For the past month, UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre has been chronicling his fighting life through an exclusive blog on Yardbarker.com — a fan-driven sports site that happens to be CagePotato’s new content partner. In last Thursday’s installment (re-published below), St. Pierre writes about traveling to Brazil to drill his jiu-jitsu at the Gracie Barra Academy in Rio. You can keep up with future entries on GSP’s blog at yardbarker.com/georgesstpierre. Enjoy…
MORE TRAVEL WOES: I was going to Brazil, but unfortunately my plane was delayed until the next morning and I had to spend the night in Toronto. So I called my friend Steven Wong, who is the craziest Asian guy that I know, by the way. He came to pick me up & we went to eat at The Keg, which is one of my favorite steakhouses because their quality/price is good and their waitresses are normally beautiful. So after another of my friends came to meet us at the restaurant — he’s a club promoter and I asked him where was the best places to go out on a Tuesday night in Toronto. We finally ended up somewhere pretty good. I also called my friend and BJJ instructor from Montreal who now lives in Toronto, Bruno Hernandez, to come reach me. I had a very fun night and I came back in my hotel not too late because I didn’t want to be tired the next morning when I catch my flight to Brazil. The next morning, I woke up at 6am and I went to the airport. I really looked like a zombie that morning. Because the flight was carrying many of the passengers from the previous night’s cancelled flight, the plane was packed. So unfortunately, I spent 10 hours on a plane stuck between 2 Canadian heavyweights it was probably the longest & most boring flight of my life. However, my flight from Sao Paolo to Rio was a bit more interesting, as the Brazilian Olympic team was also on the plane and I made new friends.
IRON SHARPENS IRON – PART A: I started training immediately the next day, because that’s the purpose of my trip — training. The classes at Gracie Barra Academy were under the supervision of Jefferson, a former world champion in BJJ, who is an excellent instructor, by the way. Jefferson taught me a lot of new tricks and he helped me change a lot of bad habits that I was doing in the past on the ground. It was my 2nd time at Gracie Barra & my 2nd visit to Brazil — this time I came alone with no friends from Canada — it was actually very good for my Portugese because I was forced to speak the language of the country. I was training also with my friend Gustavo Machado and Aloiso Barros, who is supposed to fight 9/13 in Montreal. I also had the chance one of my friends from my last trip to Brazil, Master Roberto Leiton, who came from a background of luta livre. Luta Livre is a martial art similar to jiu jitsu, but without the gi/kimono. I met with Mr. Leiton one night and for a couple of hours, he showed me some really great grappling techniques that will make me a better fighter, without a doubt. He told me he’s coming out with a book that has all this stuff in it, and I plan to buy a copy when it’s available. This trip was definitely worthwhile — I had an amazing time once again and I look forward to getting back there soon. I apologize to everybody for not being able to blog on my trip — thank you for understanding.
IRON SHARPENS IRON – PART B: Before I finish, I just want to mention the three great performances of my good friends and training partners, who all won their fights by first-round knockouts — Denis Kang, Nathan Marquardt, and Rashad Evans. I’m very blessed and honored to be training with those kinds of fighters, who are not only elite athletes, but they are great human beings as well.