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Georges ST-Pierre

Georges “Rush” St-Pierre, also known as “GSP,” is a Canadian professional athlete and MMA World Champion. Breaking the mold of the typical fighter, Georges holds black belts in both Kyokushin karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

By the time Georges reached middle school he was already a 2nd Dan Kyokushin karate blackbelt. Georges always knew he would devote his life to martial arts, but it wasn’t until he saw his first mixed martial arts fight in 1993 that he realized he wanted to become a professional fighter. He competed in his first amateur fight at the age of 16. As he trained, he added fighting disciplines such as boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to his karate background.

In 2006 Georges became the Welterweight MMA World Champion. Although he lost the title in 2007, he quickly regained it in 2008 and has not lost a single fight since. In 2012, NOS® Energy Drink joined GSPs’ team. NOS® is a proud supporter and training partner of GSP. Georges is now recognized as one of the planet’s best pound-for-pound MMA fighters and an all-around athlete.

Q&A with GSP

It takes a unique human being to become a professional fighter. What made you want to pursue this dream?
It was not a dream.  I think it’s the environment that made me a professional fighter.  Why blue is your favorite color as an example? You don’t know why but it is.
There are champions. And then there are legends. What separates you from other top fighters, to help you keep the gold for so long?
Because I always stepped outside of my comfort zone to reinvent myself.  If you’re the best it’s because your ahead of the sport.  Sit still and the sport will catch you up.  You always need to reinvent yourself to stay ahead of the sport.
How does it feel to be in a fight?
Huge adrenaline rush.  Survival feeling.
What’s the most meaningful thing you’ve learned as a martial artist?
From karate.  To respect every opponent in front of me.
Many fighters crave the rush of combat. When you’re outside of the cage, how do you keep your adrenaline up?
I don’t.  During a fight the adrenaline is so high that I don’t need it outside of it.
If you weren’t a mixed martial artist, what would you be doing?
No idea but one thing for sure is that I will always be involved in martial arts one way or the other.
At your age, you’ve already accomplished so much. What’s another one of your life goals?
To be a father of many kids.
When all is said and done, what do you want to be remembered for?
Someone who as change the sport, that made my sport evolve.
What’s your advice for anyone who wants to make their mark on the world?
To invest your body and soul completely in the project!

Ricky Stenhouse JR.

Driving Roush Fenway’s historical No. 17 Ford Fusion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. earned Roush Fenway Racing’s 13th Rookie of the Year award in 2013. In 36 NSCS starts in 2013, Stenhouse scored one top-five and three top-10 finishes and one pole award.  With five top-15 finishes in the final 10 races of 2013, Stenhouse has momentum heading into the 2014 season where he will reunite with crew chief Mike Kelley who led him to his two back-to-back Nationwide championships.

At the ripe age of six, Stenhouse began racing go-karts and by 15, he had earned 47 A-main karting victories and more than 90 podium finishes.  He moved into 360 winged sprint cars in 2003 and won the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Driver Poll and Dirt Winged Sprint Car Rookie of the Year.

In 2010 he added the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year title to his list of accomplishments; winning the honor after coming back from the largest point deficit in the award’s history.

With his consistent performance in the 2011 Nationwide Series, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., became Roush Fenway’s sixth all-time NASCAR Champion. Stenhouse accumulated two wins, 16 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes during his championship campaign that saw him win the Nationwide Series driver’s championship by 45 points.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. scored his second Nationwide Series championship in as many seasons, taking home the crown by 23 points. Stenhouse finished his championship effort with six wins, 19 top-five, 26 top-10 finishes and four poles.

When he’s not racing, Stenhouse enjoys golf, basketball, working, and is an avid country music fan.

