Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 5: Tim Kennedy

Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 5: Tim Kennedy

Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a new podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with disrupters and high performers in all walks of life. In our fifth episode, we talked to Tim Kennedy, a former mixed martial artist who’s currently assigned to the Texas National Guard’s Special Operations Detachment.

In this episode, Kennedy talks about his life before the military; why he turned to drugs, violence, and destruction to cope with grief (and how he came out on the other side); and his foray in the UFC.

Listen to the full episode above (scroll down for the transcript) and see more from this series below.

This interview was recorded in front of a live audience at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in Austin, Texas. The following transcript has not been edited.

Mike Sarraille: Welcome to the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast. I’m your host, Mike Sarraille. On the Everyday Warrior Podcast, we seek out in-depth conversations from a multitude of industries or professions to discuss their failures, darkest moments, and of course their time tested principles or positive habits that have led them to success so that you and I may learn from them and accelerate our own journeys to attain success as well.

Since I personally retired from the military in 2018, I’ve done a lot of self reflection and come to realize that the most lethal warriors I served with were not the dudes who would tell you how many deployments they have, how many kills they have, or even how many medals they have on their chest. They were empathetic, they were kind, and they were respectful.

Tim Kennedy, our guest for today, represents these qualities in abundance. Tim has had an extraordinary life. Aside from being a Master Sergeant in the US Army Green Berets, Tim was a world ranked professional MMA fighter. He’s a highly successful entrepreneur and now an innovative, or I should probably say disruptive school founder and headmaster. This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in Austin, Texas. And without further ado, here’s my conversation with Tim Kennedy.

Well guys, again, Tim Kennedy, thank you for joining us. We’re going to dive right in, man. We’ve got a lot to talk about. I think this is going to be more conversational, this is going to be a lot of stories.

Tim Kennedy: Or hang out at the bar and just going back 20 years and be like, oh man, connection. Crazy.

Mike Sarraille: So let’s start for the listeners who, I mean, you’re a man that doesn’t need to be introduced, but they probably don’t know your life story, your background coming up. Why don’t you give us that?

Tim Kennedy: Oh man. Incredibly blessed to be born to two amazing parents that love me, which is more than anybody can ever ask for. I had a father that was a, I mean, still is a renowned narcotics officer during his time stealing planes full of cocaine from Pablo Escobar and what was made normal watching how to cook meth in a show taking place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My dad was one of the first to figure out how chemically to make meth so he could put in place some policies to prevent how much drugs you could buy over the counter, and running smurfs to go steal stuff to make meth. Those were all policies that were really I think could be attributed to my father. My mom, an incredible kind woman that was fierce. Like she loved.

Mike Sarraille: So you feared your mom.

Tim Kennedy: Oh my. I still fear—

Mike Sarraille: More than your dad.

Tim Kennedy: Yes. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: That’s an Irish family.

Tim Kennedy: A six foot two, six foot 3, 250 pound narcotics officer, Olympic level athlete. Ah, he’s a puppy dog compared to my mom. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: So did you inherit your athletic ability from your dad?

Tim Kennedy: I’m the runt to tell you the truth. My athletic ability, as far as like the Kennedy family goes is they’re ashamed of me. They’re like, “Oh, you fought for the world title twice, but you lost so do they call you world champion or just two time loser?” So in the pedigree of athlete in my family is, I’m not being humble here, I am the shortest, I am the shortest and least athletic. I have hair on my legs. They all look like Norwegian gods. And then there’s like the short runt, Tim, that they used to occasionally throw a bone of leftovers too.

Mike Sarraille: It’s amazing when you surround yourself with people how high of a bar they hold. And it sounds like the Kennedy family holds a high bar.

Tim Kennedy: Yes.

Mike Sarraille: It was your brother that sort of pushed you into combatives and self-defense, is that right?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. Back to being the small runt of the family, my brother early freshman year in high school, he’s six foot, 200 something pounds, all his friends are giants, they’re all athletes. And then there was a game that was, “Hey, let’s pick up Tim and throw him in the pool.” And that game lasted until they couldn’t pick me up. And then it was like, then they couldn’t get me in the pool. And then it was, “Oh, we’re taking Chris to the hospital because he tried to get Tim in the pool.” And then it was “Okay, we’re going to take Jordan, Chris, Nick, and Kevin to the hospital because they tried to get them in the pool.” So at some point they’re like, we’re at a point of diminished returns, let’s just not play with that crazy coked out kid and we’ll just leave him the corner as the hairy retard.

Mike Sarraille: So you grew up in SLO, San Luis Obispo.

Tim Kennedy: Yep. Yeah. I grew up in Atascadero, I was born in San Luis Obispo in the general hospital while they used to do deliveries, which they don’t even do anymore. But born in San Luis Obispo, raised in Atascadero in Cambria.

Mike Sarraille: In grammar school, were you playing traditional sports, basketball, soccer?

Tim Kennedy: No. Martial arts. I started young.

Mike Sarraille: What was the first martial arts?

Tim Kennedy: The first one was Shotokan karate. Then it was TaeKwonDo and then it was…

Mike Sarraille: Because Karate Kid. Let’s be honest, nobody knew what-

Tim Kennedy: Still got it.

Mike Sarraille: … nobody knew what jujitsu was back then.

Tim Kennedy: It didn’t exist.

Mike Sarraille: Because UFC hadn’t even… Yes.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. When I finally started get into jujitsu, the closest I could get was Japanese jujitsu called hakkoryu jujitsu and tragically my two sensei’s have both passed, one of them horrifically defending his family. He was actually killed by the sword that he was given when he received his black belt when he was fighting a home invader. He got the guy out and transpired from blood loss after saving his family’s life. Pretty incredible.

Mike Sarraille: California?

Tim Kennedy: California. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Yeah. Well, as a California native, that sort of pisses me off.

Tim Kennedy: But I would have to drive to Santa Barbara to train with a purple belt. I would drive two and a half hours to go find a purple. That was the closest belted, real Brazilian jujitsu guy at that time was two and a half hours away.

Mike Sarraille: You weren’t making that drive every day.

Tim Kennedy: Not every day, but it would be like every couple months, we’d have to go and check in and see how we’re doing and he couldn’t even belt us. That was just to see the cross pollination of grappling, where we’re at. So I was wrestling, I was doing by this time Hawaiian Kempo and then Japanese jujitsu. You still had to go back to the source and try and get good.

Mike Sarraille: Was that how sparse it was back then with jujitsu?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. With jujitsu.

Mike Sarraille: So what point did you join The Pit with Chuck Liddell?

Tim Kennedy: Oh man. You’re just going to bring up all these humiliating stories.

Mike Sarraille: Of course. That’s the point of it. We want vulnerability on this podcast.

Tim Kennedy: You’re going to get it. So I’m in Atascadero at Docan jujitsu, which is the Japanese jujitsu school and in walks Jake shields and Chuck Liddell. And they just saw jujitsu in a place that was 15 minutes away from San Luis Obispo like, “Hey, let’s go check this place out. I hear they spar.” And so they just came in. I was the best grappler in the room and I felt like… A child isn’t even fair. I was the useless bag of blood that they were just mopping the floor with, with ease. The hardest part was just moving my body and I had no control of it.

Mike Sarraille: Indeed. How old were you when you made that leap into The Pit?

Tim Kennedy: I was 17. 16, 17.

Mike Sarraille: 17.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: And already had a wrestling background.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. Wrestling, jujitsu and traditional martial arts background.

Mike Sarraille: Did you find yourself ill-prepared when you stepped in with these guys?

Tim Kennedy: Yes. Yeah. It was horrific. At first, you have to have, to the ladies out here, you just can’t understand this. You have to have as a 16 year old testosterone that is being pumped from your brain and then magnified by your stupid balls to understand. Like there’s a degree of invincibility that you’re like, “I can do anything.” And then when somebody comes in, your brain can’t even compute that you can’t do it. When Chuck and Jake are murdering me, I was like, “Well, this doesn’t make sense. There’s something wrong here in the calculus of why I can’t deal with these other two humans. I’m obviously a more elite athlete. I’m clearly a better jujitsu practitioner.” And that is like the 16 year old invincible brain being like, literally I could not understand how I could not beat them. And even at the end after they’ve just smashed me for 60 minutes, I’m still sitting there like, “Well, that was weird.” Like still not making sense that they’re just better. They’re more trained. They’re more practiced. They’re more rehearsed. They’re better conditioned. They’re better athletes.

Mike Sarraille: You said The Pit is just renowned, a producer of champions such as yourself.

Tim Kennedy: Almost champion.

Mike Sarraille: Well, you were world class. You’re champion to me. The pedigree that it attracted, that just had to be such a high bar. Was every single day, and I’m assuming you started attending every single day at some point?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Was it two to three hours? How long were you there just getting after it?

Tim Kennedy: So John Hackleman, the kind of founder Hawaiian Kempo of Arroyo Grande, California, we had The Pit at his house, which was the octagon and the hill wheelbarrow sledgehammers. If you follow John Hackleman, you know about this. If you train with him, it’s horrible. We have the dunes in Pismo. We have slow kickboxing in San Luis Obispo, and we have the Hawaiian Kempo school, The Pit in Arroyo Grande. Those that was kind of like the circle of places that you would train at when you’re in camp.

