How to Overcome Obstacles both Literally and Figuratively with American Ninja Warrior and DojoBoom GM Kevin Bull - Full Transcript

For the Full Show Notes and Audio click here: Episode Page

Show Notes:

  • Who was Kevin Bull before American Ninja Warrior? [02:16]
  • When did Kevin Bull decide to become an American Ninja Warrior? [04:27]
  • What are the big differences between crossfit training and ninja training? [07:13]
  • How did DojoBoom come to be? [17:18]
  • What is the Children's Alopecia Project? [29:39]
  • What lesson have you learned from American Ninja Warrior has help you with running DojoBoom? [31:04]
  • What was your experience like on Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge? [33:45]
  • What does Kevin Bull do for fun? [36:52]

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Chris (Intro): [00:00:00] Hey what's up everybody welcome back to the 5 o'clock hustle podcast. This is Episode 7. And in this episode we spoke with Kevin bull or the Kevin bull as you might recognize him from the hit television show, American Ninja Warrior on NBC. We spoke with Kevin about his journey from being a collegiate athlete to becoming a stock trader after college. And then how that transitioned him to become one of American Ninja Warrior's top ranked athletes. We also talked to him about his sponsorship with CircusTrix and how that led him to become the general manager of DojoBoom, an extreme air sports and trampoline park, in Thousand Oaks, California. Let me tell you what-- Dojoboom is amazing. We actually got to record the episode there. Oh and by the way I'm sorry in advance for any sound issues you might hear in the episode. The place is packed with people bouncing around, having a blast, swinging around on the ninja course. And even though we are in one of their private party rooms our microphones were just no match for all the excitement that was going on out there. But don't worry about that. There's some great content for you in this episode. And we learned a lot about what it's like being a real ninja warrior. I also want to make sure you pop down to the show notes and check out the link to the Children's Alopecia Project. Kevin does a lot of amazing work for this charity and if you don't know much about it, their website is a great place to get educated and learn about what you can do for the kids.-- OK. Last thing. Because we're new podcast, we need all the help we can get. So do us a favor and subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes or wherever it is that you listen to podcasts. Preferably a positive review. But seriously your feedback really helps us produce more and better content. And remember to sign up for a newsletter on our Web site. New sign ups are automatically entered to win an official 5 O'Clock Hustle T-shirt. So don't miss out on that. Alright, everybody. That's it for today. I hope you enjoy the show and keep hustlin'.


Kevin Bull: [00:02:16] So yeah. I did track and field through college. And the tricky thing about track and field is after college is really not much to do with it there. It's hard to be a professional track and field athlete. Its very very very small portion of the track and field people that make it there. So I-- I just started going to work. I found a job at a bank and I was working as a as a personal banker for a few years and I wasn't really enjoying it. So, eventually I got frustrated there and I kind of took a big plunge and I left. I didn't have another job lined up. I said OK I'm going to...

 

Chris: [00:02:55] No side hustles no set.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:02:56] Well I had a side hustle I had started trading the stock market. When I was working there which is risky but I was doing well. So that was part of the reason why I felt like I could go ahead and drop off the regular workflow

 

Dre: [00:03:10] Sorry to interrupt but do you think that the way that you were brought up with your parents, kind of giving you that free range to go out and play and do whatever you want. Do you think that allowed you to have the confidence to leave that job and go do the mixing a little bit

 

Kevin Bull: [00:03:25] Yeah I think what it did more is it just allowed me. I became very comfortable thinking outside of the box. So I look at my alternatives and I think a lot about opportunity cost. And those type of things are important. A lot of that though also comes from a different part of my upbringing which is my dad's an economics professor. There a lot about opportunity costs and things like that I just felt like sitting at the bank every day was expensive for my future. I didn't think I was moving up quickly enough. And I didn't think that I was learning enough about other things that I might want to do.

 

Chris: [00:03:59] What was your major in college?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:04:01] Business, business management.

 

Chris: [00:04:05] OK. You know that's probably coming a lot more into play now, than it has the last couple years, Right?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:04:13] I mean it's interesting. I feel like I learned a lot more in one month of running a business than I learned in all my years in school. So... You learn much quicker when you're actually doing it.

