Road to Recovery: The Story of Ronda Rousey’s Arm Bar

At age 15, Ronda practiced arm bar, after arm bar, after arm bar; due to an ACL injury she sustained. In what she referred to as an ‘advantageous disadvantage’, she worked tirelessly to perfect her arm bar. It was that setback that paved the way for Ronda to become who she was meant to be.

Ronda Rousey: including stem cell, I’ve had seven knee surgeries.  All in my right knee.  No ACL. No cartilage.

My ACL tore during my MMA career, so I got it repaired but the graft tore a long time ago. I’ve been operating with no ACL and barely any cartilage for probably maybe last four or five years.

My ACL injury is probably one of the more formative events of my career. It’s one of the instances I cite where I talk about advantageous disadvantages. I tore my ACL so I spent an entire year doing just arm bars on arm bars. That’s what I think really brought me to the next level. It forced me to really not do all of my favorite throws.  The throws required me standing on my right leg. I had to pretty much think of an entire repertoire of throws that didn’t involve my right leg. By the time my knee healed, I had double the amount of throws and a sick ground game, so it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

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