Ep. 58: British Special Forces Commando and Corporate SpySonny is a recently retired special forces commando with the British Military, professional bodyguard and corporate spy who is currently training to be a contender in the UFC.
[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I’m Travis Bader and this is The Silvercore Podcast. Join me as I discuss matters related to hunting, fishing, and outdoor pursuits with the people in businesses that comprise the community. If you’re a new to Silvercore, be sure to check out our website, www.Silvercore.ca where you can learn more about courses, services, and products that we offer as well as how you can join The Silvercore Club, which includes 10 million in north America wide liability insurance, to ensure you are properly covered during your outdoor adventures
[00:00:39] Today I’m joined by a recently retired corporate spy and special forces commando who was currently training for a shot at the UFC. And he runs a company, SixSight.co where he provides situational awareness training for the everyday person. Welcome to The Silvercore Podcast, Sonny.
[00:01:01] Sonny: Thanks very much pleasure to be on here.
[00:01:04] Travis Bader: So we’ve got a heck of a lot of accolades behind your name. And, uh, I was able to meet you through a mutual friend, Paul, who at some point in the future will hopefully be on The Silvercore Podcast. Cause he’s got some stories to share as well, but, uh, Paul speaks extremely highly of you and he has some, uh, interesting backstories that, uh, that he brought up.
[00:01:27] Not all of which I’m sure we can share on here, but I, what drew me to you was originally your, your TikTok account. So you’ve got a, uh, a TikTok account where you’ve been doling out some awesome information on situational awareness, free of charge for the general public. I was going to say, what got you into that, but why don’t we back up a little bit.
[00:01:51] Because if we back up to, uh, when you were a bit younger, what made you want to join the military and how you went down that route? And, uh, what, why don’t I let you take it away from there before I just keep yapping here.
[00:02:05] Sonny: Okay. Yeah. So I am on TikTok and on Instagram. So I do like to give out a lot of free information and a lot of it is come from my backgrounds and I have a unique, unique perspective because I have crossed different disciplines. When normally someone is, becomes a bodyguard, that’s their job. I started, I was in there military, and then I became a corporate spy. I ended up in the military doing special forces selection and, and being embedded in the special forces. Uh, I became a corporate spy and then I worked as a bodyguard as well.
[00:02:36] And prior to that, I’ve always had a, a, an interest in fighting and violence, has been my bread and bar as a person. Um, when I grew up, it was quite a violent environment uh, going out when I started going out to bars and clubs, but even in my high school and younger days, some very old friends of me, their first memories of me is me fighting on the playground and stuff, which is an unusual thing.
[00:03:01] And I’m not very proud to say it. I wasn’t, I was never committing crimes or anything as a youngster, but obviously violence and fighting is a crime, but I was kind of fighting with other combatants that were agreeing in, I was never running and hitting random people and stuff.
[00:03:17] Travis Bader: Right, right.
[00:03:18] Sonny: But it did, it was a never ending cycle of violence. It was like football hooliganism without the football, to be honest and other towns used to come and challenge us and we would fight. And then there was challenges in nightclubs and bars. Had arranged fights where people would come and then I end up meeting in a parking lot and having a scrap.
[00:03:36] Travis Bader: Was there money on those?
[00:03:37] Sonny: Uh, no money actually. I did end up fighting for money in a different scenario, uh, in an unlicensed boxing competition in a cage, in a greek island. But that’s another story.
[00:03:50] Travis Bader: That sounds interesting.
[00:03:51] Sonny: We could come back to that. Yeah. Um, but I’ve always had this like violent um, piece of out me and I’ve always been interested in fighting and it wasn’t till I was 16 that I actually started boxing. So I started amateur boxing, actually got a bit of discipline.
[00:04:06] I learned a lot about life in that gym and it was quite hard like traditional boxing gym, where there’s no decorations, it was underground, it was murky and gritty. And I learned a lot about being a man and growing up and discipline myself there. Um, before that I was just a wild man, to be honest.
[00:04:23] Travis Bader: Why? Just.
[00:04:25] Sonny: Um.
[00:04:25] Travis Bader: In your nature or just?
[00:04:27] Sonny: It’s probably, we’ve got, I’d probably have to delve deeper into my childhood.
[00:04:31] Travis Bader: Right. Fair enough.
[00:04:32] Sonny: Um, but uh, just have always had that in me, but I’ve always had the ability to stay forward when others have froze or thought, oh, I don’t like this situation I’ve stepped forward and I’ve always carried the fight in flag for any group I’ve been attached to, any friend group.
[00:04:47] And later in my life, when I was like 20, 19, I’d be out in nightclubs and friends from high school would come up to me, say all of these guys, my ex girlfriends like friends are over there. They’re, they’re looking at me, they’re going to start and I’ll be like, who are they? Where are they? And they’d be like, oh, they’re over there.
[00:05:02] Right. Let’s go. And they’d be like, oh, whoa, no, we just want to hang around with you just to make sure that we’re not going to get beaten up. I’m the person that’s out Rocky with me. Let’s go. Um.
[00:05:11] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:05:12] Sonny: Um, I’ve always, always had that in me. And I’m not that person right now. I’m different, I’m a family man. Um, but a lot of my knowledge of violence and fighting comes from my experiences of growing up in that background.
[00:05:26] Travis Bader: I can relate to a lot of that. And so the boxing that you got into was that by your choice, or was that something that you were sort of ushered into?
[00:05:38] Sonny: Uh, boxing I’ve always had a passion for, and I really wanted to do it, but my parents wouldn’t let me do it. Like maybe my mom wouldn’t let me go until I was 16 and I was able to get, I had to get two buses to get to the gym. We have quite a famous gym in my hometown, and there was an ex, um, a world champion boxer who was running it.
[00:05:56] So I got two buses to get there, like three or four times a week. And then I started training and it was a real like, mentality that I’ve ta-, that was my first experience of hardship. And when you walked in the gym and there wasn’t someone to greet you, you had to earn your right to be in that gym. You started on the fringes. No one came and said, oh, come in, come in and do some pads. You didn’t get any training until you’d shown your face for a long time.
[00:06:18] And then you gradually worked up the ladder until you was in the ring sparring. And the sparring we did was hard sparring even though I was a young guy, that’s the hardest, I was training MMA now and that was the hardest spine I’ve ever done.
[00:06:29] Travis Bader: Really?
[00:06:30] Sonny: Yeah. And, but that was a good experience and it showed me that, like I’m glad I did that because I learned how to take a punch and what the, what it was like to take a punch. Um, and even though I’d had lots of street fights and I fought, I was a hard individual, uh, later down the line, I knew what hard really meant, but it wasn’t that fighting when you’re a bit drunk and stuff.
[00:06:50] But it was, it wasn’t till I got to the military that I actually realized what a hard man really was. And I always had this thing inside me. I always thought to myself, I want to be seen as a hard man amongst hard men that has been my driving force for everything I’ve done. However silly that may sound to some people, but.
[00:07:12] Travis Bader: I don’t, I don’t think that’s silly at all. Honestly. I mean, I guess it all comes down to your definition of what a hard person is and that’s an ever evolving thing, obviously.
[00:07:21] Sonny: Yeah.
[00:07:22] Travis Bader: Um, so if you were, had a natural proclivity towards violence as a youngster, do you. It’s not like a light switch, just switched at one point. And you said, okay, now I have containment. Um, what, uh, how did, was it the military that kind of helped form that and create that level of containment? Cause I don’t think you ever outgrow that, that feeling as a, as a kid or whatever it is that you naturally have the whole nurture and nature argument, but whatever it is that you kind of naturally have as a, as a child, I think you just get better at containing and managing, uh, managing it as you get older. Is that, uh, I find myself anyways. Is that what you find in yourself?
[00:08:15] Sonny: Yeah, I would agree. Yeah. And joining the military when I became a Royal Marine Commando, that was a saviour in my life to be honest. I had friends that did go down the wrong route. And one of my friends did a lot of prison time for a fighting related offence. We were not criminals, but we always had scraps and stuff.
[00:08:33] But once I joined the Royal Marine Commandos, that aggression and determination that I had was actually seen as a positive thing and it was channeled and everyone around me. Uh, I became quite a good leader in that setting because my attributes were actually a good thing. Uh, as you can imagine, the job of a commando is to close down on the enemy and kill the enemy at the end of the day.
[00:08:56] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:08:56] Sonny: Um, and that is the be-all and end-all of the job, although there’s other aspects. So my, my aggression was channeled and I did very well in my training and it shaped me as an individual and I’m very proud of my roots and I’m very happy that I went down that path. I don’t think I’ll be the same person who I am today if I hadn’t become a Royal Marine Commando.
[00:09:17] Travis Bader: When did you join?
[00:09:18] Sonny: Uh, I joined when it was, I passed training in 2012.
[00:09:23] Travis Bader: Okay.
[00:09:23] Sonny: Yeah. And, uh, that was just when the last Royal Marine units were going to Afghanistan. So I didn’t get my chance to do the job for real, um, out in those deployments, which, um, anyone that did do those deployments I hold a much higher regard higher than myself. Way above. Because they’ve done the job for real.
[00:09:43] Travis Bader: Well, Royal Marines have got a pretty high reputation in the UK and around the world, but you decided to, uh, push forward and do selection as well.
[00:09:57] Sonny: Yes I did. Yeah. When I joined the Royal Marines, I ended up doing a few, uh, they’re called operations, but they, after the wave of the Afghans who weren’t getting rounds down on target and stuff like that, which are to be honest, that’s why I joined, you know what I mean.
[00:10:12] Travis Bader: Sure.
[00:10:12] Sonny: You don’t join the Royal Marines in wartime just to float around on boats.
[00:10:16] Travis Bader: Totally.
[00:10:18] Sonny: Um, so I did a few things. Uh, I made the rank of corporal, and our ranking systems different to Canada. So corporal is in charge of like a section of seven men, eight, including yourself, and so I had to do a training course for that. And on that training course was junior command course. There was to operate, is on there from the British special forces.
[00:10:37] And I was embedded with them. I was working with them as doing reconnaissance missions with them and lots of different training. And I became friends with them. And at the end of the course, position one and two went to them and position three, went to. And then they took me aside at the end of that course, and they said, Sonny, what’s going on? When you coming down, uh, to join our outfit?
[00:10:58] And that opened my eyes to what was possible for me, because I’d always seen, first of all, I’d always seen the Royal Marine Commandos when I was in recruiting training as this high up godly figures, which they are.
[00:11:10] Travis Bader: Sure. Yes.
[00:11:12] Sonny: But, it is achievable. If you do put your mind to it. And I, I decided that’s what I wanted to do. And I achieved that. And then when these two guys who are held in very high regard, took me aside and said, I think, we think you’ve got what it takes. And I saw that they were professional. They’re very good. I’m not saying that they weren’t good. They were extremely professional, but they also had a laugh and a joke just like everyone else.
[00:11:34] But when the time was on, when they were switched on and they were ready to go and they did their job exceptionally well. And for them to say, we want you down here, give it a go. That changed my perspective and I’ve changed my sights onto that target. And that’s when I started to pursue that. And in preparation for that, actually did the Royal Marine, uh, boxing championships andI won.
