Georges St-Pierre, John Danaher & Gordon Ryan: The Greatest of All Time | Lex Fridman Podcast #260 | Summary and Q&A

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January 30, 2022
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Georges St-Pierre, John Danaher & Gordon Ryan: The Greatest of All Time | Lex Fridman Podcast #260

TL;DR

George St. Pierre, John Danaher, and Gordon Ryan discuss the key factors to their success in combat sports, including finding undervalued strategies, staying confident yet humble, and using emotion to their advantage.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the key to John Danaher's success as a martial arts coach?

John Danaher attributes his success as a martial arts coach to the ability to identify undervalued tactics and skills in an industry and developing them to gain a competitive edge. He believes that being able to find what is currently underused or underappreciated is crucial for success in any industry.

Q: How does George St. Pierre's approach to fighting differ from that of Gordon Ryan's?

George St. Pierre focuses on trying new, unconventional approaches and finding a balance between confidence and fear in his fights. On the other hand, Gordon Ryan uses trash talk and emotion to engage opponents, understanding their reactions, and using it to his advantage in the fight.

Q: How does Gordon Ryan use emotion in combat sports?

Gordon Ryan uses emotion in combat sports by engaging in trash talk and understanding the reactions of his opponents. He believes that by provoking an emotional response, he can either push his opponents to engage aggressively or make them more hesitant and defensive.

Q: What role does confidence play in the success of combat sports athletes?

Confidence is viewed as essential in combat sports, as it helps athletes believe in their abilities and make bold decisions. However, there is a fine line between confidence and overconfidence, and finding a balance between the two is crucial for long-term success.

Q: How does George St. Pierre handle doubt and criticism from others?

George St. Pierre shares that he uses doubt and criticism from others as motivation to prove them wrong. He embraces the challenge and uses it as fuel to succeed in his sport.

Q: How does John Danaher approach coaching his athletes on diet and nutrition?

John Danaher shares that he has not seen a measurable improvement in sports performance by changing an athlete's diet. However, he recognizes the importance of diet for longevity and overall health, especially for older athletes.

Q: How does Gordon Ryan's diet and nutrition differ from George St. Pierre's approach?

Gordon Ryan's diet consists of rice, chicken, eggs, fish, vegetables, and fruits, as he needs to maintain his weight and account for his stomach issues. In contrast, George St. Pierre had a more flexible approach during his career, even including fast food meals like McDonald's and Coca-Cola before championship fights.

Summary

In this video, George St. Pierre, John Danaher, and Gordon Ryan discuss the key to their success in their respective fields. They touch on topics such as the importance of confidence, the role of emotion in competition, and the balance between fear and confidence. They also share personal stories and insights into overcoming doubt and dealing with haters. Overall, they emphasize the significance of finding and leveraging an undervalued aspect in their industry to achieve success.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the key to their success?

For John Danaher, the key to success is to identify an undervalued aspect within their industry and develop it to bring it to the forefront. This could be a specific technique or tactic that others are not utilizing. He believes that being able to work in an industry where most of the answers are known requires finding an area that is currently underutilized and developing it further.

Q: Can you provide an example of an undervalued aspect in John's industry?

John gives the example of leglocks in the sport of jiu-jitsu. Leglocks have always been available in jiu-jitsu, but they were underappreciated and undervalued for a long time. Most leading figures in the sport tended to de-emphasize leglocks. However, John saw the potential in leglocks and believed they were not being fully realized. By focusing on leglocks and developing them, he was able to bring them back into the forefront of jiu-jitsu.

Q: What is the key to George St. Pierre's success?

George St. Pierre attributes his success to not being afraid to try new things and take different approaches. He shares that he often fought in a different way than expected, especially against opponents with a strong wrestling background. Instead of following the norm, he would go against the grain and find alternative ways to fight. This willingness to try new things and take risks gave him an advantage in certain situations.

Q: Can you provide an example of when George's approach worked in a fight?

