In Part 2 of his interview with Prime Hall, (@prime_tiime) Commander Divine gets further into both Prime’s transition to civilian life and how he was able to use physical effort and the water to manage the challenges that he faced. Prime is the founder of the Underwater Torpedo League and co-founder of Deep End Fitness. He is also the co-author of the F.R.E.E. Your Mind Guidebook: Become a Better You.
- The healing catalyst that helped Prime Hall move forward and open up to his calling
- The F.R.E.E. Your Mind methodology: Focus, Relaxation, Economy of motion (flow vs. drag), and Efficient breathing
- How you can reduce “drag” so you can reach your higher self and full potential
- The Underwater Torpedo League and its potential to become the next Olympic sport
Listen to this episode and gain insight into the steps you can take to free your mind so you can reach your true purpose.
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Mark: Did that pretty much end your marine career, or did you have some time after that?
Prime: Yeah, so after that I came back, I went to dive school and did all that. Got some more training, got into human intelligence work. And then I went to the Philippines on the next deployment.
And then when I came back from that I was in one of the survival courses and threw out my back… at the end of it… I still made it through, but I couldn’t walk… and so their protocol was I had to get an MRI. But I’d been trying to get an MRI, because my back had been giving me trouble…
So once I got it, it showed that my l5, s1 was completely blown out. And once they did that then they’re like, “okay, what else is wrong?” So then they started doing a head to toe assessment. They found that I had something in my inner ear from an explosion. Small hole.
And so I got some earplugs and whatever else, but basically, I wasn’t suitable to pass the physical with what they had found with the ear, nose and throat. So I was, “well, I’m still good to go.”
Mark: Of course, we think we invincible. My l5 is blown out, I got a hole in my ear, I’ve been concussed multiple times… I’m good to go…
Prime: Yeah, but I didn’t want to be the guy that’s not adding value. That’s how I felt. So I was trying to stay in.
And then luckily one of the medical officers was like, “hey, I can tell that you’re trying to hold on to the door here and do whatever you think you’re gonna do that’s gonna get you whatever… but I’m telling you right now, I’m ripping you off of that thing. You’re done. You’re out – you’re getting out, so you need to start figuring out what you’re going to do next.
“you’re not going on deployment,” he said…
Mark: You’re a danger to yourself and your team…
Prime: Right. Well, he didn’t want me to go on deployment and then come back and be all broken…so at that point I was…
Mark: There’s a lot of guilt associated with that… my teammates who were injured didn’t want to get out, because they felt like they were leaving their teammates behind and weren’t going to accomplish the mission they’d committed to – and all that…
And that leads to a lot of problems with the post-traumatic stress – that’s the moral dilemma, the psychological piece – and then you have the actual trauma from TBI and whatnot.
I imagine you had to do some recovery around post-traumatic stress, right? Most guys do. So how did that go for you and how are you feeling today? Seem pretty well adjusted, except for that horn growing out of the side of your head. (laughing) I’m just kidding.
Prime: No. It’s been a wild ride, because honestly when I got out, I wasn’t present, I didn’t have any spiritual awareness… a lot of my intuition was turned off I felt like, and I was just kind of like a robot that was going through the checklist of life… every day I made checklists…
Mark: And everything is monocolor, right?
Prime: Yeah. Black and white.
Mark: Yeah. No joy, bliss, peace of mind… that’s a worse feeling…
Prime: No and I wasn’t in touch with my emotions. And I didn’t have a process…
So long story short – I got out, in all my appointments I’m like, “nah, I’m not a victim.”
And then when I got out, I started to… well, I have a wife and two kids… so my son was six, he turned seven and then that’s towards the age where I started having these problems when I was growing up. I work to do anything for my kids, right? And if they had someone that was outside their window for even one day – I was just thinking these thoughts – I would change that person’s life. I wouldn’t kill him or anything, but I would do whatever I could to literally change that person’s life. They would have so much fear in their heart, that they would be doing something else that next day.