 

Chris: [00:04:27] OK so we got through-- you started stock trading and you had a pretty good experience with that as well. And then you had some-- you didn't like your current work at the bank.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:04:40] Oh yeah. That was a funny moment when I left and my boss at the time said Well what are you going to do. Like, if you're not going to work here, What are you doing? I'm like, I'm like go back to school. And in the back of my mind at that time was Ninja Warrior which I had started watching and I thought I'd be good at it. So I said I'm either going to go back to school or I'm going to become an American Ninja Warrior. And my boss kind of scoffed when I said that. Cus, it was a long shot and it was it was definitely a longshot.

 

Chris: [00:05:11] When was it we you first thought that might be a feasible idea.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:05:15] It must have been... Probably Season 5 really and maybe Season 4 when it first started to circulate in my mind. Yeah I know I saw Sasuki before and Sasuki I thought. Oh I'd like to do that but it was all the way over in Japan. It didn't think it was going to happen. I remember there was a moment on Sasuki I was watching and I thought it looked like something I could do but I wasn't sure and then they had some American, gold medalist gymnast's attempt their course and they couldn't get up the Warp Wall. And I was like... I think I can get up that Warp Wall. Like this is something I can do better than the Olympic gymnast. So yeah, that was were in my head I thought OK that's maybe something that I can do at some point but it wasn't for a couple more years that it became more popular in the U.S. and became more of an institution. And then I started to realize that there was actually no ways of getting there.

 

Dre: [00:06:14] So were you training at that point like that style? Or was it just something you were like, I'm confident in myself I can go out and I can do this.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:06:23] Well I wasn't training in that style so much. I didn't really know how to train in the style of Ninja Warrior yet. But I was the type of person who liked to do obstacle like things. I would pick weird challenges for myself and try to do them. Training for the show is much more intense. And you have to plan it out much better than I was doing at the time. But I was actually just doing CrossFit at the time. That was my workout; I was doing that a lot. I could never quit sports. After college there was no more track competitions to go to, but I had to do something and CrossFit was fun. It was competitive. But I was still looking for something that is more suited to my talents than CrossFit was. And it was a while again until I found Ninja. I was 29 when I started doing Ninja Warrior which was...

 

Chris: [00:07:13] Just a touch on it little bit more because, you know, I've been doing this Spartan training stuff. What are the big differences between crossfit training and ninja training?

 

[00:07:35] That's a good question so I will say there's a big difference. I didn't realize what I was doing cross fit, you know you're in all these different muscle groups and you're getting some cardio in there too and it feels like a full body workout. And that's always the way I thought about it. And then when she comes around and they're like, "alright hang by your fingertips from the cliffhanger" and you fall right off. And I realized OK something else is going on here. I've missed something and you know, I had no idea you could strengthen your tendons. Didn't realize that was something you could do and rock climbers know how to do that.

 

Dean: [00:08:11] Yeah. I've came home so many times with just torn... I mean I had calluses on my fingertips which is a really interesting thing. Yeah totally.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:08:19] So you try to take pieces of knowledge from these different disciplines and you need a lot for doing the obstacles because each obstacle has different elements and a different discipline might be better at it. I use my track and field background sometimes. I like to borrow from rock climbers a lot. The parkour guys stuff a lot of things figured out. So, it's fun to have that medley of different disciplines coming together to do an obstacle course.

 

Dre: [00:08:43] It's Shang Tsung.

 

Dean: [00:08:47] You said that you started American Ninja Warrior when you were 29. So it's really interesting because there's going to be a lot of people that are kind of in their position where they're looking at something that is their American Ninja Warrior and they're sitting there looking at it like you said, you saw it on TV and you're like, "I could do that." We've all thought that at one point.

 

Dean: [00:09:08] Oh yeah. Totally .

 

Dean: [00:09:08] It may not be about American Ninja Warrior, it's about everything. I mean there's certain things, you see someone successful, you see someone enjoying themselves and you're like, :Yeah I can do that, for sure." Is there any certain moment or grouping of moments or anything that you remember that kind of just pushed you to finally take that leap and start really going after and focusing on the training for it?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:09:34] I don't know if it's moments so much as for me it was just this underlying feeling that I had that was building over years. You know when I got done with track and field I said, OK, my life is changing now. Sports competition is done. And I really committed myself to going down a career path. But I didn't ever lose the desire to compete that I had before and I really wanted it back in the more time went past of me trying and do something else the stronger that feeling became so it was just that feeling really that kind of pushed me forward and really drove me to want to make take a big risk and see if I could make it work out.

 

Dean: [00:10:15] So you had to follow your heart. I guess you have to follow instinct. That's really incredible.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:10:23] It's a powerful drive that you have, if it's something that you're passionate about and you shouldn't try to suppress it. You should find an outlet for it.

