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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Five Reasons You Should Like GSP

In the past I had never really been much of a GSP fan but after stumbling upon a few of his videos on Youtube I must admit I may have had a change of heart. The reason I have never been much of a GSP fan is simple. I like strikers and even though GSP has an extensive background in Kyokushin Karate he seams to rely more on his wrestling abilities when in the ring. Never the less here are five reasons you and I should be watching GSP.

He is a Karateka: OK so we all know GSP looks like a wrestler in the ring. He excels at Jujitsu and has been recognized for this in MMA circles. But he has won as many fights by KO as he has by submission if not more and he always notes his Kyokushin background.

Karate used to be the epitome of cool. Remember the great days of hairy chested men like Chuck Norris and Benny the JET. Long before the most recent rendition of the Karate Kid, a movie so bad that I almost sat down and wrote a revival script as I figured I could have done a better job. The sad truth is Karate is just not all that cool any more but if you hire GSP for your next big Karate Seminar perhaps things could change.

He loves Wayne Gretzky: It has been a long time since Canada or North America for that matter has had a role model like Gretzky and GSP is doing everything in his power to follow in the footsteps of good old Wayne. He wants nothing more than to be a positive role model for his younger fans, and perhaps his slightly older know it all fans. So Canada if you are sick of being known for Nickelback  Avril Lavigne and the Biebs perhaps it is time to turn your head to GSP.

He is a Family man: He loves his family and values their support. He lived at home tell 25 or so, perhaps because he was a broke ass fighter until then but he seems to exude a genuine love and commitment to his family. Something we all need to be reminded to do from time to time. Especially wannabe loner Karate nerds such as myself.

He is Canadian: I am sick of this conversation.

“Where are you from?”
“Oh Canada, isn't that the cold place where Justin Bieber lives?”

Giving a little attention to GSP may not only help us have a Canadian worth talking about when out side of the country it may also be good for relations with in our own borders. Canada though touted as a bilingual country is not. Sadly people rarely speak French and English and more often default to French or English. There is a great divide between the East and West and no celebrity is going to single handedly close this systemic gap but every effort helps.

* If you didn't already know GSP is French Canadian.

He is a true Mixed Martial Artist: There are a lot of people who have become quite confused as to what MMA is. Many people think MMA is synonymous with BJJ and Muay Thai but this is a shallow mislead interpretation.

GSP is from a small town some where in the Far East of Canada. There are no big fancy gold foiled MMA clubs out there. To deal with this he visits several different clubs with a multitude of different members and coaches. He has always trained this way and a according to interviews he does not plan to change the way he trains any time soon.

To me he is a role model for what MMA should be. Not a brand but a mutual respect between Martial Artists and Associations that allows for cross training without having people scream traitor the minute you mention interest in a style different to theirs. It is time to stop style bashing and start respecting each art for our strengths and accepting that no Martial Art or Martial Artist is without its own weakness.

And there you have it five reasons why you should pay attention to GSP. What do you think are you a GSP fan? Do you like his fighting style, is he a potentially  healthy role model for young martial artists and does he have the power to up the cool factor of Canada and/ or Karate?

* I am more than aware that there is nothing cool about about the term cool factor...

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