But my kids would never have to deal with it for more than a very small window of time, until I found it. But I have my finger on the pulse of them so much, that it wouldn’t go for years. Where they’re living in a closet.
And so then I started to think why that happened to me. Why did I have this?
And then I started thinking how did I survive those things? How did I survive the RPG, how did I survive these different things when I have friends that didn’t survive from a gunshot, or from this, or from this? Why me, why me, why me, why me, why me…
I went into this victim breakdown to where it was just these negative feedback loops that are just going. And on top of that, I’m sensitive to light… now I’m way better, but light, loud noises… everything… I come downstairs in my house in the morning, and I hear a slam or something, and then that would set me in fight or flight.
Mark: Yeah, right.
Prime: And I felt like I was living like that, but I had some crazy chance experiences… I had a teammate that was living on the streets that I got… we were going to a healing ceremony, or a healing work rapid response therapy in Florida. And I got out there and he no-showed.
And so now I’m there and they’re like, “well, you’re going to do the treatment.”
I’m like, “no, I don’t need to do it.”
And so then I went through, and I’m like, “whoa.” I start seeing color a little bit, and things started to open up for me.
Then I come back, and we had started… so right when I got out, I went into business school at USC for the executive program for two years part-time. And while I’m doing that, I was starting these companies.
And so I’m taking everything that I’m working on, and I’m applying it to school to push this further and to learn more…
And I started coaching and training and just doing a lot of different things, where I’m searching for meaning in life – as I’m in breakdown. And I’m coaching these different athletes and some of them are UFC fighters – and one of them that’s that sticks out that was just the most disciplined person that I worked with at the time – and every time I would work with that person I would leave, and I’d be like, “what is wrong with me?”
And I just went on this breakdown with this, that led me to a breakthrough. So, I’d had some navy seal buddies and contacts that had gotten into plant medicine work with PTSD. And so I had started to get invites to go to some different things.
And I’d say no to all of them for six months, “no.” And then finally – the guy that was inviting me, he’s actually an army ranger… he’s like, “why don’t you want to do any of this?”
And I was like, “I don’t want to go to a networking event. I don’t want to go to a military hangout for the weekend or anything. I have serious problems…”
Mark: And he didn’t understand what was at stake. Right…
Mark: Yeah, I have familiarity with that stuff, and know some of those folks involved… ibogaine, ketamine, 5-meo-dmt can all be extremely effective… ayahuasca to a lesser extent, but when it comes to the post-traumatic stress – those three can have a profound healing effect.
Because it gives the vet the unity experience – a spiritual experience that is outside of the religious constructs. And so it suddenly brings that kind of sense of awe back into life. The sense of grace.
Mark: And then it gives them a reason to live again.
Mark: And then there, they can rebuild the lattice of the emotional and moral fabric that was missing… and the self-confidence to be, “yeah, hey, I’m a good person.” You know what I mean?
That’s probably the most rudimentary level. “I’m a good person. Because I saw it. I saw my goodness in that experience I just had.”
So I fully support that stuff… not just for vets, obviously. For anybody dealing with trauma and post-traumatic stress… good for you.
Did you do that in Mexico? Because it’s not legal in the United States. Unfortunately.
Prime: No. I did it at a safe location up in northern California…
Mark: There you go. (laughing) undisclosed. Safe location.
Prime: Yeah, but even driving up there… everything happens for a reason, because I had no clue… I had heard some stuff on Mike Tyson, that he had done it…
Mark: Even Tim Ferriss has come out and done ayahuasca… he’s talked about that. He’s done a lot of emotional work.
Anyways, it’s cool that thought leaders are starting to a) go down that road and b) talk about it openly…
Prime: No, so I remember… because a big part of it – with the plant medicine or any healing, I think, is having an intention before you go in. And then that that intention is going to guide you – it’s going to launch you into it, and then all the mechanics…
Mark: That’s why it’s important to do this with qualified people, right? It’s not a joke, it’s not recreational…
Prime: Absolutely not.
