I’m sure most of you who read my blog get all the Judo knowledge and pearls of wisdom you could ever want. However some of you may have a thirst for more knowledge, maybe from someone who actually knows what they are talking about. If that’s you, you could do a lot worse than to read the blog of Ann Maria DeMars. In case you are scratching your head wondering who the hell she is allow me to explain.
Ann Maria won her division at the USJA Junior Nationals at the age of 16 – her first major competition. The same year, she entered college at Washington University as a business major. At the age of 18, as a college junior, Ann Maria was an exchange student at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. While there, she trained under Sensei Osawa.
She graduated from college with a degree in business in 1978. She also won the US Senior Nationals, US Collegiate Nationals and the US Open. In the absence of women's judo world championships, she quit competitive judo and studied for an MBA at the University of Minnesota.
DeMars earned her MBA in 1980. She missed the first women's world championships while in grad school, but in 1981 won bronze in the British Open and Tournoi d'Orleans. In 1982, she was ranked #1 in the USJI rankings and won the US Open. However, she did not contest the second women's world championships due to the birth of her daughter María.
DeMars enjoyed more success in 1983, including the Pan American Games and US Senior Nationals, and in 1984, winning the Austrian Open, Canada Cup (now known as the "Rendezvous"), and the US Senior Nationals. She came out of retirement to win the 1984 World Judo Championships, becoming the first person representing the United States to win a World Judo Championships (her name at the time was Ann-Maria Burns).
Ann Maria is now a 6th dan and has a very interesting blog called The Business/Judo of Life. Oh and one last thing I thought I should mention is that she is also the mother of Ronda Rousey, former Olympic Bronze medalist and current UFC Bantamweight champion.
Go check it out now. Click here