 

Dean: [00:10:31] That's a really good point. It's really broadly applicable. So that's cool.

 

Chris: [00:10:37] So tell us about your first-- the day that you were like, OK. I'm done with the bank. I'm going to go. I'm going to start training to do this. And then what do you do? At what point are you ready to even do that.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:10:54] Yeah. Well you do have to submit a tape.

 

Dean: [00:10:56] This is just a personal thing. Chris is now...

 

Dre: [00:11:03] Chris is like, "I'm gona do it!".

 

Kevin Bull: [00:11:03] So, yes. I started training for it as best as I could think how. So I just followed my own instincts. I didn't really have anyone to train with and that time. Didn't really have any contact with the existing ninjas. Eventually there was another and Ninja Warrior named David Campbell who was a very dominant force on the show for a long time and he was actually from my hometown and I hadn't really done my homework and didn't even know that he was from the hometown. But one of my friends had met him before and he said oh this guy's already doing you get in contact with him. So I tried. But I think probably a lot of people have done that before in the past and he said, "Well, I'm training on my own but there's a competition here. If you want to come to it. We can hang out there." So, I went to the competition and I did very well. I think I beat him on one of the courses and he beat me one of the other courses. After that he's like, OK. Well definitely I was the one being trained at that point. There was a lot of it.--Even if you're able to do the things, if you're new to it, there's a lot of knowledge to pick, up. You know? And it's important to absorb as much as you can from everybody else. So yeah. That was kind of how I started the training process. In terms of the video, I put together a video. Submitted it. It was not accepted. So the alternative, I found out through those competitions I had started doing, the privately run ninja competitions, I met so m e of the guys who had been in the process of doing the show before. And they were going to go walk on.

 

Chris: [00:12:45] Like Rudy!

 

Kevin Bull: [00:12:52] Yeah! -- So they're going to go walk on and when I didn't get the call back I decided, OK, I'm going to go walk on with you guys I guess. What does that entail? So, it entails camping out in front of course for a while and I was really on the fence about it because it sounded like it was probably gonna end up being waste of time and doing you know for sure if you're going to make it. You're just going to spend a lot of days waiting. So I told this other guy and I said, "OK we're going to go down together." And I didn't hear from him after that. And then, one day. It was like after the time we had said it head down there and I just thought OK is falling through. And then he just calls me up and he goes alright, somebody just posted that they're in line for the walk on line from heading down right now. So do you want to come? So, fortunately I had already quit the bank job and I said OK I'm going!

 

Kevin Bull: [00:13:49] He picked me up and we drove down and camped out on Venice Beach for like four days. And then I just barely got a run spot. So I really lucky. I remember, I was in the top 10 and then they bumped me back from the top 10 because he wanted to put in a couple of other people that were in line in front of me. And then they set me as the person in ready position. So if anybody that was already called to run the course wasn't prepared to run at their time, I was just going to take their slot and go. And so, four and a half hours of jogging in place later they broke for lunch...

 

Kevin Bull: [00:14:30] And then, I had a little break and I came back and I sort of started warming up and then one of the guys goes, "hey. This guy's been here for a really long time. Let's let him run the course." And that's how I got my shot on Ninja Warrior.

 

Dre: [00:14:43] So you were top ten out of of the walkons or top 10 overall?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:14:47] I was like I was like tenth in place.

 

Dre: [00:14:50] OK got you.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:14:51] But that day I was actually fourth overall.

 

Dre: [00:14:54] Oh wow. Holy crap dude.

 

Dean: [00:14:58] OK so you run through. You kill it. You do really well. What was sprang you into so much popularity. I mean so, for me when I looked into your past in American Ninja Warrior. I mean, we all see the cannoball and we see this dude throw his legs over it and then dismount beautifully on to a pad and everyone goes wild!

 

Dean: [00:15:25] Was that specific moment that you think kind of sprang your popularity and started establishing a brand for you?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:15:32] Yeah that was the moment, that was the big moment for sure. Yeah.