Mark: And it’s also not something that you go back to time and time again thinking that that’s a spiritual practice…
Mark: And that leads to what I call “spiritual bypass” where you think that’s your practice… no, no, no. That’s a catalyst. It’s a healing catalyst. Do you agree with that?
Prime: I fully agree with that. That’s a great point. And it can be used as an escape and that’s definitely not the intent behind it. To me, it’s the most intelligent medicine that I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never experienced anything like it.
But also, I just tell people… we talk about mental focus and closing out tabs and decluttering your mind and all this stuff…. But even think of yourself as a computer, and you go through life…
And yeah, you get sleep, and you do meditation – you have these things that you can reset your circadian rhythm and ways that you take care of yourself and your nervous system and whatever…
But it’s hard to actually reboot.
Mark: Yeah, it’s like defragging a hard drive, and a clean reboot…
Prime: Right. So I went up there and I drove 14 hours up here to this place, my first time ever doing it – I’m going to do the toad the 5-meo-dmt yeah and I know that it’s strong. I knew that it was so strong that it had this crazy effect on Mike Tyson.
So I’m like, “it’s got to do something to me.”
But then I was also having so much inner chaos…
Mark: Yeah. Ego was resisting…
Prime: Yeah, huge. And so on the way up there I didn’t have an intention when I went, but I did though… because my intention was to move forward and stop living in the past.
And as I was driving up there, I would scream out, “I can’t do this anymore.” I would get out and just… at the time I wasn’t running at all, and I’d get out and just start running on the side of the road or something.
Mark: The energy is already starting to flow…
Mark: Yeah. That’s what they say that when you commit to something like that, then – especially with the plant medicine – that it already starts to work on you.
Prime: Yeah. It’s so crazy. So a long story short, I went into that first ceremony with some shaman healers that are just amazing in this work. And basically had a warrior’s homecoming experience. Where it was just everything that I needed, and I had some very powerful life and death situations that happened in there.
That was a full reset to where I was like, “okay, maybe I’ve been thinking that I didn’t want to live. But after that – it showed me that I do.” And whatever else.
And so I remember leaving that, and I had this vision where I can impact masses of people that were just in that same situation that I was just in. That I can take this experience – because I had a very profound experience – especially on my last circle that I did, that first time. Where the shaman pulled me to the side and just told me that they felt like I would be a conduit for other people. And this, and this, and this.
And I really felt that. And I had some images and some things that came to me… that was all related to that. And I was feeling like it was gonna be healing or supporting millions of people with depression, but I was lie, “I’m not an expert on depression.”
And I was also like, “how does that even make sense?” But it was like, “no this is happening. It’s already happened. Now you just get to live it out,” kind of thing.
It’s like, “whoa.” And so I came back, and I was just in it – I literally drove back the whole way listening to music, dancing, feeling good – in a completely different chapter…
And I came back into my life, and everything’s been… and there’s been a lot of work…
Mark: Yeah. Right, that’s a catalyst that cracks you wide open. Can show you a new purpose or vision – and I love how you said that – a vision for what’s already been created, but just hasn’t played out in the temporal realm yet.
And then you’ve got to build the lattice back, right? So that’s where all your practice is… what you teach in your “free your mind” guidebook. And with your depth training – deep end fitness – you teach breathing practices, resiliency, relaxation techniques… all this stuff that you had to do yourself, right?
So you’ve cottled together some best practices…
Without going in a whole ton of detail, let’s talk about some of those best practices… that are things that people can do every day – with or without water – to really stay calm and focused.
Prime: 100%. So one of the first trainings that I got into when I was getting ready for marine raiders is mental focus work. And so I had a trainer, and I would do different workouts like running, weights – a lot of high reps, low weight – and then swimming, etc. All in one day. It would be five, six hours.
