The Savage Syndicate: Stay Hard to Kill with Josh Brisbane - EP0016 - Episode Drop Date: May 6th, 2022

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Episode Transcription


[00:00:00] Intro/Outro: Welcome to the Survive Scale Soar podcast. Hear and learn through the success of others about how to build the life and business you deserve. Learn to overcome failure, and what it means to seek out how to become the best possible version of yourself. And now, here's your host, coach, entrepreneur, husband, and father, and author of the number one bestselling book, Survive Scale Soar, Jeremy Williams.

[00:00:32] Jeremy Williams: Welcome back. This is Jeremy Williams, and you're tuning into the Survive Scale Soar podcast. The podcast for the entrepreneur built by entrepreneurs today. I'll be joined by Josh Brisbane, surfer, fighter, serial entrepreneur, and the owner of the Savage Syndicate. We talk about the importance of self-defense, waves, and everyone's favorite topic: sharks. 

[00:00:53] Before we get started with our guests, a [00:01:00] quick reminder if today's episode moves you, makes you think differently, makes you laugh, or you know it may help someone, be sure to share it. Josh, welcome to the show. How are you today?

[00:01:10] Josh Brisbane: Thank you Jeremy. I'm doing awesome. How are you doing?

[00:01:14] Jeremy Williams: Doing great. If I was any better, it would be illegal.

[00:01:17] Josh Brisbane: Probably illegal in some states now.

[00:01:22] Jeremy Williams: Yes, especially the further north you go east and west, and I know you live out west, so we'll talk about that a little bit. Josh, you’re a surfer. You're a fighter. You train people to fight. You've got a beach apparel store.

[00:01:37] You are building the Savage Syndicate, and you spend a lot of time talking about how  to make yourself hard to kill. I want to touch a little bit on those today. Tell us about yourself today.

[00:01:50] Josh Brisbane: Yes. I'm out here on the West coast. I grew up out here, born and raised in Southern California.

[00:01:57] For those that do not know California, I lived inland. I grew up about 45 minutes from the beach. As soon as I graduated high school at 18, I moved to the beach, and that changed my life. Surfing is what I do. Unfortunately surfing doesn't pay the bills, but it's the passion.

[00:02:15] I started at a young age, and fortunately for me, my mom used to drive me to the beach all the time. Then I got into mixed martial arts, randomly. My friend and I were boxing one time. I heard his ribs crack, and he was a server at a restaurant. The manager at the restaurant said, Tom, why don't you hold the tray up like a normal server?

[00:02:38] He says, I can’t, I popped my ribs. Me and my buddy were boxing. He said, “Boxing”. He says, “If you want to learn how to fight, come to my gym”. My buddy told me that, and we went to a high school gym. The guy knew the principal had the keys to the gym and we just started. He was an Olympic Judo guy.

[00:02:56] For those that don't know, [00:03:00] Judo is a lot of throws, a lot of hip checks and gets you to the ground. There's two ways you could fight. You could either get the shit kicked out of you on day one and never come back, or like me, love it and get the shit kicked out of you, but come back day after day and take it to the next level.

[00:03:18] I was one of those people. I am 6 ft. 2 in. and 225 lbs. and thought I'd go in there and manhandle people. I got humbled and that's the main thing most people do is they think I’m good on the ground, or they don't think they're going to lose, right? They don't go to a fight academy or a fighting school and think they're going to lose.

[00:03:39] I think that he is a tough guy, and it's the first thing from the truth. Everybody I know gets humbled. They get tied up in Jitsu, they get hit or whatever, but it changed my life. In high school I did soccer and football and all those team sports, but I chose two sports, surfing and fighting that can’t be more individual sports if you tried.

[00:03:57] If surfing, if something goes wrong, I'm the only one to blame. While fighting, if something goes wrong, I get knocked out and lose or tap. It's my own fault. I gravitated to these two sports because it was all on me.

[00:04:16] Fighting is like a chess match to me. I know a lot of people think it's brutal. Two guys get in a cage and it's just so barbaric. A lot of people call it a human cockfight, and to me and everybody I know, fighters are very intelligent, well-mannered, very well-spoken and the stigma that the fighters have is a hundred percent wrong.

