Ep. 62: SAS and SBS Special Forces SelectionEx. Special Forces Commando of SixSight.co recounts his gruelling special forces selection where all SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service) soldiers are separated from the rest of the potential applicants. Sonny has a wide array of knowledge and interests from bare knuckle boxing, high tech espionage and the use of alternative modalities to assist soldiers and others deal with trauma and mental health.
Travis Bader: [00:00:00] 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 dot Silvercore CA we 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, which sure you are properly covered during your outdoor adventures.
[00:00:44] And once again, joined by the founder of six sites, CEO expert, his special forces, commando, and corporate spy. My friend Sonny Smith sunny. Thank you very much for joining me again on the Silvercore podcast.
Sonny: [00:00:57] Thanks for having me back. I'm excited to char.
Travis Bader: [00:01:00] Man. We've been talking about so many cool things since our last podcast said, we decided, you know, there's going to be some points in here that the general public would probably like to hear about as well.
[00:01:11] And one of them we're talking about was, well, I guess specifically, uh, special forces selection. Cause I know that's something that is intriguing for a lot of people. I remember as a teenager, reading the Andy McNabb book, immediate action and absolutely loving the, uh, the detailing process of what brought them through that.
[00:01:31] But from your perspective, What in your background sort of drove you to want to submit yourself to such arduous, such an arduous selection process?
Sonny: [00:01:46] Well, at the beginning, I didn't aim for special forces or I had that in the back of my head, but I didn't tell anyone about that, which is a good thing to do.
[00:01:56] If you are thinking of it, you don't talk about it. Like, especially if you walk into a recruiter's office, don't say I want to go special forces. Cause they'll laugh in your face. You need to learn to walk before let's crawl before you can run and all that. Uh, but, uh, It was just striving to be the best.
[00:02:13] If I'm going to do something, I might as well try and go as far as I can go. And that's a stepping stone process as well. Um, so that's why I joined the Royal Marine commandos. First of all, because in the UK they're considered the best entry level, um, infantry that you can be. Um, and the powers are close second.
Travis Bader: [00:02:32] See, I've heard the powers are pretty good route to go as well.
Sonny: [00:02:35] Yeah. Now I have to give the powers respect cause I was actually focused on them as a youngster on nets, a Royal Marine command. Close friend of mine and he steered me in that direction. And I'm very happy about the decision on made. Um, but yeah, they're both good units.
[00:02:49] Um, but to go for special forces, you start off in the infantry and then what builds your basic skill levels up? Because being in special forces is a basics of really what matters and that's the difference is knowing the basics very well. And then you can build on top of that, uh, in terms of pushing yourself to the limits, uh, you have to be smart about it, but there's no easy way to get around the pain it's coming, you know, and you have to get into the pain early on.
[00:03:17] You can't just turn up and get into the pain. You have to get into the pain every day, every morning, uh, training hard.
Travis Bader: [00:03:24] What do you mean getting into the pain every day? Early morning? Is that just like a mental switch that you're like, okay, we're on, we're doing this.
Sonny: [00:03:30] Yeah. Once I made the decision that I was going to go for selection, um, then I just.
[00:03:37] Decided that I was going to do the training that I needed to do to pass, which in the British special forces is a, we call it Yom pin in the Royal Marines, but it's a rock marching and carrying a lot of weight over long distances over mountainous terrain. So I, with that goal in mind at first, I just started training in that regard.
[00:03:57] And that's a very painful thing to do because it's long time as a long, a duration of running with heavy weights that it just, your backs are in your shoulders hurt and with the weight of the pack. And then you, obviously, your legs are burning. Your lungs are burning. Um, so it's not comfortable experiences, obviously not supposed to be comfortable.
[00:04:18] It is a bit different than. Um, some of the American special forces, selections, like buds for the seals, um, they do a lot of, uh, like PT in a beach setting and you have instructors on your back, like shouting at you. And if you do something wrong, then they're right on top of you for our selection. You're pretty much on your own.
[00:04:37] You don't get any guidance. And that's part of it. It's a psychological, to be honest. And that that's the purpose.
Travis Bader: [00:04:45] That's a very interesting aspect to it. Cause like, I mean reading through and I know his, name's not actually Andy McNabb, but reading through Andy McDowell's book that he had, when I think he was one of the early ones to really kind of delve into the whole selection process, he talks about his earlier days in his upbringing and he's a little bit of a delinquent.
[00:05:06] Uh, he find that to be sort of, a common trend in, uh, perhaps people who want to push themselves to these special forces level.
Sonny: [00:05:16] But my personal experience, I'd say yes. Um, although there's a, there's always different backgrounds, but I think you have to be a bit of a, an adventure. And, uh, I call myself a bit of a wild man, cause I am, you know, I just a bit spontaneous.
[00:05:31] And uh, I like to just do stuff, even if I make mistakes, but, and I did make mistakes when I was younger. Um, and I learned from them, but you do have to be that sort of person that's going to step forward. Uh, when everyone else is kind of question in looking around what's everyone else doing? So you have to be a go getter.
Travis Bader: [00:05:50] Is that sort of like a counter culture mentality or maybe like oppositional defiance, sort of a, uh, uh, a mentality that people have where they're like, you're not telling me what to do. I can figure this out and I can push through and I've got my own way of doing it. Is that sort of a,
Sonny: [00:06:07] yeah, it could be, it could be, you have to be very independent and you don't have help from anyone.
[00:06:13] So in the Marines, it's very much a team, uh, select, um, like training aspect that you all looking after each other. And when you go for special forces, you're on your own, although there's team elements, but you're looked at as an individual candidate, um, and say, if you're doing a rock March, you don't pull back to help someone else.
[00:06:32] Um, because you'll, you'll get failed for doing so like that person's on your own. Yeah. You leave them, but in the Marines you would all come together and help that individual team member. Um, so there's a bit of a difference there.
Travis Bader: [00:06:44] So, I guess it's gotta be difficult when you get, you're trying to build a cohesive team of special forces individuals and you're doing so by specifically selecting people who are individually minded and very strong-willed.
[00:07:01] Is... How does that work when once you're sort of in the, I mean, I'm kind of jumping a few spaces, pass all selection process, but how does that work in the team environment having so many individuals? Is there a lot of friction that can kind of happen or is the shared experience enough to...
Sonny: [00:07:19] there's a difference between lamps still team players and being an individual, meaning that you can operate on your own.
[00:07:26] You can do everything independently. But, the leader aspect. Um, see, I'm not a natural leader, but I still did well. Um, and I can step up to that plate when I want to, and I need to, but I don't lead. Um, a lot of the time I'm quite happy to be a team member. So yeah, you do have the people that push out the front, but also those people that are always stepping up and trying to control things, they're not going to do very well in selection because you need to be a great man.
[00:07:55] And that is a Jordan to you. Anyone that gives you advice before you go on selection, it's get your head down. Be proficient in your skills and drills and be a gray man. You don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons and make it join attention to yourself. You can draw attention to yourself by being good at your job.
[00:08:14] Not for. Other reasons
Travis Bader: [00:08:17] if you're, let's say, uh, completing a tab or a route March or something, uh, well ahead of everybody else, would that be separating yourself from the green mat? Like, would you intentionally try and keep yourself back a bit? If there's some areas that, you know, you could do quite well in?
Sonny: [00:08:31] Well, I wouldn't intentionally pull myself back, but I do know on my selection, there was a guy who was way ahead of everyone and he was really going for it. And, uh, there was talk about. Just being a bit too cocky in that role. And he didn't make it at the end. I don't know if that weighed on him, but also he was, it's a long process and the Hills phase is just one phase of selection and he, I don't know where he dropped off, but he burned himself very heavily in the earliest stage of selection.
[00:09:04] And it's a long process. If you get any injuries during that phase, you're carrying them onto even harder arduous, uh, activities later down the line. And it's not an intelligent thing to do because there's a pass and a fail at the end of the day. Um, so
Travis Bader: [00:09:20] It's not like you a hundred percent pass, you've just got passed.
[00:09:23] It's like going to see a doctor, I guess you don't know if they came top of their class or they just going to eat through this still a doctor.
Sonny: Yeah, exactly. That's it.
Travis Bader: Uh, so what, um, what were the steps that were required once your Royal. I in order to make that next transition into apply for special forces, what did, what would you have to do?
Sonny: [00:09:45] Uh, you do have to have a certain amount of years service. I believe it was, uh, two years of, of, of Royal Marine service to get that experience as a soldier. And you wouldn't want to go straight into it anyway, because you do need to be, uh, a high level soldier in all areas, um, and have the basics down. And for me, I actually was in a command role before I decided to go.
[00:10:08] So in the British military, in the Marines, even in the army, they've slightly different ranking systems. We have Marine Lance corporal and then corporal. And I was at the rank of corporal when I went for a selection. And that helped me because I improved as a soldier by taking that command of men at that time, before that I didn't have.
[00:10:32] Uh, as good understanding of certain things like section, section attacks and stuff like that, and how the mechanics worked and going into the special forces, it would, it was a big part of okay. The knowledge base that I needed. So yeah, I did it at the right time, actually.
Travis Bader: [00:10:51] I'm sure that build a lot of confidence as well, having the extra years in and the, uh, the experience there.
Sonny: [00:10:57] Yeah. Yeah, it does. Yeah. Not like, I think I mentioned on the last podcast, when I did that corporal's course, um, you have to go away to do, uh, there was two special forces guys on that course with me and I was working with them closely for a number of weeks and they became first and second on that course, and I was number free and they pulled me aside at the end of the course and said, oh, when you come in down to our unit and having a go, and it was always in my head at that time.
[00:11:27] But from that little discussion, that was okay. They said someone came me that they thought I was good enough. And before I'd actually met them, I hadn't met anyone in the British special forces as a, in a frame. Capacity or worked alongside them. And it was good to have that exposure because I realized that they are they're exceptionally good, but they're not gods.
[00:11:51] And that's the image I had was that these are the people that God's like, they may never make a mistake. They're just perfect in every aspect. And I had that image of Royal Marines before I joined. And then when you get to that, you work hard to get to that standard. Um, you could still think you're a God, but you know, it's doable.
[00:12:11] You can do it. And then the same thing happened with the, when you did selection and went down there, uh, you just built gradually and then you get there eventually. And then when you're there, you're like, wow, it was horrendous, but it's achievable in if you, if you do it smartly.
Travis Bader: [00:12:27] It's amazing how many people have that perception of it's just these people are superhuman.
[00:12:33] They're so different from normal people. But, I like how you put that because I find it, I find it like this in so many facets of day-to-day life. It's not that they're so awesome in one particular area, it's that they've gotten very good at perfecting the basics and very good at perfecting the small things that are required in order to be able to make the overall come together in, in such a way.
[00:13:01] Um, you know, we, in our training courses that we do, and we've got different levels of, uh, firearms training courses and our level one, two, and three, and we always get people saying, oh, I want to do a level four course. I want them to do a level five course. I want to start here because I've, I'm pretty, pretty good.
