Episode 299 John Brewer Enhancing Safety – Lessons from a Special Forces Veteran Transcript

This transcript is from episode 299 with guest John Brewer.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning into the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.

Hey everybody. Welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host Scott DeLuzio, and today my guest is John Brewer. And John is a Army Special Forces veteran and author of the book, fight for Your Best Life. Uh, he has more than 10 years experience enabling those who act to defend life, family, and country. And knowing firsthand the importance of self-reliance, John has made it his mission to enable and empower others so that they may lead healthy and thriving lives.

So welcome to the show, John. I’m glad to have you here. Oh, thank

John Brewer: you, uh, for having me. I’m glad to.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. Um, [00:01:00] for the listeners who maybe aren’t familiar with you and your background, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

John Brewer: Yeah, so I, um, Obviously my name is John Brewer. I was active duty military for eight years, and then I transferred over to the National Guard for uh, three and just recently got out from there.

Uh, and then, yeah, ever since then I’ve been working on this book and working on standing up a, a startup for, uh, self-defense consulting. But more so than that, it’s, it’s more of like life coaching, mentorship, uh, things of that nature. And obviously the book kind of goes over that. But, uh, for the most part, you know, my military experience has been.

You know, with Army Special Forces, uh, which includes going overseas, kind of a, a broad spectrum of mission sets, but obviously a lot of that is, uh, working with indigenous forces, uh, mentoring them, training them, and then making sure they have the equipment and training available to be able to fight whatever, uh, fights they’re going through at the time.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. And so that is a, a nice segue into what [00:02:00] you’re doing now. Uh, as far as, um, you know, Helping people with their, with safety, self-defense, re uh, self-reliance, that, that type of thing. Um, mm-hmm. And you’re using some of the skills that you learned in the military and, and that you, you put into practice while you were, you’re serving, uh, into what you do now.


John Brewer: Right. Yeah. So that’s, that’s kind of the model for, for what I, uh, have going on, uh, because I realize that, you know, self-defense a lot of times is trained very specifically in the actual, uh, training mechanisms or the, the practical use of it. And that is obviously the. You know, the majority of it, but also in the foundation of it is the mindset, the kind of confidence and uh, kind of just the mental aspect of that.

And that’s what I’m trying to bring into the space is more so, uh, you know, to, to not only the training aspect, cuz obviously that’s, uh, I do go over some of that. But most of it, and the, not most of it, but the foundation of it [00:03:00] is the mindset itself and, and just having the confidence in your ability to protect yourself or others that you care about.

Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely. And the, the mindset is such a huge piece of it. Uh, I, I think in my, my opinion anyways, just in my, my own personal experiences and, and other things that I, I’ve seen, uh, through, you know, other people’s trainings and, and things like that. But, uh, yeah, if you, if you don’t have that mindset, um, you know, it, it’s gonna be hard when, uh, when something.

Bad happens, uh, trying to stay focused and, and not lose your cool and, and not panic and, and all of that stuff is gonna start to, to kick in. And so you, you want to make sure that you have that mindset before you get into that bad situation, right?

John Brewer: Yeah. Because you know, a lot of it, you know, a lot of people obviously, uh, do some type of combatives, whether it’s jiujitsu, martial arts, or um, anything like that.

Uh, and so, but, and, or maybe [00:04:00] firearms training. Uh, but what what ends up happening is there’s a, you know, a before, during, and after when it comes to safety events, what, what I call safety events. And that’s anything that causes danger or, or, uh, threat to life. And sometimes, you know, Using a firearm or going hands on what’s on isn’t accident, you know, actually necessary.

Uh, because there is a chance that maybe you can avoid the situation altogether, or maybe there’s a chance you can deescalate it. And then on the backside of that, there is gonna be some type of aftermath. And being able to navigate that is gonna be able, you know, especially for when it comes to like bouncing back from some type of, uh, loss, which hopefully never happens, whether that be, you know, just, you know, someone losing their life or maybe it’s just.

Injury, or maybe it’s just, you know, the trauma factor of it, of, you know, P T S D and things of that nature to where maybe, uh, you know, there’s a whole gambit of situations that can arise. And, and so I’m trying to broaden the topic a little bit so it’s not just, you know, talking about. You know, hands on or using a firearm or even [00:05:00] like, uh, you know, the normal stuff that we think of right now, you know, the current events, active shooters, home invasions, things like that.

Cuz there is a lot more stuff that can happen whether it’s, you know, minimal, uh, injuries that can occur or maybe it’s very severe, uh, but at the same time, You know, all these mindsets can kind of be grouped, not grouped, but the mindsets can prepare you for pretty much anything. Sure. And it’s kind getting you there and position yourself to where no matter what happens, because obviously we can’t, uh, predict the future.

So we don’t know if, you know, we’re going to deal with some type of break in or maybe an altercation on the street. So, but if we have this kind of like, you know, template that we go by, especially if it’s personalized to, to yourself. Then you have a better chance of handling anything that comes your way, no matter what it is.

And that’s truly, uh, what I’m, what I’m trying to do with individuals is get them to a place that they can kind of, one mold, a personal, you know, all-encompassing self-defense type of template. And then make sure that, um, it’s personalized to them. Cause obviously I’m trying to use their strengths, uh, rather than [00:06:00] their weaknesses.

And then two, that they’re, you know, avail, you know, they’re able to, Uh, really handle anything that might come their way. And like I said, that’s broad, but at the same time, you know, I do feel like that these concepts can handle any situation.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. Um, we’re gonna take a quick commercial break.

