The fact that Georges St Pierre used to be bullied around back in school has been brought up a few times in the past during Countdown shows and in a bunch of interviews. But I don’t think it’s been discussed as thoroughly before as it is in this article from UFC.com where Georges goes through the finer points of getting tormented in the unusually rough sounding schools of St-Isadore, Quebec:
Though a quiet and unassuming child growing up, St-Pierre never shirked the physical side of life. His father was a master in the combat arts and it was in St-Pierre’s nature to stand up for what was right. He hated seeing younger classmates get picked on and he hated it even more when he was at the centre of the bullies’ attentions.
“Even though I trained karate, sometimes you just face too many bigger guys and have to take a beating,” says St-Pierre. “That happened a lot at school. I would probably be able to beat all the kids one-on-one, but they would gang up on me and would often be much older and bigger. I usually had to fend off three or four guys at any one time.
“Gradually in time, I persisted and they left me alone.”
Pain is supposed to heal with time and yet St-Pierre shakes his head every time the adage is used. His post-fight injuries may heal up in a matter of weeks, but the memories of his early fights – those of the unsanctioned and unorganised variety – linger like saliva on a hood.
“I learnt a lot of life lessons from my time at school,” admits Georges. “The funny thing is, a lot of the scars I have in my head are from my time at school, not from any of my experiences in mixed martial arts. People find that hard to believe. They see me as this strong and dominant UFC champion and just assume that I’ve always been the one handing out the beat downs. That’s not true at all, though. The most pain I ever suffered was when I was growing up in school.”
Yep, school ain’t just where you learn your maths and englishes, it’s also where you learn that life is full of assholes and jerkwads. Important lessons, those.