[00:11:55] Uh, it was light heavyweight, I’m a bit lighter than I was now than I am now. I was up at one, the Royal Marine champ boxing championships. And I did a lot of cardio training for that. So I used that as momentum to start building on working towards selection to go for special forces and it ended up being successful in that.
[00:12:15] Travis Bader: Can you talk at all about the selection process? I know everyone gets jazzed about the selection process, but that’s just like step one and then everything else happens afterwards, but.
[00:12:23] Sonny: Yeah. I can talk about some things.
[00:12:25] Travis Bader: Okay.
[00:12:25] Sonny: Some things I won’t talk about.
[00:12:27] Travis Bader: Of course.
[00:12:27] Sonny: But yeah.
[00:12:28] Travis Bader: Yeah, yeah.
[00:12:29] Sonny: Yeah.
[00:12:29] Travis Bader: What, uh, so summer or winter?
[00:12:32] Sonny: I did the summer selection, which I was very happy about.
[00:12:38] Travis Bader: And, uh, so what did that consist of?
[00:12:41] Sonny: Uh, so first of all, there’s there’s pre selection courses that you have to pass to even be allowed to get onto the selection. Some of those are extremely arduous in themselves, so I passed those and then I ended up moving everything towards going for selection. And then you do a beat up and then you did the hills phase of selection.
[00:13:04] And that is in the Brecon beacons and it’s mountainous terrain and you’re carrying heavy loads over long distances, uh, every day, um, for a period of time and the weights and distances change. And a lot of the time you don’t actually know the distance of that day and you just get to a checkpoint, you get the next checkpoint, you get to that checkpoint and you don’t know when you’re going to finish those. There’s a lot of mind games involved in selection. Um.
[00:13:32] Travis Bader: So obviously very physically arduous, a very difficult process, uh, but on the mental side, that seems to be where people are you make or break them. Excuse me. It seems to be where people are made or break broken on the selection process. Uh, how did you prepare yourself mentally for this?
[00:13:55] Sonny: I have had a few techniques in my own head that I developed before even research personal development, sort of self-improvement books. And there’s a lot of stuff that I don’t want to blow my own trumpet that David Goggins says.
[00:14:08] Travis Bader: Okay.
[00:14:08] Sonny: That I was actually like, Oh yeah. Well, I called it this in my own head, like isolation and obviously visit, um, uh, what was it called again?
[00:14:18] Travis Bader: Visualization.
[00:14:18] Sonny: Visualization. There you go. Yeah. I’d always had this visualization routine. When I was trying to become a Royal Marine Commando in the morning. I’d always visualize getting a green beret and, and stuff. And every time I was doing PT, I’m running on a treadmill or anything. I’d always be daydream. I’ve had always been, I had a good imagination. I’ve been able to imagine myself doing things. And I think that’s quite an important part.
[00:14:41] But in preparation for selection, it was obviously very physical, but it’s also a different type of physical to what most people would believe. Cause you’re carrying heavy loads over long distances. Um, so there’s only really one way to train for that is to carry heavy loads distances.
[00:14:58] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:14:58] Sonny: But to anyone that’s looking to go on selection or any other military sort of course, it’s audrious like that. It was a look at the course and what is, um, required of your mind is using my legs to climb mountains with heavy weight. So I was doing a lot of single leg work and building my legs and my core and everything. So I looked at the, the actual course and I looked at what I needed in my body. So I did look at it quite, um, and nail it down to what was specific.
[00:15:29] Travis Bader: Very analytical approach to doing it.
[00:15:31] Sonny: Yeah. And there’s still no getting around the actual pain.
[00:15:36] Travis Bader: Well, dealing with the pain is a whole other thing. And that’s, that really is, I guess it’s going to be a part of it is going to be your physical conditioning. Cause it’s going to reduce the amount of pain that you might have, but that really is a mental process. Um, you know, most people don’t even experience a fraction of the physical and mental pain that you have elected to, to go through, yourself.
[00:16:04] Sonny: Yeah.
[00:16:04] Travis Bader: Um, what advice would you give to somebody who’s looking at doing something? Whether it’s, whether it’d be a lofty goal, like selection, which is both physically and mentally difficult, or I just something in their own personal life that they’re finding is a difficult task at the moment. In order to get through it with, do you have any advice for somebody like that?
[00:16:29] Sonny: If you’re going to come across a hurdle that you, you personally want to achieve, then you have to physically decide in your head that I am going to do this. Not, oh, I want to do this. The decision has to be made before you step into that lane. Um, if you don’t decide, this is what I’m going to do, you’re never going to get it. Uh, that’s the first thing. And also to look at it and analyze it, what you need from it.
[00:16:52] And you can’t shy away from the pain. You can’t just start on the day of the race, the preparation has to start way, way beforehand. And it doesn’t have to, you don’t have to go hard, straight away. It’s incremental and you just have to build up over time towards that goal. And then on the day of the race, a lot of the stress around it, and now I think back is actually the anticipation of the pain.
[00:17:15] Travis Bader: Totally.
[00:17:16] Sonny: Thinking about it happening and, but when you’re in there, you’re either going to quit or you’re not. And I have the mentality, I’m not going to quit. Like I’ll drop before I do. And yeah, it’s painful, but it does end. And then the glory comes at the end of it.
[00:17:32] Travis Bader: It’s like uh, our first child. My wife’s having.
[00:17:36] Sonny: Yeah.
[00:17:37] Travis Bader: I think it was like 27 hours of labor.
[00:17:40] Sonny: Wow.
[00:17:40] Travis Bader: And I, I don’t know. She said it helped her. I know some people are like Travis, how could you say this? I said, I told my wife, look, this is one day out of your life, it will be over, the pain will be over. And how will you want to look back on this later right? And man she was a trooper, but other people told me is like, how the hell can you say that Travis? It was the right information at the right time for the right kind of person.
[00:18:06] Sonny: Yeah. And that’s a different kind of pain, which I’m very happy we don’t experience.
[00:18:10] Travis Bader: Yes.
[00:18:11] Sonny: I do admire every woman that does that.
[00:18:14] Travis Bader: Yes.
[00:18:15] Sonny: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:18:17] Travis Bader: Well, when, uh, when I was talking to Paul, you know, see if I can kind of paraphrase here a little bit. And he says he, uh, uh, attributes your overall success as a human being to live, to not living an easy life, but you’ve taken what you’ve been provided. You’ve set very high goals and you’ve achieved them.
[00:18:37] Uh, Paul says you live life by your own rules and you do so with humility. So I don’t know if he knew I was going to quote him on that one. That’s uh, um, by your own set of rules. What, what would those rules be?
[00:18:52] Sonny: Uh, I kind of, I don’t tend to follow the crowds. I tend to just make decisions based on my own opinions and the like to research things in depth and look at things from different perspectives. Yeah, I’m very grateful for him to saying that, I’ve got a lot of good things to say about him, hopefully he’ll.
[00:19:13] Travis Bader: Yes.
[00:19:14] Sonny: Say ’em himself on here um.
[00:19:16] Travis Bader: Well, not living an easy life and I know you and I talked a little bit about difficulties off air here, and we don’t have to get into all of those, but, uh, do, now, now you’re in a position where you’re able to share from your experiences what’s worked and what hasn’t, how you’ve grown as an individual from somebody who was just getting out and fights all the time to being a professional soldier. And now you’re operating the company SixSight.co.
[00:19:52] Sonny: Yeah.
[00:19:54] Travis Bader: Before we jump into we’re like what SixSight is all about? Did you’ve got one heck of an Instagram and TikTok feed. You come across really, really well in your production. It’s really well polished. You’ve given some fantastic information and anyone who’s listening, listening that wants to find that it’s SixSight.co on both Instagram and TikTok, but, um, do you find it easy to be getting in front of the camera?
[00:20:18] Do you find it easy? Cause I’m looking at your background here as a corporate spy and in the military and special forces and, uh, you kinda have to be the gray man, and you’re not really the gray man when you’re out there on technology. Right.
[00:20:33] Sonny: It’s a very hard thing for me to do. I’m normally on the gray man. I’ve always been that person that stands back and observes from the shadows. I don’t like to be the front man. Um, but it’s come to the point where the, the times have changed and my, my message is different to what a lot of people were teaching out there. And in the self-defence realm, there’s a lot of misinformation and a lot of stuff that can get people hurt.
[00:21:00] It gives people a false sense of security of what they’re actually capable of. My whole philosophy is based around detecting threats and avoiding them in the first place and having plans that don’t involve using violence. Um, because I believe that you can’t really teach a person how to fight effectively by watching an online video or even a few classes.
[00:21:22] And even if you do boxing for many years, if you’re not in the ring sparring, even if you are sparring, that’s not a real fight. There’s no adrenaline, there’s no real pain or disorientation when you get hit and yeah, you’ll do better than someone that hasn’t. But if you’re going up a true fire and I call people, some people true fighters to be avoided at all times, and a lot of real criminals out there, they’ve grown up on with a bad life.
[00:21:49] They’ve grown up in and out of prison. If they’re threatened in violence to Rob you, then they’re probably going to use violence. And they’ve probably been accustomed to using violence. Yeah, it’s good to have some moves and some things in your back pocket, but let’s do everything in our power not to get there in the first place.
[00:22:06] And that’s what I’m teaching at Fremont channels and doing everything for free has actually been quite, it’s been very welcomed by all my followers and I’ve got a very great following. The comment is speak to me personally. And I have a lot of people message me and tell me stories of when they used the tactics that I’ve taught them to get out of some bad situations.
[00:22:26] And that’s just amazing. That’s the.
[00:22:27] Travis Bader: That’s pretty cool.
[00:22:28] Sonny: Whole reason. Yeah. That’s the whole reason why I’ve got this online course, which is called Women’s Self-Defence Without Fighting and it’s obviously tailored for women. Um, but it, the techniques and training in there, a lot of it hasn’t been taught before because it’s coming from, I’m bringing in training from my time in the military.
[00:22:45] I’m bringing in personal experiences of being a violent offender and have environments inflicted on me. And I’m bringing in training and drills from body guards, close protection operators, which is the job that I do now. And also surveillance, which is corporate espionage and tradecraft drills for people that maybe being followed on the way home from the train station.
[00:23:09] A lot of us have probably had that or suspected it happened and at some point in their lives. So I want to give people some actual drills or some training to know what to do in these situations, without the usual, kick him in the nuts and run away. Or scream, no! You know, which some people can do, but I’m also want to cater to people that don’t have this fight in heart ability in them.
[00:23:31] And there’s a lot of people out there that have met openly that they do not want to fight, they’re not going to fight. And that’s what I’ve experienced. I’ve spoken to a lot of people in my family and around a lot of people are just not that way inclined. And I want to give those people options as well.
[00:23:47] And even if you are going to fight and you, you’re not going to take a step back, it’s always better to do it on your terms, in a scenario where you’ve got as much information about that other individual as possible. And the most important information you need is whether that person’s got a weapon or is willing to use a weapon.
