Georges St. Pierre has reason to be concerned for his fight tomorrow night. GSP is experiencing fear, an emotion brought on by anticipation for some specific, dangerous stimulus. This is very understandable and should not be held against him or anyone. All but the strongest men in history have been afraid at some point in their careers.
When GSP appeared calm and confident at a press conference in Montreal, he was asked if he always felt this calm before a fight. He replied:
“I’ve never really felt like this (calm) to tell you the truth. Before I felt like this, but I was very crazy nervous, I’m very nervous, don’t get me wrong, but it’s all about acting.”
GSP went on to say that he has been practicing the James-Lange theory.
“It’s about confidence, it’s called the James-Lange theory, your mind can dictate your body. If you’re scared, if you want a drink, you’re thirsty, your body tells your mind you want water, your body tells your mind to grab water, but the other way around is possible. James-Lange theory, that means I’m scared, I’m nervous, but I act like its all good and I’m all good and my body will dictate my mind.”
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the James-Lange theory, as I wasn’t, it says: “emotions are the result of physical action not the other way around.” This is a very outdated psychological theory. It has been highly criticized and disproven. For example; it takes longer for the body to physically respond to a given stimulus than for an emotion to occur.
GSP believes that acting confident is enough to genuinely feel confident for Carlos Condit. I believe the fear that GSP feels is completely rational. GSP has been out of action for over a year as the result of a major injury. On top of that, he’s going up against a very dangerous, hungry, Condit.
Legendary boxing trainer, Cus d’amato told Mike Tyson that fear is like a fire. A little of it is good, it can warm you, but let it get out of control and it will destroy you. We all need to embrace fear, as it is a necessary, evolutionary defense mechanism.
GSP needs to embrace those fears and doubts to understand how to overcome them. He needs that fear to give him that natural, primal drive for survival to beat the crap out of Condit. However, if GSP can use a dated 19th century psychology technique to defeat Condit, well more power to you.