St-Pierre: Innovate or die


In the excerpt below from his book, The Way of the Fight, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre discusses the importance of constantly getting better and being an innovator, an attribute he contributes much of his success to: 

That’s why “innovate or die” rings true for me. My whole life, I’ve been fascinated by the natural world and how animals survive or become extinct. The study of dinosaurs is especially interesting because those creatures aren’t here anymore, and they were the biggest, fiercest living things on the planet. Meanwhile, rats and cockroaches survive.

How is that? A cockroach can’t defeat a dinosaur. But the cockroach is better at one thing, and it has ensured its survival through the ages: adaptation. One could adapt to the environment and the other one couldn’t.

Most people don’t realize this basic, fundamental and crucial thing, and it’s key for mixed martial arts–and all sports, in fact. Your opponent constantly changes too. In the mixed martial arts world you fight wrestlers, leg lockers, punchers. Every time you fight, your opponent doesn’t look anything like the previous opponent. Taking it a step further, if it’s the second time you fight an opponent, he often doesn’t look like the previous version.

I fight knockout artists, grapplers, kickers, wrestlers, punchers–the whole gamut. I have to keep adapting to new hostile environments because what happens in the octagon is ever-changing. This is ingrained in my mind, and I’ve adapted my training to accept and prepare for it. …


… I’ve learned that my innovative capacities seem to rise up when there’s a crisis, a conflict. Like losing my title, for example, or hurting my knee badly. Those situations told me I needed to continue my innovation to recapture my title, my place in martial arts. The way I see it, innovation is a discipline, not a lottery. It’s got nothing to do with luck, or even eureka moments, because those are unplanned, unscripted. For me, it comes from the combination of two elements within my control: hard work and open-mindedness.

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Recent Comments »

dubate site profile image  

5/17/13 6:50 PM by dubate

We would also have accepted "God, I hope he doesn't innovate."

Bucephalus site profile image  

5/16/13 4:19 PM by Bucephalus

RIP George

Foos site profile image  

5/16/13 4:17 PM by Foos

I bet GSP will become a great trainer one day. I like his mindset

athsportsnutrition site profile image  

5/16/13 3:51 PM by athsportsnutrition

One of the most expanding martial artists out there.

UGCTT_Messiah site profile image  

5/16/13 3:50 PM by UGCTT_Messiah

I read the entire book in his accent. It was awesome. ( I was pretty high). Good book, btw. Better than I expected.

Billyz site profile image  

5/16/13 3:23 PM by Billyz

Can't wait to read the dozens of comments on how he sucks etc etc.

Ironhouse site profile image  

5/16/13 3:17 PM by Ironhouse

Someone training based on science, logic, and evolution, about time!

Kid Charlemagne site profile image  

5/16/13 2:54 PM by Kid Charlemagne

Many truths

R1WARRIOR site profile image  

5/16/13 2:15 PM by R1WARRIOR

You beat me to it!

dubate site profile image  

5/16/13 1:19 PM by dubate

I always thought the best title for his book would have been "I am not impressed with your performance". It would have been perfect, it is most famous quote and what all of his critics say about him.