Wednesday, August 7, 2013

4 Lessons from GSP's early days

In Georges St-Pierre's book The Way of the Fight, he talks about how it was a humbling experience getting beat by smaller guys in Jiu Jitsu and notes how he had a lot of doubts when he trained with BJJ instructor Sean Williams when he was first coming up:

In those days, despite the fact that he was smaller than me, when he and I fought, Sean would easily finalize me six or seven times in five minutes. That’s more than once minute, which is clearly inferior and pathetic. And to top off the humiliation, my girlfriend at the time —who had come to New York a couple of times and watched us spar—told me Sean was very good-looking. Let’s just say I started going to New York alone after that trip. But Sean was the only guy who didn’t target me; his students did that. Despite finalizing me so easily so many times, Sean was the one telling me not to be discouraged because he could see in my eyes that I was losing hope. I was ready to quit, but he caught me just in time. We’re still friends and train together when I’m in Los Angeles. I affectionately call him my worst nightmare. He still can't believe I almost quit back in the day, and he still reminds me of that all the time!

There are four good lessons which can be learned from this experience GSP had back in the day in NYC:

1. Everyone goes through a tough time in the beginning and has a lot of doubts. These feelings are normal. Georges St-Pierre wasn't superhuman, he went through the same growing pains and humbling predicaments.

2. If you stop you will prevent yourself from becoming great. If Georges St-Pierre quit back in those days when it was too hard and he was getting tapped out by small BJJ players, then he wouldn't go on to become of the greatest fighters of all time in the UFC and in the sport as a whole.

3. You can handle it. You can handle getting tapped out by small people, you pride will be able to sustain that blow, and your ego will be fine. These bruises are not real, just psychological mental formations which are getting "hurt". If the goal is to become great, part of the process is sucking very badly in the beginning. Just hang in there and you will eventually be the master.

4. A champion is just a guy who didn't quit and kept on going. If you just keep on going you will eventually improve and get past any perceived roadblocks and obstacles. Renzo Gracie shares this point of view that if you just stick with it you will eventually become great, become a champion, realize your dream.

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