[00:13:19] And what most of these people actually don't realize is that. The very high end high level courses require a very, very strong proficiency in the absolute basics. Just like the absolute, basic things that you need in order to be proficient. And you drill those down to such a level. Now you're at that God-like level.
[00:13:41] Is that similar to what you oh, that's
Sonny: [00:13:43] Oh it's definitely, that's an accurate description of it. Uh, is it to it's heat and to be honest, yeah. Yeah. You really do have to focus on the basic skills because you are a soldier at the end of the day. And, and when you're on the ground, you actually do in the same role, the same techniques and things that you would use as an infantry soldier in the Royal Marines.
[00:14:03] Uh, and then you may have got there by parachuting or some other glamorous place, you know what I mean? Um, but yeah, so you have to build off the basics is a, is a good message.
Travis Bader: [00:14:16] So that takes you. Now you've got the nod. You got people saying, come on, give it a shot. So you decide to put your name in and see what would happen.
[00:14:27] There's a lot of people that do that. I should imagine a lot of people probably want to put their name and do they all get looked at?
Sonny: [00:14:33] If you fit the criteria and your commanding officer of your unit, um, approves, which usually they do, um, because it's actually quite a good way to feed into the special forces it's looked at.
[00:14:45] Everyone should have a go. I believe if you want to be, if you've already joined the Royal Marines, then you've already taken that step to join a prestigious high level organization. Um, and you want to be a fighting soldier. You don't join the Royal Marines because you want to drive trucks or anything else in my opinion.
[00:15:03] Um, so once you've taken that step, I think you should work towards. If, if that's what you want to do with your life, because once you get to that special forces level, the whole, your everyday life is just completely different. There's a different outlook on you. You are seen as the top of the table, basically.
[00:15:23] Um, and you don't have to do a lot of the stuff that you have to do in the military anymore. For instance, cut your hair, salute offices by so or anything like that. It's just relaxed because you've already proven that you are proficient and good enough. And now all that stuff doesn't really matter. It's irrelevant now you've got bigger things to worry about, you know what I mean?
Travis Bader: [00:15:45] Very cool. Yeah. That would be, um, that would be something to shoot for, for sure. I would think everybody would want to put that a little bit extra effort into at least try for that. Um, yeah, but when we say little bit extra effort, So you get the nod you're in there. You can call down C says at a boy, good to go.
Sonny: [00:16:07] So then you apply through the military system and then you have a, this, they call them briefing courses, which is the first test, um, that you do. So the SAS has a traditionally and easier briefing course, and then a harder pre-selection that you have a pre selection. You don't just turn up on day one in Andy McNabb's day, you just turned up and you went onto the Hills in the Brecon beacons and started.
[00:16:31] And now they have a buildup of, uh, different things. And down at the SBS, they have a briefing course, which is a, is a one week course. And it's traditionally harder than the eight week buildup before selection. So I knew that I was going for an extremely hard one week. So the training started very early on.
[00:16:52] Um, so. Yom pin as we call it in the Marines with tabbing and training my legs and my back and stuff just for, to carry heavy loads across. Mountainous terrain.
Travis Bader: [00:17:04] So when you say heavy loads, what are we talking?
Sonny: [00:17:05] Uh, well, it does vary a lot for different marches. Um, there was one March on that, uh, briefing course, I believe it was around 75 to 80 pounds, but that isn't the actual weight.
[00:17:19] That's the weight that you weigh the burgin before the day, and then you have to carry water and yet you have to carry a certain amount of water of sea for safety reasons. And then you have to carry your food as well. Cause the marches do go on sometimes eight hours and the biggest one is mine was, uh, 18 and a half hours.
[00:17:36] That was actually on selection. That was one of the marches called long drag, which is the famous last one you do? So the fan dance, uh, no, that's a different one actually. And th that's quite early on at the first week, but that is a, that's a different one because the speed is different. And, um, it's very famous as well because people have died on that one.
[00:17:57] Um, candidates have died in the past because of the, the mountain is, uh, is quite a unforgiving place and the weather can come in. Uh, and in the summer, um, we lost a few guys a few years back from heat exhaustion, three guys on one selection course on the same day, which yeah, I think it was free two or free, um, which was quite horrendous.
[00:18:19] I wasn't in at that time, but everyone in the British military heard about that. Um,
Travis Bader: [00:18:25] so 80 pounds, then he got water and then you got food and that's your probably that's another 10 pounds anyways, on your back. Yeah.
Sonny: [00:18:32] So that was, that was one March, but the normal weight is 55 pounds for the bag. And then you've got a rifle and other stuff.
[00:18:39] So on a normal March, you're going maybe. 65 to 70 pounds of weight. Um, and that's, yeah, that's still, it's a, it's a heavy load, you know.
Travis Bader: [00:18:52] And through that March there you've, you don't know when it's going to end. You said you've got like on the, the long drag is 18 hours. Do you have a deadline on that or are they continually moving the finish line on you?
Sonny: [00:19:04] Uh, on that one? You kind of know that one because it's, uh, it's so famous that people talk about it, but the others in the mid, in the, in the middle of the course is, is when you literally, you, they drive you in the morning to, uh, the start point and they don't tell you where that is. So you have to follow on your map in the, in the area and figure out where you're starting at.
[00:19:29] And then they just give you the, the coordinates for the next great, like the good reference to the next checkpoint. And then you get there and then you get another one and you just keep going like that until finally you see the trucks and stuff at one checkpoint, and you don't know when that's going to be.
[00:19:45] So yeah, it varies some days you could be going for four, five hours. Some days it could be up to eight hours, but. Wow. Yeah. It's, it's not, uh, it's, it's quite psychologically, um, test him because of that as well. Um, and people do fail because they think they're way behind and then the next checkpoint is only there and they've talked themselves out of it, basically.
Travis Bader: [00:20:09] Yeah. I remember as a, uh, as a kid, just having to push a car and, uh, and just thinking about that whole psychological thing, there is a couple of us were pushing the car down the road and I didn't know where the car was supposed to be ending up. And one person jokingly said, oh, it's going to be up around the block and down the next side, when we're really about one house away, where did it go?
[00:20:31] And we're running with this thing and pushing it for about a block anyways. And so I decided, okay, I'm going to take a break because if we've got that much further to go. And realize that person started steering in their driveway. And I'm like, now I look like the guy it's just couldn't, couldn't make it to the end here.
[00:20:49] And I always held that in the back of my head as a, um, uh, just a little bit of a lesson about the, uh, the power of the, uh, of your mind to be able to continue pushing through. Cause I felt knackered there, but hell if, if it was only one more house, I'd go, I could've continued. I could have done it. And I have to imagine just on a much bigger scale, not pushing a car, a block, but on a much bigger scale, um, that mental process of, um, I can do it.
[00:21:20] That must, that must take a lot of, um, I guess straight up willpower, just, just push as opposed to anything else I would think. I dunno. What w what do you do? What did you find yourself doing to be able to push. When you didn't know where that deadline was?
Sonny: [00:21:38] Uh, first of all, I, um, if I had failed selection, I had, uh, I would have had a hard time in my life.
[00:21:44] So I cut ties. I actually did selection as a reservist, but I did the regular selection. Um, and there was a part that was missed out, which was the jungle phase, which we did, uh, a different phase in the UK. Right. I was in there with everyone else. Um, so it's joint together, joint special forces selection.
[00:22:01] So I had gone as a reservist, so I had a job and stuff as well. So I quit my job, quit where I was living. And I focused solely on that. So if I failed, I'd be homeless and jobless, but that was a technique that I learned in my life. Like I have to go all in on things. Um, and then that's in my mind as well.
[00:22:19] Like there's no fall back plan here. I'm full steam ahead. So there's no turning back. I like that. Yeah. That's just something that. Do because I know there's no other way out of it. I've got to go forward. But also actually when you're on the marches and stuff, I have a very imaginative mind and I like to daydream and I actually spoken to friends in the Marines, talk about running and, and I'd say about when you're running.
[00:22:45] Um, I just go off in a daydream about things and my mind can be gone for awhile and then I'd come back and I'll feel the pain again. Um, Yeah, I can go away and just daydream about things for a long time. That's cool. Yeah. And some, and I speak to other people in there, like, and I talk about that and they're like, what the hell are you talking about?
[00:23:04] And I'm like, oh, you can't, you don't do that. No. So I don't know. Maybe I have something that other people don't, but
Travis Bader: [00:23:12] That, the honesty. How do you find your situational awareness when you, when you're in that daydream process, is it kind of, are you still able to be able to pick up on the key things that you need to?
Sonny: [00:23:23] yeah, I seem to just be okay.
[00:23:25] Like when I was on this, on the Hills selection, I was actually, I had two songs in my head, which I could never listen to again. And I would just sing those songs over and over again. And yeah, I could never listen to those songs again. And there were very strange songs. It was that pina colada song, you know, and also the, another one is I don't like cricket.
[00:23:48] I love it. I just heard them on the radio and I couldn't get them out of my head. But once I started going through the lyrics in my head, it just played over and over again, that just passed the time because a lot of it was, it was hours of just running a March and on my own. And you can't listen to music.
[00:24:06] And usually I like to listen to music if I'll run and get into a bit of a, like a daydream state, but
Travis Bader: [00:24:12] That's funny, because how you described that I actually do something similar. So if I've got a pack on I'm going up the mountain and it's, I know I've got a long distance to go, I will do the same thing. I'll make up my own songs, usually to a beat, sort of like pina coladas of goofy things like this, but I'll make up my own words inside there.
[00:24:29] At, uh, I've never actually heard somebody say the same thing before.
Sonny: [00:24:34] Yeah, no, it's definitely a technique. And I don't know if it's taught to people, but maybe people can start trying to do it because it's been really beneficial for me. And I did it in rural Marine training as well, because there's a lot of running and stuff in that and long distance marches.
[00:24:49] So I think is very beneficial. I don't know what you would think about. I can't do something just to think about this as horrendous. This is a render site all the way round. You have to take your mind somewhere else.
Travis Bader: [00:24:58] I started it simply because I was in Chrisley country area with a lot of Grizzlies and a ton of Grizzlies sign in your spot and I'm all over.
[00:25:06] And so I just. I figured I'd make noise and I'd sing something out loud and it was just something that comes to your head. And then after a while, it's just something I continued to do. And I would either just sing it in my head. Cause you don't want to sound like a lunatic singing weird lyrics and yeah.
[00:25:22] But, um, luckily no one else was around to listen to
Sonny: [00:25:26] and you didn't get attacked by any bears either so?
Travis Bader: [00:25:28] No, no. I was able, it was good on that one. So, yeah.
Sonny: [00:25:31] Oh great. Yeah. I definitely use it. I think they should, maybe, maybe people have studied it maybe is a technique of a, like a mind mantra. Yeah. I don't know. But also I'd like to daydream about the end result of what I was going to achieve.
[00:25:47] If I passed that's enough, a big factor that I used when I was a Royal Marine, like actually getting presented with my beret and then in selection, I would always think about what the end goal is. And that would be another daydream that I'll go deep into. And I still do this all the time.