And then the last evolution on those long days would always be holding a stick out. And it’d be mental focus. And so, that’s where I really locked into mental focus, because I’m impatient and so I’m holding the stick out, and I’m…
Mark: And you got to relax or else your shoulders just go…
Prime: Yeah, and I’m just wanting to… so I go through every emotion and then after finally kind of hitting a surrender point, I would just be like… just have this crazy focus. And my trainer would be like after an hour, hour and a half, you’re done.
I mean, I went through a lot of emotions in that time… but at the end, I’m just…
Mark: That reminds me of the classic qigong stance… the most powerful move in qigong isn’t to move – just stand there… relax and find the exact center point of your spine – the central channel – and just let everything hang around that. And literally, like you said, you go through all these emotions and the breath….
Everything settles in. After about 20 minutes, you just lock into this unbelievable, energetic state – the flow state. And sometimes you feel spikes of energy – the kundalini – running up the spine, because you’re just completely aligned around that center.
That’s the master right if you there was a movie called “Man of Tai Chi” and Keanu Reeves is the bad martial artist and the young kid is the good martial artist. And that that’s basically how his master taught him. Just this.
And from that came everything. All the ability to control… anyways… little bit of a tangent…
Okay, what else?
Prime: So that. So taking that what I just told you about the mental focus that I had with that. And then the “a-ha” moments that I had as a water survival instructor, where I saw these individuals and even some of my instructors that would come to start training at the pool – we would have to get them up to speed to be instructors. And we saw that when they put their focus on themselves, or their fear, or their anxiety or all these things – basically that wouldn’t unlock any results… that wouldn’t work for them.
But whenever we got them to shift and focus on this, “hey, focus on that gun rack that’s at the bottom of the pool, and go get three of those weapons out.”
Or “focus on the torpedo, I’m going to pass it to you.” Or “focus on taking the weight and walking it halfway across…”
Mark: Get out of your head and focus…
Prime: Right. Focus out. When in doubt, focus out. So that.
And then also, what I felt was that whenever we went under, and we did these different focus drills underwater, that what took me six hours on dry land and ending with this… that I could lock into that in 30 seconds under water. In it – in the zone…
Mark: I’m the same way. Because you have to be so calm underwater, so once you’ve trained yourself to be in the parasympathetic state underwater – when most people are in the sympathetic – then because you’re in a sensory deprivation environment, and your mind gets really clear, then it’s very easy to get into a flow state underwater. For some reason.
Prime: Yeah. And also, I think it’s part of crossing your mammalian dive reflex and then you go underwater.
Mark: Plus, there’s something about water that has that kind of like going back to the womb kind of emotional sensation… there’s a lot there.
Prime: And even spiritual.
Mark: Yeah, some of my favorite meditations are visualizations, where I take people down into water experiences. One’s called “still water runs deep.” It’s profound, for just this calming effect. It’s really cool. Could take you through it someday. You can borrow it.
Prime: All right, let’s do it. I still gotta get you to the pool too.
Mark: I know…
Prime: So going into the methodology – when my partner don and I started the program at the end of 2017, we built our training methodology to basically be a one-stop shop. Simple, kind of like the OODA loop – is a framework and tool that we use in the military a lot – so we came up with free.
And we also wanted it to be what was missing from our training in the military that we could put in. So f – focus – mental focus. So, having a mental edge or closing out tabs like in a computer, so that you can be singularly focused on one thing. Declutter your mind so you have a very deep level of focus for a limited amount of things, and one thing at a time.
Instead of having a shallow depth of focus with a million tabs open.
Mark: That’s right…
Prime: And we’re not always going to be perfectly balanced. There’s going to be times where we… endurance athletes are a good example – they’re not balanced, getting ready for competition. Their life is really not balanced.
But they have to go out of balance to be extraordinary… they have to do that. So understanding that – that’s the gist of it.
Relaxation. So we say on-demand relaxation, but if you think of a surfer… and with focus we go underwater… so mental focus… we’re going to have a million dive reflex go off, and we’re going to be signaled by our body and our mind that we need air. And we’re going to actively choose to focus beyond that, on whatever our task is, or our goal or whatever the object of our focus is underwater.
