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Tim Kennedy - Hard To Kill: How To Fight For Freedom & Not Become A Slave To The System


Retired American Mixed Martial Artist

Timothy Kennedy grew up in San Luis Obispo, California. Kennedy’s father enrolled Tim and his brother in shooting schools, boxing lessons, wrestling teams, and jiu jitsu classes. Tim Kennedy attended Eagle Academy private high school, graduating in 1998.

He then attended Columbia College of Missouri earning a BA in Criminal Justice in 2002. Kennedy began competing in sanctioned mixed martial arts fights while still in college, but after graduation he joined the United States Army, enlisting in the elite Special Forces in 2004.

However, he continued to compete in MMA while serving as a Green Beret. When the Army instituted a service-wide Combatives (hand-to-hand fighting) tournament in 2005, Kennedy entered and won the tournament in the light heavyweight division. He achieved this goal three years in a row.

In 2007, he completed Ranger School and was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group, where he served on Operational Detachment Alphas. During this time he was also a sniper, sniper instructor, the principal combatives instructor for C Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group.

Kennedy deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom multiple times. Among Kennedy’s multiple awards are the Army’s Bronze Star Medal with V device, which was awarded for valor under fire.

Kennedy began training at Dokan School of Martial Arts in Atascadero, California under Terry Kelly, and Barry Smith.

He began his MMA training in 1999, training with Anita Baker, Adan S, Chuck Liddell, Jake Shields, Gan McGee, and John Hackleman at The Pit in San Luis Obispo.

Kennedy first started fighting in 1996 and had 31 amateur fights, amassing a record of 30-1 before his first professional fight in 2001.

In 2003 he entered and won a one-night tournament at Extreme Challenge 50, winning all three of his fights. In 2004 he joined the Army. Kennedy only fought once in 2006. He then fought for the now defunct International Fight League in 2007, and did not fight in 2008 due to Army deployments overseas. During this time he wrote a three part series of “Letters from a Foreign Land” that chronicled his time in combat.


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