Tim Kennedy: And everybody from the entire nation would come there at the time. Randy Couture, Matt Lindland, Tito Ortiz, everyone that is the who’s, who would come to The Pit to train. I was hanging out with Randy like two weeks ago and I’m like, “Do you remember rolling with a 17 year old shaved head kid?” And I went over and I was like giving it to Matt Lindland a little bit. And you commented like, “Who is that kid?” And I remember that. And he’s like, “Man, I do remember.” Like, “That was me, man. Man, that was me. That was me.” And he’s like, “That was…” Thinking back that far 20 years, 25 years, Randy Couture was in The Pit smashing me, just so we’re super clear, absolutely smashing me. And that was normal was just to have that level of guys come through.

Mike Sarraille: Funny story about SLO, you probably don’t know this, I can’t say it’s a good mark for the SEAL teams, but we were banned from San Luis Obispo where we used to train. And I can’t remember, there’s a military base where we used to do special reconnaissance training.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. It’s called Camp San Luis.

Mike Sarraille: Okay. There you go.

Tim Kennedy: That’s where they were and that’s where your buddies were.

Mike Sarraille: Well, it sounds like you know this story like it’s coming, so I’ll tell it for the listeners. So of course when training was done on a Friday night, you get the weekend sometimes, when you’re not in the field during the weekend, and a SEAL platoon went into SLO and sometimes SEAL platoons or any ODA team sort of when you roll in with 20 people deep, you have this false sense of we own this place. Well apparently there was a lot of members from The Pit there.

Tim Kennedy: That’s right.

Mike Sarraille: And it turned into a fight that broke out into the street. And I actually knew the platoon commander at the time. He was telling me the story and he is like, “Mike, I was on the concrete, my arms were stiff and I was knocked out cold.” And pretty much every SEAL had his ass beat. And we were banned by the SEAL leadership from going to SLO.

Tim Kennedy: Which is a bummer because it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Mike Sarraille: Absolutely.

Tim Kennedy: The diving’s amazing, Camp San Luis has a bunch of infrastructure for force on force. It’s a great place. But I have to explain the street. So you have the library.

Mike Sarraille: Wait, so you were there?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, I was there. Yeah. So I was like a 19 year old bouncer at the time. And so you have the library, which is the bar that I would bar back and just essentially be a slave to Eric, whatever he told me to do. I wasn’t allowed to be in the bar because I wasn’t over 21 so I just had to work in the back and work in the trash. Yeah, so I just did trash and bar backing. And then next door to that was the Slow Brewery, across the street was the Frog and Peach Club. So the worst thing the SEALS could have ever done when they were getting kicked out of the library was to take the fight into the street because now they’re surrounded like Custer with not just the staff from the library, which were all UFC and pride fighters, but also Slow Brew and the Frog and Peach who were also all pride and UFC fighters.

Tim Kennedy: So when the fight went into the street and of course it was like Eric [inaudible 00:12:35] and Chuck Liddell and Dan McGee and Scott Adams, and a 19 year old Tim Kennedy and a Scott “Lights Out” Lighty and a Cruz Gomez, I’m naming all these names, because these are all who’s who’s in the world of fighting. Dan went on to fight for the UFC heavyweight championship. He fought for the pride championship. Obviously Chuck “Iceman” Liddell, UFC light heavyweight champion, Scott Adams undefeated in the UFC, retired after like eight fights. Eric [inaudible 00:13:01], by far the best fighter out of the whole entire group. I think he only had like 10 fights. He also retired at 10 and 0. Glover Teixeira, the current UFC light heavyweight champion. All of those people were here and then in the center were the SEALS surrounded by the best fighters on the planet. So there’s a bunch of great-

Mike Sarraille: But they’re Navy SEALS, dude.

Tim Kennedy: I know. Navy SEALS. There’s a bunch of really cool takeaways.

Mike Sarraille: Oh yeah, there are.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. Right now everywhere that I go, I never drink when I’m working, when I’m deployed, when I’m training, this is for one good reason. Because if you look back at special operations, almost every single negative event, almost every single one of them, with very few exceptions, these extraordinary outliers, but the bell curve, 95, 99% involve alcohol.

Mike Sarraille: My wife’s pointing at me like, “Hey, are you listening right now” in the audience. Yes I am, thank you.

Tim Kennedy: And in that bell curve are some horrific things because you have very, very skilled trained people that live extraordinary lives. And then the little bit of their brain that gives them a moment to pause is inhibited by alcohol. And it’s really the most dangerous group on the planet, special operations to inhibit their decision making process. So as a practice, I always say about Rangers and SEALS and Green Berets, like a stud is going to stud. So you have to know that and then put in parameters to control where they’re going to go. The guys that I work with, I always want us keep us occupied because idle hands are so dangerous when it comes to guys like us.

Mike Sarraille: Idle hands do the devil’s work.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Yeah. Well it’s even know your surroundings. And if you don’t, don’t make assumptions that you’re the toughest guy in the room. So I remember a story, the day we graduated BUD/S, we still had to report in and I don’t remember why the next morning on a Saturday at like 11. And one of the kids has just two raccoon eyes. He had been just knocked out. Two black eyes. And I looked at him and I’m like, “Hey man, what happened?” He’s like, “Yeah, I got in a fight last night.” And I’m like, “At what point did graduating from BUD/S equate to a black belt in jujitsu?” He’s like, “Yeah, I wasn’t thinking well.” And of course alcohol was involved. But special operations is very good at what they do. They’re the Jack of all trades. They’re not a world class fighter unless they’ve dedicated their life to the sport like you have. Some of them are very good fighters, decent fighters.

Tim Kennedy: A ton of them are.

Mike Sarraille: But it’s hard to be active duty on special operations and truly perfect that craft while civilians are doing it four or five, six, seven hours a day.

Tim Kennedy: Yep. Yeah. It’s impossible. To be at the peak of the sport and we have to do so much like land navigation, free fall, qualified and open bolts and our rifles and our pistols, like movement linkups, planning, like all the stuff that we have to know to include how to be violent, but every single one of those things are perishable skills. And depending on what we’re going to go and do, we always shape our training to go and do that thing that we’re going to go and do. Yes, we keep a baseline. We keep that competency at a very, very high level, the most lethal on the planet, but we still have a pre-mission train up that assesses and proves, there’s like a proof of concept that we are able to go and do the thing that we say that we’re going to do. And that validation is part of that exercise that we have to do. Well, that just doesn’t happen when you walk into the street, you’re surrounded by the most elite fighters on the planet. Like had that SEAL team been given a pre-mission train up to go and train, they could’ve been in a fight, but they would’ve had the whereabouts to understand the operational environments and who would be there and what they needed to do to be successful there. Yeah. We just don’t have enough time to be the best at all of it.

Mike Sarraille: No. And you’re not intended to be the best. That’s the thing about special operations that people don’t understand. We’re not looking for the fastest runner. We’re not looking for the fastest swimmer, the strong man, the CrossFit champion. We’re looking for somebody who’s a Swiss Army knife that can do pretty much or have a competence at many different things. The other thing I take away from that, and we’re seeing a lot in society is this mob mentality. It’s amazing. And even within the SEAL teams, there’s a guy who just ran his mouth, but he ran his mouth because he knew he had 19 other guys behind his back. And the true measure of man is not if you can stand strong when you’ve got serious support, but can you stand strong when you’re by yourself? And I guarantee you, none of those guys would’ve run their mouths had they been by themselves.

Tim Kennedy: Here in Austin, not but two blocks from where we’re sitting right now, there’s a terrible shooting with a young man that worked out at Fort Hood. And he came down here as an Uber driver just trying to make some buck on the weekend. And that mob mentality came out and horrifically, somebody had to die because of it. I have a new podcast called About Violence and we dissect these things. And we look at, right now a ton of time is being spent on this mob mentality. There’s nothing more dangerous than three kids with skateboards surrounded by 40 of their friends. That is a very dangerous thing. And you’ve seen in Salt Lake City, Utah, where just a guy makes a wrong turn, he gets lost and now he’s sitting surrounded by a protest and they’re all screaming at him like he meant to be there. And the guy’s like “My Google Maps isn’t working.” And the next thing you know, that guy has to defend himself and fight for his life. So yeah, that mob mentality’s dangerous.

Mike Sarraille: Be humble, be kind.

Tim Kennedy: Always.

Mike Sarraille: There’s no reason to, well, no, there’s always a reason to fight if need be. But a lot of these altercations that you see are just…

Tim Kennedy: Those aren’t mutually exclusive things, like being humble and being kind, you can also be an absolute fucking savage. I can sit there and love my kids and look at my six year old son with his, he looks like he’s right out of The Last of the Mohicans, he’s got hair in the middle of his back, see his striations on his chest from playing lacrosse and hockey. The dude’s an absolute stud. I’m so proud of that guy. My beautiful teenage daughters in college and my beautiful wife, my beautiful two year old. And it would take a half a heartbeat for me to turn my back on them and kill everything in the room that was getting near them and be able to turn right back to them and embrace them with absolute compassion and love. It’s like, I think a lot of times there’s a misrepresentation of what the warrior looks like. And the most powerful warriors throughout history, the samurai, the Greeks, Spartans, like they’re sculptors, they’re philosophers, they’re lovers, they’re fathers, they’re brothers, they’re sisters, like they were such beautifully balanced humans, but man, they could fight.