Uh, when we get back, we’re gonna talk more about. Uh, the, the, uh, type of work that you do now, uh, kinda what inspired you to get into this and, uh, how your experience working alongside those, uh, uh, people in the war torn countries will, uh, you know, help people, uh, in what you’re doing now. So stay tuned.

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So, uh, John, can you tell us a little bit more about, uh, what inspired you to transition from your military service to focusing now on, uh, enabling and empowering other people in, uh, the safety and security aspects that we were talking about, uh, just before? Mm-hmm.

John Brewer: Yeah. So truly when I got into the military, it was only supposed to be for a, a short amount of time.

It wasn’t supposed to be a, a career. Uh, and really that was because at the time that I graduated college, I was really [00:08:00] interested in countering, you know, uh, operations that counter human trafficking and sex trafficking especially, uh, towards children and kind of the child exploitation. But at the time, I felt like I needed experience somewhere and I didn’t.

Think at the time that I would be able to get in a position with a three letter agency or anything like that. So I joined the military. Uh, but then as I was in the military around 2015, I was on deployment and actually came up with this model for self-defense training. Uh, really the model was more of an in-person type of, of, uh, model, which it will eventually, but right now it’s more remote, you know, kind of consultation type stuff.

But really what got me there is. You know, one, obviously the military sets you up pretty well no matter what mos you’re in, to really start thinking about that security aspect and, and, and a variety of situations. And also it gives you that kind of, that problem solving ability, uh, also handling high stress situations, things like that.

And I realized, especially, you know, when I was growing up, I did not have any, uh, goals to join the military. I always kind of thought [00:09:00] about it, but at the same time it definitely wasn’t anything that was ever truly a, a consideration of mine. And so, And so that, that’s the thing is I had a little bit of this mindset growing up, but it didn’t really solidify until I joined the military.

And then obviously I got some experience underneath me and I was able to see the world larger than what, you know, my hometown was. And so, you know, just kind of that all encompassing a really, especially over the past two years, I realized that there’s a lot of individuals out there that. One are eager to learn how to protect themselves or others, especially if they have families, but they just don’t have, uh, a good starting point.

Or if they do, it’s usually, like I said, the, the, you know, martial arts gyms, which are, which are absolutely fine. I’m not trying to dig on them. I, I do train jujitsu myself and, and I grew up wrestling and stuff like that. But, uh, at the same time, this very one. Uh, specific aspect of the entire problem set.

Uh, so really what I’m trying to give people is, you know, like I said, that [00:10:00] foundation and that overall, uh, preparedness rather than just prepared for one type of situation, that’s it. Um, and so that, you know, that’s where it comes from. It’s just my military career. Uh, saw that, you know, there’s a lot of people out there that.

Um, you know, and they shouldn’t think about it all the time cuz obviously they have their careers, they have their personal lives and it takes a lot of consideration to really come down with these, um, You know, these salute not just solutions, but these comprehensive solutions and these solutions that are, uh, very fine in detail and things like that.

So, uh, just like anything else, I feel like that people should understand the problem itself and be able to solve it themselves. And then obviously if it’s something that you can, um, You know, kind of delegate down, you know, in other areas, then delegate it. But at the same time, uh, security and safety is kind of one of those things you wanna take care of yourself.

And then obviously there’s certain things you can delegate, like home security systems, uh, you know, sure. Obviously law enforcement does a lot of work for you too, but [00:11:00] at the root of it is yourself, and then be able to at least handle the initial situation and then kind of branch out from there.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And you know, realistically, You know, no matter who you are, where you live, or whatever the situation you might find yourself in, you are always going to be your own first responder when it comes to mm-hmm.

Safety, security, that type of stuff. If something happens and you need to react to that situation, could be a car accident. Right. And you have someone who’s. Bleeding and, and you need to figure out how to control that bleeding. You’re there, you’re the one who’s, who’s there and waiting for an ambulance to show up, or, you know, paramedics or, or anybody else who, uh, has medical training may not be.

A, a viable option, right? You, that person may bleed out by the time they get there, so you might need to be the person who does that. And so having this type of training can be helpful. Um, there’s other [00:12:00] situations obviously, too, you, you talked about earlier, uh, you know, home invasions and things like that, which, um, you know, maybe.

Aren’t a hundred percent the, the focus, but those types of things happen too. And, you know, waiting for police to show up that, that time period between the time that you call for help and the time that they show up, uh, a lot can happen in that, that amount of time. So yeah, you’re absolutely right with that.

You, you know, you, you do have to be a little bit more self-reliant than a lot of people are. Right.

John Brewer: Yeah. Yeah. And, and you know, like I said, I definitely don’t want to turn, you know, you know, there’s a fine line of preparedness and obsession, and so I try to keep people on, on the preparedness side, but obviously, because, you know, I don’t want every, you know, not everybody can be security experts.

We have our own streets. Uh, and, and, and, uh, You know, hobbies and, uh, you know, things that we enjoy doing. And, and maybe that doesn’t fall in the security realm, but at the same time, it should at least be a consideration. Sure. And, and that’s all I ask of people is just take the time, you know, think [00:13:00] about certain scenarios or, you know, really it comes down to what’s more important to you, you know, what’s important in your life, your core values, things like that.

And just find out ways to protect it. And once you have that, then you’re pretty much good. You can just continue on as you, as you were. But, uh, and then every now and then, maybe you just. Tweak a little something about your plans or maybe just have a little bit more consideration depending on, you know, certain circumstances that pop up.

But for the most part, it’s kind of a, you do it upfront, you kind of just maintain it as, as you live and then, um, continue on.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. Um, now going back to earlier, you were talking about your experience working, uh, in these war torn countries, working alongside the, the people who live there dealing with.

You know, these, these bad situations, right? Um mm-hmm. How does, how did that, um, that experience working alongside those people inform your, uh, approach to what you’re doing now?