[00:04:40] We can get more into fighting later, but then I started a company in sales doing outdoor sales. I started my own company in 2010 - 2011. Like most people, I got laid off, and I thought I'm not into the corporate [00:05:00] world.

[00:05:00] I don't play nice with the bullshit of trying to get to the next level and ass kissing that you had to do. When I got laid off, somebody said, “Hey, you can start this business”. I started a personal training business which led into a marketing company that focused on marketing products.

[00:05:20] If you go to Costco and see those people asking, “Hey, do you want to try this drink, or do you want to try this beef jerky, or whatever”, we call those brand ambassadors. I had a marketing company that would supply the brand ambassadors to brokers. I got the entrepreneur bug and it just skyrocketed from 2010 - 2011, and I've been on my own now for 10 - 11  years.

[00:05:45]  I love it. With my surfing fighting, I own a couple of different businesses, and now I'm creating the Savage Syndicate, which to me fighting has always been something that once you get me going, like [00:06:00] now, I can rattle on a thousand different stories and scenarios.

[00:06:03] It's something I'm passionate about. My wife actually suggested I start a podcast with surfers and fighters, and that morphed into The Savage Watermen podcasts where I did have fighters, surfers, and now entrepreneurs. I started with Mark Evans mastermind groups.

[00:06:21] I started inviting people onto the podcast who I found could add value or were interesting to me. The podcast has parlayed into the Savage Syndicate. I find a lot of people don't know how to defend themselves. They don't know how to fight, and they are scared to leave the house because of the crazy world we live in.

[00:06:41] They don't have the skills that if something happens they aren’t prepared. We don't want anything to happen. We don't want bad things to happen to good people, but it does happen. The Savage syndicate is going to help facilitate an opportunity to learn self defense skills. You’ll get access [00:07:00] to the Ju Jitsu classes, help you with boxing, help you with Muay Thai, and everything that will make you harder to kill.

[00:07:08] That's my newest project. I'm working on a website right now and it's going to be called Savage Syndicate. It's going to be a mastermind group where you pay a monthly fee to be a member. I have access to a lot of fighters, UFC fighters, Bellator fighters, and you will have access as a member.

[00:07:29] It’s a fun project because it is a passion project, and I'm look forward to kicking that off in the next week.

[00:07:37] Jeremy Williams: Yes, stay hard to kill. I hear you say that on your Instagram Reels encouraging people to stay hard to kill. I think there is something to this. I've always taught my kid to defend himself, and he took TaeKwonDo, got his black belt and first star. He's actually put it to some use on the playground.

[00:07:58] It [00:08:00] wasn't necessarily to defend himself. It was to defend his friends and stand up for them. I think about an incident that just happened here in our local area. You should look it up here in Kingwood, Texas. There was a big fight at a high school, and it wasn't really even a fight. There was a kid that recorded which is disgusting on it’s own.

[00:08:17] He basically watched this kid get pummeled. This kid threw three, four pretty violent swings. The kid ends up having a broken jaw and hospitalized with a concussion. It’s a bad deal. From the video, the recipient is either choosing not to fight, or it looked like he wanted to avoid the aggression.

[00:08:40] He wasn’t ready for what was coming and it was absolute violence. You're seeing this a lot in our world, and I see a lot of the videos that you share. Videos of people in a parking lot looking down at their cell phone. You share that when you get into your car, make sure you're looking around. [00:09:00] These simple steps makes it harder to take advantage of you.

[00:09:05] Josh Brisbane: Yes, I agree with you. I have an eight year old son, and he's in Jujitsu with me. I've gotten him rolling since he was three. Both of us, sir. He surfs and fights too, just like his dad. I got him into it at a young age because as a dad our biggest fear is that the kids go to school, or go to a playground, and you can't be with them 24-7. It breaks your heart to think that somebody is going to pick on them.