And so that we see creates a lot of cognitive control and top-down kind of approach, versus avoid coping.
And then relaxation – on-demand relaxation – so obviously, when you go underwater, your energy source is cut off. So whatever energy or oxygen that you go down there with, that’s what you’re working with. So you don’t want to expend any extra energy that you don’t need to.
So, head to toe being fully relaxed, but also being relaxed throughout.
And then it also goes into energy expenditure. How do you source your energy? Are you an introvert or extrovert by nature? And then how do we… what creates flow for you with energy?
And what sucks your energy? What creates drag?
And then going into the first e – economy of motion. That’s really flow versus drag. So focusing on what drag is. Once we have our goals lined out, flow is anything that adds performance or reaches us towards higher self or full potential.
Drag is anything that holds us back from higher self or full potential. So anything in your life that creates drag in any area of your life – even if it’s relationships, personal, professional, even hobby and leisure…
Things that create drag for you, you want to identify them and eliminate them. So, even if it’s a person in your life… I got an NBA guy that I work with, and his mom is one of his favorite people. But she creates drag sometimes. So he has to set boundaries so that he can be at high self. Full potential. And so that’s that.
And then the last one is efficient breathing. So, really just always looking for new breathing practices and techniques. They’re going to work on specific individuals that we work with, but it really just gets into you can have a shallow breathing, chest – or you can have a deep diaphragmatic breathing practice with different tools that you can use in a moment’s notice, that are going to basically unlock your present mind and focus.
Mark: That’s awesome. Yeah, the breathing part is critical. (laughing) you could almost start there and work backward.
Prime: So, with that kind of the OODA loop, right? We have a system that we use for to engage free, so I feel your mind kind of gets into these automatic or default networks or patterns. Or you just get complacent throughout your day, or whatever it is.
You want to snap in or… for example… the thing that I’m worst at in fitness is running. Always. It’s just been my thing, and it’s a drag source for me, still. Even talking about it. But that’s why I do it, and I love it now.
I always didn’t like it, when I was in the military, because I’d always be the big guy that’s towards the end that needs to lose weight. I should have showed up lighter than what I’m at.
But now, I actively run and we’re doing a lot of research – we have a white paper research project around everything that we’re doing. With deep end fitness, underwater torpedo league and free – so our neuroscientists and our team that’s running that, they watch all of our performance.
And so since they’re watching it, I have more accountability, so I want to do better. So now I’ve been doing nasal runs for several months now, that I never had done before.
Mark: So you’re saying mouth-closed runs?
Prime: Mouth-closed. And when I first started, I would reach threshold really quick. And I would start to focus in. Nerds go off, all this stuff… “I suck at running. My foot’s still stress fractured.”
And then all of a sudden, I would engage free – focus out, identify my drag source… I’m focused on something that isn’t serving me. It’s not going to unlock results or performance.
So, I’m on the trail around my neighborhood… I immediately focus out. So I focus on the environment, the weather here in southern California, the fact that my neighborhood is the nicest one I’ve ever lived in… this, this or this… there’s a nice lady on the other side that’s running that looks like a nice person…
I’m gonna outwardly, openly focus on this and that. And the those are the things that work for me, right?
Or even you talk about connect with the witness – I’ve been practicing that too, right?
Mark: It’s a similar practice… the witness then separates you from the thoughts and emotions and then you can interdict the negative and replace it with positive dialogue. As well as attention control.
Without being able to do that, you’re just completely merged with other thoughts. And you’re a slave to them. And that’s where most people are, right? They’re slave to their thoughts… and that’s all conditioning from a lifetime of the world training you and you not training yourself.
Mark: So I love what you’ve done. You’ve created a really neat, simple training method that can be used by anybody. You don’t have to be joining the underwater torpedo league or right or an elite athlete… anybody can use it.