[00:24:04] Travis Bader: I think that’s a good assessment that most people, they don’t want to fight. I mean, most law abiding individuals are law abiding because they don’t have a background in criminality or fighting or whatever it might be. And was it a Colonel David Grossman? He wrote a couple books on combat and on killing. And one of his books, he says, you know, people will fight, it’ll, they’ll flight, right, they’ll take off,
[00:24:31] they’ll posture, or they’ll submit. And he was referencing like soldiers going out and just, you know, firing rounds, willy nilly. And they’re, they’re a part of the part of the process, but they’re not actually one of the true fighters. Who’s, who’s taking the time to aim those rounds and put them where they count and, um, interesting perspective.
[00:24:50] But I do think that, uh, the majority of the people out there uh, will posture and then submit if presented in a, in a violent confrontation, uh, knowing how to flee, I think is a very important aspect to it. When to flee, how to flee. Who cares if you’re going to be thought of afterwards, what you’re worried about right now is your, your own life and the life of those around you and your personal protection.
[00:25:19] You know, I’ve, I been, I’ve got a background in martial arts. I used to get in a fair few fights growing up and who was, I think it was five different high schools that I ended up going through, not by choice, but, uh, uh, just due to the process of growing up in a, uh, adverse environment. And, uh, from that background, people have asked me in the past it, can you put together a self-defence course or a women’s self-defence course and I’ve always, always, always been of a very similar mindset.
[00:25:56] My mindset is if there’s somebody who’s bigger than you, it doesn’t matter what fancy moves you know, your odds of winning that fight have greatly diminished. Uh, if there’s multiple people and you’re in a fight with them, your odds of winning that fight are greatly diminished.
[00:26:17] Uh, if you’re putting together a self-defence course for children or for women, or for people who aren’t the big burly people going down the streets, I think your time and efforts are way better served teaching them situational awareness. Teaching them how to avoid the confrontation before it even happens, or how to escape a situation as opposed to spending a day doing w uh, breaking out of wrist locks and kneeing in the crotch. Um, is, would you agree with that?
[00:26:49] Sonny: Yeah, I definitely agree with that. That’s pretty much my whole, um, approach to the, to the self defence industry. And there is, obviously everyone should take some time out of their lives to train in self-defence in some sort of martial art or fighting art. And that’s very beneficial for everyone to have in their back pocket. But the reality of it is most people were not going to do that. A lot of people are not going to do that. So what, what can the other people do?
[00:27:16] And situation awareness is a very valuable skill that I’ve used in my career because when I’ve worked as a close protection operator or bodyguard, uh, all over Europe and in London is where I started. We don’t have firearms in London and we’re tasked with protecting rich people. Sometimes there’s, there’s active threats and we can’t draw a pistol and get rounds down on target. Uh, and we’re not even allowed to carry knives or any other sort of weapon. Knives in London is a big deal.
[00:27:49] We have a lot of knife crime back when I was living there, I was studying criminology in London. Knife crime was the big PA epidemic. And just carrying a knife in your pocket in London was serving a mandatory prison sentence at the time that I was at university, then.
[00:28:06] Travis Bader: Really?
[00:28:07] Sonny: Yes, and it’s taken me a while to get out of that mindset since I’ve been to Canada, all the security operators here carry a knife on their pocket. And I’m like, I was very sketchy to ever to do that for a while.
[00:28:18] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:28:18] Sonny: Well, because I don’t want to get, go to prison.
[00:28:20] Travis Bader: No.
[00:28:21] Sonny: But it’s, it’s different in different countries. But my nearly my whole career as a bodyguard, I’ve never had a firearm to protect my principal, my VIP. So what do these professionals use in these scenarios? And a lot of it is situation awareness. And a lot of the training I’m given is the overarching term is situation awareness. But under that term, I’ve injected a lot of different training principles that I’ve learned. Which I’m just, because I also think a lot of the traditional situational awareness training is very like acronym heavy and militarized, um, that you lose people’s interest.
[00:28:58] So I’m trying to water it down to the relevant stuff that techniques that people can use when they’re walking from their gym to their car, in vulnerable times of their week. Or when they spot a dodgy guy on the train platform um, up ahead of them on any Tuesday night, because for me and my family, these are the threats that are actually affecting us every day.
[00:29:21] And I used to live downtown and there is a lot of craziness going on on the streets and a lot of people want to turn a blind eye. Um, and obviously we got a lot of mental health issues and we got a lot of drug addiction, but with those things comes a lot of crime and a lot of outbursts, and I’ve had personal experiences in the city that I live in.
[00:29:41] Of people clearly with mental health issues and that I feel sorry for these people, but they’re, some of them can be a danger. And I saw one particular incident in 2:00 PM on a Sunday in downtown Vancouver where I was living. I was walking to my apartment and there was a guy about a hundred meters up the street, waving a knife around, just shouting into thin air. And he was clearly a street person, wearing street attire, um, mental health issues, drug abuse, clearly.
[00:30:14] That’s neither here or there, there’s a man on the street with a knife waving around and I saw it was a few seconds of me stopped, saw it looking ahead as you do, which is a technique that I could get into later. A lot of people just stare at the ground when they’re walking. And I saw this man and I saw other people with headphones on walking towards this man. So I ended up.
[00:30:34] Travis Bader: Geez.
[00:30:35] Sonny: Getting my phone, I was about to call the police and all of a sudden the police arrived and they tased him. They take him down. But how long has that guy been wandering the streets with a knife, waving it around and people were oblivious to the situation cause they’re walking around their own little world and they don’t realize the danger until it’s immediately in front of their face and they’re in the.
[00:30:54] Travis Bader: Totally.
[00:30:55] Sonny: In the s.h.i.t.
[00:30:56] Travis Bader: You got it. You got it. Well, everyone figures it can’t happen to me. This is what I read about in the news that happens to somebody else. Not me. Right. I’m fine. It’s never happened to me before. I’m X age old. Why would it happen to me now?
[00:31:09] Sonny: Yeah.
[00:31:10] Travis Bader: But the issue is, those people in the news could be you and it can happen to anybody and being situationally aware, I think is a, uh, that’s a skill set that I think is kind of lost in today’s society. I mean, everyone’s got their cell phones out and they got their heads down in there and the whole idea of safe spaces.
[00:31:34] And there’s, there seems to be a disassociation between the reality of what can happen out there, for whatever reason, good people having a bad day, mental health, drugs, bad people doing bad things, whatever it might be, that’s just reality. And it always has been, I think there’s a disassociation between that a reality and how people figure the world should be.
[00:31:57] Sonny: Yeah.
[00:31:57] Travis Bader: Um, yeah. So corporate spy.
[00:32:03] Sonny: Yeah.
[00:32:04] Travis Bader: Tell me about this. I just think James Bond type stuff, a British accent spy.
[00:32:09] Sonny: This was actually the profession that gave me the most enjoyment and uh, it’s also the profession that I had to sign the most non-disclosure agreements around. I can talk about some things. Basically I was paid by rich people to spy on other rich people. And spying on people it’s, it wasn’t a private investigator sort of setting. It was a team of us and we were all ex military or ex intelligence agencies. So we were doing, taken our skill sets into the private sector and we were doing some things in London and across Europe that were in the gray areas of the law. And it is a gray, it’s not illegal, it’s not.
[00:32:49] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:32:49] Sonny: It was, we don’t have surveillance, um, licenses in the UK. So it was very interesting. And I sat back and I watched a lot of people and I followed a lot of people. And in this profession I also saw how oblivious to their surroundings most people are, again.
[00:33:06] Travis Bader: Oh yeah.
[00:33:06] Sonny: Cause yeah, some people we could follow for six months, every day on the same routes and no idea. And some people, we would actually put on some tasks where that individual had designed bodyguard team, close protection team around them. So you can imagine how hard it is to surveil and follow someone who’s has a team of dedicated professionals to look out for you and not let you exploit information from them.
[00:33:32] Because that was the commodity our clients would want to know what they were up to, or they’d want to know any illegal activities that they were getting involved in. Or sometimes they would want a lot of information, which was hard to get from just taking pictures. So we’d have to get very close to our, our targets and, uh, we’d have to do some things that were kind of in the world of James Bond, to be honest.
[00:33:54] Travis Bader: Very cool.
[00:33:55] Sonny: Very interesting stuff. And there’s a lot of technical capabilities that are around on the private, in the private sector that we think that governments only have that ability. And this is something else that I’m trying to say on my social media, because yep. The governments are able to do certain stuff with electronics, private entities that are allowed to able to do certain stuff with electronics, but now criminal organizations are getting those capabilities as well. Personal privacy and safeguarding our electrical devices is a big thing for me. And I like to advocate for that as well.
[00:34:29] Travis Bader: Well, people don’t realize how much information is just publicly available. I mean, I’ll give an example. I’ve got a, a trip coming up in a couple of weeks where I’ve got an older whitewater raft, a local search and rescues loaning a rowing frame for it. And we’re going to take it down the fraser river.
[00:34:46] Sonny: Oh nice.
[00:34:47] Travis Bader: And camp at a couple of spots. And then, um, just hunt general open sheep. Um, but there’s some concern about where we’re putting the raft in. And the concern is, is that the property owner sometimes doesn’t let people on or the gates close and we want to make sure we’re dotting our I’s and crossing our T’s. And they can’t quite find where this property owner is.
[00:35:10] So uh, anyways, I, uh, a friend texts over, he says, well, here’s the PID for the, uh, the property. It’s just clearly listed on the, uh, just open source on, on BC maps. I go into BC online and he can pull up who the owner is of it. And then you can go into the corporate registry because it’s associated with a corporate, a corporation and it shows who’s associated with those.
[00:35:34] And then you can go into the personal property registry. These are all free tools that people can use, that I can see the vehicles that this person has taken leases out on and all the different and stuff, and finally were able to find, okay, we’ve got enough information on this. The only one thing we really wanted was like a phone number and email address.
[00:35:50] So we could say, Hey, can we put our boat in at your location? And now we could have to approach this person in a way that doesn’t sound too creepy, how we found all that information. But it is publicly, openly accessible. I, and I find through social media and social profiling, I remember I was in a law firm one time and they had a, uh, uh, an investigator in there and they were trying to find some information on somebody.
[00:36:15] And well, the investigator was having a conversation with them saying, oh, we can’t find this person. I’m just pulled up Facebook and said, well, in Squamish, her daughter has piano lessons on this date. Have you thought about going over at this day and time and, and serving them then? Right. And, uh, the, the idea of people having privacy is, um, in some ways laughable because peoples tend to readily give it up and.
[00:36:49] Uh, I guess under the, uh, privacy standpoint, there’s two ways you can go about it. You can either age, just like have nothing online or B you can just inundate it with a whole ton of information that people like. Oh, which one’s real, which one? Isn’t. Uh, what, what’s your approach to staying safe with information?
[00:37:09] Sonny: Social media is the big one and we used it every day, a lot. And one time actually, we were following a target for a long amount of time. And one day he comes out of his residence with a carry on suitcase. So we think, okay, we’re going for a long day here. Uh, so we follow him. He gets on a bus, um, we have different vehicle.
