The Way of the Fight by Georges St Pierre
March 27th, 2010.
Welterweight Championship fight.
And my apathy could not have been more apparent.
I knew nothing of UFC. I knew that it could be exciting, and I had enjoyed previous minor experiences, but my interest was minimal at best. For whatever reason, though, I was pulled from the comfort of my lonely, college apartment, on a perfect Saturday night for being lonely in said apartment back in March of 2010, to watch this card with some friends at a Hooters that was by no means a short drive from our college campus.
Honestly, the only thing I remember is the loser, Dan Hardy, escaping submission attempts that he never should have been able to escape, developing an ongoing joke that Hardy is the greatest fighter to ever live, a joke found humorous by only myself.
Hardy’s opponent meant nothing to me then. Again, my ignorance of the Ultimate Fighting Championship was unmatched. It has progressed only slightly over time, but the tiny amounts of knowledge I did gain over the next few years pointed me towards the acknowledgement of the winner of that fight being, if not, arguably, THE best pound-for-pound fighter to ever live, at least my favorite.
Georges St Pierre, everybody. Also known as GSP to the “in” crowd. He retired as I was reading his book, which was gifted to me by a friend who is a top 1 percenter in UFC knowledge and lingo.
I promise this isn’t intentional, and if you have not purchased my book yet, you should do so here, but GSP was 31 when he wrote The Way of the Fight. Thirty-one, as you will know after reading my book, is the same thing as 30. As is 28, 29, and 32, but I digress.
St. Pierre is an interesting man. I cannot say that he and I would mesh well in a social environment, but there are two things in particular on which we agree at the highest earthly level: (1) Devotion to routine and structure and (2) Fondness for authenticity.
His “Master” and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teacher, John Danaher, says, I have a belief that all human greatness is founded upon routine, that truly great human behavior is impossible without this central part of your life being set up and governed by routine. All greatness comes out of an investment in time and the perfection of skills that render you great. And so, show me almost any great person in the world who exhibits some kind of extraordinary skills, and I’ll show you a person whose life is governed largely by routine.
Danaher recalls St. Pierre spending hours on end for a single technique, and Georges lays out his nightly routine for us in his introduction. The 2-time Welterweight World Champion… the 9-time successful Welterweight Title defender… the Middleweight World Champion… is a machine.
Maybe you’ve heard of the Five Love Languages, coined by a man named Gary Chapman. In his philosophical concept, he explains that there are five different ways to show and feel loved: Physical touch, quality time, acts of service, giving or receiving gifts, and words of affirmation. The man has saved marriages and sold millions of copies of his book.
I tell you this story because I am personally convinced that all human beings desire words of affirmation, whether we are aware of such or not. It is in all of us to crave it.
In the same way, I am personally convinced that all human beings will thrive on routine. I have witnessed this firsthand. Schedules and order. Systems and process. Never “just wing it.” Those who do stumble more often than not, either over words, memories, or mountains of tasks that grow ever taller and wider.
GSP is a king of such lifestyles. When other fighters would have taken a shortcut, Georges had developed a routine that would not allow for energy savers. He was structured for victory, posting a professional record of 26-2, with his only two defeats taking place in 2004 and 2007, the latter occurring nearly twelve years prior to retirement.
If you want to know my thoughts on authenticity in substantial detail, you have to read my book. Or read this one to know Georges St. Pierre’s.
If you are a self-pronounced fan of UFC or GSP, this is a must read. Why not? There is no reason why I should know more about Georges St. Pierre than anyone who watches UFC on a regular basis. No reason.