Mike Sarraille: They were restrained until they needed to be. So I know you are your worst critic or at least just doing research on you for this podcast, you had some harsh words about yourself before 9/11 and I’m going to quote a self-serving narcissistic ethnocentric fucking piece of shit.

Tim Kennedy: That’s about right, yep.

Mike Sarraille: Yet you were a firefighter and EMT as a teenager. What was the feeling behind that comment, even though you were a high achiever at that or overachiever at that age?

Tim Kennedy: We could look at some of the best basketball and football players on the planet right now and very high achievers that hit their wives. They were just horrible humans. Just because you have a capability or a competency or a God given gift, that doesn’t make you a good human. And at the time, I had every opportunity to be a good human, a loving father, a loving mother, coming from a position where I could go to any school I wanted, as an athlete, I could literally do anything, but instead, I’m going and fighting bare knuckles in Mexico and I’m.

Tim Kennedy: Like I’m going and fighting bare knuckles in Mexico, and I’m knocking up multiple women, possibly contracting HIV. These or just like conscious decisions that were circumventing every opportunity for success, for an absolute self-serving ego.

Mike Sarraille: Let me ask this. Sebastian Junger wrote a great book called Tribe. Was that also a product of the people you surrounded yourself with at that time?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. I lost my best friend at 15, and that best friend was a great human. And all of our friends around that nucleus were great Christian, hard working, just good kids. And I wanted nothing to do with them. You know? I wanted like, “Where’s the nearest drug dealer, because that’s going to be my friend? Who’s the guy that can fight? Who’s the guy that has the fast car? Who wants to go and hop and throw eggs out of the car?” I wanted nothing to do with that purity. I wanted nothing to do with that innocence because innocence was lost. And so I was searching for ways to be destructive. I didn’t know how to cope. I didn’t know how to grieve yet, so a form of a dangerous adolescent disaster was practiced from 15 to, I mean, hell, 25?

Mike Sarraille: Did 9/11 change things for you? Because you enlisted shortly after that on the 18 XRAY program, which is a direct route after boot camp to Special Forces.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. There were a bunch of catalysts that became the genesis of the movement. It took 18 months after 9/11 for me to be in boots on ground. But on 9/11, I was in a line of a few thousand people in San Luis Obispo at the recruiter’s office next to the Vaughns, as I was trying to get to talk to any recruiter. I didn’t know anything.

Tim Kennedy: But a couple months before that, I was standing on the beach in Morro Bay, California with a couple of women pregnant, neither of which were the women that I was with. To a degree, I thought I had HIV, and crashed my motorcycle. Patriarch of the family, my grandpa, is dying. Every breath that he took with emphysema was one breath less than the prior breath. And I took all my clothes off. I looked out west to the fog, and I just started swimming west.  Growing up with an Olympic-level water polo player in the family, we can swim. Most of our corporal punishment involved a pool with gallons of water and stuff like that. Knowing what I can swim then, in the 45 minutes that I was out there, that’s two miles out. I’m two miles out from the beach and in the fog now. I can’t hear the waves. I can’t see the rock. Fog does really weird things to the brain and to sound. Isn’t it crazy?

Mike Sarraille: It’s almost vertigo. Loss of orientation.

Tim Kennedy: Totally. I mean, you know which way’s up, because I’m floating in water, so obviously water’s down, but that’s the only thing that you know. I don’t know north, east, south, west. The light is being refracted in different ways, and sound … What I think was a wave, was that a fog horn? You have no idea. Was that to the … I swear I heard it the left, but that time I thought I heard it the right. Had I rotated 180 degrees in the time that thing just went off? That’s all going on in your brain in the real time. And then I heard slapping on the slide of a rock or a boat, and then this low grumbling as a little Coast Guard cutter cruised up next to me.

Mike Sarraille: No kidding.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. This old woman … From what they say. This is hearsay because it was told to me by the captain of the boat. His legs were just hanging off the side of the boat. I’m butt-ass naked in the water. I’ve been swimming for 45 minutes. And he’s like, “Hey, son, what are you doing down there?” I’m like, “Well, I’m swimming,” still a cocky little shit. And he’s like, “I could see that.” He’s like, “So, what’s going on?”  So I kind of download to him what was happening in my life. He’s like, “I was going to offer you to pull you out of the water, but in truth, I’m just going to leave you in the drink. But I’m going to ask you one time, do you want to come on this boat, or do you want to stay in the water?” And I’m just treading water. What a badass, right? What an amazing human to be able to sit there and understand how to talk to such a disaster of a human, and to be able to get through the layers of bullshit to connect.

Mike Sarraille: He saw you drowning.

Tim Kennedy: Yes, I was drowning. He’s like, “So what do you want?” I’m like, “Man, this water’s cold.” He leans up … “Yeah, I see that. Yeah.”

Mike Sarraille: That’s no hit on the Kennedy family. It was cold water.

Tim Kennedy: No, no.

Mike Sarraille: Okay.

Tim Kennedy: Well, maybe a little bit of both. But I finally get up on that boat, and they throw one of those 100% wool navy blankets. You know those things?

Mike Sarraille: Oh yeah.

Tim Kennedy: Man, those don’t feel good.

Mike Sarraille: Those itch. Yeah.

Tim Kennedy: They itch. And when your skin is so cold, it felt like a million needles, and nothing felt better. I wish there was a little, little real steel needles being jabbed in my skin because I was alive and I felt pain. That was kind of the beginning of what was going to be some … for the first time, making choices that were going to change the trajectory to not selfishness and not being an ethnocentric, narcissistic piece of shit. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Well, you’ve definitely turned it around.

Tim Kennedy: Turning still.

Mike Sarraille: And we all are. We all are. The common thread amongst all the guys we served with within special operations, and I’m done with talking about Green Berets and SEALs and MARSOC and AFSOC guys. They’re just special operations studs in all the communities. And then there’s-

Tim Kennedy: I love you guys, though, by the way. What a great group they are.

Mike Sarraille: There’s also guys that didn’t perform in special operations, but they all had this healthy disrespect for authority, this wild side, which you have to to do that job.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: There’s no way. I mean, you’re asking young men to go forward and kill people on a repetitive deployment schedule. Especially with Global War on Terror, there’s very few humans that are cut out for that. Physically, I don’t care about it. It’s the mental. It’s the mental toughness of that. You make it through the SFAS, Special Forces Assessment Selection. You make it through the Q Course, and then which group did you report into?

Tim Kennedy: I went 7th Group, and-

Mike Sarraille: At Bragg at the time?

Tim Kennedy: At Bragg, yep.

Mike Sarraille: Now they’re in Florida? Okay.

Tim Kennedy: Yep. They had just come from Puerto Rico. I missed that move by just a few months. They had recently arrived to Fort Bragg. During my time in the Q Course, I was a professional fighter when I enlisted, I was top 10 in the world when I enlisted, and a Delta Force, now Team Sergeant and Special Forces John McPhee, John Shrek McPhee-

Mike Sarraille: Yes.

Tim Kennedy: Man, what an amazing-

Mike Sarraille: Yeah.

Tim Kennedy: He was a leader, a really hard guy to work for, but a man that I respect.

Mike Sarraille: So you had a microscope on you?

Tim Kennedy: I did.

Mike Sarraille: So they’d probably give you a little more punishment than most.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, but all good. You know?

Mike Sarraille: Yeah. Professional.

Tim Kennedy: Yep. Hard but fair. And when I graduated, John had intervened. There’s a special operations unit, like a counterterrorism hostage rescue unit, within special operations, within Special Forces, specifically. At the time it was called the CIF. Now it’s called the CRF. They’ve just been moved again to yet another thing.

Mike Sarraille: Yeah, I heard.

Tim Kennedy: John had earmarked me to go to directly there. So when I graduated, I checked in, and I was trying to go to the first company that was deploying, because that’s what we want to do, right?

Mike Sarraille: Yes, absolutely.

Tim Kennedy: I was like, “How do I get on the first trip overseas?” And John was kind of sitting there waiting to usher me in to C37, which was the 7th Group, hostage rescue unit, and then go to Iraq with them.

Mike Sarraille: Did you hit SFARTAETC before that?

Tim Kennedy: Yep. Yep. Yep.

Mike Sarraille: Okay. Wow. So you were on a fast track?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, unreal fast track. A lot of questions about my career, like, “Wait, there’s no way that right at the Q Course you go to SFARTAETC.” You know? I didn’t have a say in it. I had John McPhee telling me what to do, and my sergeant major, Oquendo, that was like, “Hey, here’s where you’re going. This is …” and I was like, “You’re an E-5 out of the Q Course. You have no say in any of it.” That’s kind of the back story.

Mike Sarraille: Yeah, he’s legendary. And the fact that he sort of selected you as a mentee is pretty damn awesome. So you go to Iraq. In what year was that, and where were you?

Tim Kennedy: That was 2005, 2006.

Mike Sarraille: Bad years.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. Bad years unless you’re a 23, 24-year-old Green Beret that just wants to get in fights.

Mike Sarraille: So you loved it.