John Brewer: Yeah, so, [00:14:00] so really, uh, just looking at it from the ground up, obviously there are certain, uh, You know, it’s specific on what we’re teaching ’em, which is relevant to their situation.

Uh, but you know, the foundation of that is really understanding their situation. And so that’s where a lot of the, the background comes from, is that not only if I was on the range with. Uh, with these guys as I’m teaching ’em how to shoot an AK or, you know, whatever small unit tactics were going over that day, I also have to understand them as a person, whether they’re going through, uh, their conflict and then just kind of everything that might influence that situation.

Uh, cuz there’s a lot of, uh, different, uh, consider, you know, factors to be considered. And so really that’s, that’s what this is all about is, uh, well the book and then obviously the, the startup, uh, which is really understanding. You as an individual or a family, cuz obviously fam family dynamic is gonna be, uh, very, uh, closely knit [00:15:00] together and it’s understanding what’s important within that, uh, within that, uh, You know, circle, uh, what’s, what’s to be considered, what’s being protected?

What are the threats? And, and just having that all encompassing picture to really sit down and, and, and think through it. And that’s where all that came from, from deployments is that, you know, yes, I was trained in. And specific, uh, skill sets and things of that nature, but also at the root of it, especially when I’m sitting down one-on-one with ’em, it’s kind of a mentor setting as well.

And then also some of these guys were on the younger side, they’re like in their early twenties and, and things like that. And so it’s really about, you know, getting them to understand the world, uh, you know, broader, you know, Uh, beyond their understanding, which in a lot of places were, wasn’t too, you know, wasn’t too large because, you know, they don’t have the same resources that we do.

So all they know is the conflict they’re, that they’re going through at the time. And it’s really just about kind of that mentor aspect and, and, and having them realize that, yes, I am training you [00:16:00] to defend yourself and things like that, but also once this conflict is over, I want you to be able to pick everything up and then have a life for yourself that’s, that’s meaningful.

And so that’s where a lot of this comes from.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. More, more so than just the conflict that they’re in right now and, and sometimes it’s hard to. See the bigger picture when you’re involved in that, that one conflict. And that goes for, for any situation you might be in. Um, you, you may not see other things that are going around cause you get kinda that, that tunnel vision.

And, and if they’re living in that tunnel vision where it’s, uh, day in and day out where we’re involved in this conflict like that, that’s a difficult thing. And I know. One of the things that you mentioned earlier was just kind of getting to know the people and, and some of the, the challenges and, and things that might go along with what they’re dealing with.

Um, when I was deployed to Afghanistan, um, In an infantry unit. And one of our tasks was to, uh, to help train some of the, uh, the Afghan army and, uh, and the Afghan, uh, border police as well. [00:17:00] And, um, it sometimes it felt like it was like herding cats, uh, trying to, trying to get them to, to come back in and, uh, you know, just focus on the training.

But we realized that we were trying to do training with them. During the day, uh, during Ramadan when it was like August it hot, hot as all as it can be. And, um, you know, they can’t eat or drink during daylight hours, during, during that, that time. And so we were lucky if we got an hour out of them and then they, they’d be off doing other things.

And so we had to kinda understand what their limitations were. And you know, I think. Anyone can understand when it’s, it’s really hot, you haven’t eaten anything or drank anything all day. You don’t want to be out in the sun training. You wanna find a shady spot somewhere cool to just kind of hang out and, and not be expending all that energy.

Um, you know, what we were asking ’em to do wasn’t really reasonable. And so, uh, you know, we [00:18:00] have to kind of. Work with them and, and do the best that we can with what we had to work with. Um, but you know, it sounds like that’s kind of along the lines of what you’re talking about as well is, you know, just kind of make sure you understand the, um, uh, the situation that the people are, are going through, where they, they’re at and, and what you can do to, to work with them most effectively.


John Brewer: Yeah. And, and that’s one thing that we obviously, well, I would say as Americans, you know, we’re, oh, and human beings also, you know, we’re kind of egocentric to where we always think that however we learn or think is the same way that other people learn and think and right. And that, that’s another aspect of it too, is that, you know, not every one person learns the same way or thinks the same way.

So it’s really finding out how that. How that works in that individual. And then, you know, even if that’s trying out different methods, maybe it’s a trial and error method, but al also at the same time, you’re just trying to find what works best. And then once you find sure what works best, then that that’s what you’re going with and you try to run with it as [00:19:00] fast as you can.

Uh, but probably in the beginning it’s more so filling it out, feeling what’s works and then, and then kind of really attaching on what does work and then going with it. And, and I think, uh, You know, even in our school systems, uh, you know, anything that kind of teaches us something, I think sometimes it gets a little stale or it gets a little egotistical in the thinking.

That’s the only way that is supposed to be done. Sure. Uh, cuz one of the, you know, the most harmful things you can say is that’s always, it’s always been done. Uh, but that doesn’t always mean it, it’s right. So obviously it’s, it’s always, you know, thinking beyond what’s happening, uh, you know, what’s considered to be right, right now, and then kind of making sure that it’s always kept up to, up to date, up to speed, and then obviously tailored to the individual.

Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely. Well, we’re gonna cut to another quick commercial break, uh, but when we get back, we’ll, uh, talk about some, uh, Key strategies that people can implement to, uh, you know, enhance their own personal safety in their everyday life. So stay tuned. Calling all passionate [00:20:00] patriots. The Patriot Box is a testament to our love for this great nation we call home.

