Could you handle a triangle choke from Ronda Rousey? Watch her execute one on her training partner in this exclusive video!

Talk about a Cinderella story! A baby girl squirms inside her mother’s womb, inadvertently wrapping her umbilical cord around her neck. Suffering from a lack of oxygen, she clings to life long enough to emerge into the world and be freed from the entanglement. She doesn’t speak until she’s 6 years old. Meanwhile, her dad constantly reminds her, “You’re a sleeper — you’ll show everybody.” That "sleeper" was, of course, Ronda Rousey: MMA fighter and Olympic judoka known throughout the martial arts world for her impressive judo techniques (such as the sankaku-jime, demonstrated in the video below) and formidable MMA skills. Her proficiency in judo moves (such as the customized "Juji Squishi Roll" and her take on the Cuban sankaku-jime) began to take shape at age 10, when she fell in love with absorbing judo info.


JUDO VIDEOS Ronda Rousey, MMA Fighter and Olympic Judoka, Demonstrates a Modified Sankaku-Jime (Triangle Choke)

Read Stephen Quadros' EXCLUSIVE interview with Ronda in this FREE download!
Ronda Rousey: An Exclusive Interview With the Gene LeBell Protégé,
Olympic Judo Medalist and MMA Fighter

Fast-forward to 2008: Standing on the dais at the Beijing Olympics, Ronda Rousey, now 21, has a bronze medal draped around her neck. She’s the first American woman to take home any Olympic medal in judo. Her father was right: Ronda Rousey's career has garnered accolades such as a world judo championship, record-creating Olympic performances, the Strikeforce bantamweight championship and induction into the Black Belt Hall of Fame as the 2008 Judoka of the Year. For the May 2012 issue of Black Belt, Ronda Rousey sat down with us for a candid interview about judo moves and filmed several online judo videos, such as the sankaku-jime video featured on this page. In celebration of judo in the 2012 Olympic Games, here are a couple of Olympic-related Q&A excerpts from her interview: RONDA ROUSEY — MMA FIGHTER AND OLYMPIC JUDOKA — ON WHETHER THE OLYMPIC DREAM WAS ALWAYS THERE OR CAME ABOUT AFTER YEARS OF TRAINING: "It was definitely always there," Ronda Rousey says. "I was born with my umbilical cord around my neck and suffered from hypoxia. I didn’t talk or anything until I was 6 years old. My dad was behind me the whole time: He was like, “You’re a sleeper — you’ll show everybody.” You know how your parents always tell you you’re going to win the Olympics or become president? Well, he said I was going to win the Olympics in swimming one day, and that was it. It was instilled into my head from the beginning: You can do whatever you want, but you should do it to become the best at it."

Did you enjoy learning about sankaku-jime from Ronda Rousey? Learn judo moves from another great judo master in this FREE download! The Neil Adams Guide to Judo Throws

RONDA ROUSEY — JUDO VIDEOS PERSONALITY AND JUDO MOVES EXPERT — ON WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO COMPETE IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES: "There was a big difference between my first Olympics and my second one," Ronda Rousey says. "For the first one, I didn’t even expect to make the team. I kind of slipped in at the last minute. I was awe-struck because I’d never been to a tournament that size. By the time I went to my second Olympics, I’d gotten second at the World Championships and won the Pan-American Games, so I was more used to it. I was more focused. "It’s awesome being in the [Olympic] Village. It’s kind of like being in limbo: The second you get there, it feels like it was a million years ago when you were anywhere else. And the second you leave, it feels like it was a million years ago when you were there. [The Village] is its own little world where your food and your lodging are all taken care of. And I fought in the first week, so I had the whole rest of the month to be like, What do you want to do now? Also, all the athletes, no matter how famous they are, have to stay in the Village. I’d be like, 'That’s Kobe Bryant!' or 'That’s Michael Phelps!'" More Ronda Rousey MMA! Visit the Ronda Rousey MMA homepage at rondamma.com! If Ronda Rousey's sankaku-jime demonstration piqued your interest, check out more judo videos and judo info from BlackBeltMag.com!
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Do you want to maximize your self defense skills? Learn the game of combat chess and most importantly the queen of all moves.

Allow me to intercept those who would object to the title of this article. I'm not claiming that there's a secret move, shortcut or hack that will give you the edge in any fight. Even if there was an ultimate weapon or strategy, you likely would avoid it because you
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Looking to buy some weights to gain some strength?

Looking at Dumbbell, Kettlebells or Weighted bar? How about an all in one that won't just save you some good amount of money but also space? Look no further, we bring you the GRIPBELL!

