UFC welterweight Emil Meek was at one point rumored to face Diego Sanchez, but when the fight didn't come to pass, the two decided to train together. Sanchez had at that point moved his training and management to School of Self Awareness Worldwide founder Joshua Fabia; Meek went into the session with an open mind, and left with an opinion.
“Originally, I was trying to get a fight with Diego,” said Meek to Tom Taylor for the South China Morning Post. “Then he got a different one and I got a different one. Then he wrote me on Instagram and asked if I wanted to work out when he was in Vegas, and I figured, hell yeah, let’s do it. Then I asked him if his ninja coach is going to be there with him on he’s like, ‘yeah, there's no other way’.
“How can I put this,” Meek added, laughing. “I went in full-belief mode: everything they tell me to do, I’m going to do it 100 percent. Man, it was the craziest s*** I’ve ever done. At one point, Joshua, he was running after us in a locked cage with a real, sharp blade, to make us move.”
“I’m not going to slam them too much, but I think [Sanchez has] kind of lost his grip on it. I even reached out to him after the fight [vs. Michel Pereira] and I was like ‘hey, I’m sorry to see you perform this way, and I think you can do a lot better. Please at least consider what I’m saying’.
“I think this is the problem - he’s always been out there, he’s always been doing his crazy s***, but he’s always been able to supplement it with his MMA training because he’s been a hard worker. Now he’s stepping away from that and just doing the crazy things.
"I don’t think he’s going to do very well in the UFC with this stuff.”
“The drill is, they’re all in the Octagon, moving, trying not to touch each other, or get touched by each other,” said Fabia. “So I want you to think of an athletic, high-speed game of tag that allows you to play, but also play with that fear and anxiety space, without getting hurt, without feeling you can’t make a mistake.
“And so, this is happening, five, six, seven, eight, guys, and I progressively come in and I say, ‘On top of the game that’s going on, this is to enhance your awareness, now I’m coming in, do not allow me to touch you also. So now I’m like a wild animal, putting pressure on all of them and not allowing them to stay focused on their specific thing, and just moving them. This is what I do. I go out, they’re continuing again, I come in with a stick, make them move from the stick at different lengths and different speeds. This is why Pereira didn’t land those big kicks on Diego. Amazing.
“So now, the drill has been picked up, and now you need truth, because I can tell that you’re playing. You’re not treating each touch as if it was true danger. Where if I treat each strike as a knife strike, you will move. Now before this drill even began, I showed them the power of the history of metal in the human body by showing them that Diego, with his eyes closed, I can move a knife toward his body, and his body will feel it. You can see his body reacting. That the human body can feel metal; it’s different. It’s from the history of how much the human body has been stabbed. I show them visually, they see it, they have idea.
“Now, 20 minutes later, yeah, I chase them around with a knife to make them move, so they realize, I’m not playing around. And if you think the guy in the ring when it’s one-on-one is playing around, that might be why you end up losing an eye.”