[00:37:31] We have vehicles and foot surveillance, I was typically foot surveillance and I was a team leader at this time. So we get on a bus and we have to have a person on that bus. Um, so one of the team members on there, he goes on the bus, gets off the bus, goes into the underground train station, subway, we call it the tube in London. It gets on the tube, it goes two stops and then there’s a, like a tube work, so he has to get out off.
[00:37:53] So he comes out of there, gets in a taxi and then he takes his taxi all the way out of London, uh, to an airport. Um, he actually takes it to a train station on the outskirts of London and then gets on an overground train and goes to an airport on the outside of London. And we’re following him this whole time and I’m like one of the leads and I’ve just got a little bag and wearing my clothes. And it was just a little bag of a few bit, little bits and bobs in there. Um, and we always carry our passports.
[00:38:21] So on the way to the airport, the people in the office and other people were doing like the technical support are trying to get me tickets on certain flights. Um, in the end we find what flight he’s on, we get me on that flight and I fly on the same plane. We ended up going to a Spanish island and then, yeah and then I’m over there in a hotel following him. And then I have some downtime when he’s in his hotel and we get on Facebook and looking through what is he doing over here to dah, dah, dah, and something he’d liked to say, uh, uh, music artists a couple of years before he’d liked one of their posts.
[00:39:00] And that artist just happened to be playing at a local nightclub at the, at the time. So we predicted that he was going there and we recorded it and then we ended up seeing him in there photographing him there, doing some things he shouldn’t have been doing, and that was a successful operation.
[00:39:16] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:39:17] Sonny: But just the fact of, he just liked one post a long time. And that’s what brought us on to where he was. Uh, but people give up a lot of information. It’s not just like, it’s also in the background of pictures and stuff. So I would say, keep your friends. There’s no reason unless you’re trying to promote a business to keep your Instagram open to any friends, to reach out, to contact you.
[00:39:40] If you know the person, then you should accept them and also Facebook as well. Uh, but once your information is out there, like when I joined special forces, I had to email a few places to get my, I’ll ad some news articles from when I was in the Marines and stuff, uh, that my face and name was attached to, I had to get them to wipe that down. But they couldn’t wipe it down completely.
[00:40:01] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:40:01] Sonny: It’s not able to be done. So once it’s out there, it’s out there and it’s hard to retract anything.
[00:40:07] Travis Bader: You know, the, the other thing that I found was, uh, the friend list that the people will have to like Facebook. You can have the option of other people, not seeing your friend list while even if you’re really diligent about not putting out any personal information or doxing yourself, your friends might.
[00:40:27] And that was how actually on this one woman, cause I was there for a completely separate matter, I was doing some consulting for the law firm and, uh, that was how we found that the kids having piano lessons out of a certain time and it wasn’t because of this person saying anything on their own lists, but you just start clicking through their friends and seeing where they reference things and.
[00:40:47] Sonny: Yeah. And that’s usually the weak link is family members, to be honest.
[00:40:51] Travis Bader: Yeah.
[00:40:52] Sonny: Yeah. And even if they’re closed accounts, if you manage to become a friend with some of this, and then you’re in to that circle, you know everything that’s going on because no matter how security minded you are, then it’s the people around you and not going to keep up that level of security. So they are the weak links.
[00:41:09] Travis Bader: It’s like, why is this really attractive woman wanting to friend me on Facebook? Okay. Great, got access to everything now. Right.
[00:41:18] Sonny: That’s the joke. But that does happen. Yes.
[00:41:20] Travis Bader: Oh, it does. You know, I’ve got a friend who works for a company and they set geo fences up around, uh, schools and institutions. And it’s kinda like a, pre-crime what they do is they look at pre digital occurrences that follow a trend for, let’s say, school violence or school shootings. And he travels all over the world and lectures on this.
[00:41:48] And, but I just, through the digital algorithms that people are posting and how they’re posting and the frequency and the content of what they’re putting out. Uh, they’re able to successfully mitigate violence in, uh, in social settings, which is, which is, and he’s been doing it for years. This isn’t something that’s new and it’s kind of crazy.
[00:42:13] Sonny: Yeah. That’s interesting, actually.
[00:42:14] Travis Bader: Yeah. So it’s, um, uh, one way that they’re able to, uh, just put a pin in, let’s say a school shooting or a violent situation like that, and confront individuals and get to the bottom of things before it even becomes an issue, which is, uh, kind of, kind of in line, but just in a digital way with the situational awareness, how can we take a look around at all the information that we have?
[00:42:41] Why is that person got his hands in his pockets? Why aren’t they making eye contact? Why are they making excessive eye contact? Why are they dressed like in the, in the way that they are?
[00:42:49] Sonny: Yeah.
[00:42:49] Travis Bader: Uh, what, what sort of, uh, what, what are some of the top tips that you find that people find the most useful that.
[00:42:58] Sonny: The most useful is the most basic stuff really is like stay away from distractions. But there’s one thing that I’ve pushed quite hard because I think it’s very important. There’s a fine line between situation awareness and being a bit paranoid. I am a bit paranoid.
[00:43:13] Travis Bader: Sure.
[00:43:13] Sonny: I do admit that, but I have been in some circles that mean that these, I can have some risks, but yeah. One of the main things is recognizing when you’re at a vulnerable time and everybody has these vulnerable points of their week. That for my, for me, for instances, when I leave my MMA gym, uh, around 9:00 PM and it’s in Chinatown, it’s quite a rough part of town and I have to walk to the bus stop. And nowadays I walk to the parking lot, a couple of blocks.
[00:43:39] Uh, during that time I am switching on, I call it, switch on to your environment and I am checking my surroundings in a certain techniques to do that. But I’m also putting my phone away. I’m not listening to music on my headphones. I love to walk around and listen to music or podcasts, but there’s a time and a place to do that.
[00:43:56] And as a time and a place to prioritize paying attention to your environment. And also there’s also a lot of training that I give, which is based around how, how to act to act naturally in an environment. Cause there’s this whole thing around situation awareness is two fold. First of all, it’s the detection of threats, which is an important thing.
[00:44:18] The earlier you can detect a threat, the more time you have to think and act on what to do and avoid it. If you detect it very early then the avoidance tactic could be crossing the street and not even having to walk past this person.
[00:44:29] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:44:29] Sonny: Um, but this, the second element to situation awareness, which I’m very much pushing, quite hard is the way that you’re perceived by bad guys or criminals when you’re on the street, because there’s a lot of studies and there’s one in particular called the Grace and Steen study from 1981 where they’d two researchers in America took, um, some video tape of a busy New York intersection of just random people walking about. And then they took that videotape into a federal penitentiary and they selected the most hardcore human prejudice, like rapists.
[00:45:03] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:45:03] Sonny: Violent sorts, um, murderers. And these people were selected because they, their crimes had been on members of the public. They weren’t gang related the crimes. So they’re the perfect test subjects for this. And they showed this video tape to these inmates, and then they wanted to know who they would select as victims and the researchers as with everyone else had an opinion, oh, they’re going to select, most people think women. Um, but actually that wasn’t true. They started selecting people and it was quite random.
[00:45:33] First of all, they didn’t realize, didn’t really understand why. So they analyze the data more thoroughly and they found that this, the way that people carry themselves is a major factor in why they are selected. And if you look weak and vulnerable, then you pose less risks, risks to an attacker, so you’re more likely to be chosen or selected as a victim.
[00:45:54] If you can appear confident and in your environment like you belong there, you have a reason to be there. We always say the people in the try and act like the others in the environment, the people who are actually native there, who actually lived there all the time, insiders. There’s a big difference being between being an insider and outsider, if you can appear like an insider.
[00:46:15] And that means that you conform to the normal behaviours and cloven patterns of the area, you’re less likely to be targeted because there’s, there’s more risks associated with being an insider or being confident. And one of my things is just, you don’t have to be the biggest fiercest lion on the plane.
[00:46:34] You just not to have to appear to be the weakest gazelle. And if you’re in a crowd of people, when someone’s looking to rob, stick someone up for an iPhone, you don’t have to be a hard street fight in person Krav Maga black belt, but you just have to appear not to be like frail and weak and nervous.
[00:46:52] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:46:53] Sonny: And changing that perception. And a lot of that is fake it till you make it. And a lot of the professions I’ve been in, I’ve been around people that are really faking it and you can see through it. But when you’re younger, you kind of don’t really see through it but.
[00:47:06] Travis Bader: Yeah.
[00:47:07] Sonny: If you’re not confident in yourself, then the certain techniques that I teach in my course, uh, that can make you appear like, you know what you’re doing, you know where you are and you’re not faced by these other threats that around in the area. And in big, one of that is actually addressing threats early and not shying away and trying to avoid. If you’re forced to walk past a, a person up ahead of you on the street, who is a threat profile, uh, maybe this person has decided, right, I’m going to rob you and you don’t know that yet.
[00:47:34] You’re going to walk past that person. You have to, let’s say, you, if they’ve already decided that they’re going to Rob you, what’s the harm in giving them the brief bit of eye contact to show that you’re aware of them and you’re not fazed and then continue walking. The the opposite side to that is you shy away, you look at the ground and you close in on yourself and you hope for the best. That’s not in my experience, the way to get out of that situation unscathed.
[00:48:02] To address the threat early and you don’t have to go guns blazing, but to show that you’re confident, just looking at them eye contact, and then look ahead at head, eye level to where you’re about to go. It shows that you are not an easy victim. You’re not phased by them being there. And if you don’t look like an easy victim, then maybe you’re not the ideal victim type that they are looking for.
[00:48:23] Travis Bader: I’ve always found that eye contact is such a delicate tightrope. You don’t make eye contact. Okay, soft target.
[00:48:31] Sonny: Yeah.
[00:48:32] Travis Bader: You make too much eye contact. Okay, threat. Right. And like I’m, I’m 6’6″, 250 pounds and I think when I. In my early twenties, I was 6’6″, 225 pounds, right. So not, not a heck of a lot of fluctuation. I could probably lose a couple of pounds. Maybe it’s muscle, I’ll tell myself that.
[00:48:52] Sonny: Weighs more.
[00:48:53] Travis Bader: There you go. Um, but I found in a bar situation, I would think, and most people would think, I’m the last person that somebody would want to go up and have an altercation with because I’m a bigger guy, right. But time and time again, I always found, I was almost always, growing up, through elementary, through high school, through a young adulthood, the first person that people always wanted to go up and prove their metal against or to push, to see how far I would push back. And I’ve always had very good containment. Up until a certain point. But, um.
[00:49:36] Sonny: Yeah, from my perspective, if I was to walk into a bar, this is something that’s ingrained in me. I do size people up to think who is the biggest threat and there are certain indicators that I look for in someone’s facial features and the shape of their nose, the scar tissue around their eyes, and also the way they carry themselves, as in their posture. Um, but for yourself, yeah, I would notice you and think right, if this goes down in here and I’m on the like, like, like the receiving end of attacks, then that guy I need to deal with first.