Travis Bader: [00:26:03] That's um, you know, being able to focus on that end goal to make it happen, they call it like manifest destiny.
[00:26:09] You think about it'll end up happening. Um, some people agree or disagree, but from the psychological perseverance factor, I think that's massive. That's a, uh, it's interesting. So. When you're you didn't do the jungle phase, uh, jungle phase. How long does that usually last?
Sonny: [00:26:29] It's about a month, roughly. Yeah. So we did an SOP phase.
[00:26:33] So in the Hills, you're tested on your mindset and a little bit of navigation, but mainly it's physical fitness and your robustness as a soldier. And then when you go to the jungle, my face was the SOP phase was held in the UK. You're tested on your soldier and skills and how you work in a team. Um, but also a bit of it's arduous as well.
[00:26:54] Um, so I was doing stuff like jungle Joe's in the UK and stuff, but I did mine in November, so it was pretty cold and we had a small team of guys. So the point that you is bringing up just now we did one activity whilst in the field, which was, uh, which was one of the hardest things I've done, but it came out of nowhere.
[00:27:15] Um, so we did a river crossing, which is a normal thing to do in the Royal Marines, but the idea was just to get you and your kit soaking wet. And it was November. So it was freezing. There was like ice on the floor. So we did this, uh, river cross in around 6:00 PM. After other training, we'd been doing other stuff.
[00:27:33] And then we got out and then they had this massive, um, this massive block, which was, I don't know how much weight, maybe 200 pounds or more, and at the straps on it. And we'd used it in exercises. And they said it was a WMD, but it was just like for messing us around buses, basically, it's just a heavy, heavy, big metal.
[00:27:54] Box with straps on it. And uh, they said, alright, pick it up. We also had our Bergens and field kits. So our Bergens and everything was heavy as it was and rifles and everything. So we picked it up and it started around. I remember looking at my watch, started around 7:00 PM and they said, right, you've got carry this, uh, to the next grid coordinate.
[00:28:13] And this is it off you go. So there was six of us at this time. So two of us could have a rest, but they were still running with the Bergen and everything. And so we started at seven and we, we we'd go. And I remember lifting it first and thinking, oh, wow, this is heavy. And we literally run about dunno 30 meters and then have to stop and then run 30 meters and then have to stop because of the weight of it was putting our shoulders down.
[00:28:40] And then we'd get in a system where we rotated. So that went for a couple of hours and we kept getting to this next grid reference. And then the guy would say, next one, Oh, if you go, we kept doing it. So then four hours went past and it was the middle of the night and then six hours went past and then it turns out we did it for 12 hours.
[00:29:04] Yeah. And it went into the morning, like seven in the morning. And then we had to, uh, have a whole day of like break contacts and which is a very arduous activity anyway. And, and very, you have to think about a lot when you're like breaking away from the enemy fire and maneuver. And, um, so there was things like that, that you didn't know when the end was kind of be, and it was a psychological test.
[00:29:27] And also on the exercise, they gave us one ration pack for one day and we were out there on this part of the exercise was a seven day out in the field. Um, and then now give us little bits of food after a few days, but we were very, um, weak as well. We didn't have much foods that it was, it was, uh, that was one of the hardest aspects actually.
[00:29:48] It's an unusual one because there was no tactical advantage of that. It was just, let's see, who's going to break or basically put them into this mindset where they're extremely fatigued and then we're going to test them as a soldier. I think that was the purpose.
Travis Bader: [00:30:03] So they say that which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
[00:30:06] Right? But not necessarily, right. I mean, you can be poisoning a person and slowly over time they might not be dead, but they might not be stronger. Right? Um, I think that there's how you, how your body responds to the, uh, the hardship and then how your mind responds to the hardship is what can eventually make you stronger?
[00:30:27] Did you find that some people were unable to cope with that? And eventually now they're carrying with them that the psychological, um, hardship ongoing or is...?
Sonny: [00:30:40] mean people that passed or people that failed?
Travis Bader: [00:30:42] Well, I guess maybe, or maybe both. I mean like the people that failed and I know some people have gone through and have been unsuccessful at selection and it took a long time for them to get their heads squared around that one.
[00:30:53] Cause they felt, uh, poorly about it. Um, But as well, some people who've been successful with it that have gone through and, uh, some people have, uh, absolutely loved their experiences. And some people look back and say, I wish I did something differently.
Sonny: [00:31:11] I think the pendulum swings both ways. Cause I remember seeing a lot of soldiers with me and I was, I missed the whole Afghan sort of ops.
[00:31:20] So I was in a, I was a corporal. So I was quite established and I was experienced in soldier in, I hadn't done an actual operation and there's a whole generation of us now that have haven't had that experience. But there were guys in my, uh, selection who had had like three or four tours of mix of Afghan and Iraq.
[00:31:38] And there's one guy in particular who was one of the most switched on proficient soldiers I've ever worked with, uh, met, but he was a little bit older. Um, so he at the moment. Obviously, but his body wasn't holding up anymore through the Hills and everything else. So he found cause of injuries and this is a common occurrence.
[00:32:00] Um, so he, he was exceptionally skilled, but his body just couldn't take it, but he was only like 31 at that time. And I was a lot younger. Right. Um, so you do lose a lot of people because of that, the physical, like smashing that you take, but in terms of if people actually, um, psychologically affected from it, I think you just take the positive side.
[00:32:25] That's the part of the purpose. Cause you go through all that then, and then the next time you're in the situation like, well, this is easy. Cause I've already been through not eating for four days. Right. It's still operating with no sleep over those free days or something as well. Um, so yeah, it's good to go through the hardship if you want.
[00:32:45] Uh, the best soldier at the end of the selection process.
Travis Bader: [00:32:49] So you're watching the clock. You're looking at your watch as you go through there. Seven o'clock and here we go. Did you find the minutes to start dragging on or?
Sonny: [00:33:00] Yeah, it was, so this thing was so heavy that we, at the end, we could do like five, six steps and then nearly collapsing.
[00:33:09] And I just thought, oh, we're going to do this for a few hours. They simply can't go further than a few hours because this is so heavy. Like, we can't move it, it's taken so long and it just kept going and going, and we weren't really allowed to talk to each other. So it was just like catching glimpses of people.
[00:33:28] Like, is this for real? We're just going to keep going. Like, and later in that actual course, um, cause we do a lot of amphibious stuff and Klepper is like a two person kayak that we used. It was actually later on that same exercise we had. CLA build this Klepper. We have to carry it on your back as well.
[00:33:48] Part of that, and then paddle out quite far, and then back in, uh, to like the, the base. Um, and when we came back in from the base, a few lads had actually gone down. Three of them, had a hypothermia and stuff and they failed because of it. Um, and I don't know, these people didn't have so much meat on them and stuff, but they were extremely fit and they would all, they already passed Hills phase and they'd already done some very extreme stuff.
[00:34:20] I think it was a bit questionable in my mind why they needed to fail because it wasn't their mind that failed. They got to the end, it was their body that failed. But yeah,
Travis Bader: [00:34:31] it's gotta be rough. Yeah. That'd be rough putting yourself through all of that only to find out that. You're hypothermic just based on yeah, yeah.
[00:34:40] Being to fit.
Sonny: [00:34:41] Yeah, exactly. And a lot of people do get to the end of these phases, especially the jungle and the stories come out from the guys that went to the jungle. They get to the end and then you get what's called a stand up fail. And that site, the DS, the training team say, we don't like you basically, or there's something you did a long time ago in week.
[00:35:03] One of this, that's a red flag and you're out, but we let you go to the end because, because we're assholes. Exactly. Um, and a lot of people do get failed on their personality. Um, because in, in the Hills phase, you're just a number, but when you've moved further down the line, then you start, they looking at you as an individual.
[00:35:25] Um, the type of person you are now. Work under pressure. And there's certain attributes, which they don't tell you. I don't even know what they are. Um, but if you tick one of those boxes you're gone and there's obviously a lot thought and there's reason behind it. Um, yeah, selfishness is one of the main ones, um, and integrity.
[00:35:45] I know for a fact, so integrity in the military, especially in the Royal Marines, is, is one of the biggest aspects that you could take in and any sort of line or deception, uh, you be in a bad place. If you get found out, have not been truthful.
Travis Bader: [00:36:03] And that's, uh, that's something I can definitely get behind. I, uh, you know, anybody working at silver Cortel and the same thing, you know, if you make a mistake, that's okay.
[00:36:14] People make mistakes happens all the time. I will take a look at what we can do to fix it. So it doesn't happen again. And if that mistake keeps happening over and over again, then maybe we're going to have to have a chat to see why that is. If you lie about. What you're doing, or for whatever reason, create a situation where you can't be trusted, that's it?
[00:36:35] Because I've got no time to be around people that you just can't trust. I have no problem with people make mistakes and I, and I can a hundred percent get behind that as well. But I find it interesting. Now you've got a special forces individual who's going to be required to be deceptive in escape and evasion type situations or to, uh, essentially, um, be the gray man and bend sort of societal norms.
[00:37:06] Yeah. How does that work?
Sonny: [00:37:09] Uh, well, you still loyalty your sides and your team. So yeah, there's always like the enemy in yourselves. Yeah. Integrity is, is, is such an important part of being a soldier in general, but in the special forces would be even higher than that because the things that you're taught and you learn can really jeopardize, uh, larger scale operations and even diplomatic relations.
[00:37:35] Um, so yeah, I dunno.
Travis Bader: [00:37:39] Do they do, I, I remember reading about a bit of an interrogation phase. Did you have we go through something like that?
Sonny: [00:37:45] Yeah. Yeah, you do. And it's called CA um, and it's a, it's a course and it's probably the most knowledge knowledgeable course that I went through. That the one that I took the most from, and it was the most interesting.
[00:37:56] And I'd love to do this sort of training again when I wasn't in a state of like physical exhaustion and, uh, like just weakness because I was so like beaten and. Deandre, not DRG, but like malnourished. And, uh, my body was aching and everywhere and I was like sleep deprived. And then I was learning some of the most coolest stuff I've ever learned in my life, but I was couldn't enjoy it, you know?
[00:38:23] Cause I was being tested all the time and also I was so fatigued. Um, but I still took a lot from those, that course in particular.
Travis Bader: [00:38:29] So what did it, are you able to talk about?
Sonny: [00:38:32] I can talk about certain things. Um, and I know I'll only talk about it because I've heard it on other podcasts or read it, Andy McNabb's book.
[00:38:41] And that was one of the biggest, um, incidents that ever happened to the, not the British medical abortions when he was his patrol was captured and some of them escaped and stuff like that. Yeah. And that was like, The CA training that came into play, and that's what the worst case scenario for what can happen.
[00:38:59] So you do go through that and when you come out the other end, you have a lot of good skills and drills that you could use to save your life and, and, and stuff like that. Uh,
Travis Bader: [00:39:10] still being rather cryptic.
Sonny: [00:39:11] So, yeah, because this is one that is drilled into you. And also, I never want to give away anything that can damage guys on the ground, obviously, but that there are other people that we talked about ed called her own and Ed's manifesto, which does a lot of the scape and evasion sort of tools and little tactics and stuff that the cartels in Mexico are using.