Tim Kennedy: Oh, I loved it. Again, how naïve and how selfish, how undeveloped of an operator … I wanted to be the first one in the door, even though I was the least experienced. I wanted to be the first in the gun file. I wanted to be … There’s a really embarrassing moment in the book that … We lost one of our helicopters. 160th had got shot up. So our aircraft, we had to flex and change our load plans. So John, the team sergeant, is like, “Okay, this little punk of a kid that’s six months in Special Forces, hey, you’re going to be our QRF.” And a good soldier would’ve gone and made sure the head space and timing was good, made sure all the fills and the crypto was set. That’s what a good Green Beret would’ve done. Instead, I was being a whiny little bitch, being like, “John, I’m the fastest, right? I’m the stud. I’m the one that should be on this. There’s no way. You’re making a bad decision. You need to put me on this helicopter.” He’s like, “We’ll talk about this later.” But that deployment, we were part of the Joint Special Operations Command that was hunting Zarqawi. And we were successful. We … We were support to the main element-

Mike Sarraille: That was June of 2006, right, I believe?

Tim Kennedy: That was.

Mike Sarraille: Okay. I remember that. I was in country.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. I was there in January, and we came home in August.

Mike Sarraille: Now, I know John had a combatives background, so were you guys training [inaudible 00:30:49]?

Tim Kennedy: Oh, we trained all the time.

Mike Sarraille: You and him?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. Well, the whole entire team. It was a team requirement. It was part of our PT schedule. So Monday was prep for range day and combatives and sometimes like a long ruck. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday were range days, whether it was sniper stuff, it was CQB, force on force, TTP practice. And then Friday was recover from the range. So Monday and Friday were bookends of real hard physical training, and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday were really, really hard range-focused days. That was kind of our weekly schedule.

Mike Sarraille: So you said when you came in, you were top 10 within your weight class in the world.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Did you feel like your skills degraded because now you have to focus on so many things? You can’t dedicate as much time to the combatives? I know you were passionate about the war. You believed in the cause.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Did your skills degrade during that time?

Tim Kennedy: So in truth, they did, but in my brain, I was still like the best in the world. Right?

Mike Sarraille: They didn’t … yeah.

Tim Kennedy: This is the invincibility and the cluelessness of young men.

Mike Sarraille: The Dunning-Kruger effect, if you know what that is.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. I mean, it’s a real thing.

Mike Sarraille: Yes.

Tim Kennedy: And it is a powerful thing. That was, of course, reinforced. I was not surrounded by elite-level athletes, so when I was in basic training, the Ranger Regiment drill sergeant had some of his … this entire company of hoping to be aspiring Green Berets. He brought in his little Ranger Regiment cronies, and they start talking smack to the littlest guy that were hoping to be SF, and luring, trying to elicit a physical response. I, of course, step up to that. I end up like beating the brakes off these three guys while the whole entire company is toes on line. I beat three young Rangers, not kindly, cement floor of course. That feeds the ego in a unhealthy way.

Tim Kennedy: And I get to the Q Course, and of course, I’m the best fighter there in this tiny little pool of not real … I hadn’t gone back to San Luis Obispo as the sport was just exploding. I’m just being left behind, but I think, in my brain, that I’m staying with them, but I was being left.

Mike Sarraille: And I know you don’t have regrets, but as you look back, do you feel like you maybe missed a window within the UFC?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Like Jake Shields and Chuck won titles, and while I was overseas watching them have the belt thrown around their waist, and those are peers. Those are my guys. And I know how I can do with them, and I knew where I belonged in the pecking order. And then watching people that I beat time and time again that go on to win titles, and I was like, “What? That guy’s a champion now? That dude? [inaudible 00:33:36] to mop the floor with his soul.”

Mike Sarraille: You had to feel wildly happy for him though, knowing that that was your old tribe.

Tim Kennedy: Oh, yeah. Yeah, so proud.

Mike Sarraille: So 2006, come back from that deployment. And you continue to deploy, but you probably start to get the bug, as you just said, as you’re watching guys that you know you’re better than start making it high up into the UFC?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. So I start moonlighting, for a lack of a better word.

Mike Sarraille: With the approval of the Army?

Tim Kennedy: Without the approval of the Army. So I would take a pass, which a pass is like a vacation leave form for like a three-day weekend, and I would fly on a Friday morning. And I would go weigh in on Fridays for a Saturday night fight. And I did that for about four years. I fought for the IFL. I fought for the ECC. I fought for a variety of these smaller organizations. Until I was main event on Fox, this had worked. Or nobody knew that this Green Beret out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as the title card pops up and it says, “Tim Kennedy, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, US Army Ranger.” And everybody in North Carolina is like, “There are no Rangers in North Carolina.” Right?

Mike Sarraille: And the media will always screw it up.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, they messed it up. They messed it up for me. So I-

Mike Sarraille: Backing up, you hadn’t informed the command, and that comes out on the media?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Mike Sarraille: So you’re called in pretty shortly after?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. Well, my leave ended on Sunday, so that meant that I had to be at work on Monday morning. So on Monday morning at call time for PT, you know, “Is Staff Sergeant Kennedy here?” And like, “Of course I’m here. My leave ended on Sunday.” I never really broke rules, but I just kind of like … So they’re like, “You need to go to USASOC to talk to the sergeant major.” I’m like-

Mike Sarraille: Oh, and so you skipped your battalion, your group, and went straight to USASOC, which for the listeners, is the United States Army Special Operations Command.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah … Special Operations Command. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: … which is the overarching command for all Army Special Operations units.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, that’s right. Yep.

Mike Sarraille: Wow, special treatment for a special guy.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. Well, everyone between me, my team sergeant, and up to USASOC CSM, they were all present for said meeting, because they also had all been notified that Tim Kennedy is not an Army Ranger. He was a Green Beret attached to a special operations unit within Special Forces, and he was just live main event on Fox, so that was fun.

Mike Sarraille: They stood you at attention and dressed you down?

Tim Kennedy: I mean, I’d had my ass chewed out before. This was more, truthfully, a honest strategic conversation of, “Can these things coexist? Can you be a main even pay-per-view, a main event Fox, world title challenger, level fighter and be part of a unit whose motto is the Quiet Professionals?” It was a rhetorical question.

Mike Sarraille: That’s a great dilemma.

Tim Kennedy: It’s a good problem to have and a problem, so that was a tough-

Mike Sarraille: So you basically forced them into a-

Tim Kennedy: I didn’t force them.

Mike Sarraille: They had to come up with, I guess, protocol for future-

Tim Kennedy: They did. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: … SF soldiers who wanted to engage in-

Tim Kennedy: Yep.

Mike Sarraille: Okay.

Tim Kennedy: A lot of great positive things came from that. There’s been a lot of athletes and video game guys that have been able to do things simultaneously, and-

Mike Sarraille: Are you referring to the Special Forces guy that was on the Army video game team?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Yeah. That’s great. That’s great.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. He even said it, like, I helped pave the way for them to be successful in that. But at the time, there was no road to be paved. It was catastrophic.

Mike Sarraille: From a commander standpoint, I couldn’t see any reason they looked at you and said, “Hey, well done, son. But now we’re going to get our pound of flesh a little bit, because you didn’t inform us, and you never let your command get surprised by anything. But, well played.”

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, nope, yeah.

Mike Sarraille: And they do it, too. They’re like, “How many kids, how many 18-year-olds are enlisting into the 18 XRAY program because of Tim alone?”

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, it was insane. What they were spending on marketing and recruiting efforts, like NASCAR, I could go out there and say one sentence, like, “Man, if you want to go bleed with brothers, I know some guys that you can come bleed with.”

Mike Sarraille: Absolutely.

Tim Kennedy: And they would come in droves … droves. Because I’m like a heart-on-the-sleeve type guy. There’s no shtick with me. You got transparency. You got real. You got honest. It’s like when they’d put a camera in front of me and a microphone in my face and ask me a question, they would get the truth.

Mike Sarraille: And again, what year was that, that you [inaudible 00:38:28] Fox?

Tim Kennedy: That was 2007.

Mike Sarraille: 2007. And you left active duty in 2009. Is that correct?

Tim Kennedy: Yep. End of 2009, 2010.

Mike Sarraille: Because you just couldn’t pass up this opportunity? You were climbing the ranks.

Tim Kennedy: Yep.

Mike Sarraille: Now the UFC’s calling.

Tim Kennedy: I’m back to rank number 10 in the world. The two organizations, or three organizations, they were Pride, Strikeforce, and the UFC. Those were the three large organizations. Pride was predominantly in Japan. Strikeforce was the number one competitor to the UFC. And both Pride and Strikeforce, the phone was ringing off the hook. I was undefeated in the IFL and had beaten really well known people.

Mike Sarraille: Dominated.

Tim Kennedy: And it was like, “What do we do with this guy?”

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah. And when you left active duty, did you move directly over to the Guard? Or did you take a break?

Tim Kennedy:
No, I moved … If you want to get super Army, this is the dumbest, lamest things ever, where they … Had they left me alone, I would’ve stayed an E-6, an E-7, an E-8, whatever-

Mike Sarraille: Active.