[00:50:05] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:50:06] Sonny: Unfortunately. But that’s a compliment.
[00:50:12] Travis Bader: Well, growing up it didn’t feel like a compliment. It was fight after fight and getting good at being able to verbally deescalate a fight, which is something I was never, ever good at. Some people have the gift of gab and they’re super social. This whole podcast thing is a whole training process for me, really in, uh, in conversation, it’s been quite a, quite a challenge. Having ADHD, I reach a certain point in the conversation, I’m bored, I usually just get up and walk away, right.
[00:50:42] But that was something that I think, uh, the deescalation tactics is something that was never something that I was very strong with. And I would either a just push through, which means you get in the fight or they, they leave. Right. Or, uh, B, I’d have to make the decision whether this is something that is worth, worth getting into it, just walking away from which I’m stubborn and pigheaded and that very rarely happens.
[00:51:14] Sonny: Yeah. I know the feeling of that definitely myself. Um, I’ve had a gap in my skillset, which is the deescalation aspect. So a lot of my trainers on the, the buildup and the approach to, uh, uh, an altercation or a threat. And then there’s the deescalation conversation, which in my youth I hated it. I was actually very scared of it. I think that’s part of the reason why I would go forward, because I hate that, when someone’s challenging you in your face and you’re just there like, oh, okay. Back down here or you know, that was my go time.
[00:51:48] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:51:49] Sonny: I’m not that person at the moment. And now I know it’s stupid. It is literally stupidity. Um, but I know that feeling. I know some people still stand their ground in that situation and you know, you can do that, but there’s also other factors at play. And especially when you’re a family man, and there’s weapons like knives and that involved. But to go back to the eye contact thing, that’s a very in-depth subject and I have a lot of training to give on that.
[00:52:15] And it’s hard to give them this training through an Instagram post, which what I usually do because there is a lot of factors and I wouldn’t recommend eye contact with someone who’s mentally ill or on drugs on the street, because you need to avoid any sort of altercation with that person.
[00:52:32] So they’re the kind of eye contact I’m talking about is, is just a glance at the person in their eyes. And then a glance ahead to where you’re about to go. And that’s just to show that you’re aware of them. You’re not trying to shy away, but there is a lot of situations where eye contact is a bad idea. And it’s hard to get that information across in such short snippets, in like an Instagram posts, which is the main source of what I’ve been doing over the last two years.
[00:52:57] Travis Bader: So do you have more that I contact information and your, your online course?
[00:53:02] Sonny: Yes, I do.
[00:53:03] Travis Bader: Nice. Okay.
[00:53:04] Sonny: I have a lot of deterrent techniques and that is one deterrent technique. Um, so if some, if my whole premise is that come from that same study is that it takes a lot of these inmates that the average time of assessment, whether they’re going to choose to target that person over the other was seven seconds of assessment time.
[00:53:23] And seven seconds sounds like not much time, but it actually is quite a lot of time. And if someone’s looking at you, first of all, they’re going to see what valuables are on display. If they’re looking for purpose of getting money or for whatever reason, they’re going to be looking at you to see it’s a reward, risk versus reward factor. And if you’re showing a lot of reward as by way of valuables or whatever their sick disposition is, then they’re going to take more risk to get their, what they want.
[00:53:56] But if you are keeping valuables out of the eyes of the people, then they’re less likely to go and try and take more risks. And that delves into the body language sort of aspect of it too. If you’re more confident, then why is that person so confident when you should be scared in this situation?
[00:54:18] Travis Bader: Yeah, I know I, I was traveling through Europe when I was younger and I ended up picking up a book by Allan Pease. And I think he’s put a few of them out in his wife as well now on body language. And because I figured, you know, I’m not going to be able to speak all the different languages of the places I go to, but if I can perhaps pick up on the body language and communicate through body language, I may have a better go. And I found that quite useful.
[00:54:42] Sonny: Yeah.
[00:54:43] Travis Bader: Seven seconds so that they have seven seconds and they make that determination. And that’s 1-1000,2-1000, 3-1000, 4-1000, 5-1000, 6-1000, 7-1000. That’s a long time.
[00:54:58] Sonny: Yeah. And the whole time that they’re, they’re making that they are in that environment, standing there most likely or sitting there. So you do have opportunity to, to spot them, to detect them and to deter them and to evade them. And that’s the basis of a lot of the training that I’m giving.
[00:55:15] Travis Bader: Yeah, smart and not having flashy things out. You know, my grandfather used to say opportunity makes the thief. I don’t know if it makes it thief, but if you provide that opportunity, a thief will be bound to pounce on it.
[00:55:27] Sonny: Yeah. And the biggest opportunity, and one of the biggest things they look for in this day and age is cell phones. If you’re walking along listen to music or scrolling on your phone, then you are a perfect target because you’re, you’re just shoutin’ I am completely unaware of my surroundings.
[00:55:41] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:55:43] Sonny: With your hands by your side, casually looking around that you can’t be crept up on. And that is a big deal. There’s no element of surprise and they will always want the element of surprise no matter what their goal is. Um, there’s a lot of little things like that that can make a big difference. And I have felt that in my own life, before I joined the military or anything, I moved from my hometown on the south coast of England, up to London to study criminology at university because I was really interested in why people commit crimes and violent crimes.
[00:56:13] And wasn’t really understanding my own sick, like attachment to it. Um, so I studied criminology, but that meant that I moved to London, the capital city, and there’s a lot of knife crime as we discussed and there’s a lot of other elements as gang culture. And I moved to a part of London called Brixton, for those of you that don’t know, it’s got a bad reputation, they had some riots back in the day it’s a great place.
[00:56:38] I love it around a lot fun there, but there is a dark element to it. And the thing is with London and the UK, we don’t have as much space as you have over here in Canada. So things go up and people are all in enclosed environments.
[00:56:52] Even the streets are very tight and we have what are called counsellors states in this government housing, and they’re just tower blocks and there’s a lot of gang activity in these environments and I moved the air from an L being an outsider from my hometown, and I’d had a bit of a different accent as well. So I was noticeably an outsider and I looked and dressed different cause there’s different cultural, uh, clothing norms in different parts of different cities.
[00:57:16] Travis Bader: Right.
[00:57:17] Sonny: Um, so I moved there and then I had to get the bus to my classes every day. And we literally have gangs, I don’t see it in Canada, but in the UK we have gangs of youths and literally gang members on the streets and outside stores and on corners. And you have to walk past them if you want to use public transport, which I have done most of my life. So I was very nervous at that time, even though it was a fighter, and I’d done some boxing, I was nervous because of the reputation of the gangs and street crime, knife crime in particular.
[00:57:45] So I’d walk past and I would get challenged. And one thing with the gangs in London is it’s territorial based in this different codes for different gangs. And they would say, what ends are you from bruv is this is the saying that they would always, what ends are you from bruv. And I’ll be like, ah, I’m not from round here. And that was kind of like, uh, there was that actually a bit of a, like gave me a safe haven that they were looking for threats from other tutorials, territorial gangs mainly.
[00:58:13] But it still was an uncomfortable situation and I’d walk up to these groups of youths and some of them like 18, 20 my age at the time. And it would be nerve wracking experience, even though I was comfortable with fighting. I didn’t like doing it obviously. And no one got me wondering why is other people in this area, same ethnicity, same sort of look as me just walking past without being challenged or stopped or anything.
[00:58:38] And after, after I acknowledged that I could say this I’m not from around here. Um, it kind of gave me a safe pass. I had this new found confidence and I just walked past. And then after a while I was never challenged and I’d go to visit friends in other boroughs of London and I wasn’t challenged there.
[00:58:57] And it’s because I was an insider and I was really an insider and my body language, my whole aura had changed and I was confident, but I had a place to be and I was just going about my life.
[00:59:07] Travis Bader: Interesting.
[00:59:08] Sonny: Um, so yeah, I’ve also studied that aspect and thats embedded in my training as well. And that’s from personal experience and also working in surveillance and stuff. You get some training in these areas too.
[00:59:22] Travis Bader: So if you’re going into a new location and you want to set back and take a look at your surroundings and get a bit of a temperature check for what it’s like, what, how do you quickly acclimatize, your personality, your attitude, your, uh, your demeanour to, uh, to your environment.
[00:59:41] Sonny: I it’s called establishing a baseline. So if I was going to start a close protection body guarding job, then in the days before the client arrives, a lot of my stuff was taking clients on vacation around Europe. So I’d arrive at the location and I’d have to adapt the way I dress and the way that I talk and look to blend in because a lot of my uh, close protection stuff from the UK before I came over here was on my own.
[01:00:07] And I was, I came into cause I did the surveillance stuff they wanted to like covert surveillance protection. So I’d be in the shadows behind, but they didn’t want me intruding on their family vacation, but they were like wealthy individuals and they wanted me there to observe them and look out for them and have plans and things in place.
[01:00:25] So I’d arrive in a location and then you establish a baseline. So you sit down in a cafe and you just observe the environment. And you’re looking at the ambient noises and the sounds that dress and the customs of the people. And you’re literally noting down mentally, what’s going on around you, how people behave, how they act, what they look like and you just try and conform and adapt to that.
[01:00:47] So one particular job I was in Italy and ended up going to, from Naples um, I took my client over to the island of Capri, which are very wealthy and exclusive island, staying in five star hotels and all that. That’s the perks of the job.
[01:01:03] Travis Bader: Rough. Rough.
[01:01:05] Sonny: So that was, uh, a very good job. Uh, so I, I adapted my, my clothing and the gray man philosophy over there. And I was actually getting spoken to in Italian and I was quite proud of that because they feel I was an Italian and I was just over there on vacation or whatever, but I had to stay away from the family and just like usher them around and make sure everything was okay. And then I took them back to Naples.
[01:01:30] They got their plane back to where they came from and I had one night in Naples on my own um, just to do whatever I wanted. I wasn’t going to waste that time, a successful operation. So I went out from the town, bearing in mind, I dressed completely for this exclusive, wealthy island. I was wearing like flowery shirts, I was wearing white linen pants, had like gold sunglasses.
[01:01:54] Travis Bader: Course, yeah.
[01:01:55] Sonny: Yeah, I was playing the part.
[01:01:56] Travis Bader: Sure.
[01:01:57] Sonny: But it was successful. And, but now I was walking through Naples, which is a notoriously rough town. There’s a lot of crime networks, then there’s from the research I’ve done. And that’s also one thing. If you’re going to go on vacation, then you can find a lot of information online about what the customs and the dress, and even looking on Google street maps, you could see people when you go down on that and see what’s going on on the ground.
[01:02:19] Travis Bader: Good point.
[01:02:20] Sonny: Yeah. Well, I, I deal with that before, and then I, so I thought I’ll go around and have a look at the bars and stuff, and I wasn’t going to waste the, uh, time I had there, but I knew that I, I stood out and I was, uh, looked like I was wealthy and I looked like a tourist, but I didn’t care. You know, do as I say, not as I do.
[01:02:39] Travis Bader: Sure.
[01:02:40] Sonny: So I have my headphones in as well, which.
[01:02:43] Travis Bader: Oh common.