[00:39:35] Uh, and it's a big interest of mine. I love all that sort of stuff. And I carry, I learned some things in my course that I carry with me and, and. Do you use should that worst case scenario happen? Cause I do close protection now and not body garden. Um, if I ever was ever kidnapped or ever, like if I was ever tied up plastic cuffed, then some there's some good things that, to use that, to get out of that, um, that I would recommend.
[00:40:04] And I know we discussed this on, I'm going to stop making products that people can use maybe even for solo travelers, but also in the security industry. Uh, there's a need for having some like CF type tools to escape from situations. If you're in the worst case scenario.
Travis Bader: [00:40:22] And no, we, um, we talked about those paracord bracelets that were all the rage at one point in time.
Sonny: [00:40:28] I did have friends that were in those. I never had one myself.
Travis Bader: [00:40:31] No, I've never had, what am I remember? The, uh, it was a meme. They had a, this cartoon character, and he's thinking about all these cool things he can do with his paracord bracelet. He's locked in prison and he's using it to cut through bars and abs sail out the window and use it to fish.
[00:40:49] And then it showed the reality and his friends were like, huh. So you wear a bracelet now. Huh? That's cool. I guess
Sonny: [00:40:55] it's tactical bracelet.
Travis Bader: [00:40:56] So, so what sort of CA tools would, uh, would you promote?
Sonny: [00:41:00] Well, the most effective tool that I ever experienced, which I carry with me when I'm working all the time is a Kevlar cord in a way, because I don't want to give out like handcuff escape things because criminals are out there using these.
[00:41:14] And that's another aspect, you know, Feed the criminal criminal people out there more, uh, cause they actually obviously go and buy these products, watch the train in and, and I'm sure they do for ads manifesto to. But mine most effective would be if I was going to get plastic AFT tape restrain with tape or rope, and then this, these Kevlar chords two loops and then a string, and it can be folded up very small.
[00:41:45] And then you can just use your feet in a bicycle motion around, and it just cuts through those things apart from metal, obviously, and for people solo travelers or anyone traveling to a high risk areas and for security workers, I think this is a very good tool. So I'm going to be trying I'm experiment in at the moment, um, in a way that, cause also it's not metal, so you can carry it when you go on airplanes around and it would also be a good survival tool.
[00:42:14] It could be great to see. It would be very good for that if we ever had to.
Travis Bader: [00:42:20] Yes. Um, that's funny, you know, I think, I think there's definitely something to be said for, um, having the tools, but also having the, the knowledge and the mind to be able to adapt to the situations and, um, use what you have around you or use what you brought with you in, and sort of alternate ways.
[00:42:45] And, you know, I, I remember years ago I worked for, um, cable company, I guess we had, I think it was Telus and Shaw or something, whatever it was that we had. And Shaw came over over from back east and decided to offer the cable TV for everyone. And so I got hired and I'm supposed to be doing audits and I got to go around and I got to check to see if people are essentially stealing cable.
[00:43:10] And if they are, then I got to try and upsell them or disconnect them. And when you have to do apartment blocks, they, you got to drive downtown Vancouver. Pick up a big set of keys. And then you got your list of all the places you gotta go to and you get into the apartments and you get into the, uh, um, into the, uh, the cable rooms, the electrical rooms.
[00:43:33] And I thought, man, I'm wasting a lot of time driving all the way down to Vancouver, then off to go to either Richmond or Delta or wherever in and do these things. I'll just bring lockpicks with me. I hate. And so I was got very good at just picking the locks as allowed to be there as permitted to be there.
[00:43:50] I wasn't doing anything untowards or illegal and, uh, ended up making my own key sets for, uh, the internal locks. I thought, well, the alloy, as well as, uh, what was the other one, the ACE, uh, that you'll find on the outside and you start to get this sort of, uh, Pigeon hole and this narrow frame of reference.
[00:44:13] And I would just walk up and open the picks and I picked my way in and here I go. And sometimes you're working on a lock for a while and like, huh, come on. Maybe it would've been smarter to go. And I realized that when you have that skill set and you have the, uh, the knowledge, you have to always, always be open to alternate ways.
[00:44:34] Cause I remember working on one for a while only to realize I could probably reach my arm around on this one thing through a little mail slot and just open the door. Oh, there you go. And I'm in. So I had to completely readdress how I for speed sake. So I get the job done, how I approach these things and I'd always put the tools.
[00:44:51] Second. Is there a fast way I can get in? It's just somebody going in through another door and I can just scoot in behind them or is there, um, can I reach around the corner? Can I, can I just get a little, uh, uh, I forget what they call it made this little sort of slim Jim type thing a shove. It.
Sonny: [00:45:08] Anyways.
[00:45:08] Shimmy. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's quite a niche that was skilled at lockpicking and it takes a lot of time. I don't know you must've got quite good at it and it's also quite satisfying thing. Yeah. So I was trying to practice practicing at home and my parents' house and the doors and the front doors. I managed to get them, but I wouldn't be a good burglar.
[00:45:30] I'd have to allocate two hours to get in.
Travis Bader: [00:45:34] Well, you know, sometimes you're in bang lickety-split sometimes you're just taking a while and that's where, um, being able to laterally look at problems. Sometimes it's just a matter of jumping up to the second floor and getting in, but. Uh, you have on the lockpicking side, I, I could hold my own.
[00:45:54] It was a hobby started when I was in grade four. I learned it then, and then I would always play around with it, got into a little bit of trouble in my youth, uh, with it and then learned how not to get in trouble and the right way to do things. So,
Sonny: [00:46:07] yeah. Yeah. I've I used one of those little guns at one point, you know, flicks it's didn't work too good either.
Travis Bader: [00:46:14] No. And they, that works off the bump system. So like, if you, if you think about it, like, um, you take three pennies. I don't even, we don't even have pennies anymore, three, three quarters and you put them or put two of them together and you ran the third one into it. And the one in the middle stays still and the other one goes off.
[00:46:32] That's how those tend to work. And that's where the, the, the bump key kind of been around forever, but just within the last 10 or so years, the Internet's kind of, yeah. Kind of got those going, but yeah, those little guns. Yeah,
Sonny: [00:46:47] I prefer to breach the door, slow, safe manner, to be honest.
Travis Bader: [00:46:52] Well, that was always an option.
[00:46:53] I would say that would be absolutely the preferred way to do it.
Sonny: [00:46:57] Yeah. That's more exciting, although you're going loud, but that was kind of the job that I used to do. So loudness is part of it.
Travis Bader: [00:47:06] Very cool. Very cool. So, all right. On the, the line of, uh, sort of CA accessories that you're talking about, is there anything else that you're, uh, you're sort of looking at?
Sonny: [00:47:16] I, I'm very big on privacy and personal privacy and because I did work in the world of corporate espionage and there was a lot of gray areas I talked about before. Um, and there's a lot of, uh, like we've our cell phones. Well I've learned is that it's compromised and you have to assume everything is compromised.
[00:47:36] And whether you are worried about the government listening or watching what you're doing in some sort of algorithm setting, not an actual person sitting there in the FBI watch new personally, which is not really the reality, or whether you work in a high business sort of setting and the information that you hold and use in the business meetings you have could be beneficial to a competitor.
[00:47:56] Cause that's sort of is, is the world that, uh, corporate espionage goes down, um, or wherever you are. In a sort of marriage sort of dispute and your high net worth individual. Cause that's also the area that I was working in which people paying us to spy on their spouses or someone they're about to have a divorce with.
[00:48:15] And then, um, they want custody of the kids and stuff like that. And you have to look for different angles of what crimes or, or information could benefit your client. So, and also for me, I don't really want. My phone watching my every move and then advertising about things that are in my environment, which is happening.
[00:48:35] Um, and people have been saying that for many years, but it is true. And it does listen to you and it does what you and scanned your facial expressions. And we'll go into this technology world. I like to have a hard switch that in the evenings, I'll put my phone in a Faraday bag for instance, which is a.
[00:48:53] Uh, signal blocking bag and put it away. And that's not because I think the government is listening to me or anything. It's mainly because I don't want to be hanging off my phone all the time when I'm with my family and spending time, my daughter, for instance. So when I have a bit of a balance and that's a good way to do that, but also if, if I was working in security and I was with a client, I would recommend this sort of stuff for business meetings as well.
[00:49:18] Um, so I've got a few products along those lines that are in the pipeline come in, which I use quite a lot as well.
Travis Bader: [00:49:26] Well, you let me know, cause I'm going to get one of those Faraday bags off you, but definitely we did a, uh, a hunting trip. Recently. We had two separate vehicles and we took a raft up on, uh, uh, the Fraser and we took it to this.
[00:49:39] I got a little, a whitewater raft. You could put a hundred K down. Uh, the river and, um, my vehicle at the bottom figured, well, I don't want to bring my keys with me and possibly lose them or get them wet or whatever. So I'll just hide them inside my vehicle. And I got to push button lock on the outside. I said, but if somebody broke in here, all they got to do cause it's push button to start is just press a break.
[00:50:02] And they start on up and they took my vehicle. So I tried placing it, all these different areas and we're thinking, well, maybe, maybe we got to just hide it somewhere else. And, and then, uh, anyways, we had some materials. I made a quick Faraday bag. It worked right. We're good. It's kind of like the old blockbuster days where you take a, a blockbuster video and they got the RFID tab there.
[00:50:24] He held a, uh, a loony against the big thick RFID. And you could, you could pass it through the thing without it going. Beep
Sonny: [00:50:31] how do you know that
Travis Bader: [00:50:32] I would never do it. And actually there is a. I was asked to do I, uh, to speak at a fan up in Whistler a number of years ago. And it was a. Put on by a PIPC private investigators association of British Columbia.
[00:50:50] And I did my, my little bit, but, um, one that I thought was really interesting was a, um, it was a group. I think it was a father son sort of a team that ran a business and they would turn whole rooms into Faraday cages and they would have a special film. They put on the window and a special paint, and then they paint over top of that again, so that people don't see it.
[00:51:14] And they would put in a, um, a repeater lake, either a wifi or cell repeater in the room that they can operate on a switch. And so everybody comes in now, everybody in this room, if they want to give a lecture or something else, they can turn it off and nobody's got no phones or beep and nothing's going, but what they can also do is have everybody that, uh, is talking inside here.
[00:51:35] They get a copy of that information because it's getting relayed through like some pretty interesting stuff. And when we talk about everything. And everything listening and they mean people have smart thermometers. They've got 'em, their TV monitors will have smart speakers or their TV is voice command.
[00:51:56] I mean, I even remember reading an article. I thought it was kind of interesting. They had a secure computer that wasn't hooked up to the internet and they said, this is, this is our secure device. No one can get information off it off here. There's other computers around it that were hooked up to the internet.
[00:52:16] But this one wasn't and this was supposed to contain all of the sensitive information, uh, in order to breach that one. So they could remotely access. This computer that wasn't hooked up. They actually had someone to go in and physically just take a thumb drive and upload a program to the computer. But once that program was on there, it would cause the, um, computer to load more into its memory and heat up and the fan would come on and then it would take it off.
