Joseph Coker is a true renaissance man. He is a comedian and podcast/radio host based in Charleston, SC. He’s also a musician, jiu-jitsu instructor, and entrepreneur.

In his early twenties, Joseph was married, living in Europe, and working for a church. Life felt stable, but it soon turned chaotic. After losing his brother and going through a divorce in the span of six months Joseph realized he needed to make some big life changes. He sat down, evaluated his life, and set goals for what he wanted to accomplish.

Now, he’s built a successful jiu-jitsu business, is headlining comedy shows, will soon be releasing a music EP, and hosts a podcast.

Find out how Joseph bounced back from adversity, become an efficient learner in so many different disciplines.

Covered in this episode:

  • Joseph’s early career plans
  • The impact of the renaissance man ideal
  • Anxiety about becoming a jack of all trades, but master of none
  • Moving to Europe, and then returning after a series of challenging events
  • How he built his jiu-jitsu teaching business from cold calling schools to find students a few years ago to turning away kids today
  • How he started doing stand-up comedy
  • Joseph’s comedy writing process
  • How to engage the crowd at a comedy show
  • The process of writing music
  • The cliche of the suffering artist
  • Good songwriting is about empathy
  • How he found a great producer for his new EP
  • Two songs from Joseph’s upcoming EP: Red Flag and Pompei
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Meet the hosts

I'm an entrepreneur, thinker, and communicator dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. I'm the founder and CEO of Praxis, an intensive ten-month program combining real world business experience with the best of online education for those who want more than college.


  • Is a rate of change for life on Earth rising relative to linear time seen as days, years, etc.?  Maybe eons ago, the planet’s geology was morphing gradually, new life forms were born, and many vanished as biology adapted and grew more complex.  As in markets, there’s creative destruction in natural order.  Evidence may suggest far more total change of this type over any 100M years than 1M, the way of life for single creatures remaining static over lifespans.  A T-Rex’s experience was very similar to its great-great-great-grandparents’. We enter. In a tiny cosmic epoch, caves, camels, and copper become castles, cars, and crypto-currency.  How? Evolve intellectually, gather data, technologically manipulate resources, and advance new ideas.  Ownership is an idea, emanating not from aspects inherent to the physical realm, but mental notions generated through socialization.  If I have undisputed claim of a tomato I grew, none seeking to take it from me, and then I willfully hand it to you, making clear with language, spoken, written, or elsewise, that I give you all rights to it, and you accept, the food doesn’t glow and bind to your soul.  It’s a thing in a spot.  To decipher property, let’s seek an origin. As nomads, land isn’t scarce.  With spare space and few of us, tribes who meet are safest following certain rules of engagement.  Trade and division of labor being productive, our best route is always alliance.  Hostile others are hazards to avoid or exploit.  If they’re strong, fighting is a dangerous last resort for defense only.  If they’re weak and won’t join forces, we can leave or loot.  Threatened by powerful foes, resource maximization is crucial for tribe-family survival.  We weigh estimated costs of war against expected spoils, and take risks. Cultivating voluntary relationships helps markets flourish, and we’ve no use for those who would do us harm or isolate us economically.  An attack against person or property of a member of ours diminishes our ability to thrive, as we’re all competitors for finite stuff.  This style of liberation from the state of nature, incorporates property rights emanating from what the group considers its own, within which individual property rights are established and maintained by common-law for the betterment of all. Are there parallel processes at work?  The whole claims what any single part wants, and parts make use of whatever the whole cedes.  Is this a form of democratic self-governance?

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  • I wanted to bring to this community’s attention the recent documentary “Can We Take a Joke?”, directed by Ted Balaker, one of the founders of Reason TV.  Through the lens of stand-up comedy, it explores how outrage culture and political correctness are eroding the space for free and outrageous expression. I was honored to compose the score for this documentary along with my writing partner Ryan Rapsys.  (please check out our new website The film premiered at Doc NYC in November and I’m sure it will be available for viewing in the near future. I’ll make sure to post when it becomes available for public consumption.

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