Let's face it, when we do want to work on some strength building, we don't want to go around shopping for 20 different weight equipment things. That would just not want us to even do any sort of strength training. But what if we only needed a few, a few that can do the things we want without having 20 things lay around? That's where the GRIPBELL comes in. Let me clarify with you first, these are not some heavy duty, muscle exploding weights, they are for building the level of strength we as martial artists want without going crazy and insane in bulk sizing!

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Many different types of "blocks" are taught in most martial arts school. We are taught high blocks, low blocks, middle blocks, knife hand blocks, etc. Some schools will also teach how to use the legs to block an attack, as well.

The purpose of this writing is to possibly open some minds to the possibilities of going outside the box and considering alternatives to the basics.

Blocking is taught as a way of protecting oneself from harm. Truly, we don't "block" anything, as a non-martial artist would think of it. What we call "blocking" is more of a redirection of an opponent's attack, or even a counterstrike against the opponent's attacking limb.

To block something would mean to put something, like your arm, leg or other body part directly in front of the attack. That would certainly hurt and possibly cause some damage. The goal should be to move the attack out of the way in order to prevent injury and provide a way to fight back. For example, many schools teach blocks as a limb moving toward the strike such as a circular high block.

The movement required for a block might have other uses, if you keep an open mind. The blocking techniques can also be used as attack techniques. For example, your "low block" may be used as a striking technique against the outer thigh of the attacker. Your high block might be used as a strike to the jaw. The set up for a block can be used as a deflection, as well as the actual block.

Doing a block or a series of blocks will most likely not end an attack. A block needs to be followed by a counterattack. While the block is usually taught as a separate technique in order to learn it correctly, it should also be used in combination with a counter.

The more you know, the more you realize how much you don't know. Intensive books can and have be written about basic techniques. With this writing, I am hoping to create interest in exploring the additional possibilities for what we have been taught and what we teach others.

About Grand Master Stevens

GM Stevens has been training in taekwondo for 47 years under the tutelage of the late legendary Grand Master Richard Chun. He holds an 8th degree black belt and is certified in the USA and in Korea. Grand Master Stevens is a member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious Richard Chun TaeKwonDo World Headquarters organization. He has been very active in his community and has been a volunteer with the Glen Rock Volunteer Ambulance Corps for over 11 years. He is a certified member of C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team).

Gary Stevens Taekwondo is located at 175 Rock Road in Glen Rock, New Jersey.

For more information: call (201) 670-7263, email: StevensTKD@aol.com or go to www.StevensTaeKwonDo.com

Having partners at or above your skill level is important for improving in your martial arts training. At some point, however, you will probably find yourself with a shortage of skilled partners, especially if you are an instructor.

This can happen for any number of reasons: students can move away, change their work schedules, start a family, etc., and just like that, you find that you're the highest-ranked student, or sole instructor, in your gym or dojo. This doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, if you take advantage of it, even working exclusively with lower-ranking classmates or students can improve your skills.

I used to host a twice-a-week training session at my dojo where I invited mostly black belts from other schools (as well as a few of my advanced students) to come and run drills. It was a blast. These were tough two- to three-hour sessions where I got to work with fighters of all different sizes, speeds, and technique preferences. My sparring improved dramatically over the next few months, and I don't think I've ever been in better shape. But unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. And as the old saying goes, "You gotta work with what ya got." So, make it hard on yourself.

I like to set handicaps when fighting my students. Specifically, I focus on forcing myself to work on improving my weak areas. Is you right leg weaker than the left? Then only kick with the right leg when sparring your students. Not much of an inside fighter? Don't kick at all. Training with partners of lesser skill not only helps you improve your weak points but gives them an opportunity to improve as well by working on strategy. It's also great for building their confidence. It can also be a low-cost opportunity to test new techniques and combinations, which benefits you as well.

In grappling, just like sparring, there is little benefit to wrapping lower ranking classmates into pretzels over and over, for them or you. Instead, let your partner put you in a bad situation. Let them get the mount; help them sink in that choke or armbar. If you start standing, such as in judo, allow your partner to get the superior grip before attempting a throw. This way you will get comfortable working out of a weaker position and your less-experienced partner can perfect their technique (and get experience using multiple techniques, if you get out of their first one).

You might think that giving advantages like these to students who may be far beneath your skill level is much of a challenge. Trust me, you'll reconsider that sentiment when you wind up sparring a 6'5" novice with zero control over his strength after deciding to only use your weak leg, or have a 250-pound green belt lying across your diaphragm trying to get an armlock after you let them get the pin. Remember, this is exactly what you signed up for: a challenge.

If you find yourself at the top of the heap without partners who are sufficiently challenging, there is no need to despair. Use it as a low-stress opportunity to improve your weaknesses and develop avenues to help your less experienced classmates and students to grow. You may even be surprised. One day they might present more of a challenge than you ever imagined!
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