[00:52:45] It would cool off. And they're able to basically through a Morris code signature as a computer, heated and cooled another computer that was beside it, that was hooked up to the internet, could sense those heat variations and very, very slowly. They could get some, uh, information off that computer. So, wow.
[00:53:04] You know, you think about it, someone someone's found a way around it or even, you know, have you ever played with like, um, laser beams for, uh, audio. No, not really. No. So you can, you can actually transmit, uh, audio through light and you can use laser for concentrated, um, uh, pickup and reception of, uh, audio.
[00:53:26] So if you want it to, you can use a non-visible IRR layer, like visible to the human eye and reflected off of let's say glass, and you can pick up those harmonics and listen on somebody as far as that laser beam can transmit.
Sonny: [00:53:39] So the, this is new to me. I haven't even heard about this technology, but from what I've learned, what we know about.
[00:53:46] What is actually in existence is way further down the
Travis Bader: [00:53:49] line. If I played with, as a kid, I can only imagine what they have now.
Sonny: [00:53:55] Yeah, because in the private sector where I was working in the corporate espionage world, we'd have specialists that would come in to other companies, maybe not, where are me. And, uh, they would do this sort of Wi-Fi exploitation and, uh, hacking of cell phones.
[00:54:12] Cause that is the golden, uh, little gold nugget that you can track people wherever they go in. You can learn about every email, everything that they do. And it's a very big deal. Um, so people that have been doing this in a, in a professional setting for governments tend to move in the later in their career.
[00:54:31] So. Move into the private sector and carry this technical Knology with them. Um, but yeah, so it's not a good thing, but these aren't the only people that are using it. Criminal organizations are now going down this line of work. And so obviously hackers organizations to exploit people for money. One that's come around.
[00:54:51] My friend group recently over in Vancouver, um, some females that are friends of my partner have got emails saying that they're, they have images of them when they're in their most intimate times, ranged from their cell phones. Um, They've had, uh, reports to the police about this and they judged that it was a fraud thing, but it happens to girls that we know.
[00:55:19] Um, and whether that is a fraud or not, it's still a very stressful thing to go through someone that's saying that if you don't give us this money, then we're going to put on naked pictures on the internet, on this website of you. And that's the thing that's happened to celebrities. And I know it's happened to people in the world, uh, and we're going to be going into this sort of world now where everything can be exploited and every electrical device does have weaknesses.
[00:55:45] Um, so I think like, Measures can be taken, like for instance, a camera coverup on your cell phone, you just flip across when you want to use your camera. That's not a, an extreme thing. People use them for their laptops, but mark, Zuckerberg's got it on his laptop. Um, but yeah, and it's just, um, just to safeguard really, like you don't really want anybody watching you or taking pictures on your phone or listening in on you, uh, any time, whether that be like a government organization, a criminal organization or hackers or anyone.
[00:56:20] Um, so I think we have to take that aspect into consideration now. And I'm a big advocate for that because I was a little bit in that world and it really surprised me how the public sector are so advanced that
Travis Bader: [00:56:35] so advanced and, you know, people talk about, I mean the firearms training side of things, uh, I've talked to different law enforcement types that will say.
[00:56:44] I don't want to teach law enforcement tactics. I don't want to teach what we're doing in the, uh, in the firearms training or, uh, uh, anything on the, uh, use of force side because the bad guys might get ahold of this and they might want to use it against us. And I've always scratched my head at that one because the bad guys already know if they've got access to the intranet, they're going to have access to your tactics and what you do might not be completely drawn out for them, but all that information is out there.
[00:57:15] And I've always been a strong proponent of share that information and let it get measured against what the bad guys can do or not, or what other people do or not, and build better and build it stronger. And if you can create something that's so robust, it doesn't matter what they do, where they don't know, um, that you're still able to achieve your.
[00:57:37] That's perfect. All right. Yeah. And that that's sort of been, uh, sorta my thinking, but
Sonny: [00:57:43] yeah. And then that's also comes into the training that I teach on Instagram and stuff with. I go into a lot of surveillance drills and like to teach people how to detect if they're being followed and line of hat to tow that I don't want to be given away drills that could affect operators out on the ground and right in the military or in the, in the intelligence services.
[00:58:04] Um, but the reality is that the game is changing a lot and, um, real foot surveillance is still a big aspect, but you can get so much more information from, uh, electronical surveillance these days, um, that this has benefits for civilians for some of this training, I think, um, because criminals aren't really going to be so.
[00:58:27] Up-to-date on surveillance, drills and things. And if you're not a fighting person, or if you're not capable of fighting on the street, or you don't want to, which a lot of people aren't, and they need some other tools or tactics to get out of uncomfortable situations when a guy could be following your home from the train station, for instance.
[00:58:45] And that's a big thing that I tried to touch on because I want to give people a plan because most people don't have a plan. It's just hope for the best, or I don't know, think of it when it happens.
Travis Bader: [00:58:55] So most people have, it'll never happen and you know, I'll deal with it. When my daughter, I purchased your course for my daughter, she's loving it.
[00:59:03] And she's got her workload. She's not done it yet. It's quite a long course, but she's working her way through. You've got a lot of good information in there and she's coming down and she's telling me things she's learning. She's 14 years old and there's things that. I will have said to her, but I'm sure it's going to come across in a different way or from some, from yourself as an authority that will hopefully stick in a little bit, uh, differently.
[00:59:28] And, uh, it was interesting because a few weeks ago she went to the library with a friend of hers and she's coming back and she was getting harassed by a couple of boys on bikes. And they're just sort of typical adolescent sort of thing. But in hindsight, looking at it, she was, uh, quite upset with herself because she didn't feel that she reacted in the proper way or nothing happened out of the whole incident.
[00:59:54] But, um, uh, it's a first time that she's been in this sort of a situation. Yeah. And there is a lot of, uh, just being upset cause he says, I know you said this, I know that I, in hindsight, I should have done a, B and C. And I think doing a course, like the one that you have there, it normalizes and standardizes responses within people.
[01:00:18] It's one thing for dad to say, Hey, you should do this. It's another thing to just say, Hey, this is how it's normally done. Right. And that's social acceptance, I guess, behind it will cause somebody to hopefully make the right decision more quickly. Cause I think a lot of people are just stuck by not wanting to look rude, not wanting to do something that's not normal or not socially.
Sonny: [01:00:44] Yeah. That is a big one. And it's good that she recognizes it and is going to improve what she did. And that is part of why I made the course is because of the experiences that I've had and the people that I've learned from. Um, and when you're growing up and you're young, you need to make these mistakes.
[01:00:59] And I'm trying to give them a bit of a li like guidance. So they don't make the big mistakes. Right. They have a plan. If things go the wrong way or recognize it early on. Um, so I'm really happy that she's taken the cautious benefit from it. That because this is the demographic, I'm a father myself, and it's partly why I created it.
[01:01:19] And also, uh, it's, I'm happy that she's actually taking the course because a lot of people of our age group, aren't going to take it. You know, they're not going to be interested in it unless something bad has happened. So it's also out there. People can get it for free or pay what they can and fathers or mothers who are protective, um, take the course and then slowly filter that information.
[01:01:41] The important stuff down to the people that need it, or the people that don't really look for it, but you can teach them the most. That was part of the idea as well.
Travis Bader: [01:01:49] It's smart, you know, What's it called it's self-defense without fighting. Yeah. And it's specifically geared around situational awareness and geared towards women.
[01:02:00] Yeah. But I, everything that's in there is also applicable to men.
Sonny: [01:02:04] Yeah. And there will be other courses coming, but that was the first project. Um, um, mainly because of my partner suggested it and said that she had learned a lot from me and she would like to help out. And also there's a lot of incidents that happen.
[01:02:16] Like Vancouver recently, there was a lady that was followed all the way through Chinatown and she actually got a phone out and videoed the guy following her. And I've done an analysis of that video is quite scary thing. Cause the guys knows that he's what he's doing. He's a, he's a recurrent offender. We find out later down the line.
[01:02:35] He's not phased that she's filming him and he gets very close at times. And luckily it was in the daytime. And luckily this lady goes and associates herself with a group of skaters in a skate park, which is something that I teach, um, called apparent allies is to associate yourself with another group or person or a good thing as an authority figure.
[01:02:54] And that's like an action plan that is quite obvious to us to do, but so some people, they might not think of that, especially if they're in a panic situation. Um, so yeah, there's just different options like that. I think if you're not inclined to fight or you haven't trained in fighting them fighting, probably isn't your best option in a lot of scenarios, but then there is, uh, a scenario when fighting is your only option to be good at fighting.
[01:03:19] You have to train. So I do send that message out as well. It's important to have some experience or train.
Travis Bader: [01:03:26] Yeah. And there's definitely something to be said for someone who's can carry themselves with the confidence, knowing that they can fight. In order to be able to mitigate a fight. And I remember even just looking like in my youth as a, as a bouncer and just looking at the, the human dynamic in a bunch of guys in a nightclub alcohol's involved and it would always be funny when a person comes up and says, oh, you're a big guy.
[01:03:55] And they started trying to test you out and try you out and on, maybe we should fight. Let's fight mana. I don't want to fight. Okay. And he watched him sort of escalate and ramp up. The more you say you don't want to fight the more aggressive they get in that turned. Okay. Let's fight. No, no, no, no. And we'll come back down and then it would kind of be a fun little game where I just kind of watch and we just play it back and forth and watch it go up and down and up and down.
[01:04:17] Just sign to see exactly where their, their threshold is that they're not in there. Uh, Probably not in their best, most cognitive place at the time.
Sonny: [01:04:27] Oh, definitely plays a big part in that doesn't especially work in the doors. I did that myself. Yeah. It's a great training ground to watch human behavior, to the influence of alcohol as well.
[01:04:38] And there's no mistakes. There's no question about who is the most aggressive and it's men, isn't it even a hundred percent. And that's something that I do push out in my course, because it's just the fact, and there's no way you can hide from that. Um, they we've, we've done bad things in the past as a, as a gender, you know, so we can't hide from that.
[01:05:00] We need to acknowledge it.
Travis Bader: [01:05:01] And the aggression between men and women can be different too. I remember a grandfather and father, uh, Vancouver police. I don't know when it came in, probably in my grandfather's day, but the, um, I guess anti stalking laws. Being relayed to me how they brought in some new anti stalking laws, because they figured the, um, ha would have a tool that they can use a boat against men who were stalking their wives.
[01:05:27] And they were surprised to find that the majority of people that they found that were stalking, at least at that time were women stalking men. But I guess the big difference was is that when a woman's stocked a guy, it didn't typically end in the same level of violence than when a man is stalking a woman.
[01:05:45] So, you know, there's men just. Genetically, whatever it is from a simple profiling perspective or the when's that these, uh, uh, women should be looking out for.
Sonny: [01:06:01] And a lot of it is common sense as well. So a lot of the course I do drill on home, like common sense topics, but most people that take the course and learn about it and say, oh yeah, I didn't really think of it in that way.
