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 – 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.
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