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So, uh, John, uh, we’ve been talking about. Kind of the, the different, um, inspiration and, uh, some of the background that you’ve had with, uh, dealing with the, uh, the people that you’ve, you’ve trained while you were in the military. Um, but taking that now to the individuals that you work with. Um, In your opinion, what are some of the key strategies or principles that people can, uh, put into practice to enhance their own personal safety in, in their day-to-day life?


John Brewer: Yeah, so I’d say there’s kind of probably, you know, I’ll say three main aspects to, to really, uh, to focus on. One, you gotta understand yourself and, and, and what that means is that you understand one, like I said before, what’s more important to you? What is it? Is it that you’re actually [00:22:00] trying to protect, obviously our physical being and, and, and things of that nature.

But also it might be, you know, extended, uh, whether it’s, uh, you know, our family, maybe it is, uh, you know, inanimate objects that we find, you know, obviously people are really into cars and things like that, so, you know, that could be considered as well. And then also going beyond that, uh, then you have to understand what your, your strengths and limitations are.

So what you’re good at, and then what you’re maybe not so good at. And really focusing on your strengths when it comes to, especially safety plans that you have in place right now. Cuz obviously, whatever you’re using right now, you want ’em to be the best. That you got. Uh, so you have the best chance to get outta the situation in the best case scenario and kind of leave your limitations, you know, to the side.

Obviously, we’re developing them at the same time, but they’re not gonna be implemented into your safety plan until they’re actually considered what I call strengths. And, and that’s based off a certain criteria. And then kind of beyond that. You know, once we’re kind of out in the world and we’re doing stuff, one you gotta be aware of, of things that are happening.

So, and that’s just kind of [00:23:00] basic, uh, strategies of, hey, you know, I, I know a lot of people do it, but you gotta stay outta your phone. You know, I do it. Sometimes I get sucked into my phone and then I’m kind of there for longer than I want to be. But you know, when you’re out in public and there is, you know, I’m not saying it’s dangerous everywhere, but there is always that, you know, 1% chance that something’s gonna happen.

Whether it’s, you know, someone who’s actually maliciously trying to hurt someone. Or it might just be an accident that could happen, whether that be driving or, you know, tripping or falling. It could be the biggest or smallest things, but it’s really just about being aware of your surroundings. And then from there, you know, a little bit of noticing things that are wrong.

Uh, so obviously when I look at the world a as a whole, you know, I, you know, we do a, we know what right looks like. So anytime wrong kind of pops up, you know, instead of just blowing it off as if it was nothing. Maybe take another five seconds just to make sure that that’s not a situation, you know, that that’s starting to, uh, To, to kind of show itself.

And then that way you’re able to, uh, [00:24:00] start to implement the proper precautions as you’re, as the situation is, is starting to develop. And so, so once you see that, you know, kind of wrong, you take a little extra, uh, Time to just make sure, and you start to look at patterns. So if there’s a particular pattern that starts to unfold, like say, say you did happen to see an individual that was just acting strange.

And then as you kept looking at ’em, you realized that hey, not only is this person acting strange, but. They’re, they’re either carrying a weapon or it might seem like they have a weapon concealed somewhere. It’s just something like they’re holding onto something. And then as that happens, and obviously once their eyes go to something and it’s fixated on whatever’s, uh, fixated on, maybe that’s a indication of their tar intended target, you know, whatever it might be.

These are just. Kind of, and obviously every situation is different, but that’s just something I came up with. But you know, sure. That’s, that’s kind of the pattern that, that you’re looking at. And then from there, you’re just trying to implement whatever you’ve been, you know, planning in your head or, or preparing your, uh, uh, to where, you know, if there is a, [00:25:00] a safety event that’s, uh, developing, then either you get in your car and you leave, or.

Maybe, uh, you know, you start taking precaution to, to defend yourself if they’re in close proximity and things of that nature. So, you know, like I said before, in one, it’s knowing yourself, knowing what’s important, and then knowing your strengths and limitations. Two, with being aware out in public, and then three, it is having that kind of plan that you can kind of rely on when something bad goes down.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And I, I had, uh, a situation recently, uh, when you’re talking about, uh, things just being out of place, right? Um, and I, I was, there’s a grocery store within walking distance of my house. So I was walking to the grocery store a few weeks ago, and, um, there was a guy who was just laying on the sidewalk, um, like passed out completely.

Cold. Uh, and so that was, to me, that was out of place. Like that something was, was wrong there. And, and it was, it was one of those things where, um, you know, some people maybe would’ve just walked right by and just ignored it [00:26:00] or just said, oh, you know, this is my problem, kind of thing. And, um, but you, you don’t know, like first off, maybe that person’s having a medical emergency and they need help.

Right. And like, they can’t get the help themselves. Maybe they’re. On drugs or something, or whatever the case may be, there’s something that needs to be addressed. You can’t just ignore it. Right. And so similar to what you’re saying, just being aware of your surroundings, um, and knowing what’s going on. If I was just walking around and I was stuck glued to my phone, I may have completely missed that.

And so, and there actually were people who as I was calling for help, um, there were people who walked right by and didn’t. Even acknowledge that there was a person on the ground. And so, like, exactly what you were talking about there. Like, and, and granted this isn’t a necessarily a, a safety situation where I was, I wasn’t worried that this person was going to attack me.

I mean, they weren’t even responsive. So safety-wise, I was okay. I just wanna make sure that that person was okay too. But it [00:27:00] was just, you know, if I wasn’t aware of my surroundings, I wouldn’t have even noticed that. Um, And, you know, one thing I think a lot of military veterans have is the situational awareness.

Like we we’re pretty good heads on a swivel. We we’re aware of our surroundings a lot of times, um, uh, better than, uh, maybe your, uh, you know, regular civilian who never served in the military, but. It’s important to have this kind of training, um, to instill in, you know, your, your family members, your, your children, your spouse, you know, people like that.