[01:06:12] And it's just highlighting what we instinctually know anyway, as human beings, you know? Yeah. Um, so yeah, I just looking at other angles and the things that I've learned throughout my core career and teaching to the general population for a public.
Travis Bader: [01:06:27] Well, that's what I mean about normalizing it. I mean, somebody can just know, they can know what to do and still not do it because they just, it doesn't.
[01:06:38] It's not something that's sort of ingrained as this is how you respond. Like if you act in a certain way against me, instinctually, I will, I'll have some gut reactions and gut feelings. But if I realize that it's acceptable and normal for me to take the next couple of steps, like a person doesn't have to hit me first for me to hit them the fights already on before they, once they're in my space, that fight is on, right?
Sonny: [01:07:01] Yeah. Uh, that comes with experience as well. Doesn't it read in that behavior that is being presented to you and the first time you're in that experience, you're not going to know when that punch is coming. Right. You're also not going to know how to get out the way of it. So yeah, that's when the day of the race happens, it's good to, uh, not be in the street in a real situation.
[01:07:21] It's good to be in a training environment. First, you have a bit of a, a backup of what to do.
Travis Bader: [01:07:26] Now you do a fair bit of a training yourself, don't you?
Sonny: [01:07:30] Yeah, I do. Yeah. I like a boxer by trade I'd say from a young age and I did it in the Royal Marines. Um, one of the Royal Marine light heavyweight POCs in championship light, heavyweight.
[01:07:42] I looked a bit different then, but it was muscle. Good for you. Hey, I know I do mixed martial arts and particularly my interest is in jujitsu because it is a very good sport. I love it. I wish I found it a long time ago, but yeah, fighting's always been a part of my, my life and also my. Growing up my culture, as well as English man, you know, Queensberry rules, bare knuckle box in and stuff.
[01:08:07] I was actually looking into bare knuckle box in it's quite barbaric, but also it's kind of traditional for my heritage has been English. You know, it's an interest, although it is, it's a bloody sport and it is quite a niche thing. Right. I can see why fans will be turned off from it, but it's quite raw, but that's maybe in the works in the future.
Travis Bader: [01:08:30] Have you done that before?
Sonny: [01:08:31] Well, yeah, many times, but not in a ring.
Travis Bader: I hear that!
Sonny: But I did have arranged fights as a youngster. Like I was a lad and I had a reputation and people would come into our town and I'll meet them and fight them in like parking lot and stuff like. Yeah, which isn't advisable, it's not a great thing to do, but that was part of my life.
[01:08:56] And I didn't do that stuff. So yeah, I do have experienced some bare knuckle boxing in that respect, but I always adhere to Queensbury rules, which is like, you fight standing up and then one goes down and then either they give up or they get back up and you continue the fight. And I always did to that, and that's quite like a gentleman's agreement.
[01:09:13] And so did most of the people that I had trouble with in the past, in my generation, but that's not the case anymore. Isn't it? And I've experienced the other end of that, like getting dropped and then people continuing the fight when I was unconscious. And I actually had. Face, uh, I've got metal plate in my face here, uh, and reconstructive surgery, cause some stamping on my head and stuff, you know, for me, that is on it's just so disrespectful.
[01:09:42] You know, there's an honor in, in, in a bit of combat on the street for when I was doing it in my day and light, it was more of a pride thing. It's an ego driven thing. It's definitely stupid. Sure. But it, it happened, but to take it further to stamp on someone's head over a spilled drink outside of a pub is not really, there's no honor in that, but that is the reality we're in these days.
[01:10:05] And also that's why I'm teaching fighting as a last resort. If you're getting into a fight, that's, you've made some mistakes, the weekly focus on mainly not to get to that point in the first place, you know?
Travis Bader: [01:10:16] Yeah, no, you're on the ground. You can expect to have everybody else kicking. Right. And you're fighting one person.
[01:10:22] You can expect there to be more than one person. It's a. Yeah, absolutely. A hundred percent good to know how to fight and then throw that in the Bach back pocket and use it in an absolute last resort. Yeah, it's on top of that, the prevalence of people carrying weapons, um, whatever it is or picking one up that they look around and they can use whatever they want as a weapon.
[01:10:47] And it's a. Being able to, you know, another big part of that skill set, which I think is important is number one, just, uh, uh, you know, the awareness and the avoidance, and being able to put yourself in the most beneficial position so that you don't, uh, find yourself at the altercation or interaction to begin with.
[01:11:08] But number two, and it's something that, uh, some people are very good at. He is sort of like the verbal judo, and I think that's actually trademarked verbal judo. Yeah. So you got to call out tact, tactical communications. The police used to call it verbal judo, and now they call them tack comms because they guess it's, it's actually trademarked.
[01:11:26] And then being able to deescalate a situation through proxemics through your body language, through your, uh, verbal, through your non-verbal. And that's, that's a huge art form is.
Sonny: [01:11:38] Yeah. Yeah, that is. And unfortunately, I'm, I'm a beginner in that art form and I'll openly admit that that's something that I have to work on.
[01:11:46] And I have been working on insecurity as a body guard because, you know, you can't just go into a scrap when he's trying to really looking after someone, right. This deescalation is extremely important and I'm proficiency in it. But growing up, I was not. So there was always a, I knew when the fight was on and then we got to the fight.
[01:12:03] So that whole awkward, like I hate the confrontation. I hate standing in front of someone and they'd like threatening me or, or saying, they're going to do something. They're going to do something, do it. Right. It's like this whole thing, like either we go in and we're not. So that was my mentality as a youngster, but that got me into more trouble than, than if I was good at talking my way out of things.
[01:12:23] And that was a gap in my skillset. This has been, but also, oh, it was. Truffle. Thank you myself. So
Travis Bader: [01:12:32] That's all part of the learning process. Yeah. Like you say, hopefully you make those mistakes in small doses and in ways that you could recover from and really ingrained and learn from them, like my daughter, nothing happened and there is, she recognizes things that could have been done differently.
[01:12:49] Small mistake build upon it. That's fantastic. This is great experience for people to go through.
Sonny: [01:12:55] Yeah. Great. That she came and talked to you about it as well. And that shows that you got a great relationship there. I think. Yeah. You know what I mean?
Travis Bader: [01:13:03] We try really hard. That's a, that's one thing that's one of my life priorities is have a strong family.
[01:13:09] Yeah, we do. I could, I could care less about anything else. If push comes to shove that makes sure we've got a strong family unit. Same with my kids. I let them know, you know, some point something could happen to your mom or me. You guys gotta be able to look after each other. You got to just gotta be able to know.
[01:13:25] You're confident to look after yourselves and you're always there for each other. So we ingrained that very deeply, as well as the honesty part. I don't care. Just like what you're talking about. The integrity part. Th it doesn't matter, you gotta be honest. Right? You gotta let us know we'll work through it.
Sonny: [01:13:44] Yeah. That's a very important point for parenting as well. And that's the journey that I'm on. Uh, hence why all this training and that, and try and prepare my daughter for the outside world. And I have a bit of a warped perception of the outside world, because I've been in the dark side of it a lot of the time, you know, and preparing to deal with the dark side of it has been my job and it still is, but yeah, I'm kind of this balance.
[01:14:09] Isn't there, you have to be prepared, spreads. What do they say? It's to be a warrior in a garden rather than a gardener in a war.
Travis Bader: [01:14:18] Yes. Um, and that preparation thing is going to be difficult too, because of your background and because of what you've seen in the world, As you say, being warped. I don't know.
[01:14:32] It just, it is what it is. It's it's the world and it's just how you've viewed it. Being able to impart what you need without warping your daughter's version of the world as he grows up, it doesn't matter what we do. I'm sure we're going to make mistakes. There's going to be something they look back on, but that's, um, that's a difficult, tight rope I should imagine for, for you to work through.
Sonny: [01:14:55] Yeah, yeah. Obviously as a protector self-defense is at the forefront, but I think that it should be it's, especially for jujitsu. If you learn jujitsu from a young age, The ability to free up your whole life. I don't know what better skill or any sort of self-defense are. You could give to a child or to a young person, to be honest, because then you carry that confidence.
[01:15:20] And that knowing that if something goes bad, I have some experience or I have some moves or an idea of what I can do my own capabilities. So I do have an idea of getting out and then I'll be more confident in her going out and doing all this traveling. Like I did, you know, travel. I traveled a lot on my own.
[01:15:38] Um, and I'm going to be doing a course of solo travel, which is going to incorporate a lot of situational awareness and stuff. Because as a body guards, that was one of my niches is taking a family on their vacation. And quite often in Europe, um, they only want one. Bodyguard one protector. Um, and they don't really want you hanging off their shoulder all the time as a petition, traditional body guard would do.
[01:16:03] And this was a niche that I had to fill and they're the client. They pay the bills, so they don't want to see you around them, but they still want a protective bubble around them. And you're just one person in a foreign country. So I have to deal with that sort of in the, the reality is that you can't protect them a hundred percent, but you can have contingencies in place.
[01:16:23] And that is basically life isn't it contingencies in place, but you can't always be fully protected.
Travis Bader: [01:16:30] Yeah. And you talk about the martial arts and jujitsu at an early age. That's a very important, the one thing that I always try to hammer home and I still do with my kids is the ability to use her voice and scream and create witnesses.
[01:16:47] And even if you know, the, um, the police teach it as well, right. They tell us someone's dropped that one. Well, why would I tell a person to drop that weapon? If I didn't see if they had a weapon or not? Well, you just created a whole bunch of other people around, let's say, oh, that guy's probably got a weapon, right?
[01:17:03] So you're, you're protecting yourself in the instance, you're using your voice and allowed way, but you're also creating witnesses, which you've got your incident. Pre-incident, let's avoid it. Incident K fight sawn and post incident. Man, that's going to be with you for a long time. Everybody can go and look over this and if it reaches a courtroom, you're going to be into it for a number of years.
[01:17:25] And then it's in the back of your head for the rest of your life. So how do you deal with that whole post-incident thing? And if you can create witnesses that might be able to help you with the, or the legal side, and if you're taking the proper steps, like what you've put together in your course here, that can hopefully, uh, help the, the mental reframing of, of what happened to be a bit more of a positive thing.
[01:17:49] Even if it's you did everything right. And this is a learning experience. Yeah.
Sonny: [01:17:55] And there's also aspects of my course that goes into, after an incident, how do we get this bad guy off the streets in the most effective way? How do we report it to the police and how do we memorize important things about them?
[01:18:06] So speaking to retired police officers and they say, it's, yeah, it's good to have a full description, but when all the chaos is happening, it's good to remind them about one distinctive thing about this person that can't be changed. And that's an obvious thing, like a scar or a tattoo or some facial feature that you is distinctive.
[01:18:25] And you would remember, and could be found when they're walking around the street or, and it also could be identified on a lineup as well. So yeah, I do go into this and I wrote an ebook that was part of the course, which is attached to it about after the incident. So there's a lot of things and even goes into active shooters and things like that and what to do because.
