London Real: Tim Kennedy Interview Notes

“All comes down to preparation.”

Tim Kennedy (@timkennedymma) is a member of the United States Special Forces Green Beret, Entrepreneur, and former professional MMA Fighter. In the military, he served overseas in the Iraq War, War in Afghanistan, and Operation Juniper Shield. He is the founder of Sheepdog Response, a training system to equip good people with the skills to respond effectively to violence. He was one of the top fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) retiring in 2017.

Tim Kennedy talks about Sheepdog Response, good times and soft people, Military lessons, Social Media, Freedom of Speech, UFC, and more.

Enjoy the takeaways of the conversation drafted concisely in this London Real Tim Kennedy Interview Notes.

Key Takeaways

  • The four A’s drilled in the Sheepdog Response course are Awareness, Assessment, Action, and Analysis.
  • All Sheepdog Response instructors are professionals having served for the country or professionals in combat sports.
  • Train more and prepare more to combat fear.
  • We are living in unprecedented good times which has made people soft, according to Tim Kennedy.
  • In the military, Tim Kennedy learned the importance of teamwork as his ego was broken down.
  • Tim Kennedy wants to be the hardest person anybody tries to kill.
  • The easy solution is not good for the long term.
  • Gen-Z and Millennials are smart people but they need to learn the importance of hard work.
  • Make rational and logical decisions and not decisions based on fear.
  • Information on social media is manipulated by countries like Russia and China. Stay united since the real enemy is outside.
  • Tim Kennedy believes in the Freedom of Speech. He wants to hear other people’s opinions even if they are against his beliefs. He is against Social Media canceling out people based on their views.
  • Tim Kennedy says that he could not selfishly continue to go on and fight for titles in the UFC because too many things were dependent on him. Hence, he retired.
  • He is scared of not preparing or training enough that he is going to fail.

Tim Kennedy Quotes

  • “All comes down to preparation.”
  • “Anything done out of fear is usually not going to be a very rational thing.”
  • “The more training and more preparation you do, the less fear you have.”
  • “Everything I’ve ever wanted is always on the far side of hard work.”
  • “Nothing heals regret and pain like sweat and work.”
  • “Anybody can be defeated when they are divided.”
  • “Freedom of speech is everything.”
  • “I’m scared of not preparing or training enough that I’m going to fail.”

Sheepdog Response

Tim Kennedy is the founder of Sheepdog Response, a training system giving good people the tools to respond effectively to violence.

  • The four A’s of the Sheepdog Response course are Awareness, Assessment, Action, and Analysis.
  • All the instructors of the course are military professionals or first responders or professional combat sportsmen.
  • Master the basics. A person who is a master of the basics is difficult to deal with.
  • Train more and prepare more to combat fear.

Good Times Soft People; Hard Times Tough People

Good times give rise to soft people, who create hard times which gives rise to tough people, who create good times which gives rise to soft people, and the cycle continues.

  • We are living in unprecedented good times, according to Tim Kennedy.
  • For Tim Kennedy, the most valuable things in his life have come the hard way.
  • His Grandfather saw the Great Depression and was a World War 2 veteran who always worked hard and set an example for him.
  • It is important for parents to show their kids how things are done because kids observe and learn from their surroundings.

Military Lessons

Tim Kennedy was a Top 10 fighter in the world when he went into the United States Army. He learned the importance of teamwork and no one man is more important than the team.

  • His ego was broken down and he learned the lesson that things being done are for the person next to him and not for himself.
  • He experienced fear on his overseas deployment to Afghanistan when he saw the Taliban run from tree lines 10 feet away from him while he was holding a wounded person on his shoulder and was an open target.
  • Training enables rational thinking sidelining the emotional gravity of the situation.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be dealt with through sweat and work.
  • The easy solution will not work in the long term.
  • A routine of hard training, a clean diet, and sound sleep can help the military personnel with PTSD who can then vent out their feelings to someone.
  • Tim Kennedy was beaten up when he gloved up and went against 12 of his teammates one by one. While he went through eight of them, he was beaten up by the last four. Tim Kennedy says that he was humbled and his ego taken off. He realized the importance of teamwork because was a hardheaded egomaniac earlier due to his capabilities and credentials.

Social Media Perpetrators

Tim Kennedy is against the division happening in social media carried out by a few anti-social elements. He wants people to make decisions logically and not out of fear.

  • Good solutions to problems can be arrived at through rational thinking.
  • Defunding the police due to sentiments against them on racism might not be a good decision. Tim is in view of more training and support for police officers.
  • Tim Kennedy is unanimously against bad things and notes that countries like Russia and China have been involved in manipulating social media to cause division in America.
  • Stop fighting internally and understand that the enemy is outside.
  • Do not believe what you see on digital media. Tim wants people to travel with him and see what happens around the world first hand.

Freedom of Speech

Tim Kennedy says that Freedom of Speech is everything. He wants to hear his opponent’s point of view rather than shutting them off.

  • News online is fabricated clickbait to elicit a visceral emotional response based on fear.
  • He is against the Cancel Culture and Social Media giants curating feeds to support what they believe.
  • Limiting how people talk will never go well.
  • We have to agree that it is important to hear other people even if what they say is wrong.
  • The constitutional ideas on which America stands can be owned by anyone.

UFC Experience

Tim Kennedy says that he decided to quit UFC because many things were dependent on him.

  • He couldn’t keep being selfish and sacrifice things to become a World Champion.
  • On the infamous Stool Gate controversy, Tim says that Romero acted like he didn’t understand English inside the cage but spoke to him in English backstage.
  • He appreciates Michael Bisping’s exploits in the octagon and says that he is a fighter’s fighter. But, he doesn’t see eye-to-eye with him.

Other Notes

  • Tim Kennedy hit rock bottom when he realized he might have AIDS. That combined with all the hard moments during the war has given him an appreciation for the good times.
  • He is scared of not preparing or training hard that he is going to fail.
  • Tim Kennedy can braid hair and can cook.
  • Tim Kennedy wants people to believe in each other and says that if there is a belief, there is always a chance.

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