 

Dean: [00:15:36] Did you plan that?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:15:37] I did plan the move. I didn't know quite how big a deal it was going to become. But, I thought it would be an interesting way to get through So I had seen a lot of people miss trying to use their hands on that obstacle. So, there's a lot of people that had tried to do it and sort of a rock climbers technique, where you get strength to get through. And I knew that my grip strength wasn't there because I hadn't been doing any grip strength training really at that point. I was brand new and I had thought that it was a good setup to get your legs over the top and maybe that goes back to my tree climbing days, when you swing up and grabs something with your legs to get over. So, I thought about it and I mentioned it to a few people and they said, "Aw, that's crazy." So they had convinced me not to do it. But then when I saw like 15 people fail doing it the other way I thought, "Alright let's try the crazy way to see if that works." And I'm very very happy that it worked out.

 

Dean: [00:16:40] So there's there's an underlying lesson and tone behind everything behind your whole story. And there's there's two pieces that I've seen so far and one is thinking outside of the box and the other is following your instincts. And you've done both of those and created such a crazy amount of success for yourself it's really inspiring for the people sitting at this table for sure but also for any of our listeners that have that burning feeling inside of them and they can do nothing but follow it. It's like you're definitely an inspiration. So thank you for that. Thanks for pursuing your dreams and your passions.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:17:15] It's a pleasure to be able to do it.

 

Dean: [00:17:18] So that the next step on your path. Should we cut to Dojoboom or is there something in between? I mean you were you were picked up by-- You know you got some sponsors and you start building your brand--

 

Kevin Bull: [00:17:33] There's definitely a lot of things in between. But the Dojoboom and the sponsorship are part of the same thing. And that was a big big change. So this company that's helped me to start Dojoboom, the company that built it, is called circus t rix. And they do these parks all over the world. And I started working with them and their relatively new company. They started in 2011. When I started working with them, my first year of ninja where they contacted me and they said, "hey we've got to park down in Fresno and you come down and do an event." And I did. It was a lot of fun. They were great to work with and I just felt like this was a company that kind of shared that kind of outside the box thinking that you were just talking about it. And. We did a number of other events together, promotional ones. Eventually they they offered to do a full endorsement deal with me last year.

 

Dean: [00:18:33] Amazing, Congratulations.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:18:34] It was awesome. I got to spend a year being a professional ninja with an endorsement which was excellent and--

 

Dean: [00:18:43] Paid to be a ninja. You and Bruce Lee.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:18:46] Right. And that was a lot of fun. They were great. We did a lot of marketing together and then this year they said, "well you know we've got a lot of new parks opening up and we're interested if you'd like to run one of them." So I said, "yes, absolutely."

 

Chris: [00:19:03] Was this location in Thousand Oaks already one of their spots that they were eyeballing?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:19:09] So it was. We weren't sure at first where I was going to go but I requested to come down south to southern California and there's two down here that we're going in, Thousand Oaks here and Circus t rix Orange County, which is down in Mission Viejo. But I feel very fortunate to be here in Thousand Oaks. It's a great place. Really enjoyed it so far.

 

Dean: [00:19:32] Yeah it's a good community. It helps you break away from that city feel. LOS ANGELES It doesn't--- it has more of that communal feel.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:19:39] And I think coming down from the woods that Scott's Valley, staying a little bit out of the city wass important.

 

Chris: [00:19:50] So why so why here in particular like in the Los Angeles Greater Los Angeles area?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:19:57] Good question and I don't know if I know all the details to the answer as to why this particular location was chosen. I know that it's a very good location, since we opened. It's one of the first places that I think it is the first place they've done it's in a shopping center.

 

Chris: [00:20:16] I used to by my towels right here! (Laughs)

 

Kevin Bull: [00:20:18] It was like Linen and Things, right? A while ago. Looks a little different in here. So it's very cool. We have an interesting space with a lot of windows and there's a lot of foot traffic out front which is unusual for these trampoline parks, type things. They usually go into industrial zones.

 

Chris: [00:20:38] Yeah that's what I was thinking. You know like go cart places. You know entertainment type stuff is commonly and those types of business parks.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:20:59] I think this location specifically for me was good because this build of theirs was so far outside of the box of the things they've done before and that's also the way I like to do things. So (laughs).

 

Dean: [00:21:14] So you created this amazing product. We can call it. You know, it is this beautiful gym called Dojoboom. Part of creating a product is always knowing your demographic, knowing your audience and then appealing to them. So what is the demographic? Who are the people that you think you would like to benefit from this amazing space and how are you appealing to them? What do you think appeals to them?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:21:39] I mean, we're definitely appealing to the family. So that's the demographic, that's the key demographic. That's also the demographic for the TV show Ninja Warrior. It for family. It's all about family and what we've done here is we've created an area where the whole family can enjoy themselves. I made these obstacles to be challenging. The things in here they're really high level. It's also enjoyable for the kids. We have lots of kids that are coming in. I find that a lot of places that try to cater to kids, they dumb things down too much for them. The kids are very capable of attempting difficult things and it doesn't mean they're going to get them every time, do them successfully, but its always worth it for them to try and to have something to challenge themselves with.