Um, because this isn’t ingrained in them the way it may be for, uh, a service member. Right. So, um, you know, I always tell my kids they, they play baseball and softball. Um, Before every single pitch, what are you gonna do if the ball comes to you? You know, be aware of what the situation is, where are the runners on the base?

Right? And that is, it’s a fun way to, to kind of train them because they’re playing a sport, they’re playing [00:28:00] a game that they enjoy. But it also keeps them in that mindset of always just thinking, what, what’s next? What’s, you know? And it’s not like a, an anxiety provoking thing either. It’s just being prepared.


John Brewer: Yeah. Yeah. Well, well also, you know, well in the game of baseball, I, if they’re able to hit it, you know, place their ball, then obviously that’s a, you know, a good thing to kind of, but you know, it’s also from the self-defense side of it, you know, I also talk about second and third order of effects and which that’s, it’s in with anything, it’s not just self-defense, uh, but you know, it’s also understanding of the situation.

Beyond, you know, what it is currently. And, and that’s why I like, and that’s one of the problem solving mindsets where, you know, I talk about in the book where there’s two types of problem solving mindsets. What’s, there’s probably more, but I, I try to focus on these two. One is, you know, one problem at a time, which is what is.

Probably, I would say normally done, uh, which is completely fine cuz obviously in certain situations it’s very chaotic. If you try to think of every problem at the [00:29:00] same time, you’re not gonna be able to solve a single one cuz you’re just gonna be too sporadic in, in what you’re doing. But then also you have to understand that there are second and third order effects.

So you always wanna set yourself up for the best case scenario, uh, you know, whatever that looks like. And so obviously from the. Baseball side of it, you know, if, if there’s someone, you know, two, two men on on, so you got first and second we’ll say, and you hit it to a third baseman, then, you know, obviously your lead runner is, is, is probably going to get tagged or, or, or get out somehow if, if the third baseman fails it.

But obviously if you kind of hit it backside, well, I’m talking about, I’m right-handed, so if you head it to the, you know, uh, right field, Then they got a better chance of leading that runner in. Uh, and then obviously there’s a chance that you might get out at first, but, you know, the, the really, the goal of it would be to, to score runs.

And so that’s just kind of like the mindsets that, that people should be getting into is understanding that yes, I could do something that sets, you know, not sets me up. I could do something. That maybe is a bandaid for the [00:30:00] problem right then and there, but it might set me up for failure, uh, two or three steps, uh, beyond that.

And so really understanding that hey, yes, if, if, if I’m, if my life is truly at risk right now, I have to get outta that. But at the same time, uh, if my life really isn’t at risk, maybe, you know, Whatever the situation might be, you know, but I don’t feel like my, uh, there’s a risk I might lose my life. Then I can kind of take a second to really think about what my next move is.

Even if, if it’s just the, the second order effect, it doesn’t have to be third, fourth, or fifth. It’s just whatever’s coming next to make sure that you’re putting yourself in the best position possible. Cuz you definitely don’t wanna make things worse as you’re trying to fix a problem.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely.

And, and you can. Work through these types of things, um, just kind of war game things in your mind. Just kind of play, play them out in your mind so that way you, you have, um, you know, whenever you’re going into a new situation, just kind of think about these things and, and understand like what your options are, [00:31:00] uh, beforehand.

Because if you’re. If you’re trying to figure stuff out on the fly, sometimes you, you might just freeze and it may, may not be, uh, the, the best, uh, outcome, right? But if you can at least give some thought to what happens if x you know, um, then that can potentially prepare you for something, um, should something happen.

And given, given the um, uh, The training and the, the practice and the rehearsal. Uh, and I know in, in the military, when you, uh, when you do all of these drills and everything that you, you do over and over and over again, stuff just becomes second nature and you almost don’t have to think about it. Right.

It, it’s just, yeah. Is just your reflex reaction almost, right? Yeah. Yeah. So, so it’s, it’s a, a good thing that we have, um, you know, this type of training, um, uh, you know, involved here. Uh, and it, it [00:32:00] really will, I think will, will help some people here. But, um, we’re gonna take another quick break. Um, when we get back, we’re gonna be talking about some of, some more of the, the mindset and the, the.

Aspects of, uh, personal safety, self-defense, and things along those lines. So stay tuned.

John Brewer: This message is from the US Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Note the upcoming August 10th date to apply for packed Act benefits. The law expands benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits and toxics while serving. If you apply before that date and VA grants your application, VA will likely backdate your benefits to the date of the bill signing August 10th, 2022.

This means VA will pay you the amount you would have received from August 10th, 2022 to the date we grant your [00:33:00] application. If you’re not ready to submit a claim by then you can submit an intent to file and still receive the same effective date. Learn more at va.gov/pact.

Scott DeLuzio: So John, we’ve been talking about some strategies and things that people can do in their, their daily life and, you know, training, uh, families and, and things along those lines. But, um, Well, you talked earlier in the episode, uh, about mindset and how that’s such a big thing, and I want to kind of dig into that a little bit more and talk about kind of the, the role that mindset plays in, in all of this.

And, and how do you help people get the, the right mindset to be able to, uh, deal with these, uh, these situations? Hmm.

John Brewer: Um, you know, that, that’s actually, uh, a pretty. You know, that [00:34:00] is the problem for me itself actually, is getting people to understand that, you know, self-defense and security and safety are things that need to be considered, uh, on a daily basis.

Not, maybe, not actively, but obviously, uh, you know, in some capacity. And, and I. And that it’s the first chapter of my book where I talk about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where, uh, I do, it’s kind of the basis of the book to where I do believe that theoretically, you know, the first kind of set of needs that need to be met are food, shelter, water, and then the next one up is safety and security.