Tim Kennedy: … active. And I would’ve trained, and I would’ve done my job, and they would’ve just left me alone. And they would’ve paid me what an E-6, an E-7, an E-8 makes. Right? Pennies. Instead, they forced my hand, like, “These are mutually exclusive things. You can’t do them at the same time.” So I went to the National Guard. The National Guard put me on active duty recruiting orders. So I stayed active duty for another three years. So I stayed active from 2004 to 2014. And they paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars to recruit for them to do the exact same thing that I pretty much would’ve done for absolutely free just because I just wanted to fight, and I wanted to be part of the regiment. And I thought those two things could coexist. And they said that they couldn’t. But then when they forced it, I was like, “All right.”

Mike Sarraille: It’s that old-school mentality, even within special operations.

Tim Kennedy: Still there.

Mike Sarraille: It’s still there. I’d like to think we’re getting better. We’re getting smarter, that … Look at it this way. I guarantee you joined Special Forces because of some movie, or maybe you met a Special Forces soldier, and you’re like, “That guy is just squared away.”

Tim Kennedy: It’s two movies.

Mike Sarraille: Two movies.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Which were they?

Tim Kennedy: It was The Green Beret with John Wayne.

Mike Sarraille: John Wayne, which is, yeah, the classic.

Tim Kennedy: Yep. Yep. Green Berets. And Rambo.

Mike Sarraille: Yeah, come on.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah. No, no, those are two good movies. I mean, they’re second and third to Navy SEALs with Charlie Sheen.

Tim Kennedy: No doubt. I need that [inaudible 00:41:06].

Mike Sarraille: But we’re not going there. What trumped them all was Top Gun.

Tim Kennedy: Oh yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Everyone wanted to be a fighter pilot.

Tim Kennedy: I wanted to be a fighter pilot. And when Top Gun, the new one, comes out, I’m going to want to be a fighter pilot again. I’ll be like, “Yeah, that’s the best [inaudible 00:41:20].”

Mike Sarraille: Outside of being a JTAC, I never really was surrounded by fighter pilots, but I do remember … Was it Fallon where the JTAC school was?

Tim Kennedy: Yep.

Mike Sarraille: I’m by myself, and I go into a bar, and I’m like, “Hey, I’m just going to have a drink,” and I come in, and I’ve got a … The military calls it a cover. And all these guys in flight suits, which let’s be honest, flight suits are just lame.

Tim Kennedy: They’re not cool.

Mike Sarraille: No. No, no, no. Nobody looks cool.

Tim Kennedy: They think they’re cool.

Mike Sarraille: What do you call them? A poop shoot, or something?

Tim Kennedy: They’re not cool. They’re not cool.

Mike Sarraille: They’re drunk, and they see me come in, and I’m wearing a cover, and they’re like, “Hey, you got to buy everyone in the bar a drink.” It was, what, I’m a O-2, so I’m not making that much. I’ve got two kids. And there’s 30 of them, and I’m like, “No, I’m not buying you a drink.” And they start to crowd around me. I was just like, “Leave me alone. Enjoy your alcohol. I’m not buying you a drink. I don’t know what your customers and courtesies are.

Tim Kennedy: And I don’t care.

Mike Sarraille: Yeah, and I don’t care, frankly. So as you’re still on the recruiting duty, you’re pretty much focused full time on [crosstalk 00:42:17].

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, I’m fighting. I had some responsibilities going to National Guard Special Operations recruiting events, going to high school sometimes and some public speaking, going to some athlete events, but it was real low level. They gave me a lot of time. And huge kudos to the guard, they would let me go to real fight camps like Jackson’s, we were trying to work where I could go to with the Olympic training team and train with them, the World Athlete Program in Colorado. We were looking at all of those options and they were really being accommodating to ensure success. It was cool.

Mike Sarraille: The fact that you trained with Greg Jackson and just a set of fighters that are, again, at your level, just world class, that have defined the sport, we’re going to get into that. But before we do, we’re going to take a first break and we end our breaks with what we call hard questions. Again, it comes back to this vulnerability, the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make.

Tim Kennedy: Man, you said something over there when we’re talking, you have children of different ages. I have young children that I help coach lacrosse, and I’m there for soccer, and I’m there for basketball. My two year old burnt her leg when she pulled hot spaghetti, and how horrific is it that we know how to treat children with bad burn wounds? But we know how to do that.

Mike Sarraille: Yes.

Tim Kennedy: And I mean that’s horrible and I hope none of you ever have to-

Mike Sarraille: I’d rather be prepared than not prepared.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. But how many times have I treated badly burnt children? I don’t know how many times. So when she got burnt, I was like boom, I knew exactly what to do, but I was there. My big girls in college, I missed their entire childhood. Deployments, sniper school, ranger school, deployments, just the list goes on of what is required of us and all of those things are away. So my biggest regret is being away.

Mike Sarraille: Not being there, yeah. And a lot of people lose sight. Only 1% serves in the military these days, and I’m not saying that in the negative light, but what they don’t realize is that it’s usually the wives and the kids that pay the price. It truly is. Because we want to be over there and it is very selfish in a way-

Tim Kennedy: That’s in there. I want to be in a fight. And you know better, when I wouldn’t go, and the teams would go, and something would happen, and all the things that happened exploded in my brain. Had I been there, would it have been different? They got jumped. Would I not have had security? In the conop, in the concept of the operation plan, would I have seen, with my experience, that had they done this, it would’ve circumvented this horrible thing? And that what if thing just goes on and on because we weren’t there.

Mike Sarraille: And you say you want to be in a fight and, again, you’re not out in Austin in the public knocking people out, you’re talking about you wanted to be in a fight where there was a purpose, where evil had attacked us.

Tim Kennedy: Purpose.

Mike Sarraille: And going to war with evil, which exists, is not a bad thing. I think a lot of people [crosstalk 00:45:05].

Tim Kennedy: It’s a beautiful thing.

Mike Sarraille: It is beautiful. You want go deep into the Bible, even in the Bible, they tell you to strike down your enemies if they are of ill intent. Hardest thing you’ve ever had to face?

Tim Kennedy: The consequences of my own decisions. When you look back, it’s so easy. The Titanic was headed towards the iceberg and had they just turned it one degree, it would’ve missed the whole entire thing, early enough. Had they turned it two degrees, they would’ve missed it so much easier. And when you’re just a train wreck hitting iceberg after iceberg, and at any point you’re sitting there at the helm and you can make every one of those decisions, but you don’t out of stubbornness or ego. And so the hardest thing I ever had to face was just the consequence of standing there continuing to make the wrong decisions. And I battle that today. I’m a super imperfect human that still makes bad decisions, but the ones early were close to being catastrophic.

Mike Sarraille: If you go back and trace, I’m sure you would agree with this, every bad decision in my life or every bad outcome, I was in 100% control of all my outcomes. You trace it, it was ego, it was just some bad attribute. I’m the cause of all my problems in life.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. I mean not to steal Jocko Willink-

Mike Sarraille: Who?

Tim Kennedy: … he’s 100% right.

Mike Sarraille: Who’s that?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, I don’t know, this Jocko dude. The extreme ownership when it comes to failure, one of my favorite things about grappling is when you stand there, there’s you and me, he’s going to raise your hand, and I’m going to stand there in shame and humiliation for the loss, and there’s no-one else on the mat. There’s no-one else to point to as an excuse, there’s no other reason for failure besides me. And that’s a great opportunity on the mats to get a snapshot of who and what you are, but that applies to everything. Those failures, you are exclusively the onus, responsibility for the cause of that decision.

Mike Sarraille: And after the break, we’re going to get back into that with victimhood, which is as much a pandemic as COVID. Or I should say epidemic within the United States. With that, we’ll be right back. We’re back with Tim Kennedy, renaissance man, UFC fighter, army, Special Forces, Green Beret, business owner, the list keeps going. How many businesses now?

Tim Kennedy: I own wholly is 7, but I own 12 businesses that I sit on boards.

Mike Sarraille: Oh, that’s pretty cool. I mean I own 14. That’s good, man. I’m glad you’re up and coming.

Tim Kennedy: It’s 11 too many though because you have time for 1.

Mike Sarraille: You just robbed me. I know my wife’s looking at me, she’s like, “And you have two companies and you’re bitching about time?” So you just screwed me. Man, I remember back in the UFC days, it was almost like you were representing all of us, unless you lost and then we’re like, “Hey, that guy’s a chump.”

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, screw that guy.

Mike Sarraille: But I wanted to ask you a specific question because one of the observations is one, you weren’t a hype guy where a lot of guys just talk, and I know it is showmanship but even in the octagon when you’re getting ready for a fight, it was almost this calm demeanor, this stoic look where other people are trying to [crosstalk 00:48:31]-

Tim Kennedy: You know that look because you walk down the hall of giants and you see it every day.

Mike Sarraille: But did that come for you time in special operations?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. I remember wanting to throw up before fights. I remember shaking as Chuck Liddell is standing there and be like, “Tim, we got to go. This is your time to shine.” I’m like, “I don’t know if I can walk. My legs won’t work.” And then you get in some gun fights and you’re walking out to the octagon, there’s a referee whose sole purpose is to protect me and there’s a guy with padded hands. This is a different thing that can never be compared. I know Joe Rogan gets out there, he’s like, “These guys are in a war,” and for a fight, it’s a war. But having seen war, you know intimately well that is not even equatable to being anywhere near in the vicinity of similar. So when I was going out to fight, the biggest weight on my shoulders was that I felt that I was representing the military. And nobody put that on me but I felt it all the time. And there was no other nerves about is this guy going to hurt me? There’s nothing that guy can do to hurt me. This is just a fight.