 

Chris: [00:22:26] And you tell their definitely trying because we saw a lot of kids out there doing their thing.

 

Dre: [00:22:33] I know watching my son jump in here. I've realize that-- You know, as a father sometimes your instinct is, "oh he's going to fall"-- like you want to catchem. Sometimes you've got to kind of learn that like he learned out here he jumped off one of the big squares and he just rolled like elegantly like without me coaching thing and I'm like that's just you know he's got to learn how to do it. That's awesome

 

Kevin Bull: [00:22:59] Yeah. If know how to roll. You solve alot of problems. *laughs*

 

Dre: [00:23:06] So with that you know you guys have built this great facility. You're catering a lot of families but you're also catering to adults as well. AS far as you know the obstacle courses and you know the grip strength things that you guys like how do you how do you want to have this place appeal more to the adults. What is it that will appeal to the adults?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:23:30] I think what appeals to the adults here is sort of the level of difficulty and the level to which you can push yourself if you want to. A couple of the things that really stand out. Are the ninja course. Of course, very grip strength intensive, very upper body intensive. And then we have an attraction called the super tramps which are these three very high quality Euro trampolines the type you'd see in the Olympics for the competitions surrounded by walls for wall tricking. And you can really work yourself up to some pretty cool-- Cool moves. And it's a really fun jam session to come in and play on it. In fact me and the staff usually do after work. We go out there and we try do tricks and things and that's a lot like surfing or skateboarding or anything where you sit on the side and watch somebody else go and try to do that. It's a blast.

 

Chris: [00:24:26] Was there kind of a built in ninja community in the area that was just ready for it? Or is that something that you're building up.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:24:35] You know the ninja community has usually been very spread out and almost everywhere you go. There's a few places. It's definitely more concentrated on the East Coast than it is out here in California. But Ninjas have always been kind of few and far between historically but there's a lot of enthusiasts. There's a lot of people who are enthusiastic about learning that type of stuff and aren't sure where or how to do it. So I think that's what we've got a lot coming in a lot of people that are fairly new to these things but are enthusiastic about giving it a try and about learning about it. There's a couple of ninjas in the area myself and then Jessie Graff also one of the most successful ninjas of all time and one of the most fun to watch is also in the are tpp

 

Dre: [00:25:26] That's awesome. So what do you see this place becoming like? Will you --for those enthusiasts and people who are wanting to learn and like will this place be a place where they can kind of come even get some one on one training or will you just keep kind of catered to people like--

 

Kevin Bull: [00:25:41] Do like special ninja night? *laughs* Yeah. I've been thinking about that actually. Thinking about a time when we can up the training level a little bit above the normal hours. And I would like to do that. But we're new .  We just started out and there's a few things we need to handle and take care of first

 

Chris: [00:25:59] I'll tell you. I didn't think it was here at first. But like I said I'm going back to Spartan and I know you're on a Spartan television show as well. But, I was like, "there's nobody doing this out here." And then the more I start going on social more and more things start popping up.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:26:16] Little ones pop up here and there.

 

Chris: [00:26:18] Some of the best Spartan-- like you know-- Hunter Mcintyre you know he's down in Malibu. I went to one of his-- you know he trains with a running coach here in Camario, Richard Diaz. I went down there trained with some other people who you know are actually ranking. I was like "What am I doing here with all of these people?" SO more and more seems to pop up.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:26:42] Yeah. A couple of the ninjas went to Hunter's ranch last weekend and I was really bummed that I couldn't make it and it looked like is going to be a fun time.

 

Chris: [00:26:50] I'm trying triangulate it with his photos. Like what is this secret places. *laughs*

 

Dean: [00:26:57] Would do you do like the events here or--?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:26:59] I mean it will be yeah. I'm going to run Ninja competitions from time to time. We're going to have dodgeball tournaments. Some of the other parks have gone so far as to have music concerts inside that location. I mean I think that this one would actually be a pretty good one for that.