[01:02:43] Sonny: Is a big no-no. Because I love to, I listen to like rock music and stuff. When I’m walking around and podcasts, cause I was just sightseeing anyway. So I start walking and I’m walking into the shopping district and up ahead, I’ve got my sunglasses on too, I see a guy, uh, Eastern European fitting the profile and he’s standing in a good tactical position. And tactical position in, in situational awareness sense is, is somewhere where you can observe the goings on and someone where no one can creep up on you.
[01:03:12] So he’s, he’s up against the building and looking around and he’s showing situational awareness. Typically the only people that are aware of their surroundings are the good guys and the bad guys, the protectors, the police, the security, us, like we know, we’re trained.
[01:03:26] And then there’s the bad guys who are also looking for prey and looking for the authorities who could apprehend them and they’re out, they stand out. So once you start practicing situation awareness, you see these things stand out. Anyway, I saw him looking around and I was walking towards him, there’s other people on the street.
[01:03:44] And then I had my headphones in and I saw him notice me and I saw him gesture to someone else behind me, but I didn’t see this person. So I continued walking and I noticed on the side, it was a big department store window. Um, so check myself out in the window. Not checking myself out, it’s called a reflectional look back and it’s actually shown in the movies quite a lot, but I use them.
[01:04:07] So in a parallel window, you can see quite clearly behind yourself. And then I see a guy sharp scurrying up behind me. Um, probably a pickpocket attempt is that’s what they do around these parts. So I continue walking and then I see a bus shelter up ahead of me and it’s got the big glass advertising panel.
[01:04:27] So I start walking directly towards that, so then I’ve got a clear view directly behind me, another reflectional look back and I see the guy getting very close behind me. And then as my, I’m walking, I walk past the bus stop and then I’m out in the open and I can no longer see where he is, but I should have mentioned before, too, that I turned the music off.
[01:04:49] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:04:49] Sonny: Past my headphone, my hand was in my pocket. So I still looked unaware to these criminals, but I was actually monitoring what was going on. And also I have a fightin’ background as I was, had a few beers at that time as well. But it’s a bit of a training exercise for me.
[01:05:06] Travis Bader: Sure, yeah yeah.
[01:05:07] Sonny: So I walk a few steps further, and then I can hear the footsteps right behind me. And then I’ll just take a deep breath and all of a sudden, bam, I spin round and I’m face to face with the guy and I say, my thickish British accent, British accent. All right, mate, how’s it going? And he was like a rabbit in the headlights. He was like, oh, but he didn’t speak English, but he is shocked. And then he smiled as well cause he knew, like we had that knowing thing. Yeah. What is it? It’s not going to be anything, cause I’m ready.
[01:05:35] Travis Bader: Yeah exactly.
[01:05:36] Sonny: But yeah. And then he ran off scurried away and I carried on with me drinking session. Yeah. I wouldn’t advise anyone to do that. Well, that’s a bit of an example of the skills that I’m teaching in play. I could have turned around and deterred the guy at any time. And I would advise sometimes to do that. I could have just looked at him and that would have been that, over, because he wanted the element of surprise. He wanted an unaware tourists, but.
[01:06:00] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:06:01] Sonny: Uh, I played it a bit differently.
[01:06:03] Travis Bader: A little cheeky, but had more fun out of it.
[01:06:06] Sonny: Yeah. That’s it.
[01:06:07] Travis Bader: Oh man. Well, we talked about a size of an opponent can make a big difference and the number of opponents can make a big difference. But the one that you’ve brought up is weapons, right. And we’ve had some shootings here in the lower mainland, uh, we’ve had a, some stabbings that have been going on.
[01:06:26] Um, you know, I saw one, I think it was in Toronto. Uh, there was a news clip and this person’s I think it was a gun I’m trying to remember back here, anyways, waving this thing around and another woman just walking by completely oblivious as somebody’s acting completely erratically. Um, similar to the story that you told earlier, but what would, uh, what would for most people in a security profession, you’re always going to assume that the other person has a weapon.
[01:06:59] Um, that’s just a no-brainer, if they don’t, hey that’s gravy. Right. But if you’re going to make the assumption, this is probably a weapon. If they have one weapon, they probably have two weapons. Um, what, uh, what are your thoughts on that? I mean, in Canada, we don’t seem to have the, uh, well, I hate how they call it knife crime or gun crime. Cause it’s just crime and they happen to have a certain type of, of weapon that they’re using.
[01:07:23] Sonny: Yeah.
[01:07:24] Travis Bader: Um, on avoiding that, detecting that, uh, do you have any thoughts on that?
[01:07:30] Sonny: Yeah, I do have a lot of thoughts on that and that’s another reason why I’ve started this training because it all came about that in my youth, when I was, when I moved to London to do that um, criminology degree. I actually took my attitude to this new playing ground, this new, more like a war ground, to be honest. And I would never back down, but that didn’t fare so well when there was gangs and knives involved and people would, just didn’t care about using them.
[01:07:59] So I had an altercation in a bar, uh, looking for my friends or walking down the side side of the dance floor in a bar I used to go in all the time again. I’d had some drinks myself, um, a guy just barges straight through my shoulder and I stepped back, look at him, it’s dark, the lights are flashing. I don’t recognize the guy, but I do have enemies at that point in my life. Um, and there’s another guy behind him and he’s posturing. He’s got his hands down by his sides and he’s doing the old typical, like.
[01:08:27] Travis Bader: Yeah.
[01:08:27] Sonny: Pushing out his chest, which is for me is a telltale sign that, yeah, you may have had some fights before, but you’re not trained fighter because you are exposing yourself.
[01:08:35] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:08:35] Sonny: Anyway. So I don’t know if I should say this. I head butt him.
[01:08:41] Travis Bader: Yeah.
[01:08:41] Sonny: Yeah. As you do.
[01:08:43] Travis Bader: The Glasgow kiss.
[01:08:43] Sonny: Yeah. Because, oh, there’s two against one, in my opinion. And at that time in my life, I’ve experienced, you have to go hard, fast and aggressive. And I knew that that fight was on, I didn’t know why maybe I’d had an altercation with him before. Maybe didn’t like the look of me, but the barge and then like the posture, like either I’m going to back down, which I wasn’t going to do.
[01:09:02] Nowadays, yeah, I would, but then, I wasn’t going back down. So it’s either throw the first punch or get hit with the first punch was my mentality. Anyway, so we have a bit of a scuffle on the dance floor. A few seconds, the doormen are on us and they’ve thrown me out. They’d thrown me outside the front and they just throw me on the ground. And this happened a lot to me, to be honest, it was nothing, nothing unusual.
[01:09:26] Travis Bader: Yeah.
[01:09:27] Sonny: Um, I’ll get back up and then they throw him out and he’s standing next to me. And there’s a big lineup of ladies and men queuing to get into this bar club. And, uh, I stand there and looking at him and his friend comes out as well, stands behind him. And he’s looking at me and I’m looking at him and he’s doing something down here and I’m not registering, I’m a bit drunk anyway. And I’m like, thinking, why is he not like going for it now? Because we just had a fight and now we’re clear and the bouncers stepped back.
[01:09:54] Like, they’re literally two cornerman just ready, ding, ding, ding, because it’s out of their jurisdiction now. Um, and then it goes, so I’m fighting this guy and I’m a boxer. So straight punches down the middle he’s wildly swinging and I noticed that he’s actually hit me in the body, which is unusual in a street fight.
[01:10:13] Um, and anyway, I’m hitting him and I am hitting him hard, but he was like, he was a solid structure of a man. I remember him not even stepping back or moving. I was just thinking, wow, this is all right. He can take it so.
[01:10:25] Travis Bader: Yeah.
[01:10:25] Sonny: We’re fighting. Anyway, he decides that he’s getting lit up a bit and he charges me and takes me down, which is another common occurrence in a, uh, in a street fight cause quite often when two big forces collide, they go down.
[01:10:37] Travis Bader: Yep.
[01:10:38] Sonny: Um, so he ends up on top of me and I’m flailing and I hadn’t done any jujutsu or any ground fighting at that time, I was a boxer. So that’s another element that is completely alien to most people and when you know a little bit about ground fighting, you know, how hard it really is, isn’t it.
[01:10:54] Travis Bader: Sure.
[01:10:54] Sonny: And, um, so I’m fi floating around trying to fight on my back and all of a sudden. I can feel this hot water, what it feels like someone’s tipping a coffee cup, a cup of tea down over my head and shoulders. Anyway, I’m not really thinking about it.
[01:11:10] There’s a cold like night and in London and then all of a sudden I hear a scream from a woman in the, in the lineup, which is only a few feet away. He’s got a knife, he’s got a knife. Um, and at that moment I was all, I will admit I was consumed by true fear, I thought, oh my goodness, what is going on here? I’m going to die.
[01:11:30] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:11:30] Sonny: I thought I was going to die.
[01:11:31] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:11:32] Sonny: So he’s on top of me and I’m just trying to hold on for dear life, basically. Um, and luckily the door security team intervene, they grabbed him off and as they grabbing him off, I kick him and then I just, I sprint off that, which was a natural instinct.
[01:11:49] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:11:50] Sonny: Which is another thing comes with fighting a lot on the street, you get out of there before you arrested.
[01:11:54] Travis Bader: Yeah, exactly.
[01:11:55] Sonny: So I just run, I just run. And then I ended up slumping down in, in an alleyway, um, a few streets back to look at what’s going on, and I’m covered in blood all over me. Um, and it was coming out of my face. I nearly it lost my eyes and the corner of my eye there. Um, one of the wounds and I realized that I’ve obviously been stabbed, but the, the moral of the story is that I didn’t see the weapon. And that’s what happens in most knife attacks.
[01:12:22] If someone really wants to do damage to you and they’re not going to run over to you wielding it above their head. And it’s, it’s so sporadic and fast it’s bam, bam, bam. And that’s how it happens. And I’ve watched lots and lots of footage of prison attacks and knife fights on the street. Cause I do want to have a good opinion on it and I want to be able to teach this stuff.
[01:12:40] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:12:40] Sonny: So, and that’s how it happens. And most of the time, the defendant doesn’t know that a knife is being used against them until they see their own blood flowing or afterwards the blood pressure drops, they actually drop. And that’s what happens a lot of times. So the way to get around that is you have to, you have to identify the hands, but there’s also body language cues that you can go into quite in depth, but for me, it’s the hands. It’s always, the hands is the most important thing. Um, and not getting into altercations. Now I do advise to comply in a lot of scenarios because there’s no point in dying over an iPhone.
[01:13:15] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:13:15] Sonny: Which can happen and people are so they’re not concerned with using weapons anymore in, in places like London. I’m sure over here in certain parts as well.
[01:13:26] Travis Bader: Sometimes it’s easier. It’s like, uh, armed guards. Armed professionals, they carry a gun on their hip here in Canada and they transfer money around everyone figures hey, that, that gun is there to protect the money. No, you want the money? They’ll give you the money, the guns there to protect their life or life from a third party, right?
[01:13:44] Sonny: Yeah.
