John Danaher recently featured on Lex Fridman’s podcast and spoke about a number of topics, from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, to philosophy and MMA: including his student with the most success in MMA, Georges St-Pierre. Naturally when discussing one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, the conversation turned towards the key to his success. Danaher largely put down GSP’s successful career due to his strong mindset and work ethic. He also described that it was wrong for people to label GSP as ‘mentally weak’ because he was often scared of fighting. Danaher added that this was due to GSP’s high expectations and fear of failure, claiming that he was “Mentally, as strong as an ox.”
The New Zealander also mentioned GSP’s committed lifestyle, literally traveling hours by bus from Montreal to go and train in New York City. He said, “Imagine investing 25% of your weekly income, maybe even 50%, to come down and get your ass-kicked (doing BJJ), month by month. Let’s talk about the idea of delayed gratification. That’s a guy saying it’s highly unpleasant, but I have this idea in the future, and I have to go through the case of extreme delayed gratification to achieve this goal in the future that may not even happen. That’s the level of commitment and self-belief he has that is just extraordinary.”
Later on, Danaher also mentioned how St Pierre went on to pioneer ‘shoot boxing’, a term that describes GSP’s karate striking, mixed in with grappling to score takedowns in the cage. GSP had trained Karate since the age of 7 to defend himself from school bullies, he now has a 3rd degree Kyokushin black belt that took years to achieve. Danaher claimed that at the time, shoot boxing was a rarity in MMA and added “Shootboxing was barely even a category of skill when Georges began. There was the idea that you took someone down in the same way that wrestlers did it and threw some punches before it. Georges largely pioneered the science of creating an interface between striking and takedowns, at a time that no one else before him and made it a system or a science. He did it largely on his own.” With this said, it was a great insight into the mind of not just John Danaher, but also Georges St-Pierre who clearly changed MMA forever.
The below video is an excerpt from an episode of the Lex Fridman podcast featuring John Danaher where he discusses the secrets behind the success of Georges St-Pierre, click here to watch the full episode.