 

Dean: [00:27:19] So I have my birthday coming up on January 22nd. If I wanted to bring a bunch of buddies, would this be a good place for for a birthday setting? You guys do like adults and kids?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:27:28] Absolutely. We love birthdays here. It's a fun place to get your energy out. And we've got a few-- were sitting in a party room right now.

 

Dean: [00:27:37] *laughs* Oh yeah.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:27:41] So we'd love to have you.

 

Dean: [00:27:43] Cool and people can bring in food and stuff I'm guessing or do you guys do.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:27:46] You bring in your own food. We don't do food in here but we have someone to help you with it and you can bring in whatever you like. We'll serve it up for you and clean up after.

 

Dean: [00:27:56] A bunch of pizza and then jumping on trampolines.

 

Chris: [00:28:02] Maybe wait 30 minutes after. *laughs*

 

Kevin Bull: [00:28:03] Jumping on trampolines running on warp walls doing a like parkour and we have the rockwall for you.

 

Dean: [00:28:09] I hit it at some point. I'm actually going to go hands only right now because my feet - - messed up foot. That's awesome. You have any side projects you're working on right now?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:28:21] Somewhat I mean this takes up almost all my time right now. I was halfway through a project when I started this one which was up in northern California. I had been running a series of obstacle course competitions called the pitfall obstacle league. So I have been working with that and we've run about 20-22 competitions, I think over the last two years. It's cool and it's been a lot of fun. I've worked with different training facilities around that area. And we've all worked together to put on these great competitions. Lots of kids and adults in the competition and so that's a project that I'm working on still. But its taken kind of a pause while I get this up and running and more stable.

 

Chris: [00:29:10] Assuming you're still you're training for American Ninja Warrior...is that something that you're still doing?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:29:16] I am still training

 

Chris: [00:29:18] OK.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:29:18] theoretically at the moment. I've literally been here almost all day everyday since we opened and there hasn't been a lot-- I did I did one workout this last week I went for a run. I have a little bit of work to do to get back in shape after this but I think I'm getting close to being able to do that so...

 

Dre: [00:29:39] So you're also part of the Children's Alopecia Project. Yeah. So what's a little bit about that?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:29:46] The Children's Alopecia Project. I have a condition called alopecia which is where my immune system kills my hair. So I don't have any. But it strikes a variety of different ages and there's a lot of young kids that have it. And then --it can be difficult for them I believe because kids are tough. They look different and it's a time in your life when you really just want to blend in with everybody else. Which I found to not be the best. I think it's good to stand out. And that's the message that I try to deliver to them, to not worry about looking different or being different. But it's been a great group with a lot of great people that I've got to meet over the couple of years that I've been doing it.

 

Dre: [00:30:27] Do you get them involved in what you're doing here with the Ninja training and obstacle courses and stuff like that?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:30:33] I do actually. I was able to invite the group out-- the local group here in the area out to our grand opening DojoBoom. So they were here to see the opening and they host several events as well throughout the year which I usually can make it to. Unfortunately this year the big one was on the same day we were filming for American Ninja Warrior. I couldn't make that one.

 

Chris: [00:30:56] Well you were representing in your own way over there.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:31:01] Yeah I'm trying to of course. Yeah sure.

 

Chris: [00:31:04] OK. I just want to kind of go a little bit more abstract and talk about your experiences whether it's from college or it's from you know-- working as a banker or a stocktrader or Ninja Warrior. But I want to talk about how your your experiences throughout your life might have prepared you for your role here at DojoBoom. Some what lessons you might have gleaned from from being from being a Ninja Warrior and everything else. Is there anything specific that you can think of?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:31:37] That is interesting I think-- Well. The business lessons from Ninja Warrior specifically? I mean I'm sure there's a lot. Things tend to translate over one discipline to another. Ninja Warrior has been a very interesting experience and just being able to do the obstacles is a lot about mental process. And it's a process of determining what's the most important piece of any problem that you're up against and then the flow of solving that--that Important piece. There's a lot of extraneous detail and you need to sort through what's important and what's not. And those same skills apply to business as well. Except here there's more extraneous details but the obstacle is kind of help you to focus. You say, OK well this is this part and sometimes of obstacles have little traps built into them, things that maybe look important but aren't and things you can skip past. And I think finding those things in the business world is how you stay successful.