[01:13:44] Travis Bader: Um, similar mindset I think is beneficial in, in most people. They want the iPhone, okay, we can get a new iPhone. Most, I see, uh, knives in Canada. I carry a pocket knife have carried a pocket knife, oh geez, I was in elementary school. Had a pocket knife I took the school and I remember I lost it, go into the office, grade one I think it was. And the admin there come out and they said, oh, we think we found it for you.
[01:14:16] And it’s a big blue plastic knife. No, no, no, no. It’s, it’s black, it’s folding and it looks like this. And you mean like a real life? Yeah, right. So I’ve carried a pocket knife. Most of my life it’s become more and more, uh, common. They just a little clip on type knives, it’s perfectly legal to do. And I see some people look at it as something that might be a good self-defence tool.
[01:14:41] And I have to wonder if they’ve ever seen what a knife can do because at close range it’s absolutely devastating. And if you think you’re using it just to get yourself out of a little fight, I mean, you don’t have to step too deep in certain areas and you’ve killed the person.
[01:14:57] Sonny: Yeah.
[01:14:58] Travis Bader: And yeah. These people that are carrying the knives they might be have, they might not necessarily be, uh, criminally minded to begin with. They might just be the average, joe blo who’s out there carrying a knife, who’s now having a bad day, you get in a road rage incident and they decide, okay, I’ll use this as my self-defence to or whatever it might.
[01:15:17] Um, what do they say? God made man, Sam Colt made man equal. It is a great, these weapons are great equalizer. I would think though, although illegal, uh, dog spray, which isn’t illegal to carry for dogs, but if you carry a pepper spray for people, a dog spray would probably be a pretty effective tool.
[01:15:44] Sonny: Yeah. I think that’s quite a good equalizer. Um, and it gives you that time to escape because the goal is always to escape is not to stand and engage.
[01:15:52] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:15:53] Sonny: Yeah. And also with knives. Um, yeah. I don’t ever recommend people to carry it for self-defence because you’re bringing in that, that weapon into the fold and it’s going to, if you’re not willing to use it, it’s going to get taken off and used against you most likely and then legal repercussions as well. Although a lot of people focus on the legal repercussions. I think you need to do what you need to do to survive, first of all, deal with that after. But that’s my personal opinion.
[01:16:18] Travis Bader: I agree.
[01:16:19] Sonny: Um, but yeah, I, I never really promote the use of these weapons because I try to have a global audience. Situational awareness is complementary to firearms training. For instance, there’s no point in having a firearm if you can’t see the threat early and then draw and get rounds down on it, if you’re allowed to do that in your country.
[01:16:39] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:16:40] Sonny: Do you know what I’m saying?
[01:16:41] Travis Bader: Yes. Um, are you allowed? Yes and no, that’s a whole other conversation.
[01:16:47] Sonny: Yeah. But yeah. The weapon, use of weapons, like pepper spray for instance, we don’t have this in England, so I’ve, I’ve grown up with a warped perception of even firearms, even though I was in the military, I’ve had, I haven’t grown up with it. So it’s been a bit alien to me for civilians to have it. And now that I’m in a country that civilians allowed it. I do like it a lot to be honest, even if we’re not using it for self defense purpose, I think it’s got of value in it to have it in society for.
[01:17:16] Travis Bader: I agree. Well, that kind of, kind of segues into a Instagram posts that I think you released yesterday, which I thought was incredibly relevant and I couldn’t agree more.
[01:17:30] Sonny: Okay.
[01:17:30] Travis Bader: Albeit a little bit cryptic, intentionally, I’m sure. And you said, hold the line and you’re talking about situational awareness and less, less of personal individual context and more of a global context or global thought context. Um, if I’m picking up on what you’re saying, is that something that we can talk?
[01:17:53] Sonny: Yeah, I’ll openly talk about, I didn’t know if you’d want to talk about that, to be honest.
[01:17:57] Travis Bader: Oh hey I’m, I.
[01:17:58] Sonny: Yeah. Cause I see from my, I have a very investigative mind and I see that we have a lot of things going on at the moment and there’s a lot of other things going on. I feel like the playing field for international conflicts or any other sort of conflicts has changed our minds, our perceptions and where we’re giving our attention or our opinions are the real commodity these days.
[01:18:22] Travis Bader: Yes.
[01:18:23] Sonny: And whether you’re following the mainstream media or you’re following other sources on social media, there is propaganda, is a scary word to say, and there.
[01:18:33] Travis Bader: Sure.
[01:18:33] Sonny: Is misinformation and information on both sides. And I don’t really know what’s going on. I think there is something else that we, the people are not savvy to and I don’t, I just see things that, uh, are not normal. Like the last two years are not normal.
[01:18:50] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:18:50] Sonny: Um, so I just, my, my F I follow a lot of people on the right, in, um, in America and stuff. And a lot of my self-defence injuries on the right. And they’re very much sound about freedoms all the time. I am actually, my opinions have been left leaning, but I don’t follow any political party, but at the moment I’m standing firmly with the right. Um, just because of, I think history shows us some things that have happened in the past, and there’s certain issues that we do need to like, hold the line on. Um.
[01:19:25] Travis Bader: Yes.
[01:19:26] Sonny: And I, it’s a very hot topic and.
[01:19:29] Travis Bader: You’re talking, I think, about personal privacy. Is that in relation to a COVID passports?
[01:19:35] Sonny: It is.
[01:19:36] Travis Bader: Yeah.
[01:19:36] Sonny: Yes. And it’s hard to talk about these subjects without conspiracy theory.
[01:19:42] Travis Bader: Without wearing a label of a tinfoil hat or flat earth-er or whatever.
[01:19:48] Sonny: Exactly, because I do follow, I follow the left on Instagram, I follow the right, I want to be informed about what’s going on. And I don’t think we get in fully informed or the full picture of every scenario and everything that’s happening. Uh, I just like to take a step back and see is this really? There’s a lot of fear mongering and I have personal experience of being around. I can’t talk about, but being around the owners.
[01:20:18] Uh, I’ve seen some red flags all along this journey. I don’t know. I like, I don’t think there’s a lot of people out there saying this is the way it is. This is the way it is. There’s pipeline information these days. Like if there’s Netflix documentaries on it and the creators of these algorithms on Twitter and that have openly said they didn’t want it to go down this route, but it has, if you’re giving your attention to one platform, if that platform starts giving you information, you disagree with, you’re going to discard that platform and go to another one.
[01:20:48] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:20:48] Sonny: So why would they give you opinions of the opposite side? Even if we’re not talking about government conspiracies, we’re talking about business models as well. Um, I don’t know a solution. I just, I just feel like there’s something else to this picture that we’re not knowing what’s going on.
[01:21:08] Travis Bader: I, you know, I look at it and part of it, it looks like a marketing problem, right? Some of it is how do we get information out in front of people in order to provide them with all the information so that they can make informed decisions. And that has not been executed well, in any country that I’ve seen. And most people will get their information traditionally through new sources.
[01:21:40] And now through social media or through search engines, which are all tightly intertwined, the, like Google owns YouTube and Facebook owns Instagram and they’re, they’re very, fairly well intertwined. And I think that there is a, uh, a fundamental desire in these organizations to provide people with the best possible information and maybe some altruistic ideas of how, how people should be living or how people should be treating each other.
[01:22:12] But it gets scary when they sort of take on the role as the arbiter of truth. And they will say, well, this is the true information, and this is untrue information. So we won’t show this one when we will show this or we’ll alter this information. And that, from a history perspective, is scary. And I don’t know if it’s necessarily some deep seated conspiracy or more just human nature playing out in a way that it has played out in the past, and will play out again in the future.
[01:22:47] Sonny: Yeah.
[01:22:48] Travis Bader: And.
[01:22:48] Sonny: Oh, it’s quite refreshing to hear you speak and we should have these conversations. I think that’s the most important thing, cause everyone I’ve spoke about, spoken to about this issue has had a similar opinion. And so you’ve got valid points in this issue. Um, but I don’t think we’re allowed to have these conversations and it’s a strange time that we’re in at the moment. Um, that like people are so attached to beliefs a lot of the time it is because they’re on a political side, um, that no one’s really looking at the issue independently.
[01:23:21] And without the, the big C stuff, last year, mainly in America, there’s a lot of stuff that’s happening that has outside influence, in my opinion, coming from a military sort of intelligence mind and the tactics that are being used inside of America, wherever that, I don’t know who it’s from, are actually some of the tactics that America has used to, uh, influence other governments in third world countries for, for a long time. Um, and my opinion is, I don’t know what’s going on.
[01:23:54] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:23:55] Sonny: But I am, I’m starting to question some things and, um, I don’t know what, I don’t know what’s going on. That’s the, uh, the big issue.
[01:24:03] Travis Bader: I think that’s an important point. I mean, it’s not like, I haven’t heard anyone come out with what I think to be the definitive answer and I’ll agree that some people that come out with some, uh, ideas can sound really cooky, on both ends of the spectrum, but the ability to have that conversation and to carefully weigh all of the information that’s readily available is the point that I think is currently, uh, the difficulty.
[01:24:32] I mean, so many people are, they seem to have their whole lives and personalities, um, intertwined with either a political idea or some sort of an idea. Whereas if you question that you’re now questioning them and their life and who they are, and they can’t seem to separate that from themselves and look at it objectively and come up with objective ideas on one side or the other, or rebuttals, and maybe they’re, maybe they’re a thousand percent right and you’re a thousand percent wrong, but the evidence should stand on its own.
[01:25:02] Rather, it seems to be the knee jerk reaction. If you’re not with us, you’re obviously against us. Or if you asked a question, it’s because you’re not with us and from a situational awareness at a much larger scale, I think that is a very important conversation that people need to be having.
[01:25:24] And I’m not going to say one way or the other, cause I just like you, I don’t have the information and I don’t have the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff on it, but to be able to discuss it and try and gather that information, I think is a very important piece. And when we start looking at restricting people’s ability to, uh, of movement and to attend, I guess, discretionary activities, whatever that is.
[01:25:51] I mean, there’s a list of, I think, 13 things, which is very broad and very narrow at the same time, depending on how you want to interpret it.
[01:25:58] Sonny: Yeah.
[01:25:59] Travis Bader: Um, based on, uh, your medical history. But not applying that same logic to any number of other medical issues that are out there. It starts to get scary. I mean, it’s um, yeah, I think it’s definitely something people need to be keeping their eyes on.
[01:26:19] Sonny: Yeah. I think there is some weight to question. And, uh, the biggest thing that stands out for me is the shutdown of any sort of debate about the topic.
[01:26:28] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:26:29] Sonny: Which is a red flag in my opinion, we should, we’re all adults here, we should all be able to discuss and, and debate on it. Um, and I think that some arguments are not being seen. We’ve seen this in America and that’s the problem with the way the information is given around now, that censorship can happen.
[01:26:48] From my perspective, I like to see all the angles and step back and look at everything. Um, if the intelligence agencies look at my phone and the groups that I follow, I follow some crazy stuff because I want to see these people that have the opposite view and they’re real diehard on it, I want to know, there must be something that they’re seeing that I’m not.
