Gompers Judo Program
Ronda Rousey started the Gompers Judo program in 2009. Ronda’s sister Jennifer was previously a student teacher at Gompers Middle School. When the school was looking for someone who would be willing to teach Judo, Ronda immediately volunteered her time to begin the after school program.
In 2013, Ronda Rousey donated several items to be auctioned off to send 5 students and 1 teacher to the AAU Judo Nationals in Kansas City. After the auction ended, Gompers Judo faced the dilemma to have to cut one student from the trip because there were not enough funds to send all 5 students.
Upon hearing this news, Ronda Rousey came to the rescue and donated the remainder of additional funds necessary to make sure that all 5 students would be able to go with their coach.
In May of 2014, Ronda raised money for travel, accommodations, and tournament fees to send 7 students and 2 teachers to a Judo tournament hosted by the Great Guerreros Family Shiai. The Gompers Judo kids were also able to attend a Judo clinic the day before at Millennia MMA.
As the tournament came to a close, the Gompers Judo program took home 6 trophies in total, but more importantly the experience of competing against some of the best in the area.
Even though some of their opponents practiced at larger facilities their entire lives, the Gompers students received an opportunity of a lifetime to embrace Ronda’s motto,
“Nobody has the right to beat you!”
Ronda’s passion for Judo and giving back can be directly attributed to her mom, Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, who has since taken over the program for Ronda. While Ronda still remains an important figure in the success of Gompers Judo, her mom, along with sensei Jose Gonzales have taken over the weekly practices.
With virtually no budget and the program running off of the time donated by others, Gompers Judo is in need of donations for mats, tournament fees, travel fees, Judo Gis, etc. Funds raised during Ronda’s charity auctions have been used to pay for all of these things.