The Way of the Fightby Georges St-Pierre
There’s more to winning battles than fists and feet
For world-renowned professional fighter Georges St-Pierre, the greatest asset is not physical strength or athleticism—it’s a sense of purpose. From his beginnings as a small, mercilessly bullied child first discovering karate to his years as a struggling garbage collector who spent all/b>
There’s more to winning battles than fists and feet
For world-renowned professional fighter Georges St-Pierre, the greatest asset is not physical strength or athleticism—it’s a sense of purpose. From his beginnings as a small, mercilessly bullied child first discovering karate to his years as a struggling garbage collector who spent all his free time in the gym, his hard-fought rise in the sport of mixed martial arts, and his long, painful recovery from a career-threatening injury, Georges never lost sight of his ambition to become the greatest martial artist of all time. In The Way of the Fight, Georges for the first time reveals what propelled him not only to become a champion but to embrace obstacles as opportunities to build character.
Georges’s story is interwoven with fascinating insights from those who know him best: his mother, who tells of his drive to master new skills, even as a child. His mentor Kristof Midoux, who describes a young fighter with an extraordinary sense of discipline. His Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teacher John Danaher, who witnessed the development of an indomitable work ethic. His coach Firas Zahabi, who worked alongside the champion through a potentially career-ending injury. And his longtime friend, training partner and manager, Rodolphe Beaulieu, who may understand this intensely focused athlete more than anyone.
The Way of the Fight is an inspirational look into the mindset of a master. To Georges, all life is competition, and there’s no more perfect metaphor for competition than the life of a fighter. He explains the value of discipline, risk and even fear, with the wisdom of one who knows that nothing is assured—his next fight could always be his last. Drawing inspiration from fighting legends, Eastern philosophy and a trusted inner circle, The Way of the Fight is a powerful, life-changing guide to living with purpose and finding the way to accomplish your loftiest goals.
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Read an Excerpt
The Way of the Fight
By Georges St. Pierre
HarperCollins PublishersCopyright © 2013 Georges St. Pierre
All rights reserved.
One thing about Georges: he'll always tell you
exactly what he thinks. He was cut from the same
cloth as his dad and granddad. Both were hardworking
and very, very direct. His granddad was nicknamed
'The Bionic One'—Le Bionic. Anyway, he's very opinion-
ated and not afraid to face the truth, even though
he's able to let other people's insults slide off him like
water off a duck's back. In fact, you want to
know the real Georges? He stays friends with his foes.
Le v'la ton Georges! There's your real Georges.
I'm scared because I'm thinking of a moment that changed my
life and altered who I am, and I can't get away from it. I real-
ize that being scared is part of who I am. Fear is the genesis of
most of the good things that have occurred in my life. Fear is the
beginning of every success I've lived.
But it affects my perspective, both physical and logical. That's
the way it works. It doesn't just change what happens inside of
you, it also immediately impacts how you relate to the world all
around you. How—or if—you remember. Because of fear, other
information that seems totally basic and elementary—like what
you were doing and why you were there—are gone. The present
loses its power when pitted against fear.
Fear is magical and possesses all kinds of superpowers. All
it takes is a few words or a flash of images to trigger its strength.
And the moment you see or hear whatever it is that scared you,
your life changes.
And yet, because I'm scared, details I don't usually notice are
right there in my mind—I can see them and their shapes, I can
sense them, and I feel like I could reach out and touch them. But
not the whole picture; some things dissolve.
And that's what happened to me on the day my good friend
Dr. SÃ?bastien Simard called my mobile.
20 the way of the fight
In fact, I'm sitting here trying to think of where I was when
the phone rang, but I can't remember. I'd like to know what I
was doing when I took the call, but that's not possible either. The
memories attached to that moment are lost somewhere inside
me, and I know it's because of the fear.
What I can recall—and the clarity of that recollection is odd,
like a slow-motion dream—is that I was standing in a long hall-
way, alone. I see white walls and a hall and I'm walking down
the middle of it toward who knows where. The phone rings and
I know I have to answer because it's my surgeon. I stop, which is
odd because usually I walk and talk. But here I stop, I look at the
screen and see his name, I push the button and I put the phone to
my ear. And this is when he tells me: “Georges, you have a torn
ACL. Your knee ligament is fully torn. You need major surgery.
You're not fighting for a long time.”
Ever since I was nine years old I've known the unique feel-
ing generated by fear. It makes me laugh now, but that's because
I know better. It's because, without the bullies and the assholes
and the jerks, I would never have become who I am today. I
would never have been lucky enough to prove them wrong. I
would be somebody different, and nobody can know who that
person would or might have been. I just don't care about the pos-
sibilities because I can't change any of the things that have come
before me. All I know for certain is the present.
I've also known for a long time that fear comes in two pack-
ages: good and bad.
Here's an example of good fear. When I was twelve years
old, my buddies and I would gear up on winter days and plan
these big street fights in our neighborhood. All the kids from
my street or my neighborhood. We wore these big, thick winter
coats, toques and gloves to protect ourselves from the minus-30
Celsius Canadian winters. We'd have these epic battles and beat
each other in the snow until someone gave up. I was pretty good
at that, but sometimes I ate my share of whoopings, especially
from the older kids. We were trying to prove who was tough and
I was really proud, so, many times, I got whooped. There were
no head shots, just body blows. It was fun. I was scared, but I
went anyway because I didn't want to be teased for being scared.
It taught me to be humble. You learn to understand that others
can be stronger than you.
I wasn't always the strong one. Fear made me. It's why I am
in love with my own fear. Don't misunderstand me: I don't like
fear, but I do love it, and there's a major difference there. Because
of what my fear makes me do. Because of how my fear has made
me who I am. Some of my fears are terrifying, paralyzing, and I
won't talk to you about those. They take my sleep and my com-
fort away from me. So not here, not now. Because I'm not ready
for that yet. I can't. I won't. I'm not a machine.
MOTHER: My Georges came out two weeks late. He had lesions
on his face, and soon after that he had scabs all over. There
were five or six doctors checking on him all the time. We
were really scared for him.
The truth is that I didn't start as a winner. When I was a
kid, I was just another reject. I started at the bottom. I think all
It was a physical thing, most probably. For some reason I
don't know, I was addicted to licking my lips. I couldn't stop.
Excerpted from The Way of the Fight by Georges St. Pierre. Copyright © 2013 Georges St. Pierre. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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Meet the Author
Georges "Rush" St-Pierre, also known as "GSP," is a Canadian professional mixed martial artist and world champion who holds black belts in both Kyokushin karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Recog-nized as one of the planet's best pound-for-pound MMA fighters and all-around athletes, as well as a three-time Canadian Athlete of the Year, GSP lives in Montreal and travels around the world to work with the best coaches and training partners in all disciplines.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Georges St-Pierre really puts life into perspective in this book. He throws various ways to overcome simple aspects of our daily lives like fear. He explains how he overcame some of his fears. He also includes how the loss to Matt Serra drives him. He also includes philosophers quotes and thoughts from Confucius and several others. I read this in 2 days and it is a great read!
Great look inside the mind and life of GSP!