While in Tokyo, Japan for this Saturday’s UFC 144 super-card, martial arts aficionado Georges St-Pierre took the opportunity to train in the birthplace of hand-to-hand combat.
The reigning UFC welterweight champion, who has always considered himself a martial artist first and foremost, takes instruction on how to use a katana (traditional Japanese curved sword) from children from the Kawai Kindergarden School in Tokyo.
‘GSP’ — who has mastered so many martial arts and added them to his Octagon skillset when he was not busy with his own workouts (speaking of, don’t forget to check this exercise program, which we will be doing a full review of soon!) — was taken to school by the kids when it came to Kenjutsu. “In school in Canada, we play hockey,” said St-Pierre. “I always wanted to be a Samurai when I was a kid, but those kids hit me pretty hard.”
St-Pierre fared much better when he visited the Kyokushin Karate school. The champ took an appreciative class through a series of katas (Japanese for ‘form’, practicing individual techniques) and was clearly very excited to be at the birthplace of the ancient martial art.
“Karate was the first martial art I was every taught,” he said. “It is an honor to be here where it started. For me, karate will always be a very important part of me. It is not just a fighting style, it is a way of life.”
GSP, along with UFC President Dana White also exchanged gifts with Saitama City Mayor Hayato Shimizu during a visit to Saitama City Hall.