She may have started with judo at the age of 12, won her first medal at 16, and was the first American to win a gold medal at the World Judo Championships in 1984, but there’s a lot more to today’s guest, Dr. AnnMaria De Mars than that, as she’s also built a phenomenally successful career in technology and games development.
The Julia Group is a not for profit organization that began within the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation. Together with tech company 7th Generation Games, they’re developing video games that combine math, history, and adventure gaming. The highlight of these games, and something Dr. DeMars is immensely proud of, is that they are inclusive and bilingual, to include all children’s ways of learning.
In our interview, we talk about how Dr. De Mars went from a gold medal judo champion to a games developer and professional at the University of Southern California. We look at the current state of judo. And we touch on ways you can help support 7th Generation Games, from sharing the games on social media, leaving reviews on the App Store and Google Play, or bigger requests, such as sponsoring a school.
Do you feel called to make a dramatic pivot in your career? How would you stand up against adversity? Have you ever healed yourself through physical activity?
In This Episode:
- How Dr. De Mars channeled her teenage anger into something productive, like judo, instead of dangerous activities
- How Dr. De Mars identified drinking with lack of action and why she quit drinking for a year
- Would she change any parts of her early life if it would have meant different coping mechanisms
- What it was like to change her career path and start working for herself
- How the role out of these unique maths programs impacted the communities they’ve been released in
- Why it’s so important to find other people who support you and what you’re doing
- What it was like to start dating again after losing her husband at middle age
- How has judo changed since the 1980’s and whether or not it’s changed for the better
- How do you create boundaries and safeguards when faced with resistance, especially to safeguard children
“If you give kids less math, they’re going to learn less math.” 19:20
“Women aren’t judged on their accomplishments. Women are judged on their potential.” 24:16
“I do think that gaslighting happens to everybody, and you have to guard against it.” 28:10
“Being a good manager is all about seeing what needs to be done and then doing it.” 34:13
“There’s a lot to the building character aspects of judo, but a lot of that is just talk. Sports doesn’t build character, it reveals it.” 52:32
“Help your kids and they will like it. There’s no downside to that.” 1:09:54