And then until those are met, you can’t really extend past that and, and be able to build relationships with other people or have. Self-confidence in yourself, and then obviously eventually reaching to self-actualization, which is reaching your life goals or your purpose or whatever that might be. Sure.

And so that’s, that’s the, that’s really, so it comes all back to alignment and, and truly that’s where all happens is that, you know, like I said, if you don’t like firearms, you don’t have to put firearms in your safety [00:35:00] plans. If you don’t like combatives, you don’t have to rely on combatives. But what I do want to find out is what, you know, you are interested in.

And, and what your strengths are, and then be able to line that with safety goals and implement those into your plans. Because one of my good, uh, good examples for this is if someone enjoys running well, running’s going to be a main part of your safety plan. If that’s the case, if you’re a good runner and you enjoy doing it and uh, that’s something that you practice on a normal basis, then maybe running is like your go-to when it comes to any safety events, you know?

Um, you know, excluding the fact that maybe you have someone with you that you need to bring with you, but at the same time, if you’re there by yourself and something happens and you need to get outta there, then you know, you’re just booking it out. And so that’s really where it comes down to is alignment and, and making sure that, you know, I’m never going to give someone a recommendation to, to put in their safety plan, something that they’re not either absolutely interested in.

Or at least have some type of, uh, strength within that ability. Uh, so it’s, it’s just about, you know, going back to understanding yourself and, and really, uh, [00:36:00] focusing on that. Cuz a lot of times we do get distracted with a lot of stuff that’s happening. You know, there’s so much, uh, you know, uh, Cool, good stuff out there that people, other people are interested in or other people are doing and it’s working well for them, uh, whether that’s self defense or not, but at the same time, it’s really coming back to what works for you as an individual and then building on, on that as a foundation and really understanding that bad things happen to good people every day.

And, and, yes, it, it. You know, for me, myself, I haven’t had a situation where I felt like my life was in danger here in the United States. And, and that might continue until, you know, until I die. But at the same time, I understand that there are bad things that happen on a daily basis. I mean, every second of the day.

Uh, I don’t have the statistics on me or anything like that, but I know it’s a lot. Uh, and so, you know, just understanding that you have to take into consideration whether it’s, uh, You know, um, just reading a book about it or, or maybe you do kind of develop these plans and [00:37:00] prevention tools and things like that.

Uh, but at the very least it is really understanding that there aren’t as bad things that happen and, and should be prepared for it.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And I, it, it kind of, uh, blows my mind sometimes when I hear people who. Have the attitude of, oh, that just happens to other people. That’s not gonna happen to me.

I live in a safe neighborhood. Or, you know, this type of thing. Um, where they’re just completely unconcerned about safety, security, any of that kind of stuff at all. Um, but they’re forgetting about the aspect of there’s things like accidents. There’s, you know, there, there could be, um, there was a, a. Bridge that collapse just, uh, not too long ago in, uh, Philadelphia.

I think. Like, just what do you do? What, like what happens when these types of things happen? Like, and it happened to somebody, somebody was driving on that, on that bridge. Uh, when, when that happens. So, um, you know, what do you do if there’s a medical [00:38:00] emergency, if there’s, uh, security or safety, uh, related issue, um, you know, Just having that mindset, uh, in, in place before you go into it.

And this is, I think what we were talking about just a little bit earlier too, with, um, just thinking about what, what do I do if something happens? Um, and just having that in the back of your mind, so that way when it happens, you’re not sitting there struggling trying to figure out what do I do now? You know, and I, I think that’s kinda the, the key takeaway from that, right?


John Brewer: And, and, and it’s about perspective too, cuz obviously, like I said before, my perspective growing up is very different than my perspective now. And even then, it’s not, I, I can’t say that I understand every situation that has ever happened in the history of, of, of the world because I, I can’t, you know, but, You know, my perspective on it is that I’m a little bit of a daydreamer, so I do kind of daydream about certain situations and then kind of run myself through a scenario.

And, and since I have seen it in real life in some capacity, then it’s easier [00:39:00] for me to kind of construct and then, you know, be able to, uh, have some type of realistic, uh, viewpoint of it. But also, you know, there’s, you know, my, my daughter, she’s almost two right now, and ever since she was born, you know, obviously I have more.

And, and it is a little bit of anxiety to where, uh, you know, something bad happens to her. So now in my thinking, it’s not really about what happens to me, it’s what happens to her. So I’m always continuously thinking about like, if a, uh, if a scenario arises, what do I do? And, and whatever, uh, particular. Uh, you know, whatever scenario it might be.

And obviously there’s an emotional attachment to that too, because obviously there’s sometimes where I think of, uh, situations that are, are not so great to think about. And then I, and I, and I, you know, I’m trying to create a plan for it in my head, but in that same time, I’m not trying to, you know, stay on it too much because it’s starting to bring my mood down and I’m really starting to, you know, cuz after a while you start your body, not your body, but your mind.

Almost thinks that it’s happening in real life, and you have that emotional response to it, and I have to pull myself [00:40:00] out of it, and you remember, Hey, she’s safe. She’s right here with me. Nothing is, nothing is wrong, but it is that kind of like, you know, that capacity to be able to at least think of the scenario, come up with a plan, and then kind of let it go, because obviously you don’t wanna harp on it every single day of your life.

And then kind of, you know, man, you know, and manifest into something in your head that that’s not quite what it would be in reality.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. And that, that was kind of gonna be my next question, is how do you balance that? The, because you, you wanna go through the, the, the actual training. You wanna think through some of the, these things, but then that’s gonna have a mental toll, uh, on you as well.

