my opponent that allows me to mai
  • Know when to explode and know when to relax—that’s the only way to survive.
  • My handshake is more than just for show, I thought. It was not an issue of sportsmanship. It was an issue of principle.
  • Never hope for mistakes from your opponents. Assume they are perfectly prepared. Assume they make weight. Assume they never get tired. Assume all their reactions will be the correct ones. Expect that they will have their eyes open, ready to take advantage of any mistakes that you make.
  • I assume that the most perfect version of my opponent that has ever existed is going to be in front of me when we meet. I expect that she will not make a single error, and so I will have to lead her into a trap, where the correct reaction is exactly what I am waiting to capitalize on.
  • Building something up so much, believing that it will solve all of your problems and take away all of your pain. Losing.

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