Mike Sarraille: So I do remember your wife’s name is Ginger.

Tim Kennedy: Oh yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Basically to paraphrase, if I can remember, that you were, I don’t want to say miserable, but horrible to be around in the final week if not days leading into a fight.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, super focused. Again, military. When I got to Jackson’s, he told me to show up at nine o’clock to hit mitts with Brandon, and I got there at 8:50. Because if you’re there on time, you’re 10 minutes late. So I got there at 8:50, I’m warmed up, my hands are wrapped, and Brandon and Greg walk in at 9:20 and they’re like, “What are you doing here?” I’m like, “I’m warmed up. Let’s go.” They’re like, “What time did you get here?” I’m like, “8:50.” “What time did I tell you to be here?” “9:00.” They just couldn’t compute. They had been running fighters for so long, that’s just how we operated.

Tim Kennedy: And I took that into everything that I did. And you know when you’re about to step out the door, when you’re about to load onto a helicopter, when you’re putting those fills in, you’re doing the final checks, you checked all your batteries, you put the round in the chamber in your pistol, your secondary round in the chamber, your rifle for your primary. You do one more check, your nods, make sure they’re in the right place, you put them back up. You are in the zone. Well, that zone in fighting lasts two weeks. And so I was joking with your wife, no, it was the British … Anyways. They’re like-

Mike Sarraille: British guy.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. “So your wife, she was happy with all this?” I’m like, “No, she just hated me less at these times than I hated myself.” So that’s how we were able to survive these fight camps was she just had to deal with me for these little periods before I went and destroyed somebody, and then it all worked out.

Mike Sarraille: So I do remember your mantra in training was hurry up and fail.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Just explain that.

Tim Kennedy: Jon Jones, what an incredible champion and great example of absolute pure perfection of violent balance of the violence that can be done by him looks like a ballet and poetry, but he’s a horrible human. Domestic violence, drugs, DUIs. Just because he’s good and a high level of performer never made him a great human or a teammate. With me trying to be a good human, be a good teammate, and be a champion, these were really hard things to reconcile. And I honestly couldn’t ever find the right balance of figuring out how to do it.

Mike Sarraille: And I’m assuming that is carried over into the business world is, again, 12 companies, it’s rapid iteration, learn as you go, fail, learn, move on.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. So the hurry up and fail specifically, both in business and in fighting, having to reconcile all those things, I’m going to use a really, really simple metaphor, in fitness, when we’re lifting, the way that muscle gets stronger ultimately is the damage done through failure. And whether it’s hypertrophy or the single gains, every one of those failure points, the body responds in adaptation to making the body be able to do something in that modality a little bit more effectively. So if you’re a marathon runner, you look vastly different than a power lifter. Well, their modality is different and their adaptation to get past the thing that they’re doing to their body is different. So that’s what hurry up and fail is, whatever your modality is, you have to force your body to adapt to get better. Whether that’s in business, in fighting, I didn’t want to fail but I knew that at the failure point is when I still get better, faster, and stronger.

Mike Sarraille: It’s part of the process.

Tim Kennedy: Yes.

Mike Sarraille: It is part of the process.

Tim Kennedy: There’s no way to get past it. You have to do it.

Mike Sarraille: We’re going to get into mental health but the same thing applies, if a muscle is left unused, atrophy sets in, it dies, much like the mind. So 12 businesses, and I know you’re highly successful, I’m not asking for your tax return here, I don’t even want to discuss that, but there is no reason you need to be serving right now to take care of your family and then some. None. Yet in 2017, you went back to Special Forces.

Tim Kennedy: Yep.

Mike Sarraille: And I know you’re still actively employed, and we’ll leave it there, doing good work. Why?

Tim Kennedy: I mean it’s the greatest job in the world surrounded by the greatest humans to ever walk the face of this planet. And you said it, you surround yourself with the best, you surround yourself with the brightest, you surround yourself with the fastest, the strongest, your level has to be raised because you’re around them. So every day that I’m in a uniform, I’m losing tens of thousands of dollars. The moment I put on that uniform, the time that is spent for me to keep my currencies and all the different things that we have to keep currencies in, tens of thousands of dollars are being lost in what is happening in my other world, my business world.

So the monies can’t be equated but the value is priceless. There’s no way that you can put a price on being on the teams, and until the day that I die or the day that they kick me off, no matter how much it costs, that is the place that I want to be. Not because I deserve to be there, because I don’t, because they’re all better than me. It’s not because I have a sense of entitlement because I pass these things, that I have a right to be there, because I don’t because every single one of those men are better than me at everything that they do, because that’s the one place that I want to be. They’re the best humans on the planet.

Mike Sarraille: The most powerful tribe I’ve ever been a part of.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.
Mike Sarraille: And I think since you’ve had the luxury of leaving and then going back, you understand that, but when you’re in it for 20 years straight, you’re like ah, man. I’m tired of this. And then when you leave it, you’re like I had the best job in the world. Because I am a product of my tribe. My strength came from my team, 100%. I never did anything by myself. Even with the books I’ve written, and I’ve got two books in the works, it’s with buddies. I couldn’t see it any other way. I mean you’re doing your autobiography, it’s an autobiography that needs to be written, and I totally understand that.

Tim Kennedy: Even with that, Nick Palmisciano, West Point ranger, he’s on the cover because every moment that I missed, every time that I walked out of that octagon, I took my gloves off and I threw them in the trash, not even a second thought about the wraps or the gloves, that I’d just won my seventh in a row and they know I’m going to fight for the world title, that means nothing to me. The banner, it’s in the trash. The handwritten note from Mike Tyson, that was an amazing moment, cool. I left that in the locker. My best friend, Nick, went and pulled it out of the trash. He went and pulled that banner and rolled it back up, and put it in his check-in bag. Then he walked into the trash, and he shuffled through it all, and he found that card. And that’s the guy that I’m writing this book with because every moment that I so recklessly wasted, he was there for.

Mike Sarraille: And very much with a lot of your companies, some of your companies are 100% veteran staffed.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, 100%, that’s right. They don’t have to be, and even I was begging and pleading for your help this morning, I was like man, I have three full-time positions I’m trying to fill right now and I want to fill them with people that want to be part of a team, that want to be part of an organization. And I’m doing everything that I can, but they make it so hard. But how do I do it? How do I do it, Mike? Yesterday, I was texting with Jared and I asked Evan [Hafer 00:57:26] the same questions. How do we find the right minds and to be able to have the right people, but still be able to give back to the veteran community? Which is the most important community in my life. And man, it’s hard.

Mike Sarraille: It’s not easy. When it comes to the game of talent, it’s hard and, quite frankly, that’s why my company’s called the Talent War Group. And even though we’ve gotten very good at it, I mean when you’re dealing with humans, you are dealing with the biggest variable there is, and humans are freaking crazy. And somebody will sell well in the interview, then get into the job role and be a complete, utter bottom feed, and you got to get rid of them, and that sucks. So it actually leads me, and I know you got a lot of flack for this, and the quote on Facebook where you basically said for combat veterans with PTSD to stop being pussies, but you went on and people missed the rest of the message. They just focused on that.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, the sound bites are always the worst part.

Mike Sarraille: Don’t cut this up to make me look like an idiot.

Tim Kennedy: I don’t know if you knew this, but I’m also anti-gun.

Mike Sarraille: Yes, of course.

Tim Kennedy: I didn’t know that either.

Mike Sarraille: Tell me, and I know this is leading into victimhood, what was the point you were trying to make?

Tim Kennedy: Resiliency, durability, all of those things happen through strength. Look at this guy, hooking me up with a cappuccino.

Mike Sarraille: We’ve got coffee coming. Delivered direction.

Tim Kennedy: You’re about to see a problem that my wife hates me for.

Mike Sarraille: Coffee at close to 7:00 PM?

Tim Kennedy: That’s delicious. God. All right. So entitlement, victimhood, they’re diseases and they’re diseases that erode the ability to make a choice to get better. And when I say stop being a pussy, you have to, at some point, even if you’re incapable of doing it yourself, the choice has to be made for me to say, “Mike, I’m in a bad place. I need help.” Maybe I can’t get to the gym, maybe I can’t put down that bottle of alcohol, maybe I can’t even put down that gun, but at some point a choice has to be made for that trajectory not to hit the Titanic, not to hit the iceberg. That shift has to be made and that’s a choice. And the victim mentality, the entitled mentality, you will stay that same trajectory, you’ll stay that same.

Mike Sarraille: Because it becomes easy and you get attention.

Tim Kennedy: It’s so easy.

Mike Sarraille: For the wrong reasons. So I had the pleasure of interviewing, and you probably know this guy, General Jerry Boykin, one of the very early members of Delta Force.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, he’s pretty rad.

Mike Sarraille: Yeah, badass. And then he was the commanding general of [USASOC 00:59:52]. And he talked about this emotional intimacy amongst the teammates, the operators of Delta Force. And when I was interviewing him, I thought he was messing with me, but he explained it, because he saw me smirk and he was like, “Let me explain it to you, Mike.” And he broke out the crayons.

Tim Kennedy: Don’t eat this one.

