Hurry Up and Fail — Tim Kennedy

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“Everything you want is on the far side of hard work.”
– Tim Kennedy

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Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) is a former UFC middleweight contender who simultaneously served in the US Army as a Green Beret sniper and had tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He is a three-time winner of the Modern Army Combatives tournament, a grueling three-day event that tests mixed martial arts skills among other things. Tim is now a member of the Special Forces wing of the Texas National Guard.

In his spare time, Tim heads up Sheepdog Response, an organization that trains civilians in self-defense and counter-terrorism skills, and Ranger Up, a military-themed clothing line. He’s shared his martial arts and military expertise on several television shows, including the Spike TV series Deadliest Warrior, Hunting Hitler on the History Channel, and in the 2016 indie film Range 15. Tim is currently involved in an unscripted series from Discovery called Hard to Kill. Enjoy!


Want to hear another inspiring conversation? Listen to this episode with Terry Crews, in which we discuss his workout and diet routine, overcoming failure, discovering happiness, and much much more. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):

Terry Crews — How to Have, Do, and Be All You Want


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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with Tim Kennedy:

Website | Sheepdog Response | Ranger Up | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Show Notes

  • Why does Tim hate sports jiu-jitsu? [06:28]
  • How does “hurry up and fail” play into Tim’s training? [10:19]
  • When he’s not enjoying the bleachy clean facilities at Gracie Humaita Austin, Tim sometimes attacks flaming boats in poop water with tomahawks. [12:56]
  • Tim talks about his new project, Discovery Channel’s Hard to Kill. [15:36]
  • A PSA from Tim for American crane operators everywhere. [16:10]
  • Tim’s “hurry up and fail” training mantra changes when competing against world-class fighters like Roger Gracie. [17:51]
  • Fighters past or present who impress Tim. [23:36]
  • What psychological advantages does Tim bring to a fight — in life or in battle — and how did he develop them? [26:30]
  • How did Tim get involved in military life? [30:28]
  • What did the people around Tim think of his decision to join the military? [33:23]
  • What did Tim have to do to get into Special Forces once he enlisted? [34:36]
  • Why do Special Forces seek out “the grey man” in the group during the qualification course? [37:50]
  • What goes on at SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) school — especially if you’re not the grey man? [39:44]
  • Why did Tim compete in the IFL six days after graduating from ranger school? [45:16]
  • Tim describes the Modern Army Combatives tournament. [46:09]]
  • On testing the spirit of the fight and checking his ego on deployment during the hunt for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. [49:51]
  • Tim describes his IFL fight with Dante Rivera. [55:32]
  • Tim talks about his walkout music selections. [56:54]
  • How would Tim encourage an average listener to become harder to kill? [58:47]
  • What might help an urban dweller start learning the basics of survival? [1:03:06]
  • What is Tim’s emotional state while testing his situational awareness in a public place? [1:07:36]
  • Why did Tim recently re-enlist in the military? [1:11:18]
  • How does Tim explain this decision to his kids? [1:15:06]
  • How does Tim process risk? [1:17:23]
  • What is Tim’s contingency plan if something goes awry? [1:18:49]
  • What would Tim’s billboard say? [1:20:08]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:22:09]

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