[00:09:30] As fathers, I think it’s our responsibility to our kids to teach them how to throw a punch, and get them in the classes. It’s going to give them confidence that if Billy on the street or at school wants to push them from behind, they will have the ability to fight or take flight.

[00:09:51] There’s going to be a point where you get backed into a corner, and you need to know how to throw a punch. You need to know how to defend yourself. This is why I think it's hugely beneficial for [00:10:00] kids at an early age to get into it. Unfortunately not everybody does. I've been around fighting for 20 plus years, but not everybody even as an adult is comfortable in conflict.

[00:10:11] I post about things like tactical parking, or what to do at the gas station. These are things that have been instilled in my head throughout all my training. I do a lot of tactical stuff. I want to share with the average person. I do tactical training, and I went one-on-one with Tim Kennedy.

[00:10:31] He's a UFC fighter and a Green Beret sniper. When I go to these classes, you must  have some level of skill. For Tim Kennedy’s Sheepdog Response class, we did like 6 - 7 hours of hand-to-hand combat.

[00:10:52] We do shooting at night, and I'm surprised that the average person who takes these courses obviously [00:11:00] wants to learn how to defend themselves, don't know the basic rules on the ground, the body leverage, how to position yourself, or how to see things coming before they happen.

[00:11:10] I guess that's just my years of fighting that it's just automatic now. That's what I want to relay to people. It might be basic to some people who are at higher levels of tactic, Brazilian, or Black Belts, and I want to make this accessible to the average person because this world is only getting crazier.

[00:11:32] Especially out here in California where they want to take our guns. The criminals out here have more rights compared to the average upstanding citizen. And it's time to change that. It's time to get average people standing up for themselves. I've practiced for worst case scenarios all the time and people think I'm crazy, but you know what, if somebody comes walking in that door, I know where my weapons are.

[00:11:56] I know where things have to be to protect myself and my [00:12:00] family. We all are in mastermind groups to level up in business and make more money and drive those Lambos, but if you can defend yourself, what's the point of driving a Lambo? If you go out and get carjacked, which in LA right now people are following those cars and physically assaulting those people and taking their shit.

[00:12:18] So for me, it goes hand in hand. Yes, elevate in business and excel and do all that, but also you must sharpen the tools of self-defense because what's the point of having nice stuff If you can't keep it because you're getting jumped for it. That’s where I’m at currently.

[00:12:36] It’s all about defending yourself starting at a young age. I'm starting young to instill that confidence.

[00:12:45] Jeremy Williams: Yes. I think we could talk for hours on this. I think societal changes are different from when I was a kid. It was a common belief to be able to defend yourself.

[00:13:00] It was fight or flight. Some situations you don't necessarily want to run. Sadly, I look at Houston. I don't know if we're still outpacing Chicago or not, but there for a whilewe were outpacing the country in murders.

[00:13:21] Every time I turn on the news, somebody was murdered. Yeah. It is dangerous out there. People need to get over this idea that there's always this positivity and things are great.

[00:13:39] There is evil; there is bad. We've got to be prepared in all ways possible. Like you said, you can go have this great life and do everything right, and it can be taken from you in an instant.

[00:13:53] Josh Brisbane: Yes. People think I'm a paranoid guy, but I'm not. I walked [00:14:00] outside, and I did a quick survey. I'm not rolling from bush to bush to get to my car.

[00:14:07] I'm using common sense, and it's kept me alive; knock on wood. There are basic things that I’ve taught my family. We have safe words. If I say watermelon, they know to get behind me. If I say big peacock, that means to look around that there’s something dad is noticing that we need to pay attention to.

[00:14:27] Our country is getting stranger and stranger by the day, and why not gear yourself up and get the tools you need to thrive in it. Being safe is 100% how we get to the next level.

[00:14:45] Jeremy Williams: Do you think in a lot of these instances, I know with the videos that you share, and I think I know what the answer is, but I want to hear your answer, do you think they're looking for the people that just aren't paying attention?

[00:14:57] Josh Brisbane: 100%.