Mike Sarraille: My book manuscripts are all written in crayons and then I give it to somebody very smart so that they can put it in to type for me. He said, “If I came to you in tears over the loss of a teammate, what would you do?” And I said, “I’d wrap my arms around you, man, and say, “Hey, we’re going to get through this.”” And it was true and he was talking about culture, the culture that exists. And as we hear about toxic masculinity, I think people get that wrong. And I mean you were very much, and I think that the audience would agree, the definition of a man yet, again, you still have that empathy. Everyone has a grieving process and everyone deals with trauma differently, and that’s their right, but it seems to becoming an epidemic where people want to stay in that victimhood category. And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why that is happening. I understand it’s the easy thing to do because the next hard step to recover, or to get better, or improve is hard.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, it’s work, man. You and I have every excuse that they have. We’ve been blown up, we’ve lost friends, physically damaged and irreparably. We’re at a place where the VA is like, “You guys are jacked.” And the list goes on and it’s the exact same list that they have. And you cannot ever compare trauma, whether it be physically, or emotional, or mental, because it’s different for every single human, but the thing that is true amongst all of them where it’s even is for it to get better, it takes work. And that work is lots of different choices, are lots of different choices. And if you’re a victim and you’re entitled, those choices will never be made. You will never rush to failure. You’ll never get up and start exercising, you’ll never put down the bag of potato chips, you’ll never sit down the bottle of alcohol, you’ll never get a good night’s sleep, you’re not going to be a good father to your children, you’re not going to be a good lover to your wife.

The list goes on, and on, and on, but ultimately there are millions of little decisions that are both preventative for posttraumatic stress or they’re healing. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to start being a healthy human. Maybe you need medication, but that still takes work for you to get up and go to the doctor, and be transparent, and be real, and be like, “Yeah, I need help.” Talking to a friend, that is a choice and that takes work. For me to talk to somebody and say, “Man, I am really struggling with this,” and all of that takes work. And the victim mentality and entitled mentality, those are exclusive things. If you have that mentality, you’ll never start having that change for better. And that’s what I was saying there is stop being pussies.

Mike Sarraille: Mental health is arguably a big issue right now, not only within America but internationally, and there are more resources for people to utilize to get better, you just have to take that step. And again, for listeners with mental health, it is actually very manly to raise your hand and say, “Yeah, I need help.”

Tim Kennedy: It’s fine. Last week, one of my brothers raised his hand, called you, and I asked it was going to be a big undertaking. And I asked my peers, I was like, “Hey man, can we go and do this?” Every single one … I’m not talking like a couple of guys, I’m saying every single person there was like, “Oh, I’m in. I’m coming. I’m helping.” There was not a moment of hesitation. There wasn’t any reservation. There was no judgment. It was, “That is a brother that needs help, and I am in to help that person.” But that dude still had to raise his hand.

Mike Sarraille: Yes. And I know for a lot of people, too, it’s look at your environment. If you need to remove yourself from an environment and God knows when I … so my last tour was actually here in Austin, my last two years, and I was freshly divorced and I just started drinking and I was going to the bars quite a bit. And there was a point where I’m like, “I need to remove myself from this environment.” And then quite frankly, I met a great woman that helped do that, as well as a mental health psychologist who is renowned within the special operations community, a guy named Dr. Chris Free, who actually coined the term operation or operator syndrome. And this guy’s in Hawaii. Didn’t charge me every week on the phone for two to three hours until he’s like, “Mike, you’re going to be okay,” and moved on. And I owe her and I owe him for that time. Before we get to questions for the audience, I want to get into two things. So now UFC fighter, Green Beret, business owner, school founder.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: And this is huge, in elementary school here in Cedar Park.

Tim Kennedy: Adding middle school this year, this spring.

Mike Sarraille: So you teamed up with Akton for that.

Tim Kennedy: That’s right. Yep.

Mike Sarraille: Why and what is the general charter of the school?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. So going back to a child in private school with my parents, I ended up having to be homeschooled because I had teachers that would duct tape me to chairs. I had teachers … I would go to the principal’s office every single week and I would be spanked. Like this is a different era. This is not 2021, 2022. I’m talking when hitting a kid … I had wrestling coaches that would hit me. There was nothing wrong with me. I was a normal six year old boy, totally normal. Like that one has to be medicated, we won’t even let him come back to this school unless you have a prescription and we know that he is taking this ADHD poison. And there was nothing wrong with me, as there’s nothing wrong with any of the heroes that are in our school that look just like me at six years old.

So I saw the writing on the wall four years ago. It was actually with Jacko, and Jacko was like, we were talking about recruiting within special operations and how difficult it is right now for us to find young men, men. It’s a special, beautiful thing, just like being a feminine, beautiful woman. And I realize that there’s spectrums on both of those and those scales go back and forth. But we, in the special operations community, we have to have men. We have to have ones that will run towards the sound of gunfire, ones that can do violence on behalf of their country, the ones that without amount of a hesitation will jump on top of grenade and protect the men to their left and their right. That is what a man will do and that is beautiful masculinity. And I saw that being eroded in society. And Jacko was like, “Well, what are you going to do?”

Mike Sarraille: A challenge almost.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, “I’m going to start school.” I said it on his podcast. And then it took three and a half years for me to organizationally structure in a very strategic way, a school that is not impenetrable, but the way that we are set up, it’s very, very difficult for any governing body to come in and deal with anything that we do. So we’re a Socratic act in school. It’s a learner driven environment, Socratic learner driven. That means the students, which we call heroes, they’re in charge of the, not even a classroom, we call them studios. So our heroes in that studio, they’re the ones driving the train. And if they want to be bouncing on balls while they do their homework or doing jump rope, I don’t care as long as they do their work. It is their journey and it is their process and whatever their individual process is to be able to produce real learning, that’s the goal. And that’s what we say, “All that is required of you is that you want to walk through these doors to learn.” And that is what happens in that school. And that is what is not happening in all other schools, as they’re forcing mandates doing this, like curriculum, school unions are getting, that has nothing to do …

Mike Sarraille: With a total lack of critical thinking in development.

Tim Kennedy: With a child needing to learn how to critically think. And that’s all that we do is empower them to learn how to think.

Mike Sarraille: Well, I would encourage our listeners to look that up. And the name is …

Tim Kennedy: Apogee, Apogee Cedar Park.

Mike Sarraille: Okay. I have no doubt that more of those models are going to pop up throughout the United States.

Tim Kennedy: Trying to buy a big, huge campus in Cedar Park. So if anybody’s selling hundreds of acres …

Mike Sarraille: Give Tim a call. He’s easy to find. Well, I mean, you basically gave your address when you ended up on the ISIS list.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, my wife left me for that for a couple of weeks.

Mike Sarraille: You went on, was it Fox News?

Tim Kennedy: That was Fox.

Mike Sarraille: And gave your address?

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: I’m actually not, I’m less worried about ISIS and more worried about the groupies that were parking outside your …

Tim Kennedy: I should have thought that one through, because my wife was real mad.

Mike Sarraille: When I saw that, I was proud. I was actually hurt that I didn’t end up on the ISIS list.

Tim Kennedy: So as a Texan, as a Green Beret, as a fighter, when the FBI was on my doorstep and they’re like, “Hey man, they’re actively recruiting somebody in Texas to come and find you.” I was like, “No, they’re not. Tell me more.” And they’re like, “No, no, you’re not understanding.”

Mike Sarraille: They love me. They really love me. This is so good.

Tim Kennedy: And they’re like, “You’re not getting it.” I was like, “No, no, I totally got it. I have been traveling for 15 years of my life and been away from my now grown children trying to hunt these people. And you’re telling me they’re about to come to my door in Texas? Pardon my erection, but this is great news, fantastic stuff here.” Okay, go on.

Mike Sarraille: Not well thought out by ISIS.

Tim Kennedy: No.

Mike Sarraille: Not well thought out. So before we get to audience questions, one, I’m excited and bro, you got to hook me up with an early copy of the book, Scars and Stripes, an Unapologetically American Story of Fighting the Taliban, UFC warriors, and I love this last part, and Myself.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: What do the readers hope to discover in that book?

Tim Kennedy: I’m not throwing stones. Writing a book is a really cool thing to do. And in 20 years on terror, there’s been a lot of books. This book’s not like any.

Mike Sarraille: So there I was surrounded in grenade bins.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: Holding the enemy at bay by myself.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. Yeah, that’s not this book.

Mike Sarraille: Yeah. I know.

Tim Kennedy: No, this book is vulnerable. It’s real. It’s every single … I mean Scars and Stripes. How do you get a stripe as an NCO?

Mike Sarraille: You earn it.

Tim Kennedy: You earn it.

Mike Sarraille: You grind.

Tim Kennedy: That’s right.

Mike Sarraille: Yeah.

Tim Kennedy: And then how do you get scars?

Mike Sarraille: By earning it.

Tim Kennedy: That’s right. So mistakes, failures, time and earning, that is the point of this book. That’s the title of this book. It’s the process in which I failed in every single juncture, decision moment of my life, I failed. And I failed over and over and over and over again. The only problem with my failures is they’re televised in front of millions or they cost lives. That sucks, but that’s the story.

Mike Sarraille: This sounds like a book that I know as a parent you’d want your teenager to probably read. I know you got very vulnerable, I’m assuming, in this book.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: And opened up things that people have not previously known.