Prime: Yeah, so with this – how the program kind of evolved was that we were briefing free at every pool training and physical training thing that we have. Where it’s like, “hey focus, mental focus… we’re going to go underwater, so you want to have your mind actively focused on something. So count numbers, put a song in your head and focus on something visually.”
Relaxation. Be relaxed. Don’t waste energy. Economy of motion, it’s about your form – so arm action, leg action, body position and glide for each swimming stroke. And getting better and better and better.
But then all these things kind of you can go just deeper with them – like, economy of motion – what’s your pattern of life? Can I see that? Throughout your week, throughout your month, throughout this…?
Because I guarantee, we can move some stuff around or stack activities or trim some stuff to where you’ll have more time and energy to spend on your strategic goals.
And so, all of that being said, we’re in a growth mindset – I’m in a growth mindset – so I’m always striving to be a black belt, but I love the thought that I’m a white belt, too…
Because I’m just learning and learning…
Mark: Every day. Well, that’s the way to be… the black belt is just kind of an innovation for westerners to give them a sense that they’re making progress, right? The idea is to get to the white belt again…
In fact, my instructor was a 10th degree black belt, but I loved it when he wore his original belt, because it was white again. It had been through so much training, that all the black was gone out of it.
And so true mastery is to learn to empty your cup every single day and not think you’ve made it. And that’s the problem, a lot of people get to black belt and they quit. They think, “I’ve done it. Hey, I’m a black belt.”
And it’s just the very beginning.
I did that recently – I started aikido training a few years ago and I had to completely unlearn – or almost forget – 30 years of scars, San Soo kung fu and I already had to unlearn my karate to learn kung fu. Then I had to unlearn the San Soo kung fu to learn aikido.
And ultimately, it’s all still there, if I need to use it, but the point is to not have to use it. And the point is to train for life and to train for growth. As opposed to train to beat somebody up, which is exactly…
Mark: And the more effective you get – this is in the martial arts realm – the less likely it is that that’ll ever happen, until it will never happen. Because total mastery is mastery over yourself. True mastery. And then you’ll never attract a fight in a million years.
Anyways, that’s a little bit of a rabbit hole, but this is somewhat related. It’s a good rabbit hole.
Awesome. Well, we’ve been going on for a long time, but I do want to just get a glimpse – for the listener into… “a glimpse for the listener…” I guess you do kind of create mental imagery when you listen to stuff like this, so let’s give them a glimpse of what the “underwater torpedo league” is. That just sounds wicked cool. It’s not often you meet people who start a new sport. I’d love to see this as an Olympic sport someday.
Prime: That’s the goal. So, we’re working towards that. And “underwater torpedo league,” you can think of it… people sometimes call it underwater fight club. It’s a full combat sport underwater with men and women – guys and girls…
Mark: Mixed teams?
Prime: Mixed teams. And five on five in the deep end with substitutes…. So we usually play at 13 feet with our official…
Mark: And the torpedo is just this big rubber rocket? It actually looks like a torpedo, and you shoot it under water.
And if you don’t shoot it right, it’ll go off in all sorts of different directions.
It’s interesting, it’s different, because we played underwater hockey. We actually had a little tiny hockey stick, and the hockey puck was a regular puck and we just kind of skidded along the bottom. This is really different. It sounds harder, actually.
Because you’re passing and catching, right?
Prime: Yeah, you’re passing and catching and it’s 360 degrees, because the torpedo can go anywhere in the pool…
Mark: As opposed to just being on the bottom…
Prime: Right. And it can go 15 feet in one second or two seconds… it can go fast… so it makes it very dynamic. And attackers can come from every angle – even top down…
Mark: What are the rules of engagement for the attack?
Prime: So, for the attack, there’s no punching, there’s no ripping of goggles or swimsuit of any kind… and there’s no foul play. So there’s in water safeties and referees on both sides that monitor everything.
Mark: So, you’re going after the torpedo, you’re not going after the person, right? Kind of like flag football. You’re not tackling the person; you’re trying to get the flag…
Prime: Yeah. And we’ve learned the hard way. We’ve done some different stuff to where we’ve learned… when we started this at the end of 2017 it was like backyard wrestling, right? And now we have our system developed enough that we go all game without any issue.
