Member Since: 1/1/01
Mixed martial arts is the application of the scientific method to martial arts. Prior to it, martial arts was like Garrison Keilor's Lake Wobegone - all the children were above average. Then an idea as simple as wheels on luggage took hold - if you want to find out if Taekwondo techniques work better than Judo techniques, then have experts in the respective disciplines fight each other. Over time a body of what worked has developed.
However, martial arts as it had previously been practiced also continued. Exponents argued that their White Eyebrow Kung Fu, or DKI, or Thowpunki was better not because it was practiced against realistic active resistance, but because of ... words. "As taught to SEALS" and "too dangerous for sport" and "develops internal energy" are, bafflingly, still being used to demonstrate superiority.
These two worlds came together when UFC Hall of Famer Diego Sanchez selected School of Self Awareness Worldwide founder Joshua Fabia as his sole trainer, cornerman, manager, and whatever else.
Prior to Sanchez fighting Michael Chiesa at UFC 239 on July 6, 2019, Fabia told the Nevada commission that he was concerned a technique he learned in South America could potentially kill Chiesa. In a recent interview with John Morgan for MMA Junkie, "Maverick" said he heard about the warning at the time, and recounted his reaction.
“I got a demonstration of what it was, and I mean, I immediately started laughing," said Chiesa. "I was like, ‘If you think for a second you’re going to like reverse ‘Stone Cold Stunner’ me in a high-level mixed martial arts contest, you’re off your f***ing rocker – pardon my language."
“It was like if he had my chin, and his chest was on the back of my head like a guy would go for a guillotine, and it was like he was going to rotate and turn his back to me while still holding my chin, basically putting the back of my neck on his shoulder, and drop down. We started laughing.”
“This is the same time I’m hearing about the burning of the sage and all the incense and stuff. Buddy, it’s like you’re prepping to go to a yoga or something. Like, I’m about to f***ing beat you up, and you’re trying to figure out how to do these fruitcake moves, and you’re sticking tea tree oil up your nose or whatever the hell it was.
“Never at any point did I feel like I was about to be in any type of – there’s no immediate danger to go beyond getting in a mixed martial arts fight, so the guy’s just nuts. ... I’m not trying to disrespect [Fabia]. He has a particular thing he does well, but I really wish we could see Diego with like, a boxing coach and a couple other guys.”