Because if you’re constantly thinking of the, the worst case scenarios that could possibly happen, and uh, by the way, I think what you were saying about, you know, what you’re thinking about, Your daughter is basically the thought that any good dad is gonna have is, is like, you know, what’s gonna happen to, uh, my kids?

Um, you know, it’s not about me, it’s about them. Cause I, I’m [00:41:00] here to, you know, protect them and make sure that they’re safe. Um, but you know, when, when you have, um, a, a situation that comes up, yeah, it’s going to. It’s gonna bring you down, um, you know, when, when you’re thinking about these things over and over and over again.

Um, so, so, yeah. You know, you, you gotta think about it, practice it, do whatever you need to do to make sure that you’re proficient in that situation. Uh, but then you kind of have to file it away and, and put it away, right?

John Brewer: Yeah. And, and really how I look at it is, you know, it’s a deliberate process. So it has a, uh, uh, a real beginning and end, which, and, and what I mean by, and obviously it’s a cycle, but within, you know, how I, you know, with rehearsals or maybe a training session, you know, those things have a starting point and an end point.

And then once it gets to. The end point, you let it go. You go on and do other stuff, and you enjoy your life. And then when you have something scheduled, say like, if you did wanna always do something on [00:42:00] a Monday night for whatever reason, that’s just your schedule. You always say, Hey, from Monday night, uh, six to seven, I train in this, whatever it might be.

Well, from six to seven, you a hundred percent are training in that, in that, uh, training session. And then once seven o’clock hits and then until it’s six o’clock, uh, Monday morning, sorry, Monday afternoon, uh, the next week, you’re not touching it at all. And that’s just kind of like a, um, I mean, obviously that’s my recommendation for everything in life.

I read a book, uh, you know, a couple years ago, b ago, about how to stay, like, you know, you’re conscious, not conscious. You’re, uh, you know, you’re in that moment, right? You’re not distracted by other things and stuff like that. And, and that’s how we are more productive. Like when you’re at work, you’re thinking about work.

You’re doing work when you’re at home. You’re with your family and you’re not thinking about work, you’re going to enjoy your family. And then that’s how we always are able to stay, uh, productive and then also kind of have the right mindset when we’re doing certain stuff. And then that. TR carries, you know, transitions into self-defense training to where it’s deliberate.

Uh, you pick a time to do it, you [00:43:00] stick to that timeline, and then when you’re outside that timeline, you don’t deal with it anymore. Because if you start to have this unconscious, like urge to, to think about these scenarios, which I obviously I kind of fall into that, but I know how to bring myself back because obviously, you know, since I do have a little bit more exposure when it comes to, um, you know, kind of like.

It’s kind of a broad topic, but I’d say like any high stress, anxiety inducing situation. You know, I do have a little bit more experience in, in handling that, so that when I do actually think about those things, it’s not going to consume my thoughts. Obviously, in the time it will, but then I’m able to bring myself out just because I have the training to just bring myself out of a situation, not linger on whatever emotional state that I’m in.

Uh, but that, I would say that’s the, that’s the true. If nothing else, just make it deliberate. Make it, uh, you know, something that is planned ahead. And then when you’re not actually doing self-defense training or anything like that, then you’re not thinking [00:44:00] about it at all. You’re actually enjoying what you’re, where, what you’re, uh, participating at the

Scott DeLuzio: time.

Yeah. Absolutely. And that makes complete sense. I know for myself, when, when I’m, when I’m working, I need to be focused on work. If I’m, if I’m dealing with distractions with, uh, stuff at home or, you know, other, other things that are going on in life, I. Um, you know, the water heater goes out or whatever, and I’m dealing with that.

I’m not focused on work and I’m not gonna be very effective at my job. So I need to focus on just work at that point, focus on that, and then move on to the next thing when the, it’s time for the next thing. And in this case, you know, when it’s time to, to train and, and practice whatever it is that you need to practice, um, focus on that and don’t.

Do other things while you’re, you’re doing that, focus on that. And then when it’s time to stop, shut it off. And, and that’s, I, I think that’s just good advice, gen in general for just about anything that you’re doing. Like, just, just focus on Oh yeah. People say all the time, oh, I can multitask, I can do [00:45:00] all these things.

No, you can’t. Like, you, you, you’re not gonna be able to do all, you know, 27 different things at once. It’s like, you know, spinning plates, you know, trying to get ’em all to go. Eventually something’s coming down and, and it’s gonna cracks, right? So,

John Brewer: Yeah, there’s been a lot of studies now that show that multitasking isn’t the the most productive way to, to get things done.

And, and you gotta really focus on the one task at a time and, and, and just put a hundred percent effort in that. And then obviously, you know, you make either milestones for yourself or maybe you complete the task, uh, altogether, but at the same time it’s a hundred percent on one thing, and then you just con continue to move on to the whatever the next thing is.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. Um, uh, and kind of quickly, do you have any, um, just advice or, uh, gen just general, uh, information that you might be able to, um, provide for the listeners who want to, uh, kind of beef up their own security? Safety and, and kind of empower their [00:46:00] loved ones as well. Um, you know, like we were talking about family, um, needing to be a part of this.

Um, what, what are some things that they, that people can do to help out in that respect?

John Brewer: Yeah. Um, so depending on your background, obviously military, uh, you know, you already have a, a good foundation to be able to, uh, you know, a risk analysis, be able to identify risks that are out there, kind of do a little bit of an in-depth, uh, risk analysis where it comes to like, uh, You know, in my book I call it a risk tree assessment, and that’s really just branching out different scenarios based off, you know, one single event of what could happen and you’re just thinking about what ifs.

