Move over Lyoto Machida, there's a new "Karate Kid" in town. Well, he's been here all along, we just didn't realize it.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has long been considered one of the best wrestlers in all of mixed martial arts (MMA).
And rightfully so.
During his reign as champion, "Rush" has dominated the grappling aspect of his fights (and just about everything else), including taking down and controlling accomplished collegiate wrestlers like Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes and Jon Fitch.
You would think with his repeated success, the French-Canadian attended a top notch NCAA wrestling powerhouse college and earned countless "All American" credentials and national titles, right?
St. Pierre says the secret to his success all begins with his karate background, an aspect of MMA he's been dabbling in since the age of seven. "Rush" spilled the beans during his recent appearance on "The Joe Rogan Experience:
"That's what I use for my takedown, the shoot, that people see, it's zero wrestling. It has nothing to do with my wrestling. My wrestling is once I get that leg, I'll finish the takedown. But how I get in and out is because of karate. People are like, ‘no way, Karate, no.' And I'm like, 'yes.' Karate allows me to cut the distance and take the people down. I have a very good single, a very good double and very good penetration. It's because of my leg, the way I do it, and the timing is because of my karate. I wrestle, too, but my karate is primary. Before I started wrestling, I was a karate guy pure."
And while Georges doesn't necessarily have the traditional karate fighting stance such as the one demonstrated by the aforementioned Machida, he is a third-degree black belt in Kyokushin, a discipline he studies to this day.
Stances aside, "GSP" has proven that his grappling prowess all goes back to his Karate roots and it's a discipline he won't be abandoning anytime soon. As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
And we can expect to see an enrollment increase at karate dojos everywhere in the near future.