Justin Kingsley wanted to find the best way to tell Georges St. Pierre’s story.
The product is “Way of the Fight,” a book Kingsley wrote with the UFC welterweight champion while he recovered from a knee injury.
In an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” show, Kingsley -- a partner at the Montreal-based Sid Lee creative agency that counts St. Pierre as a client -- discussed what makes the champion tick and much more.
On St. Pierre’s constant activity: “I remember on a Saturday night, we were at his place watching some fights and there were four or five guys there. We’re sitting down watching the fight, but he can’t do it. He even tried. He tried to force himself to sit down. He’s watching as he walks back and forth, picking up stuff, moving stuff here and there, putting his stuff in the washer. He never, ever stops moving.”
On St. Pierre’s attitude: “He’s a person who never stops moving, but he’s always watching. He’s always looking. … His situational awareness is off the charts because he’s always looking, and he has this attitude that he’s so open-minded about everything that it makes him a really interesting person to be around because he’s seeking new knowledge. When I try to describe him, I say this is a man who treats the world like a knowledge hardware store. He just walks around and picks up knowledge and takes it home and puts it in his workshop, packages it, keeps what he needs, discards the rest and gets better.”
On the people around St. Pierre: “For him it’s not about an entourage. I’d have to say it’s more about a team. He creates teams around him and he surrounds himself with people whom he thinks are better than him at a certain function. That’s how he’s learned. When he was 17 years old and started beating guys who were winning some pretty big fights professionally … instead of taking that little prize money and buying a car or clothes, he invested it in himself and started going to New York, where he could find new martial arts teachers who could teach him things that no one here in Montreal was teaching at the time. This is a person who’s always understood that he needs to hire his weaknesses.”
On whether St. Pierre likes the constant attention he receives: “This is a discreet, humble individual. Anytime you put someone like that in the spotlight, there’s a certain discomfort. But the thing about Georges is he’s got this personality that’s so powerful, it draws people to him. He’s so warm and nice to everybody. He believes that other people will treat you the way you treat them.”
On the criticism St. Pierre receives: “I think he loves it. I think he spoons it up and eats it like gruel and it motivates him. I really do. I think a lot of the criticisms, if you don’t like someone, that’s one thing, but to try to justify it with some facts is another thing. He’s very good at letting stuff like that just flow off his back.”
On how St. Pierre has handled fame and fortune: “This is a man who knows how to live on five dollars a day and did for a bunch of years. He had the same smile on his face back then that he has now because he was training and doing martial arts. I don’t think he gives a rat’s ass about all that stuff, to be really honest with you.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 55:55).