[00:14:58] Look at nature [00:15:00] and who do lions go after? They separate the herd. They go for the week. If you have a busted leg, you're not going to survive in the wild. We're animals, right? Predators have instilled in their head that they don't want to go for somebody who's going to fight back. You don't see too many basketball players get jumped out of the street.

[00:15:18] Why? Because they're over 6 ft. 5 in. They're going to be a problem. What you see are the small women or the small men or anybody who's not paying attention. Most of us walk around going from point A to B with our head down.

[00:15:37] If you walked out your door right now, you could see five people doing it. You hate to see it, but it's those kinds of mentality, those kinds of things and traits that we need to tilt. You spread the message enough times, and people now are telling me on Instagram, wow.

[00:15:54] My mom even said she is no longer walking out of the grocery store with her down looking at her phone. [00:16:00] Predators are watching you. You might not think you're being watched, and we're all on camera no matter where you go, but predators are watching you.

[00:16:09] In a post I shared, they're watching you pump the gas. Are you going to pump the gas, and then go sit in your car with your head down. They're watching you. If they want to make you a victim, they will.  They're strategizing how to get it. I tell people at a gas station to stand three to four feet back from your car.

[00:16:30] Now you can see every angle of your car while pumping gas. Doesn't have to be fun, right? You keep your head on a swivel. It's five minutes out of your time, but most people are getting jacked because their heads are down or they're right up against the pump zoning out and somebody comes from around the car.

[00:16:48] I can show you tons of videos. Predators want easy prey. It’s the nature of who we are as people. They don't want to handle a cat if a cat [00:17:00] doesn't want to be held, right? Most people tell me, well, I'm a small, one hundred pound woman. I can't defend myself wrong. 100% wrong!.

[00:17:08] There's a video that went viral of a big muscular nature guy. He said, look at this nice little cat. The cat flipped and tore him up. He was clawed and screaming like a girl. Oh my.

[00:17:28] It didn’t want to be held, right? If you take that mentality and put it on anybody, like if you want to grab my eight year old son, he's going to make life hard for you. He knows where to hit. He knows how to hit, and he is going to hit you and thrash around. Predators don't want that. You’ll see me walking with him, and we walk around vigilant and aware, but most videos you see are of women on their phone with their stroller.

[00:17:54] People come up, grab the kids and run. Hopefully [00:18:00] bystanders jump in, but not all the time. You can't depend on other people. I'm a big supporter of the police, and I'm not knocking them at all, but when you call 9-1-1, it’s going to take a while for them to get there. Sometimes five, seven minutes, or whatever the case may be, but you need to be your first responder.

[00:18:16] You need to be the person who calls 9-1-1, but also have a plan of what may be the weapons to defend you, including hands and feet, and you need to have a strategy. Like starting a business, we have a business plan, right?

[00:18:36] Our household has a plan. If somebody walks in my door at two in the morning, I have a plan. I have weapons. I know where my kid's room is located, and the direction to safely shoot. I have a guy who will come in here and attack me and we run drills.

[00:18:54] If you're going to throw a football, you don't throw a football once and say, I'm ready for the [00:19:00] NFL. You must be repetitive. You've got to keep doing these things until they're drilled into your head to where you react in a positive way. Violence with violence and not everybody can do it.

[00:19:14] Not everybody has that fight or flight mode, but everybody can train to increase your chances of not being a victim; becoming hard to kill. I'm not telling everybody they're going to go out there and have a week of training with somebody that I may know or myself, and you're going to be ready to fight Mike Tyson, but I want to increase your chances if somebody does come out.

[00:19:38] You're not going to be the victim. You're going to make that attacker feel like, oh shit, I just attacked the wrong person. This isn't going well for me.

[00:19:47] Jeremy Williams: It's kind of like that guy that was messing with Tyson on the plane. He was not prepared for that.

[00:19:55] Josh Brisbane: Honestly, I think he was prepared for that. My question to Tyson is why is he on a regular flight? Why isn't he flying private? He lives out here in Newport, and you know Mike has a handler; a guy who's watching him. If you watch more of that video, the guy is completely hammered, and he keeps antagonizing Mike.