[01:18:47] Yeah, there's a lot of,
Travis Bader: [01:18:48] to have to take this course. I got it for my daughter. I'm going to have to take this course.
Sonny: [01:18:52] Yeah. So this is an ebook, this attached to it, which is just a little side thing, but it's actually, I could probably ever wanted to sell it on its own as a book because it's, it's a lot of my knowledge.
[01:19:04] Various experiences into one thing. And also I've got a connection with like police officers, other special forces guys who are currently in, um, intelligence agency staff. I've worked amongst these people with time and security experts, and I just bounce my ideas off them. And then they say other ideas and I collate them into my courses and my training.
[01:19:27] So it's a perfect setup actually.
Travis Bader: [01:19:28] No kidding. So we're going to have links on both on the, uh, the YouTube and on the podcast and people can pull it up and whatever they, their podcast provider and it'll link over. We'll make sure we have links that, that, so people can check it out. Um, one of the other things that, uh, uh, we've been talking about a little bit, which I don't know much about, but I'm loved learning and I'm learning more on, and that's about, uh, uh, dealing with stress and after-action stress and all the rest.
[01:19:59] I mean, it's, um, It seems to be an area of science and psychology that is rapidly changing rapidly growing and people are taking new and unique approaches to helping people work through that whole after action. After where there's PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. Yeah. I think they're actually trying to move away from calling it a disorder, but, um, Uh, or it's just anxiety or depression or whatever else related to dealing with the after-action.
[01:20:36] And that's something that you've had some experience with.
Sonny: [01:20:39] Yeah, well, personally, I didn't get to fulfill my job of going on operations. I'll have other experiences in my life where I've had violent experiences, but I'm an in around people that have been to war multiple times and had, and also now I'm around police in the security industry who have had very horrendous experiences while on the, in the line of duty.
[01:21:03] I've become a fascination of mine, of how they deal with it. And also I have a lot of sympathy for them doing their job to protect us in our society. Um, especially obviously the military guys and girls, but also the police who I don't feel get the credit of the military do because they literally, they run operations every day.
[01:21:23] They don't really have any downtime. Um, and now I have someone close to me that deals with PTSD as well. And I've been looking at other avenues for help, um, and therapy and all the normal avenues of see good. And I'm not a scientist, I'm not a psychologist myself, but I do read and research a lot of things.
[01:21:42] And in the past two years, I've gone down some rabbit holes. That's led me to psychedelic assisted therapies, um, particularly for veterans PTSD. And I really delved into this subject. I can't believe what I've found and I can't believe that it's not accessible for people. And I think it will be in coming years because the studies and the science behind it is so overwhelmingly positive.
[01:22:06] Um, but I think we need to jumpstart that now because suicide rates are through the roof and we all have personal people that we know, especially in my background as a lot of guys particular, I say guys, because I know Ron Marines is all men and stuff anyway, that are struggling. And there's a lot of stigma around talking about things and every person in the police or in the military that I know have been to combat and have traumatic experiences.
[01:22:36] The recurring theme is that they don't get the support that they need. And I know that there's a lot of people were annoyed with the military service and stuff because of. Chewed up and spat out. And that is the reality for me. What I've seen that is what happens no longer useful. So you're gone and the machine just keeps rolling and you're just a waste product out the side.
[01:23:02] Um, and there's some organizations out there helping and some support, but they need something else. And the whole psychedelic assisted therapy is something that I've been reading about and research and, and about to make a big step in my life, uh, to move down to Costa Rica, uh, where there's some actual centers, there's iowaska therapy centers, and also psilocybin, which is the main one that I'm interested in, where veterans can travel down and bypass because obviously there's legal parameters in Canada and my home country and America, which are slowly been challenged now in the FDA.
[01:23:41] Looking at psilocybin is a medical, um, medical substance, uh, for people, right. But it's taken time and there's a stigma around it. And it's the public's perception, which is blocking it in my mind. I think it's, as soon as the public changed, then the politicians will get hold of it when they realize that people support it.
[01:24:01] And then this could be an avenue that is like literally like a magic pill, um, for people that are. Struggling. And I've had other avenues of support. This isn't the be-all and end-all, I'm not saying it is. I just feel like it should be an option to people who are maybe on their last legs have got nowhere to turn or they're alone, and they don't want to talk to anybody else.
[01:24:24] Then why, who who's to say that you can't allow someone to take a substance in a, like a medical setting with a therapist they're not taking mushrooms and running around the forest? Not saying that, you know?
Travis Bader: [01:24:37] I, um, there's a fellow, his name will come to me and he's got a podcast called diary of a CEO, British fellow.
[01:24:45] And he had a, uh, an individual, uh, who is, uh, operating on the forefront of, uh, using siliciden I guess, and other substances for treating depression and anxiety and PTSD. And this guy went down to Costa Rica as well. And if I'm recalling it correctly, And he was talking about, um, he was referencing and I've never crossed, checked your cross reference there, but referencing a lot of different, uh, uh, scientific articles, Stephen, Stephen's something Bartlett it'll come to me anyways.
[01:25:23] Uh, I find it well, I find it really interesting. I mean, from the PTSD side, we had taught Hi-C from veteran hunters who deals with veterans with PTSD and, uh, uses hunting as a way to be present and out in the, in the woods. And, uh, he was, I learned a lot from him talking back and forth about the people he works with and the struggles that he's had and, uh, how PTSD is something that is, um, constantly changing.
[01:25:53] I mean, I think the DSM four defined it in one way. DSM five has changed that and kind of changed the term of trauma, what that actually means. And, and they're starting to learn that you can actually. Pass on some of the, uh, the traits to your kids apparently, and to your, to your family members, because you either are experiencing it from your directing experience.
[01:26:16] You're dealing with it indirectly, let's say like a, a 9 1, 1 operator or you're dealing with it through, um, I forget there's a third way that they mentioned, but essentially like your kids coming back and seeing how you operate and deal with things. And yeah, so there's, there's a lot of information out there.
[01:26:37] Um, like I said, I haven't done, uh, my own personal research on it, but the one thing that always has struck me is the reluctance for people to come out and talk about it. And the stigma that's associated with, um, looking at alternative medicine or alternative. Ways to deal with with anything, right. I mean, let's not get started about some of the other things that are going on in the world at the moment, but, um, I, I guess traditionally they've had talk therapy, right.
[01:27:10] And they just try and rewire the brain and generate new neural pathways through, uh, uh, helping a person experience an event or, uh, relate to an event differently. Or they've got, uh, anti-psychotics or antidepressants and, uh, the selective solar serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, the SSRI or SNRI or whatever they have.
[01:27:33] And that's just where everyone's been looking. And, uh, when you started talking a bit about the, like, let's say psilocybin for the treatment of depression or PTSD or anxiety, obviously I've heard about this before, but I started, I just started at scratch the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot of.
[01:27:56] Information out there, but it seems like people have been looking at this for a very long time. How come, how come? We're not at a point here where people are willing to kind of take that next step. Everything looks experimental.
Sonny: [01:28:09] Yeah. It's because of the war on drugs, back in the day in the sixties, you know, they were all categorized as the same, a class sort of thing.
[01:28:17] And there was a lot of, there's a campaign against it. And that goes back to the war in Vietnam and all the hippies basically. Um, but since that time that is affected our perception of it over my perception, what I learned in school, I'm sure what you learn in school and stuff. Only recently in the two thousands that studies have been allowed to happen again, and it's really grown some momentum.
[01:28:43] Um, and I can't cite the studies cause I don't have a good enough memory. Uh, but the things that I've read and seen for one instance, uh, which Jordan Peterson talks about, uh, after one psilocybin session, um, for smokers, 80% of the people that were smoking actually quit smoking. And then three months down the line had still not had a cigarette since that session.
[01:29:08] And it isn't just taking mushrooms. It's like integration, uh, and talking about afterwards. Um, and the, the results from that is astounding really. Um, and for similar things like that, I've read about. I actually have found that psychologists and psychiatrists are quite welcoming of this new age of the psychedelics coming in because they've been, their hands have been tied.
[01:29:33] They haven't had the tools or the medicines really. They they're given all these drugs, that kind of numb symptoms. Um, but psilocybin and other substances are used in the right way can actually cure the source of the pain, um, in a way, which is incredible. That's what we need right now. And not just for PTSD, but was a higher number of depressed people around the world.
[01:29:56] Lots of other issues, uh, even addiction and maybe not. So the cyber, but other substances, I Boca teen, I think I'm saying that right, but maybe not, um, is, is very powerful in Q1 addiction of opioids, for instance. So I think this is something that is going to be exploding over the next few years, but I think we need to look at it.
[01:30:19] And I'm also in contact with an organization called heroic hearts, where they're bypassing the legal requirements of, uh, the United States and England and send in veterans. It's a charity to a, there's a center in Costa Rica and a few round that region of south America, uh, to have experiences, uh, and, and deal with their traumas in this way and having a lot of positive results.
[01:30:45] Um, and it's a question that I don't see the argument because the people that are going are already in pain and they've already most of the time. Going through every avenue available to them and they're looking for help. And if some of those, if five out of 10 of those come back and have a positive outlook on it.
[01:31:04] And I can tell you it's more than five from my experience of speaking to people and reading the studies. There's, there's no downside to that. In my opinion.
Travis Bader: [01:31:14] I, you know, what I've always found interesting is personal find themselves in a situation where they've got some, some mental health problems and, and, uh, mental health has always had this social stigma.
[01:31:28] Can't talk about it. You're weak. If you have mental health problems or whatever it is, and it be a sort of hidden away. I like the fact that it's being talked about more. I mean, with COVID, I'm, there's lots of people that are struggling with trying to keep a business going or have social connections or, um, mental health is, is being talked about, I think anyways, on, on a greater scale, But you, you look at the, um, you take a look at the approach to the mental health.
[01:32:01] And the one thing that has kind of stuck out in our conversations is, uh, you can, you can do talk therapy and that's good, bad. It can provide people with framework and tools to work with. And, but you gotta have somebody who's matched up to your personality and mean if you've got somebody who's an ex military and they're talking to with a talk therapist who's does not have the same way, was completely unable to relate.
[01:32:28] It's not going to have as much value, um, there's medications, but these medications seem to be something that are an ongoing. Prescription. And when that will change as your body chemistry changes, because everyone's body chemistry is different and they're kind of like just putting a little bit of chemicals in the water to see what color it turns and what let's try a little bit of this one.
[01:32:52] Let's try a little bit of that one and we'll see how long it lasts for until we have to kind of change it up again. But from the little bit I've been looking at, and that you've been talking about, um, these treatments seem to be more focused on single use. Like I've seen, they've got this dosing thing, but it's also like single event one and done, which sounds like a magic pill.
[01:33:13] And it sounds phenomenal. Yeah. Um, but I think that's probably the most interesting aspect out of all of this. If you can find something where you don't have to have an ongoing thing to inhibit you, uh, re-uptake inhibitors or whatever it is, I would guess that number one, a person would want to take a look at what their, their actual situation is.