But when we first started, they’d be like, “hey, what was that? What’s that rule?” Or “why didn’t we get it?” Or something…
And so we had to kind of go from that 60% that we started with to 99%. And we’ve had some strategic meetings with groups or members from the Olympic foundation and then from different Olympic committees and stuff, and we’ve gotten guidance and kind of a checklist of what we need to do.
Mark: A road map to become a sport at that level. That’s fascinating.
Wow, so how many teams are there now?
Prime: Right now there’s six active teams…
Mark: They’ve got names like the dolphins and the sharks and stuff like that…?
Prime: Yeah. The Irvine Rockfish, because they all sink, but they’re all the best. They’re the number one team right now.
So yeah. We have two teams in la, two teams in orange county, two teams in San Diego they’re all competing every weekend, usually in San Clemente.
Mark: And how is this going to expand? How do you scale this?
Prime: So, UTL – well, deep end fitness is expanding right now through a licensing program. So kind of similar to CrossFit affiliates, we have individuals in Miami, Vermont, Vegas and Hawaii that are all in licensing processes…
Mark: And they need a pool for that? And that’s specialized training – that’s in-water training mostly?
Mark: And obviously the torpedo league is too. So if you’re gonna start a team, you need to have access to a pool, right? Because that would be the home gym, so to speak – or home place…
Prime: Yeah. And so we have all of those processes mapped out so someone could come to you and say, “hey Prime, I’m interested in starting a team… joining the league.” And then they kind of take the lead on it?
Prime: Yes. And we’re open to anyone – one of the coolest parts about this whole journey of starting these companies and doing training and this, is that the network that has been kind of created…
Mark: Is there a cost? Do you license the name kind of like buying a franchise, you know?
Prime: Yes, the deep end fitness licensing is on average $10 000 to start…
Mark: The licensing… but what about the UTL? If you want to start a team?
Prime: That’s a franchise model and that’s a lot higher…
Mark: I see…
Prime: So those are still also they’re the bottom of the funnel, because they’re so niche. Deep end fitness is a little wider and that’s our feeder program, that gets everyone ready and capable and vetted for UTL.
But the free mind is what we’ve been really focused on, because it’s so scalable and we can reach a mass…
So, with that we started doing the free through UTL and deep end fitness, and that’s the performance operating system that everybody uses. In 2018, we did an off-season NFL program for six weeks – and then we started to get some UFC fighters and this different stuff.
Some of the UFC fighters would have me go with them through their fight camp of eight to twelve weeks with free and basically work on…
Mark: To kind of coach them on staying in alignment with the principals…
Mark: Drilling and…
Prime: Yeah, and some of it would be about a professional goal that they had. Some of it would be a personal goal, and some of it would be a relationship goal.
And so we started to really create some positive change for these some of them. And so I’m also kind of a safe space because I’m not an MMA coach. So I’m outside of that circle. So they can tell me stuff that they might not…
So all of that, and then after doing that for a year, or a year and a half, when I started to get some feedback like, “hey, this changed my life. You gotta put this out or do something because you’re just only doing it with a couple people.”
And so I was, “okay.” So I did a six month pilot program with these different CEOs and stuff. And I went through San Diego sports innovators with these companies – it’s an incubator/accelerator – so I have some different people from Sony, north America… and some other CEOs and people that hadn’t necessarily trained with me at the pool that I was running through this virtual course.
And so I finished that pilot program right when covid hit in 2020. And I was just constantly on the move before that, but now I’m locked down. And I had all this material and so for our other certifications, we have certification books, right?
And so, we thought that that’s what we’re going to do with this. We’re going to create the model, and then we create a certification off of it afterwards.
So this was just to put all the training together. But we ended up building it into a three ring or whatever… and getting it printed at Kinko’s and then don and I – my partner – took a picture of it.