Tim Kennedy: Nope, even people that were involved with those areas. I wrote the book in first person and it’s not like a memoir of like, “And then I went back and …” you know. It was, “As I’m looking at the dust settling as a van rolled over on the 101 and I’m hearing screams in every direction, I don’t know whether to run to the three year old that is grasping for a breath that’s about to die or that woman who I see has a compound fracture of her femur and a bone is sticking out of her flesh.” That’s how I wrote it. So there was a lot of vulgarity because I tried to write it exactly as I remember it and how it happened in the first person in present tense.

Mike Sarraille: Visceral.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah. So it’s a raw, raw, raw book.

Mike Sarraille: And can people, I know that’s due out in June, is that correct?

Tim Kennedy: June 7th.

Mike Sarraille: But presales are going on on Amazon?

Tim Kennedy: Right now. Yeah on everything. Yeah, everywhere books are sold you can get it right now.

Mike Sarraille: And we will definitely be covering that within Men’s Journal when it comes out. And again, we didn’t really cover sheep dog. And I know there’s a lot of misconceptions that, “Well, Tim’s just trying to teach people to be violent.” That’s not, you don’t see the world through rose covered glasses. You know that evil exists, and I know you’re helping people be prepared, which is the greatest thing to do violence to protect themselves and their families. And that’s what it’s truly about.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, or even hopefully have the whereabouts to not even ever have to be in violence.

Mike Sarraille: Exactly.

Tim Kennedy: But the only way to not go to war is to be prepared for war. You don’t look at a weak, pathetic, fragile country and be like, “Oh, I don’t want to invade that and take their great country.” You look at a powerful country and be like, “I don’t want to go in there.”
Mike Sarraille: Yeah, we know that to be true. Well, at this point, we’re going to open it up to the audience. We’ve got a mic walking around. Please, if you got questions, let them fly.

Speaker 1: Hey gentlemen, thanks for all that you do. I’ve met both of you. Appreciate, again, everything you’ve done. Tim, for you, we’ve worked together briefly. From a guy outside looking in, oftentimes you get the misconception of being that 20 to 25 year old guy. But I can tell you that the time that I’ve worked with you, particularly in the last, I’d say 12 months, six months, I’ve seen this humility that I did not know existed. And it probably, I would like to hear more about that. What are some of the things that you’ve done and seen that cause that humility?

Tim Kennedy: I have so much shame. I have so much … like I don’t live in regret, but I have stomach turning shame thinking back to the way that I talked to my superior or the way that I talked to my Team Sergeant, to my Team Leader. And it was just was naive, childish words out of ignorance, not knowing what to say or what to do. And I think back to being a kid and stealing from one of my best friends’ parents. And every one of those shameful moments eats at me today. And Brandon and I, we were working on the evacuation of Americans and our allies in Afghanistan, and you want to talk about pain, man? How many people didn’t you get out?

Mike Sarraille: Wait, wait, wait, wait. But how many people did you get out?

Tim Kennedy: I know, but that’s not like …

Mike Sarraille: 15,000?

Tim Kennedy: You’re going to make me fucking cry, man. Fuck you. It’s not the success that gives you humility. It’s thinking about the times that you could have done it better. It’s thinking about the ways that I could have been a better teammate. It’s thinking about the ways that I could have saved one more life. Could I have gotten one more body on that plane? Would that plane still have taken off? Every one of those failure points cause humility, and man, I failed. Man, I failed and I failed and I failed and I failed and I failed. I wish I was an egotistical prick because that meant that I wouldn’t have failed as much. But what you have now is a man that has failed and I’m still here.

Mike Sarraille: But this is the common thread of high performers that I’ve seen, they never celebrate their successes. There’s a picture of Dan Gable in the 1972 Olympics where he’s got a gold medal around his neck.

Tim Kennedy: Yeah, I know.

Mike Sarraille: He looks like he feels he failed. He’s pissed. And to give more context to the listeners there, I don’t think he had a single point scored against him in the Olympics.

Tim Kennedy: Nope.

Mike Sarraille: And he’s already going through his personal self-reflection of, “If I didn’t pin somebody, I exposed myself to more risk by being on that mat. Why didn’t I pin them? What opportunities?” And again, I’m asking, how many lives did you save? Was it 15 to 17,000? Is that correct?

Tim Kennedy: We did 12,010 days, and since then we have done another 4,000, so we’re at 16,000. And we have a manifest that we’re working right now as we talk.

Mike Sarraille: I speak for all the listeners, and I know that’s never going to be good enough for you, but from all of us to all of you that were there making that happen, thank you. And I know that it falls so short. You guys should be so proud. I know we were watching it happen. And now I’m on the sidelines. I’m a civilian, and I’m proud to be, that you guys are out there doing that. And I guarantee there’s, as you said, 16,000 people that are grateful that you did that.

Tim Kennedy: A lot more to do.

Mike Sarraille: Lot more, there always is. A long episode, but it was worth it and lots to talk about. And a lot of things we didn’t cover. But before we say goodbye, we do like to end this podcast with a few questions of our own. And then again, this gets deep man. How’s Tim Kennedy going to measure his life and whether he lived it well?

Tim Kennedy: It is how much I was able to give back. I will die penniless. I will not take a single cent to the grave with me and it will do nothing for me in heaven. So what can I do with what I have? Whether that be influence, clout, how can I use a big social media presence to raise funds for things that matter? How can I give back to the military community that has given me so many tools to give me success? I wouldn’t have any success without the military because they taught me and shaped me into being in who I am and what I do. So success for me is watching my children, that my legacy grow on to be contributing members of society and good citizens. And then being able to know that with everything that I earned, I’m able to do meaningful things to the communities that I worked for and with.

Mike Sarraille: Impact, that has got to be one of the most common answer to again, interviewing high performers, they care about, they don’t care about the accolades, the metals, the money.

Tim Kennedy: Nah.

Mike Sarraille: It’s the impact. And we were talking about this earlier in the day because you guys, we did a workout with Tim in which he broke me.

Tim Kennedy: That’s not true.

Mike Sarraille: You broke me. And my wife said, “Well, I guess Tim likes to beat up on a hundred percent disabled veterans now.”

Tim Kennedy: There we go.

Mike Sarraille: Big man. But no, no. We talked about Alexander the Great said, “Hey, bury me with my hands outside the grave to show that I came into the world with nothing and I will leave with nothing other than the legacy and impact that I left behind.” And that’s powerful. Again for all the listeners, what are the rules or codes, those keys to success by which you live your life?

Tim Kennedy: Nobody’s going to do it for you. You have to do it. You have to get up early. You have to work. God, what a horrible era that we’re living in where the perception of me and what I do is a one second snapshot that ends up on ESPN or my Instagram. They didn’t see the crotch rot of me in Ranger school. They didn’t see the flesh falling off the bottom of my feet in selection, the smell. Do you remember the smell of the dudes in Bud’s? When your body is eating itself because you’re in such a calorie deficit and you haven’t slept, you haven’t been fed, but you’re still doing the volume of work, your body literally starts eating it. And it starts emitting this ammonia smell, this rancid, putrid smell as your body is consuming its own muscle and you’re off gassing. It’s the meat of your body. You’re cannibalizing your body. People never smell that. Can I smell my …? Nope, not on there. Those are the moments that nobody sees that are real, and I wish they could see that. I wish they could smell that.

Mike Sarraille: Yeah, I think it was about two years ago I went back to Bud’s and watched part of the hell week. Buddies that served with are now the commanders of Bud’s. And God, how comfortable I’ve become that I couldn’t even remember it. And I’m watching them. I’m like, “Bro, you got to stop this training. You’re going to kill these kids.” And they’re like, “They’re fine. We’ve got this down to a science.”

Tim Kennedy: Yeah.

Mike Sarraille: And God bless those kids, man. We play the generation game of, Hey, this next generation is weak. But still there’s a percentage that are going to step up and hold that line. That’s a beautiful thing. Well Tim, so many subjects we didn’t get to, man. And such a fascinating individual. And again, the listeners need to go pick up this book. I can’t wait to get a pre-copy signed. That’s the second time I’ve asked you, to read to myself and I always feel special when I get a special copy, okay.

Tim Kennedy: Do they call them galley copies?

Mike Sarraille: I know Tim Kennedy. What’s up?

Tim Kennedy: Galley copies, is that what they call the first ones that you get? Because I get my galley copies in two weeks. Those are the ones that you like give to a famous person that then can read it, so you get one.

Mike Sarraille:
Buddy, I’ve written one book, which means I’ve got like one combat deployment. So I remember how I spoke with two combat deployments thinking I had it all figured out. And so I can’t speak with any authority whatsoever. Well again, thank you for attending if you’re in the audience. Thanks for those that are listening. And don’t forget to visit Mensjournal.com to sign up for the newsletters. Get the latest tips from the Everyday Warrior Strategies and Tactics to live a practical, no hack approach to living a purpose driven and fulfilling life. Again, thank you. And until next time, this is Mike Sorelli and Tim Kennedy out here.

Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Men’s Journal Every Day Warrior Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show and pick up a new issue of Men’s Journal magazine. Men’s Journal magazine has features on health and fitness, adventure and travel, style, and my favorite, the coolest gear hitting the market today. Until next time, I’m Mike Sorelli, and thanks for listening.

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