Q&A with Ricky

A lot of kids grow up dreaming of becoming a racecar driver. But you made it a reality. How did you make it happen?
It  was hard work by a lot of people, from  my dad who instilled in me from an early age that you have to be committed to working 100% for your goal and don’t stop short,  to the people I drove for along the way and the people that helped on the cars including sponsors.
If you could relate being in a race to any other experience, what would it be?
I would describe it as doing something that is out of your comfort zone, being on the edge and out of control for four hours.
In between races and practices how do you keep your adrenaline up?
I drink a NOS before qualifying and the race every week. But for me it’s easy to get in the mode of competition and ready at all times.
The same car, the same competitors. What makes each race different for you?
The tracks are one of the biggest differences from small to big and right turns to sweeping ones.
You have gone back and forth between car numbers 17 and 6. Any personal connection to the two numbers?
Jack owns both numbers. I won two Nationwide championships with the No. 6 and that was my number when I started racing go karts so I’m partial to it! He has won a championship with the No. 17so hopefully we can too.
People often believe NASCAR is a solo sport, how does your team factor into your success?
My No. 17 team and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing work so hard to get the car to the track; from sponsors, to travel, to building the cars, and then setting them up. Everyone has to do their part and there are over 400 people at RFR. There is no way could I do it alone.
When you’re looking back on life, what do you want to be remembered for? 
I want to be remembered for leaving it all out there.  Being the one who drives the car the hardest but also one that has success. And most of all someone everybody enjoyed being around and competing with.
What’s your advice for anyone who wants to make their mark on the world?
My advice is the same as my dad gave me.  You have to work hard and believe in yourself. Surround yourself with people who are only going to help you achieve what you want instead of people holding you back. 

Firas Zahabi

Many know Firas Zahabi for being a world champion fighter, but Firas has also played an important role in many other fighters’ careers. While training for his own fights, he found himself coaching those around him and this eventually became his main focus.

In 1991, Firas opened TriStar gym. Using his extensive experience in training, Firas has developed specific training for MMA and teaches it to fighters of all styles. Much of TriStar’s success is due to Firas’ teaching methods and authenticity, but nothing compares to the talented fighters that Firas creates and works with.

Today, the gym has expanded to 13,500 square feet and houses the best equipment MMA has to offer. Along with other great fighters, GSP has also made TriStar his home away from home. Like a mathematician, Firas has Georges St-Pierre’s intense interval training routine calculated to a science. Firas uses unique and innovative ways to train his team, and he doesn’t hesitate to get in the ring with them.

Q&A with Firas

It takes a rare individual to train a group of elite fighters. What qualities do you need to have to be an effective leader in this sport?
I think to be a successful trainer you first need to know how to deal with people; If your people skills are not strong you will have lots of friction within your group. You also need to be ready to work overtime, if you want things done right get ready to work overtime. Lastly the most important thing is that you have to know your trade, you need to know everything there is to know about MMA and keep up with the new ways of doing things. This is a lot harder then it sounds but is the heart of success.
Where did you gain your wisdom and knowledge of combat, and how do you stay on top of new techniques?
Experience is something that only comes with time, if you spend years studying the martials arts intently you will learn more and more as the years go by. With that being said you will also at one point be able to innovate news ways of doing things. This is the point where you can really make a difference for your team, by innovating something new you will have the edge on everyone else.
Being a professional fighter isn’t for everybody. Aside from skill, what traits must a fighter have to go pro? 
You have to be willing to make sacrifices, not everyone is willing to put in the time and energy it take to be a pro. The preparations are extreme and demand a lot of time, this means pros have very little leisure time in comparison to people with more balance lifestyles.
Intensive training with so many elite athletes must be draining. How do you keep your energy up?
I eat well and exercise, I also make time for rest when needed. Over time you get to know your body and have to learn to allow it to rest when needed.
What’s one thing you would have told a young GSP that you didn’t say when you first met him?
Lets not forget to take the time to enjoy these moments, things happen fast and sometimes feel like a blur. 
What’s are the most important life lessons you’ve learned from martial arts? 
There’s always a better way, there is always more leverage or efficiency to be discovered. 
 There are many elite coaches in MMA. What separates you from the rest? 
I don’t like to compare myself to others, I just simply try continuously refine our curriculum the best way possible and let the rest take care of itself. 
You are extremely wise for your age. But when you reach your elder years, what do you want to be remembered for?
I hope to one day innovate something so unique in the Martial arts that it helps push the science to another level, I would be honored if I can add to the great tradition of the Martial Arts. 
What’s your advice for anyone who wants to make their mark on the world
Be ready to work overtime!