Georges St. Pierre’s wrestling has been the subject of much discussion over the years.
Despite having no background in wrestling as a youngster or college student, contrary to most North American fighters, St. Pierre has among the most effective takedowns in the UFC and has repeatedly taken down fighters with better wrestling credentials.
All sorts of theories have been put forward to explain his success, but St. Pierre has his own. The concept of ‘penetration’ is crucial to a takedown; if you don’t get inside your opponent’s space you can’t hit the shot.
St. Pierre has been a karate stylist since his youth and that art emphasizes getting in and out of range quickly and at angles. He told Joe Rogan recently that he thinks that is the root of his MMA wrestling success.
“That’s what I use for my takedown, the shoot, that people see, it’s zero wrestling. It has nothing to do with my wrestling. My wrestling is once I get that leg, I’ll finish the takedown,” he said.
“But how I get in and out is because of karate. People are like, ‘no way, Karate, no.’ And I’m like, ‘yes.’ Karate allows me to cut the distance and take the people down.
“I have a very good single, a very good double and very good penetration. It’s because of my leg, the way I do it, and the timing is because of my karate. I wrestle, too, but my karate is primary. Before I started wrestling, I was a karate guy pure.”