[01:27:08] If they really believe it then like there’s gotta be something to that. I want to talk to these people and understand where they’re coming from.
[01:27:15] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:27:15] Sonny: Not really cool and call them stupid or.
[01:27:18] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:27:18] Sonny: Um, and I’ll see, I just see red flags and I, I am just a bystander watching.
[01:27:24] Travis Bader: Sure.
[01:27:24] Sonny: Um, but I feel my duty as a, as a human and I’m a family man, everything I do now is to lay the foundations for my daughter to grow up in. And I don’t want to cross any boundaries where, uh, in the past, when we give away certain rights, we don’t typically get them back.
[01:27:43] Travis Bader: No.
[01:27:43] Sonny: Um, and I’ve come from a government high-end government, um, having like clearances and stuff, but, you know, every individual person should be able to make decisions on their own as long as they get the most information balanced.
[01:27:59] Travis Bader: And I don’t necessarily think it’s a, I don’t think it’s a, uh, overall government conspiracy or corporate conspiracy, but there’s always going to be money and power, right? The two big corruptors, money and power or perceived, perception of money or power. And there will be some that will take advantage of these situations to one side or the other.
[01:28:22] So there’s always going to be those elements, but I think it’s a level of group think that is happening right now, which is very, very concerning. And when I guess it would be kind of like, um, uh, collecting a baseline and going into a new place. And we’ve, we’ve come from a couple of years ago, a certain mindset and a certain attitude and if we were to drop two years ago into right now and take a look and take a baseline, I think there’d be quite a shock to most people.
[01:28:56] Whereas the whole boiling frog here, you turn the water up slowly and more and more rights are starting to go. Um, yeah, I think, uh, I don’t have answers to it. It was, it was an interesting post that you put up there and I’m just very delicately, delicately speaking about this, and I’m sure we’ll probably have some people that comment on this.
[01:29:19] Um, just because the whole point of The Silvercore Podcast is to, uh, speak with passionate people. People who have done extraordinary things and share that passion and information with others. And I don’t necessarily want to be taking it into some, uh, divergent area, but it just tied so well into the whole situational awareness and the fact that it was timely that you posted it last night.
[01:29:44] Um, I do think that people should be taking a moment to separate their ideology, their ideas, putting it out in a separate place and looking at it with the pros and cons of all the different sides and making a measured decision before just jumping on the wave of what everyone else seems to be saying.
[01:30:06] Sonny: Yes.
[01:30:07] Travis Bader: Cause this pendulum will swing.
[01:30:08] Sonny: Yeah. I agree. That, that’s part of the attention, the reason I’ve put that post up to try and draw attention, because I don’t want to go through, I’ve always been someone, like I said to step forward when other people were a bit like, mm I’m not sure. And this is something that I think we just need to talk about with our families and the people we know.
[01:30:27] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:30:27] Sonny: Discuss, because I’m going to be wrong on any issues. And the reason why I’m I’ve moved up, I’m not right thinking, but I’ve changed. I’ve been speaking with people and I did a long job with, uh, one person in particular who’s a Canadian military guy, um, right leaning. And we had a lot of discussions, we had spent a lot of time with each other. And a lot of the stuff he was saying was very true and I changed my opinion.
[01:30:51] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:30:51] Sonny: Did and I respect his opinion and we did disagreed on some things as well. That’s healthy, that’s how it should be.
[01:30:58] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:30:59] Sonny: We should, I think the left, I am not left.
[01:31:01] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:31:02] Sonny: I am not, uh, at the end of the day, but I did have some views of the left. I have some views that right. And I kind of pick, to be honest, I see a broken system here. Um, but that’s another conversation for another day.
[01:31:14] Travis Bader: I think so.
[01:31:15] Sonny: No, I, I believe the way it should work, like left to kind of bring new ideas in and the right is really holding society and keeping things going and strong work ethic, work ethic and create occasionally the left is going to say some things in the right’s coming out right now, wind it back.
[01:31:30] Travis Bader: Right, right, right.
[01:31:31] Sonny: Bit silly they’re okay. But sometimes they are. Okay. Yeah. That’s a good idea. And, and vice versa, but that was my kind of opinion traditionally on, on the left and right. Um, and at the moment, I think we’re, we’re not getting that, uh, debate cause everyone’s just wants to shout down at each other.
[01:31:47] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:31:47] Sonny: And that’s global and it’s not just here in America. I could see that back home in England as well and the UK.
[01:31:53] Travis Bader: Like being able to be open to reasonable persuasion. And I tell that to my kids. I said, don’t become positional, right? If you have, unless it’s contrary to your core values, your morals, your ethics. Great take that position. Cause that’s, that’s what defines you, right? But on most issues, don’t become positional, make your decision based on best available information, but be open to reasonable persuasion.
[01:32:22] And it’s that one last piece of the puzzle being open to reasonable persuasion that I find most people are missing on both sides of the argument, the will take their position and it doesn’t matter what comes in, what information will come their way, they then will defend that position. And that’s a sure-fire way to find yourself in a situation where you’ll eventually end up losing.
[01:32:43] You gotta be able to be adaptable and you gotta be able to always position yourself in a way where you can’t lose. And the best way to do that is to be open to reasonable persuasion. And don’t be positional.
[01:32:55] Sonny: Yeah, I agree. Yeah. That’s a good way of putting it.
[01:32:57] Travis Bader: Um, so yeah, interesting. I really liked that post. I’m glad that you put it up there cause it forced the conversation, well it didn’t force it, but it brought the conversation on this podcast because it’s something that I do feel strongly about and it is a little bit of a, a, a sidestep from what we normally talk about, but I think it’s an important thing to, uh, bring up.
[01:33:17] Sonny: Yeah. It’s a hot topic.
[01:33:19] Travis Bader: It is.
[01:33:19] Sonny: It is a hot topic.
[01:33:21] Travis Bader: So your course, that you’re selling on SixSight.co isn’t being sold anymore.
[01:33:26] Sonny: No.
[01:33:27] Travis Bader: Tell me about that.
[01:33:29] Sonny: I took some marketing advice, I’m going to be honest, I’m a genuine guy. And like I’ve done a lot of things. I’ve pieced together a training platform that was very, I think it’s very good. I put my name behind it. I’ve put my face on it now, which I never put my face on Instagram until I started launching this course. But traditionally for me, I started my SixSight as an information hub to give out the skills I’ve learned throughout my career and the experience I’ve picked up.
[01:33:56] And I was given it out for free. Um, and to put a price tag on it, it didn’t sit well with me. It didn’t, and I’ve had some time to think about it and now it’s free to those who need it. And if anybody has, is doing okay, because some people aren’t doing okay, they can get it for free and they can learn and they can hopefully get out of bad situations. And those of you out there that could pay a little bit, then there’s an option to pay a little bit, and I’d appreciate that.
[01:34:20] Travis Bader: Totally.
[01:34:21] Sonny: But If not, that’s fine. You know, and that’s the kind of person I am, to be honest, I like to do this. And because of the stuff that I’m teaching is a bit revolutionary. And I do believe that because I’m not seeing it out elsewhere. And also a problem I had every time I was given out my stuff, people were stealing it.
[01:34:38] Travis Bader: Totally.
[01:34:38] Sonny: And they had loads of followers and taking credit for it. So that was a bit of an egotistical thing on my part. But you know, you kind of want to be credited when you spent, uh, spent six months on this course, locking myself away, working on it, learning new skills to fill my, do scenarios on the street where I show the techniques so you can learn easily and also have given off quite a lot of information that has never really been taught to the wider public before.
[01:35:04] Um, and I’ve pieced it together and I’m happy with it. And I did a test group of a load of ladies that I know, and I’ve got great feedback coming back. And they told me that they’ve, they’ve given testimonials and stuff, so I’m happy. And I’ll just hope that people take the course and learn from it. And also, the big problem here is the people that need this aren’t actually looking for it. Cause they don’t even know what situational awareness is.
[01:35:30] Travis Bader: Right.
[01:35:31] Sonny: So it’s up to us as protectors to learn this information and then teach it to our families. Um, and we already do that, but why not bolster what we know and also when other people who are teaching tactics and things on Instagram, on TikTok or self-defence instructors and military people to take the course and to analyze it and give me feedback.
[01:35:53] Cause I want it to be the best it can be. And we’ve, we’ve this, I do have a band of brothers who I’ve worked with, who are highly, highly, I’ve landed on my feet in Canada. I work in the close protection industry and I’ve got a lot of professionals around me and I work in a crew where we, we help each other out and I have bounced ideas off.
[01:36:12] So I have had this kind of, how would you say this, a reference group to help me make sure that I’m not straying away from the goal and stuff. So, but I want to expand that and get it critiqued as well.
[01:36:26] Travis Bader: I think that’s an incredibly, uh, bright way to approach this. I’ve seen so many people put together products and then throw a price tag on it and wait for, wait for the big bucks to roll in, right.
[01:36:39] Only to find that they’ve just choked off. They’re a distribution stream. They can’t get their information out. They can’t get their brand or whatever else they need out to everybody else. And you know, there’s a, uh, a local fellow, one of the guys, the guy who recorded the first podcast with me and he runs a business and does some, some similar things to what we do here. And he created an app for an iPhone and I sat down with him after the podcast.
[01:37:05] I said put it out for free, like what are you doing? Right. Make it free as many people downloading that thing as possible. And then you’ve got that, you’ve got a captive audience. You’ve got that information at the front and it’s the whole jab jab jab right hook. Right. And it’s like, give, give, give, give, okay. Now have an ask. Right.
[01:37:22] And it’s just a matter of making sure that you’ve got the ability to have that ask at some point. But I think, uh, especially for any business, that’s just kind of starting off and getting the, getting things rolling. I think what you’re doing here is brilliant. And I think it’s going to put it in front of a much larger audience and it’s going to create more brand for you and your company. And so when the right hook does come, then it’s going to be a much bigger one.
[01:37:52] Sonny: Oh, thank you. I appreciate that.
[01:37:53] Travis Bader: That’s just my, my perspective from an outsider looking in at things, but I think that’s a, I think that’s quite a good way to do it.
[01:38:02] Sonny: Great. Yeah. Wow. Full steam ahead. And this is the first time I’ve announced it as well on this podcast here that is free for everyone. So you can just go to my SixSight.co on Instagram and or the website, which is of the same name and link in bio or on the website. And you just sign up and it’s free.
[01:38:19] Travis Bader: And I’m going to put links on the YouTube and on the podcast. Anyone listening to this can give it a click. It’s fantastic information on there. Uh, highly, highly, highly recommend that anybody listening to this check it out, share it with others. It doesn’t cost anything and it could save your life. Sonny, I think that’s probably a good point, good point here, place to wrap things up. Um, unless there’s anything else that you wanted to get out before we did so.
[01:38:46] Sonny: No. I’ll just like, say thanks for having me on here. It’s been fun. Hopefully see you again later down the line. We do another one.
[01:38:53] Travis Bader: Oh, we’re definitely going to do another one. I know it. And thank you very much for making the time. I really enjoyed it.
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