He is the perfect posterboard for what Jiu-Jitsu can do for a man. He is a husband, a father, and close friend to Jocko Willink, and the co-host for one of the greatest podcasts on air today. And when Echo Charles tells you to “get after it,” you better know what you’re getting and be ready to work for it. Because if you’re not sure what you value, what it’s worth, or what you’re willing to do to get it… then you’re stuck on page one of your own book of life.
But most men have already got the notion part figured out, so we asked Echo Charles how to put such things into motion.
URBASM: Mahalo! You’re part of a popular podcast with Jocko Willink. How did that happen and what are a couple of the more valuable lessons you’ve learned being involved in that?
Echo Charles: After Jocko’s first interview with Tim Ferriss, we talked about doing the podcast, but he wasn’t convinced it was a good idea… although he was interested. I’ve been doing videos with Jocko literally since I started doing video in 2009. Actually, the first video I ever made was with Jocko, so it made sense that I would be involved if a Jocko podcast were to happen. Then when he was on Joe Rogan’s Podcast #729, I think Joe managed to remove any lingering doubt about the idea. In fact, the very last words Jocko says on that episode, are, “Echo Charles, be ready to record a podcast, brother…” And I was. And we did.
URBASM: In the Jocko Podcast ‘Psychology For The Fighting Man’ (e:164) where the discussion was about being focussed on all fronts, you raise an interesting point about how we can be so committed to one area of your life that another area suffers. What do you believe is the key to finding balance?
Echo Charles: I think the “key” might be different for everybody, but I’ve found that if I value just a handful of things in life, and commit to them, and don’t get distracted, then it’s manageable. Since I only have like four things that I really value in life, it’s kinda simple. Also, my wife and I communicate very well, and we support each other–Which is critical, too. It seems like problems come when people aren’t clear in their mind what they value… and/or allow things to creep in and hijack commitments.
URBASM: In another podcast (‘Break Ups and Betrayal’ e:66) you talk about how emotions can put logic or reasoning out the window. This is something that most men might go through at some point, especially when in a relationship, and you even mentioned chemicals in the brain and oxytocin. What are your thoughts on the best ways to deal with such things?
Echo Charles: I think if you step back and look at the big picture, that usually helps. Most of the time, nobody cares about how you feel. They only care about your behavior. So act right and I think you’ll get over it. Plus, you gotta have more pride than that. That person didn’t screw you over. They screwed them self over. And do Jiu-Jitsu… that helps, too.
URBASM: When working on your doctrine in ‘BroScience,’ what was your thesis about?
Echo Charles: (Laughs) Contrary to Jocko’s accusations, I do not have a ‘BroScience’ doctrine. I try my best to include a disclaimer with anything I say that could end up being ‘BroScience’. But let’s face it, some things make a lot of sense sometimes, but then end up not being true. By the way, I really like the expression, “bro science.”
URBASM: As a practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu, what are some lessons on discipline or something else unexpected that it’s taught you along the way?
Echo Charles: The popular saying is that “The Mats Never Lie.” And I learn every day how true that is. You can’t fake it through Jiu-Jitsu. You can’t make excuses. At the end of the day, you’re either effective or ineffective. And the more training you have, the more effective you’ll be. More than ever now, I realize that this applies to every aspect of life.
URBASM: What does ‘Getting After It’ mean to you?
Echo Charles: Full speed. All go, no quit, toward long and short term goals without slacking. You can “get after it” doing bad things, by the way. Like, opening a case of doughnuts and GETTTTTING AFFFFFTER IT…
URBASM: Speaking of doughnuts, what is your favorite food on cheat days? And we’re assuming you do allow this once in a while.
Echo Charles: Here are the tech specs on cheat days. There are three levels to cheat day scenarios.
URBASM: You had our full attention at “tech specs”.
Echo Charles: Level 1: Not too bad. Some sushi rolls or cheeseburgers. Burrito with extra cheese and sour cream etc. But just one meal. Not all day, etc.
Level 2: Same types of foods, but all day (Or Level 3 foods, but just once that day – more on this later). I go to Rubios sometimes, and get one of those “Especial” burritos and bring it home and put a bunch more cheese on there. Don’t do that… but you gotta do that.
Level 3: Anything goes all day. One day I straight up drove to KFC and got 4 thighs and 4 biscuits (extra butter) and handled business.
URBASM: That is the most detailed answer to that question we have ever received. Thank you.
Echo Charles: Pizza is good/bad, too, in my opinion. And chocolate bunt cake. And my wife makes these gluten-free brownies sometimes which are strangely the best things I’ve ever had… ever. I find myself on a level 1 or 2 once a week or so, by the way. I have not been to Level 3 in roughly 4 years.
URBASM: That takes willpower by the sound of those brownies. Let’s say that you were to get a tattoo tomorrow, what would it be?
Echo Charles: Color on my right arm. Which I’m getting… tomorrow.
URBASM: Okay, let’s switch gears and have a speed round… Cake or Pie?
Echo Charles: Dang. Chocolate cake. Unless the pie is apple pie… then pie. Or banana cream. Shit, yea… Pie, pretty much.
URBASM: (Laughs) Bacon or Nutella?
Echo Charles: Bacon. Dang, I’ve never had Nutella before.
URBASM: You haven’t? Check it out! Shifting gears again, who would you say is your favorite Superhero?
Echo Charles: Dang, pretty much all of the main ones are solid. I would have to say Superman edges them out because of that time on Superman 3 when he kinda turned bad and banged that chick, and got hammered at the bar, and did some other random immature stuff… That spoke to me slightly.
URBASM: How about your favorite guilty pleasure?
Echo Charles: Vodka and ‘Drunk Girl Fails’ videos.
URBASM: (Laughs) Good call.
URBASM: Your biggest fear?
Echo Charles: Anything bad happening to my kids and wife.
URBASM: What is your craziest story of something you did?
Echo Charles: One night, I went to Mexico as a bodyguard (unarmed), prevented the “client” from serious injury/death by convincing a group of large hostile men that it ultimately was “not worth it” (although It probably was). I got the best shoe shine ever from a Mexican man with one eye and no legs, and accompanied the “client” to purchase “unknown” substances, escorted him to a “gentlemen’s” club, and eventually made my way back to the US border with my payment (in cash). May or may not be in that order.
URBASM: … So many follow up questions! But since we have some pretty active imaginations, we’ll move on. What are the three most important things that every man should know, according to you, Echo?
1. How to be strong and brave.
2. What the right thing to do is… but really.
3. The value of the long game over the short game.
URBASM: Wow! Thank you Echo! It’s been a great pleasure speaking with you and we wish you all the best.
WANT MORE? Follow Echo Charles on Instagram or Facebook, and also check him out on the Jocko Podcast where he joins Jocko Willink discussing discipline, leadership, and range of very interesting topics most men will enjoy.