Georges St-Pierre Applies 19th-Century Psychological Theory to UFC 154 Training
Montreal - UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has developed a reputation as being almost businesslike in his dealings with the press. Well, as businesslike as a man that makes his living standing inside a cage and fighting another man can be. In other words, if you’re expecting some type of eyebrow-raising quote from the UFC welterweight champion, you’re going to be waiting a long time.
St-Pierre spoke to the media on Thursday inside Montreal’s New City Gas nightclub, and while he pretty much kept his answers to what we have all come to expect from him, he did pull back the curtain just a bit. The longtime champion riffed on a 19th-century psychological theory and how it has helped him in approaching Saturday night’s welterweight title unification bout against interim champion Carlos Condit.
When asked when he ever felt this at ease entering a fight, St-Pierre revealed, “I’ve never really felt like this to tell you the truth. Before I felt like this, but I was very crazy nervous, I’m very nervous, don’t get me wrong, but it’s all about acting.
It’s about confidence, it’s called the James-Lange theory—your mind can dictate your body. If you’re scared, if you want a drink, you’re thirsty, your body tells your mind you want water, your body tells your mind to grab the water, but the other way around is possible too.
James-Lange theory, that means I’m scared, I’m nervous, but I act like it’s all good and I’m all good and my body will dictate my mind.”
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St-Pierre then implored the media to read about this “very interesting subject.” So that’s what I did.
Wiliam James and Carl Lange developed the James-Lange theory independently in 1885. In it’s simplest form the theory posits that we base our emotion on psychological changes brought about by a stimulus.
Continuing on the subject, St-Pierre said, “It’s a good trick, every athlete does it. Michael Jordan, before he became successful he was acting like a champion. Tiger Woods, everyone does it, it’s all in the mind.”
St-Pierre did not take part in Thursday’s open workouts and he had his reasons for not doing so, “My training is done, there’s nothing I can do to be stronger, sharper, better than I am. The only thing I can change is my mind. I try and stay positive and enjoy every second of it.”
Of course the subject that has been on almost everyone’s mind over the past week or so did come up and it was addressed in a terse manner by St-Pierre who had obviously heard enough about the expected appearance of Anderson Silva at UFC 154, “He doesn’t take any of my focus. I don’t care about him. He can do whatever he wants. I focus on one thing and that’s Carlos Condit.”
And focused St-Pierre is, he’s even taken to applying the trick that many sports teams use when they reach the playoffs and that is staying at a hotel for a home fight and treating it as any other bout that he competes in outside of Montreal.
**all quotes gathered first hand by BR MMA
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