 

Dean: [00:32:48] So creative problem solving and you are-- Actually most people try to stay away from obstacles and you spend your life finding them and figuring out how to overcome them.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:33:01] That's one of the things. I mean there's always detriments to it which is, if you have a habit of finding obstacles that's not what you want to be doing in the workplace. *laughs*

 

Dean: [00:33:09] Or in your love life. *laughs* But thats neat. You've created such a cool reality for yourself and you can obviously tell that you enjoy doing it and you're very passionate about it and like I said before you're a huge success story and your true inspiration and. It's just incredible. It's really cool. Yeah it's a great experience.

 

Chris: [00:33:35] So as we get closer you know---what are we at right now, 45? You know there was a couple of people on Facebook that wanted to ask you questions.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:33:45] Oh sure.

 

Chris: [00:33:45] You know being what you do it's more related to your athleticism and your training. So you know we have Peter Morrow here and he is asking, "Do you participate in any other types of obstacle races? I kind of already new the answer to that. But what was your experience like on ultimate Spartan?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:34:10] Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge. It is a little wordy. That was really fun. Yeah I had a blast that. Most of my life, I've done individual sports and that's kind of where my talent has been. But having a team is a wonderful thing. I love having a team and seeing this sport here the ultimate team challenge was set up so that it still played the same type of athletic abilities that most of the individual things that I've done played to but it's in a team format. So that was a lot of fun having teammates there to rely on and help you and I think it took a little bit of the pressure off. When you're doing an individual sport it's just everything's coming down to you and this is a situation where you know you try to help your teammates sometimes, sometimes your teammates help you. And it just had a more jovial feel throughout the whole thing. So when you finished it was really like kind of a happy feeling-- really happy.

 

Chris: [00:35:10] Yes. Spartan a really good job of it--Well you know it's one of the more competitive bbstacle course racing companies companies but for the people who are not racing competitively there isn't really a community aspect to it like finding another forms.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:35:26] I've been able to do a few of the Spartans, the regular ones and I wish I could do more. I love it. It's a lot of fun. It's difficult to throw the distance training into the other training that I do because nothing even approaches three miles. That's the lowest distance but it's a lot of fun and I felt I had to do a 15 miler last year. No it was 14. It was like little over 14 but it was --it was hard. The longest I had ever run in my life and the most they did in preparation was I did one seven mile run. *laughs*

 

Chris: [00:36:03] Oh I'm I'm basically right there.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:36:08] You know I was like --I started getting about a year ago doing Spartan races and you know I did the first one over Dodger Stadium. It was in August.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:36:17] I hear the stadium races are hard. Haven't done that yet.

 

Chris: [00:36:19] It was a lot of stairs, I tell ya what. Butafter the first race I was like, "I have to do this a lot now. "  You know-- I signed up for another sprint that just got finished out at Castaic Lake just a couple of weeks ago and then another sign up for Super which is the middle distance and a Beast in May. So I'm really kind of going for it here.

 

Dre: [00:36:42] Chris has been trying to get me to do one with him. I told him the Dodgers won the World Series I would do one with him but.

 

Chris: [00:36:52] And now the deal is that my next race I have to get less than 120 burpees from failed obstacles and they're are all from grip strength obstacles. So you gotta help me out with that. *laughs* We also have Allen Keller here, "So what do you do for fun?" You know you work a lot but you know it's pretty fun here but you know..

 

Kevin Bull: [00:37:16] It is pretty fun here. I going to have to think a little ways back when I had sometime. *laughs* I like to-- I mean besides playing on the obstacles, which is always fun training -- Well one of the fun things I get to do every year is I do a road trip. I have some buddies from high school. We've done a road trip every year since high school so we're on like 16 or something like that. And we've been in a lot of different places. Went all over the western states because we were from Santa Cruz originally but there was some time where they both living and on the East Coast and now one of them lives in Singapore and the other one is down here. And so we've been going to different places we've been to most of the U.S. We've been Costa Rica, Singapore, and Thailand. And it's just fun to travel.

 

Chris: [00:38:20] So what's going on for 2018?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:38:22] 2018. Yeah we haven't planned it out yet. Because largely because of the opening of dojoboom here. I'm the hardest one. It used to be the other way around. Back in the beginning days, where it was easy for me to travel. But now I'm the one that's always making the road trips hard. But we've got one that's in the works that we've been planning as our Alaska trip. We want to go up to Alaska. The original thought of the Alaska trip was to fly into Fairbanks and then drive to the Arctic Circle. Which is like a 500 mile drive through tundra. With like 12 people residents living along that path and then-- But the alternative is one of the other ninjas lives in Unically which is on sort of the western coastline of Alaska. And we might go visit him there instead but we go in the winter time and he would teach us how to hunt and do all those things that they do up there in the winter. So that would be that would be a cool trip to and sort of-- I don't know ---a horizon expanding trip?