And this girl in our network’s like, “hey, would you guys want publishing?”
And we’re like, “what do you mean?” And so we talked with her, and it was like, “yeah. Another one of my friends and mentors had publishing with you as well.”
And so it all fit. And so they took the product that we had, turned it into this. And so over the last year and a half – or since covid, really – I’ve been doing a lot of CEOs, a lot of business teams, and a lot of different kind of performance training with individuals and teams.
Prime: And so I love it. Because every time that my whole thing…
Mark: Essentially, you’re turning it into a coaching program, so that’s how you’re going to reach more people beyond deep end fitness which needs a pool right risky and how many people are going to really do that. You still have a lot of people, but yeah, so it’s going to be great.
Prime: For me, it kind of got out of hand training or coaching individuals, because bandwidth and everything else…
Mark: Time consuming, yeah…
Prime: But we just did our first group course – that was five weeks long, and we had 25 in there, just as a beta and it was like, “wow.”
Mark: Just meet over zoom every week or something like that?
Prime: Yeah, once a week – Wednesday, 6 p.m. – and then everything else is virtual and so that was very manageable. And it’s also very powerful, because you get the reflective listening from the group. So they’re like, “wow.”
And I don’t know what it is about that – but I’m sure you’ve seen that a million times – but it blows people’s mind to know that the other people are going through stuff in their life too. And it’s like they’re learning it for the first time over and over again.
They’re like, “wow, I can’t believe that someone’s…”
Mark: (laughing) I’m not the only one. Everyone’s got shit to deal with. Everyone’s gotta reduce drag in their life and can learn to relax and breathe better. And free their mind.
So these are great tools to help that. So good job, it’s going to be fun to watch it evolve and watch the league evolve and deep and fitness – and I do need to get in the pool with you someday.
Prime: Yeah, 100%.
Mark: Missed our opportunity last week. I just got overwhelmed with my crush of commitments – I need to reduce some drag myself.
Prime: Hey, we got to do this.
Mark: That’s right…
Prime: And so that that really worked out. And I’ll get you in any time that works for you. But also, I really believe in cross training, and I’ve read the unbeatable mind audio book three times in the last month…
Mark: I’m working on that right now. Fourth edition. Completely revised. It was my pandemic project…
Mark: It’s painful actually to redo a book that you started 10 years ago. (laughing) I almost wish I’d just written a whole new version of it from scratch. So it’s just been like sticking needles in my eyes.
Because I want to change every word, because I’m a completely different person than I was when I wrote it. But I’m going to get that done before the end of the year. And come up with my own accompanying journal.
Prime: I’m looking forward to that…
Mark: Yeah, I’ll let you know. I’ll give you a copy.
Prime: Yeah, 100%.
Mark: Cross-training and cross-pollination is really important. We’re all in this together to help people and help the world be a better place.
So, people hear things differently from different people. Even if you’re saying the same thing. That’s why it takes a team to train people, I think. That’s why in the seals, there wasn’t one trainer at buds that was the best… it’s a team of trainers that is the best.
I look at that… our model is five mountain training – physical, mental, emotional, intuitional and spiritual. You should have a coach in every one of those categories. And that’s your team of coaches.
Anyways, it’s been an honor to talk to you, Prime. Super fun. I appreciate you for your service and for your example of healing and showing what you can do when you’re a man with a mission. So Hooyah.
Prime: Hooyah. Thank you so much for having me, and I wanted to give a shout out to Robert Owens for connecting us – one of your amazing coaches. And then also Michael Ostrolenk. Great guy.
Mark: Yeah, he’s a great guy…
Mark: Yeah, brother. Thanks very much.
All right folks, thanks for your time. This was a great conversation – we covered some real territory here. Fascinating stuff.
And I’ve got your guidebook, so it’s a super easy read and there’s some very actionable things in the training plan in here. Crawl, walk, run… I love it.
At any rate, that’s it for today. Thanks for being here. Stay focused, be unbeatable, go free your mind…
See you next time.