AnnMaria De Mars

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AnnMaria De Mars
Personal information
Birth name AnnMaria Waddell[1]
Nationality  United States
Born (1958-08-15) August 15, 1958 (age 56)
Residence California
Weight 56 kg (123 lb; 8.8 st)
Sport Judo
Rank Rokudan (6th Degree BlackBelt)*

AnnMaria De Mars (born August 15, 1958), formerly known as Ann-Maria Burns is an English American judoka. She was the first American to win at the World Judo Championships, winning the 1984 tournament in the -56 kg class. She is the mother of Ronda Rousey, an Olympic bronze medalist judoka and mixed martial arts Bantamweight world champion; and of María Burns Ortiz, a sports journalist who serves as the social media columnist for and as a contributor to Fox News Latino.[2]

De Mars was born on the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. She grew up in the small community of Alton, Illinois and began her judo career at the age of 12 at a local YMCA.

Competitive judo career[edit]

De Mars 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, De Mars 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.

De Mars 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.

De Mars 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).

Career after judo[edit]

Following her judo successes, De Mars married a second time and had more children. Her third child, Ronda Rousey, has also been successful in judo earning a gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Judo Championships and a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics. She is now a professional mixed martial artist and still UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion.

De Mars pursued further study, including an MA and PhD in educational psychology from the University of California, Riverside. She also taught college for several years at Jamestown College in North Dakota.

De Mars' husband died in 1995 due to complications relating to Bernard-Soulier syndrome following a sledding accident. She remarried in 1997 and moved to Southern California where she currently resides. She had a fourth child in 1998.

Circa 2001, De Mars co-founded Spirit Lake Consulting with Erich Longie April St. Pierre. The company strives to improve life on Indian reservations and in other disadvantaged communities.

In 2006, De Mars was elected Vice President of the USJA, ahead of Peter Contardo. She remarked: "I think it is important for women to not only be in follower positions as supporters and students, but also in leadership positions."

In 2008, De Mars was hired by the University of Southern California ITS Customer Support Department as a Statistical Consultant. She has over 27 years experience working in SAS and has contributed through her many Wiki and Blog Pages. She supports both UPC and HSC Campuses including the satellite office in Orange County.


  1. ^ "California Birth Index > Ronda Jean Rousey". Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Seven Questions for Ronda Rousey’s Mom". Fightland. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 

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