 

Chris: [00:39:40] You know you do all these trips is something from that - - like I'm sure it's just like getting together-- I've been friends with these guys for a long time to and we do similar stuff. So what is it about like road trips specifically that -- - because you guys could look just like hang out here. *laughs*

 

Kevin Bull: [00:40:00] Well I think it's just I mean there's a couple things. One is when you've been doing a tradition like that with people for so long, you kind of learn interesting ways of like dividing up the tasks. And we have a set system of tasks that on these road trips that each one of us does and who talks to a person --like when we meet people, because you meet new people, you get to new places, you have to figure things out as we go and whenever you're meeting new people it's like-- we already know which one of us is going to talk to that person based on like, stereo typically, what they look like. Like if you're a hipster. I've got one of my friends who talks to all the hipsters. I'm the guy that talks to the meatheads.

 

Chris: [00:40:45] Do people recognize you from the show?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:40:48] Yeah they do. So it's-- that's kind of a new thing for the road trips because we've been doing it for so long. Now I get recognized when we're traveling. I mean it's interesting it's fun. I always like getting stopped. It's always nice to have somebody say that they are interested in what you're doing. They like the type of things that you're into. And it's always nice to get a compliment. But yeah it changes the dynamic a little bit of the road trip because normally when you're traveling you're kind of incognito, you're kind of under the radar in a new place.

 

Chris: [00:41:22] Now I see you on these road trips like hopping out of a van and then climbing a tree. Is that something that goes down too?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:41:28] Oh yeah we've done that a number of times. I think it's a random jump in the stream which we've done a number of times when you're traveling and you've been riding in the car for a ton of hours and then there's just a river and you drive to the fence and then you hop the fence and you just run to the river and jump in. It's a lot of fun.

 

Chris: [00:41:47] Well let's do one more question here from this one's from Douglas Arant. If he had to pick just one exercise to train, what would it be?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:42:02] One exercise to train...

 

Chris: [00:42:04] Because that's all I have time for so. *laughs*.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:42:05] Yeah. Of course. Thats a tough question from somebody that does multisport. *laughs* I guess probably the one exercise I would do the most is pull ups. Like I could only pick one. Pull has to be the one that I use the most.

 

Chris: [00:42:21] How many pull ups can you do in a row? Is that a thing?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:42:25] My record. Yeah I mean there's a lot of different ways to do pull ups and if you're doing strict pull ups it's different than if you're kipping. With Kipping pullup my record was sixty five. And I did that when I was feeling particularly good during a cross fit workout.

 

Dre: [00:42:43] So I just want a close out question and we may have covered some of it but I just want to know, what's next for you what's next for Kevin. Where do you see yourself in the next year? I mean besides running this place and doing that but where do you just what do you see yourself in the near future?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:43:00] Well I think this is an interesting new chapter in my life with a DojoBoom. It's a big responsibility and it's definitely my main focus. But down the road I want to keep this expanding. DojoBoom it's a great mix with me because it's about thinking outside the box, it's about taking a different approach to how we see athletics and what I see myself doing is continuing to sort of push this idea that it's OK to make the effort to try new things, that it's OK to practice. You shouldn't be overly worried, you should always be cautious and do things in a safe way possible but you shouldn't let fear stop you from trying things and that you should think outside the box when it comes to your sports.

 

Dre: [00:43:45] That's awesome. Perfect.

 

Chris: [00:43:48] So where can people find you on the socials?

 

Kevin Bull: [00:43:52] Socials where you can find me @Kevin_the_bull with underscores instead of spaces and you can find DojoBoom,@dojoboom.

 

Chris: [00:43:58] Awesome. Thanks again for coming on. I learned a lot. Im going to be doing a lot more pull ups I guess.*laughs*

 

Kevin Bull: [00:44:07] Thank You guys are having me I really appreciate it.

 

Dre: [00:44:09] It is honor having your honor having you on.

 

Chris: [00:44:11] Well you can find us @5oclockhustle on Instagram and 5 O'Clock Hustle on anything, 5oclockhustle.com with the number 5.

 

Kevin Bull: [00:44:18] Every time it's going to be five o'clock now.

 

Chris: [00:44:26] Thanks for listening everyone. If you want to asking questions you can do it in the comments on our web page.