[01:33:37] Cause if you're, um, working in a tiny little cubicle every day underneath fluorescent lights for long hours and going home and you have no social connections, so no social network, and you're doing that on a regular basis, you can medicate that person until the end of the time, but you're just, you're just putting band-aids on a problem, right?
[01:33:55] Yeah. So I would think a person would really want to try and drill down and assess what their situation is so they can change it, lead a more healthy lifestyle, more exercise, better diet and better social connections. Um, but from what you've been seeing, it sounds like from your research anyways, these, uh, uh, these events, these siliciden events, or what did you call it?
[01:34:22] A guided...?
Sonny: [01:34:24] Citizen. Um, like psychedelic assisted therapy.
Travis Bader: [01:34:27] That's it. Yeah. These, these are more. Uh, individual thing, not like some ongoing.
Sonny: [01:34:32] Yeah. So it's a one session of the psilocybin with the iOS. Can you do a few sessions, but you don't just rive and then do it. It's. A buildup of talking about it, learning about the substance and the culture of it as well, having the session, and then speaking with a therapist afterwards, see, do have this talk therapy after which, which is extremely beneficial if you're going to do it.
[01:34:55] And that's just set aside, but in like a, a medical setting for it to happen inside Canada, which there are clinical trials Charles happened in and Vancouver UBC a instrument when this is quite interesting, why I've ended up in this environment and connected with these people around here. And also I've invested in the industry as well, because I want to support it.
[01:35:16] There's quite a boom, the Shroom boom for investment. And a lot of those companies are based in banks. Okay. So quite forward thinking in this country, I think Canada could make that step first and I hope they do because they do need something to deal with a lot of the problems, mental health issues that we have in the society here.
[01:35:37] Um, but yeah, the, the idea of it being a one session thing and not ongoing is kind of unbelievable. And if you don't believe what I'm saying, I do urge you to, um, research and there's one book that I've read, um, called, uh, how to change your mind. Um, let me just think, Michael Poland is the author and he's a well establish establish also has been on the Joe Rogan experience and things.
[01:36:05] Um, and he was very much against psychedelics. And then he decided to embark on this journey where he, uh, he took the substances, researched a lot, and then he wrote a book about it and he changed his perception of it. And he challenges people. Just think of it as a, as a new medicine basically. And it isn't going to affect the everyday person.
[01:36:25] No one's coming to your house is saying, you need to try this magic mushroom. You know, we're talking about a medicine for people that need the help and it's not something that's new for me. It feels very natural that the fact that they grow up on the fields, like not far from here, you know, mushroom with the red one with the Santa Clause hat.
Travis Bader: [01:36:49] close one.
[01:36:49] We've got it in my kid's
Sonny: [01:36:50] school. Yeah. But that, isn't one that you should use. That's a bad one. That's not psilocybin. It's a different,
Travis Bader: [01:36:57] I might find some bullets bullet, how he's get in trouble. Bullets, bullets. You might sign some bullets near that. If you're looking for like the king bullet or anything else, look for the enemy to have a scarier.
Sonny: [01:37:06] Yeah. I wouldn't advise ever picking mushrooms as a bad thing to do, but, um, yeah. That these things are not like a synthetic material that's made by pharmaceutical companies. These things grow all over the world and they've been used by cultures in different various parts of the world for many years. Um, as a medicine, uh, I think we should look at that.
[01:37:28] I think it's something, it says something. And I'll tell you now I've personally used, sat aside psilocybin because I don't want to advocate for something that I don't have experience on. Um, so I've, I've done two sessions personally. Um, and what's it like, uh, it wasn't a mind blowing. I wasn't seeing like little creatures and things like that.
[01:37:51] Uh, it was done in my house, in it, like everything quiet and in the darkness. Um, take a dose and then have a sitter outside who would assist me if I needed it. Um
Travis Bader: [01:38:03] So, you're completely alone as you're going through this.
Sonny: [01:38:07] Yeah it's an internal process. So you'd take it and then you'd lie down and be in darkness, preferably. And for me, what I got out of it was that basically it grounded me and showed me that I need to focus on the important things in my life and not keep looking ahead to the next thing.
[01:38:25] Cause that's something that I've had in me from a young age, always focusing on the next goal, the next goal. And I kind of can't do that now that I have a daughter, like her reality is waking up every day and I create that because we're in the same house, you know, if I'm stressed about work or finances that affects her and this is her life and it, it just made me check myself and think, right, this is a bit of a reset here.
[01:38:50] I need to focus on being about husband of our father, um, balance my life, a bit more, um, um, healthy person. Anyway, I, I will admit, um, but also. Steered me towards going out in nature. We go on a lot more hikes because of it. Really? Yeah. It was a strange experience. And I wouldn't say like, go and do it, everyone do it.
[01:39:14] I just did it because I w I don't want to be advocating for something that turns out to be a ludicrous thing dangerous. Um, and if it does become a normalized thing in society, then it wouldn't be taken it on your own and be in a center retreat, or like a medical setting where you have professionals to guide you.
[01:39:34] Um, but for me, I think it is. It's something to be looked at and not even on your spiritual side, a lot of the people that are surrounded in this area, um, particularly when I go to Costa Rica, I know that they're cause they're quite, um, hippy-ish yeah, that's it. It's taking their crystals and washing them and waterfalls on a full moon.
[01:39:54] That sort of thing. These people are a bit strange to me, but know that they may, I may have something to learn from these people, especially in the healing aspect. Cause they seem quite at peace with their life and at one with nature. And I think that's something that we do need as a society as well. Um, but I'm experimenting in terms of, I want to try and advocate because I think the public perception is the one, the big hurdle.
[01:40:22] And because I have a, a tick-tock following and stuff like that, I'm going to try and do some work with heroic hearts. Also I have my own Tik TOK that I've just started called do the recce, um, recognizance. Highlight studies highlight information that comes out just the people couldn't look at it and read and just learn a bit more and have a bit of an open mind about the subjects because yeah, I think we're going in that direction for a mental health side of things.
[01:40:49] I don't think there should be too much pushback if it's shown to help. From my opinion, it has been shown to help a lot.
Travis Bader: [01:40:56] Interesting. Well, that spirituality side I've read that some people will have that siliciden experience. And up to a year later still be feeling the benefits of, I guess, people call it or refer to it as sort of a profound, spiritual experience.
[01:41:14] And I guess spirituality is going to be something different for everybody, right? Whether it's some, some person in the sky or, or some connection with nature or connection with others or what, whatever it is. But that spirituality feeling seems to be pretty heavily intertwined with the whole siliciden thing.
Sonny: [01:41:31] Yeah. And for me, I don't know if I got this spiritual side of things come out, but I just had a, uh, like a grounding moment where I was. Realize that I'm the, like, I actually feel like a tribesmen is what came to mind for me that I am a protector of my family. I'm a, like an alpha male and don't hide from that.
[01:41:52] Just that is who I am. That's what I've grown up being like, acknowledged that that is what my role in this family is. I'm the protector here. Um, and also realize what's important. And what is important is my family like inside these walls, in my home, inside these walls of my mind as well is, uh, things that I need to address and deal with rather than just looking at in the future.
[01:42:20] If I get this, uh, achievement, then I'll be successful. I'll be happy once I get there. And I don't do meditation or anything like that, but these spiritual people were talking about meditation. I would like to go down that avenue, but I haven't experienced that.
Travis Bader: [01:42:33] Yeah. Interesting. And that, that statement, I will be happy when I'll be happy.
[01:42:38] When I get there, when I achieved this, I'll be happy. And that's, that's something that I think a lot of people can really benefit from. Uh, and, and I think, I think there's a lot to be said for meditation as well, like you're saying, but how do you, uh, take a look at what you currently have and be happy for what you currently do have, right.
[01:42:59] And then there's going to be people in situations where yes, there's going to be things in their life. They should be looking at making a positive change towards which will probably ultimately lead to more happiness from them. But so often I find people are spending their time comparing themselves to what their definition or ideal of what happiness should be and completely missing the plot that.
[01:43:24] What you're experiencing in that moment is in fact what most people should strive towards. Yeah.
Sonny: [01:43:30] I don't know if, yeah, I agree. And I'm trying to take into account that the older generation they're giving me advice at work and things, and there's a lot of people that are divorced in my line of work, who have spent their time working and missed out on spending time, their children and their wife they've neglected attention to their wife or, or, or caring for them, uh, grown apart.
[01:43:54] And I'm trying to look at that and put that into my own life and realize what is important. Uh, so yeah, I'm going to go to Costa Rica. I'm going to try and work as a fixer in the industry. We call it a fixer. So if people were interested in, in, if they're on their last legs, that they, they have nowhere to turn, then I'm going to have a site where you can speak to me and I'll try and organize and give you just information about the centers and what happens.
[01:44:22] And I'm just going to try and expand my knowledge. Um, most down there, make connections and try and help in any way I can. And I've been in contact with, uh, Jesse gold. Who's the, the CEO of the, um, who are at carts, which is quite, they had a New York times article written a couple of years back. And they're like the leader for veterans.
[01:44:41] And there's one in the UK as well, who are at carts UK. So we kind of try and liaise with them and help them out as well, because they're doing great work.
Travis Bader: [01:44:48] We'll get some of those links. We'll put them on here as well. So anybody who wants to learn more can look into it. I find it fascinating. I find it very interesting.
[01:44:58] I've talked to other people that have been through, uh, different modalities for dealing with their anxiety, depression, or PTSD. And, um, some people are ardently against any sort of narcotics based on simply the social stigma. And I know some people have had family histories of, um, had drug or alcohol abuse and they just, they have that ingrained in their mind has said they won't even take doctor prescribed medications.
[01:45:29] But, um, I guess, you know, the first step in all of these things is just sort of normalizing the conversation. And so. Everyone being different in different body chemistries and different mental makeups and cognitive and resiliencies can start choosing from the plethora of different options that are available there.
[01:45:52] Cause maybe suicide was great for one and not for another, maybe talk is great for somebody and not somebody else.
Sonny: [01:45:59] I definitely need a doctor or a specialist to decide these things and siphon out the. Would benefit from it or not. And I'm not that person to do that. I'm just trying to push the, uh, th the conversation, you know, and bring it to the forefront of people's minds.
[01:46:14] And I think because I was in the special forces, there's this, I think where the people that are at first in, you know, where these are, the guys that are jumping out of airplanes, jumping out of Hilos into the, into the water, doing all this dangerous stuff. And then we should be making this leap as well, because we're the leaders of the military.
[01:46:34] Um, people look up to us and if there is weight behind what I'm saying, if you don't believe there is then have a look yourself, do the recce. If we can make this change and help our brothers, then let's do it now. That's my perspective.
Travis Bader: [01:46:48] That's fantastic. Sunny. Is there anything else that we should be talking about?
Sonny: [01:46:53] Uh, I don't know. I think, I think we've covered quite a good range of things
Travis Bader: [01:46:58] I think we did. Yeah. Do the you, I like it. Yeah. Thank you very much for coming back on its silver podcast. I always enjoy speaking with you.
Sonny: [01:47:05] Yeah, you too. It's been a pleasure. Thanks very much.
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