The 8 Sides of Georges St-Pierre

By Jason Santerre

He makes a living inside the brutal, bloody environs of an octagonal ring, but in an exclusive chat with Montréal enSanté magazine, Georges St-Pierre proves he’s much more than an Ultimate Fighting Championship athlete. A complex competitor and an intense individual, he’s become a role model for anyone who’s had to fight for what they believe in. From dealing with bullies as a child to his renowned fitness regimen, he offers insight and wisdom. Fresh off an ambassadorial trip to Japan, the pride of St-Isidore, QC is back and eager to rehab his injured knee so he can retain his UFC welterweight title.

MES : How did bullying affect your life’s path?

GSP : Bullying played a role in defining who I am and what I’ve become. It’s something I always carry with me. I believe that all the decisions I made in life made me who I am today, and bullying is one of many things that influenced those decisions.

“In the end, bullying is about insecurity and ignorance.”

MES : Is that why you studied karate from an early age?

GSP : Karate is a great example of my frame of mind. In karate, the secret is to always keep the white-belt mentality even when you become a black belt. I’ve never been afraid of going outside of my comfort zone, learning new things.

MES : As you step into the octagon, do you envision the kids who bullied you in your youth?

GSP : All of my focus is on what I have to do to win. I don’t live with anger or the desire for revenge. My only revenge is to help stop bullying as best I can.

MES : What are your thoughts on bullying today?

GSP : Bullying is worse today than when I was a kid. The reality of technology is that bullies can do more than just follow you home or pick on you at school. Now bullies come into your home. They can be anywhere. The impact is huge. It means a kid who needs help never gets a break from bullies.

“I often say that for me to be strong is to know what makes me weak.”

MES : What advice do you give kids?

GSP : Tout d’abord, je ne prétends pas être un expert en la matière. Je peux parler de mes expériences et orienter les gens vers des ressources adéquates. c’est quelque chose que tout adulte devrait être capable de faire. Nous avons tant de bonnes ressources à notre disposition.

MES : What advice do you give kids?

GSP : First of all, I don’t pretend to be an expert. I can talk about my experiences and refer people to the right resources. It’s something any adult should be able to do. There are so many great resources available.

MES: What does a typical day of training entail?

GSP : I don’t know if I have one ‘typical’ day of training. I think about it a lot so it’s like I train 24 hours a day, but this is my life—I always try to get better. My training always evolves. Right now, all the rehab work that I’m doing on my knee will change the way I train in the future.

MES : How do you mentally prepare in the hours leading up to a fight?

GSP : I visualize. I go through the things I have to do to win and I keep my focus on the performance. I also like to hang out with friends and other fighters, people who understand what it’s like to step into the octagon with millions of people watching.

“I’d rather practice one kick a thousand times than a thousand kicks once.”

MES : Out of all your fighting styles, which one is most important in the octagon?

GSP : They change from one opponent to another, and everything that happens in the octagon is intense. I think the key is not to be the best in every discipline but to be the most efficient in mixing all of them. I’d rather practice one kick a thousand times than a thousand kicks once.

MES : What’s your best advice for people looking to get healthy despite a busy lifestyle?

GSP : I think people have to know how to find a balance in everything they do. I watch what I eat, but I also eat a good burger or chocolate cake if I want. I train hard, but I also take time to rest and make time with friends. We’re not machines.

MES: What’s next for you?

GSP: First thing is to recover 100 percent from my recent knee surgery and climb back into the octagon to become champion again. I made that promise to my fans after I injured my knee, and every ounce of energy I have is going toward keeping my word to my fans and regaining my title.

Resources For Kids, Parents, Teachers:
Georges St-Pierre’s website has an entire section devoted to bullying and related resources.
Check it out here:

Tel-Jeunes is a free, confidential resource for young people throughout Quebec, available 24/7;

Kids Help Phone is free, anonymous and confidential. Professional counsellors are available anytime, day or night.

Spring 2012, Vol 4 N°2

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