And then from, uh, there, obviously there’s the risk matrix when you’re looking at the, uh, you know, the grid that has the, you know, something as a low risk and green or something as a high risk, a very high risk in red. And looking at that matrix and then just figuring out where that falls in because obviously if something is a significant high risk, Then that needs to be considered.

If something is a low risk, you might [00:47:00] think about it for a minute. Like, okay, well tripping and falling is, is, uh, you know, could hurt me, but I’ll just tie my shoelaces or something like that. So having that, you know, having that, uh, good risk analysis is, is the kinda one of the first things to do. And then from there, you’re just kind of formulating, uh, plans based off those risks and, and how to mitigate ’em.

Now, obviously, If you don’t have a foundation in the military, law enforcement, that might be a little difficult. And so that’s where a third party might come in and kind of just give you their perspective on it or recommendations. Uh, absolutely. But at the same time, like I said, it all falls back on strengths.

Uh, your strengths as a individual and as a family, and whatever you have going on that aligns with that. So putting that in your, into your plan to make sure that, uh, one, it fits for you and it’s, uh, and it’s a, a pragmatic solution.

Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely. That makes sense. So, um, we’re, we’re gonna take a quick. Break.

Um, we’ll come back and, uh, find out more about, uh, the, the book that John has [00:48:00] coming out and, uh, and where you can find, uh, more about what he has to offer. So stay tuned. The hero company is more than just a brand. It’s a force of change. As a veteran owned and operated company, they stand shoulder to shoulder with our brave servicemen and women.

Their mission is to help provide service dogs for veterans suffering from ptsd, T s D, all at zero cost to them. Every purchase you make from the hero company helps fund this crucial initiative. They offer a wide range of products including jewelry, apparel, key chains, stickers and decals, dog collars, and everyday carry items.

It’s a chance to wear your support and make a tangible difference. To date, the hero company has raised over $1.2 million. But their fight continues. Their goal is to raise 10 million to ensure veterans in need receive the service and companion animals that can change their lives. By buying from the hero company, you’re not just making a purchase.

You’re intentionally being a hero. For our heroes who need our help, now join the mission. Visit this episode show notes [00:49:00] or the hero company.co/drive on to shop and support our veterans. Together we can make a heroic impact and honor those who fought for us. So, uh, John, uh, before we wrap up this episode, I want to give you a chance to, uh, tell us more about your book.

You, you mentioned it a few times throughout, uh, this episode, but, uh, tell us more about your book and, uh, tell us what it’s about, where people can go to find it in, in all that kind of stuff.

John Brewer: Yes, so, so the book is titled Fight for Your Best Life. Uh, which, you know, as I was writing it, it is a self-defense book, but then also it is a self-help book and a self-develop, uh, you know, self-development book.

So really it’s, it takes you in five stages from the beginning to end of, uh, you know, the before, during, and after of a safety event. And, um, and so like I said, if. If you don’t have a foundation in self-defense or anything like that, this is a good place to start. Even if you do, it’s just a different perspective, [00:50:00] which, which I find is, you know, maybe there are some things that I have already that I covered that you already know, but it’s just a different, you know, obviously it’s my perspective.

Uh, right now it is in book production, so, uh, I am very close to, to getting it out there, uh, as of, uh, June, whatever, June 13th. Um, but. So I’m thinking it might might be an August, September release date. It’ll be on Amazon. Uh, it’ll be ebook and print in the beginning. And then I am going to try to do an audiobook.

So for those like me who don’t read all the time, you’d rather listen to an audiobook. It will be in that format as well. Uh, and yeah, so, and then also my website, mind shield and spear.com. That’s going to be more so the, the actual consulting, uh, website. But I am gonna put links to the book itself in there cuz the.

The, uh, the LLC does, uh, hold rights to the book. So that’s just a publication that extends the services of the LLC itself. And then from there, I am gonna start up consulting services that kind [00:51:00] of follow the format of the book. And it’s just more so getting you on the right, uh, you know, the right, uh, Starting point if you don’t have one or if you do have one.

Just kind of tweaking things here and there, making sure that everything aligns the way it should be. So you can either go to mind show spear.com or if it’s around the August, September timeframe and beyond, then obviously just doing a initial search on Amazon, uh, fight for Your Best Life, uh, will take you to the book.

Scott DeLuzio: And I’ll have links to all of that in the show notes as well. So for the listeners who are looking to. Uh, find a copy of the book. We’ll, we’ll try to put a link to that in there as well, uh, as the link to mind shield and spear.com for, uh, training and, and resources like that. Um, John, it’s. It’s been awesome, uh, chatting with you about this type of stuff.

Um, I know this, the show typically focuses on, you know, military veterans, but it’s, um, it’s one of those things where I think, uh, self-defense, safety, uh, those types of things, [00:52:00] uh, go. Beyond just the, the military community. I think it’s, it’s kind of a, a broad, uh, broad thing that, um, will help people, um, no matter what walk of life you come from.

And so I, I, I think that the type of training that you have to offer, um, will be, um, well received hopefully, and, um, will be, um, something that a, a lot of people need, especially, you know, this day and age with, with, um, you know, things a lot more, um, uh, Uncertain in, in the world, and, and you, you don’t know, uh, you know, what might happen from one day to the next.

And so, uh, you know, having this type of training in your back pocket, um, will, will certainly be useful. So, uh, thank you for, uh, you know, everything that you do and for taking the time to come on and, and join us on the show.

John Brewer: Oh yeah, no problem. And thanks for having me again. Absolutely.

Scott DeLuzio: Thanks again. Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast.

If you want to support the show, [00:53:00] please check out Scott’s book, surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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