One example George shares is when he fought opponents with a stronger wrestling background. Instead of wrestling with them, which wasn't his strongest area, he took a different approach and found a blueprint to beat them. He fought them in a different way and used unconventional strategies to succeed against opponents who were technically superior in wrestling. This ability to adapt and find alternative paths to victory contributed to his success.

Q: What is the key to Gordon Ryan's success?

Gordon Ryan attributes his success to a shift in his mindset and approach to the sport. He shares that in the past, he would rely on aggression and brute force, which often led to failure. However, with the guidance of John Danaher, he learned to focus on improving his technical skills and becoming a better grappler. Instead of trying to force things, he embraced the process of learning and developing his jiu-jitsu skills.

Q: Can you describe the turning point in Gordon's career where he shifted his approach?

According to Gordon, the turning point was when he was training consistently with John Danaher between his brown belt and black belt days. During this period, he started beating high-level opponents in the gym, including ADCC champions. This success gave him the confidence to believe that he could compete at a world-class level. Winning his first EBI and defeating top competitors further solidified his belief in his abilities.

Q: How important is mental toughness and belief in achieving greatness?

Mental toughness and belief are crucial in achieving greatness, according to George St. Pierre and Gordon Ryan. George emphasizes the importance of finding the balance between confidence and fear. He believes that having a perfect balance between the two keeps you motivated and driven to succeed. Gordon adds that belief comes from repeated success and having confidence in your abilities based on evidence and experience.

Q: Do doubts or haters ever play a role in their journey?

Doubts and haters are a part of the journey for all three of them. George shares that he faced doubt when he first started his career and even when he was already successful. He used doubt as motivation to prove people wrong. John acknowledges that doubts and haters will always exist, but he focuses more on preparing his athletes with the necessary skills and building their confidence through success in training. Gordon talks about how haters can energize him and how he uses the negative comments as fuel to prove them wrong.

Q: How do they deal with doubts and haters?

George St. Pierre uses doubts and haters as motivation to prove them wrong. He embraces the challenge and uses it to fuel his determination to succeed. John Danaher focuses on building up his athletes' skills and helping them recognize their successes to reinforce their confidence. Gordon Ryan engages with haters in a way that either fires them up to come forward or makes them fearful and hesitant to engage with him in a match. He uses their emotions to gain an advantage.

Q: Is there a line to be crossed in terms of psychological trickery in competition?

The three individuals believe that psychological trickery can be effective in competition, but there is a line that should not be crossed. They emphasize the importance of staying within the context of the sport and not engaging in behavior that is physically harmful or goes completely over the top. While they use psychological tactics to their advantage, they also recognize the boundaries and maintain a level of respect.

Q: How do they handle the role of being entertainers in their respective industries?

They all acknowledge that being entertainers is part of their role as athletes. George St. Pierre and Gordon Ryan highlight the appeal of emotional elements in fights and how it can add excitement and interest for viewers. They recognize that emotion brings an element of entertainment to the sport, but they also stress the importance of authenticity in their actions. They aim to balance their roles as entertainers with their skills as athletes. John Danaher focuses more on the technical aspects of the sport and less on entertainment, teaching his athletes to focus on developing their skills.

Takeaways

In their discussion, George St. Pierre, John Danaher, and Gordon Ryan highlight the importance of finding success in one's industry by identifying undervalued aspects and developing them. They emphasize the significance of confidence, mental toughness, and belief in achieving greatness. They share personal stories of overcoming doubt and dealing with haters. They also acknowledge the role of emotion in competition and as entertainers in their respective fields. While their approaches and individual styles may differ, they all embrace the challenges of their journeys and use them to fuel their determination to succeed.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • George St. Pierre shares that trying new, unconventional approaches and finding a balance between confidence and fear has been key to his success.

  • John Danaher emphasizes the importance of identifying undervalued tactics and skills in an industry and developing them to gain a competitive edge.

  • Gordon Ryan discusses the impact of emotion in combat sports, using trash talk to engage opponents, understanding their reactions, and using it to his advantage.

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