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

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.


0:00 | Tim Kennedy Clips
1:16 | London Real Introduction
2:10 | Brian Rose introduces Tim Kennedy
3:40 | Brian askes Tim Kennedy what he makes of the last four months
7:00 | Tim Kennedy talks about the tenets of Sheepdog Response
11:06 | Brian and Tim talk about overcoming fear
20:34 | Tim talks about his Grandfather
24:00 | Tim Kennedy talks about training in the special forces
27:42 | Tim talks about fear and fighting the Taliban
31:02 | Tim Kennedy discusses overpressure sickness and what it was like to fight in a three day gunfight in Afghanistan
39:00 | Tim Kennedy talks about PTSD and how his lifestyle helps him with trauma
46:00 | Tim Kennedy discusses the day when he had to fight his whole team
55:00 | Tim Kennedy discusses his thoughts about defunding the police and his love for humans
1:06:45 | Tim discusses social media trolls
1:11:30 | Tim Kennedy talks about the Russian and Chinese influence in current U.S. politics
1:18:13 | Tim Kennedy discusses the Chinese government forcefully sterilizing Uighur women
1:23:30 | Brian Rose and Tim Kennedy talk about the freedom of speech
1:32:00 | Tim Kennedy discusses cancel culture
1:34:03 | Tim Kennedy talks about the importance of July 4th to him
1:39:00 | Tim talks about fighting and if he misses the UFC
1:44:13 | Tim discusses the best and worst day of his life
1:52:38 | Tim talks about the best advice he ever was given
1:53:24 | Tim’s final thoughts and Brian sums up


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