[00:20:21] I think he knew it, and now he's getting ready to get paid. He's going after Mike Tyson, and there's a different mentality of people, and just because we have a high moral ground, it doesn't mean everybody does. There's different levels of crazy. I tell people don't get into a road rage incident.

[00:20:40] You might think your middle finger might be expressing anger, right? You drive off, and to somebody that’s spent half his life in prison, that is seen and interpreted as a death threat. Now he's coming to get you, and you only wanted to express some anger because you were cut off.

[00:20:59] Don't [00:21:00] engage in things when you don't have to. I know it's hard for most people. You want to do the big peacock, and you want to say you were cut off. Everybody has a different level of crazy. I've been in some scenarios where I asked my mentors for advice, and asked what would’ve I gained?

[00:21:16] Are you going to get an attaboy from me? No. You’re probably going to put yourself in jail, or you might even experience worse consequences because you have a life, you have money coming in, you have all this nice stuff, and that person has nothing to lose. I've had a knife pulled on me, and I've always asked my mentor, what should I have done?

[00:21:35] How could I have handled it differently? There's always different answers, and there’s really nothing in writing. Every situation has different outcomes and different things you can do to help you not be a victim.

[00:21:48] Jeremy Williams: Yes. So true. All right. I want to get to a little bit lighter side. What’s the biggest wave you’ve ever surfed?

[00:21:53] Josh Brisbane: The biggest wave I've ever served was actually last [00:22:00] year. I've been to Hawaii and surfed 10 to 15 ft. waves. The biggest waves I’ve surfed have all been within the 10 to 15 range. I've been in Hawaii surfing some the big stuff and Honolulu Bay. One of the biggest and scariest times was actually at Huntington Beach.

[00:22:13] We have all types of storms and weather systems though I don’t know all the names. I don't know this one, but it was a big one and I was getting ready to paddle out when the fog bank came in. I never saw the waves, and I didn’t know how big they were, and the fog was thick. We paddle out and we were getting ready.

[00:22:34] The guy says, do not go in the water. The waves are too big. We don't want to save anybody. We can't see you. My dumb ass didn't think about that, and I paddled straight out. When you paddle out, you have to duck and dive under waves to get out. I had dry hair, and I thought, how big can the waves be if I have dry hair. The fog made it difficult to see where we were at, and I found a group of people that also didn’t realize how big the waves were.

[00:23:00] All of a sudden, we see this black mountain coming at us. It's coming so quickly. With the fog impacting visibility, all of a sudden we were faced with a 15 - 20 foot wave. We all scrambled and kicked out and got under it. I surfed a 15 foot wave that day. I was in Cabo last July, and a big hurricane came through and again I surfed 12 - 15 foot waves.

[00:23:26] I'd say the 10 to 15 foot range is where I surf comfortably. Once it gets past that, you must start asking yourself the risk versus reward, right?

[00:23:37] Jeremy Williams: No 50 footers for you?

[00:23:40] Josh Brisbane: No 50 footers. I was out at Jaws one time. That's a place in Maui and they were filming the movie Point Break.

[00:23:49] Boats were getting flipped over. It's huge, massive. People think that riding the wave is hard for surfers. If you get on that wave, it's, [00:24:00] it's pretty doable, but if you fall, then you're going to get tossed and turned. That's what you’ve got to train for.

[00:24:06] That's what people aren't prepared for because you have to hold your breath sometimes for up to a minute and a half. If you can sit here and hold your breath for a minute and a half, that might be doable for some people, but if you go into the water and are getting tossed and turned like a ragdoll. It’s like a wash machine, and you’re trying to hold on.

[00:24:24] 10 seconds seems like forever. Now these guys have an inflatable vest where they pull the plug, and there are two cartridges that shoot them quickly up to the surface. Then you hope your buddy with the jet ski is going to pick you up real quick before another wave comes down on your head; kinda like fighting.

[00:24:43] You’ve got to be prepared for everything.

[00:24:45] Jeremy Williams: Speaking of being prepared for everything, how do you prepare for sharks?

[00:24:52] Josh Brisbane: You kind of know where they are. There's certain spots where there's sightings. I know a spot where a woman got attacked, but [00:25:00] you can't really be prepared for that one.

[00:25:03] You just got to know, Hey, like you don't surf real well, I'm going to say this, but I surf at all times whenever the wind, you don't want to surf in the Dawn, but, but we have Donald. So I paddled out in the dark, I've done all the things that they tell you not to do. Um, it's kind of like, just when it's your time, it's your time because there's not a whole lot you can do to, you know, what's and I don't like, you know, I, I don't have a hate relationship with sharks.

[00:25:28] I step into their environment. If it happens, it happens, but I use common sense, especially now. I surf with my son a lot. If we see something out of the norm, we get out of the water, and we have a lot of friends in the community that will say, hey, I saw a shark out here the other day. We are aware of where they're at.

[00:25:49] I did see one when I was a kid about 16 at San Onofre. There was nobody on the water. It was just me, and I did a double take. [00:26:00] Dolphins will do the up and down technique, and sharks skim with their fin like Jaws. I did a double-take and there is this feeling of nothing I could do. 

[00:26:13] It’s the worst feeling in the world because once I saw the shark, I turned and tried to get back to shore. The feeling of anticipation of that thing coming up to get me…I'll never forget that. It is scary. I got out of Dodge and made a run for the beach.

[00:26:34] I told my cousin and he said, oh yeah, that's a tiger shark that trailed you. I said, I did not know a tiger shark would trail someone. They're scary, but there is not a whole lot we can do about it, right? We're out there in their ocean. If they decide today's the day, usually they don't, today’s the day. Most of them don’t want to attack people.

[00:26:52] If they do bite, once they realize it's not a seal, they swim off. Unfortunately that one bite does a lot of damage. I don't want to find out how it feels, but you will remember it I’m sure.

[00:27:04] Jeremy Williams: Yes. Josh you've started this Savage Syndicate, and it sounds really cool. Tell us, if people are wanting to get involved in this, what is the first step they should take?

[00:27:18] Josh Brisbane: We don't have the website up currently. I'm actually working on that right now, but you can email me. My email is [email protected]. I can put you on the list and send you the information. You can also follow me on Instagram @surf1619

[00:27:39] I have a podcast called The Savage Watermen podcast, and I've filtered those episodes into my Instagram feed. I also own Happy Beach Vibe. If you guys want some Shaka, part of the surfing culture, I’ve got t-shirts here. We have a lot of good vibes, beach [00:28:00] attire, hats shirts, and we just spread the Shaka vibe.

[00:28:03] It's a combination of happy, low key beach vibe. My Savage Syndicate is designed to teach you how to be hard to kill. I get the opportunity to combine those two worlds together.

[00:28:15] Jeremy Williams: That's awesome. I really enjoy it. I've gotten to know you and the things that you're really passionate about.

[00:28:22] You’ve turned your passions into something that can help others. I think there's something to that when you can turn a passion into something that serves. That’s what I've seen in you, and I commend you for that. I'm really glad to have had the opportunity to get to know you through Mike’s Inner Circle.

[00:28:39] You've been a cool guy to get to know.

[00:28:41] Josh Brisbane: Thank you Jeremy. I appreciate it. And yes, that's really what the passion is about is helping other people learn the skills that I've acquired throughout my fighting career and introducing people to the opportunity. I’m not the best at everything, but I can introduce people to others that have more skills than I do.

[00:28:59] I’m making a [00:29:00] network of people staying hard to kill. That's what I want to do.

[00:29:06] Jeremy Williams: Awesome. Well, Josh, thank you again for today, and let's all work on staying hard to kill.

[00:29:12] Josh Brisbane: Perfect. Thank you Jeremy. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. Talk to you soon.

[00:29:19] Intro/Outro: Thank you for listening to the Survive Scale Soar podcast. If you heard something that made a difference in your life today, share it with someone that might benefit and subscribe so you don't miss the next episode. Learn more about the host of this podcast and coaching services offered by Red Hawk Coaching by visiting