Started From The Bottom…

How can we leverage failure to grow personally and professionally? In our latest Instaread summary, Green Beret and former Ultimate Fighting Championship headliner Tim Kennedy shows how it’s done.

Scars and Stripes follows Tim and his friend Nick Palmisciano to tell the story of how Tim became the best possible version of himself. Tim was kicked out of both the fire department and the police department and lost two MMA championships. But he bounced back to join the US Army, where he hunted down terrorists and human traffickers, and eventually started a successful tactical training company.

Fight Club

Tim was a troublemaker at 16. He got fired from his job at In-N-Out, wrecked his brother’s car in a race with his friends, broke into a gun store, attempted to steal a car, and generally developed a bad attitude. Tim’s father knew he was going to end up dead or in jail given his reckless and self-destructive pace. That’s how Tim ended up at a traditional Japanese Jiu Jitsu gym where he learned self-discipline and respect. 

At 17 years old, Tim started training with UFC rising stars Chuck Liddell, Eric Schwartz, Jason Von Flue, and Cruz Gomez at a place called SLO Kickboxing. It was a dirty building that smelled of puke, urine, and sweat. The environment was jarring because Tim was used to Do Kan Jiu Jitsu where everything was cleaned daily. SLO Kickboxing was a place where everyone just beat each other up with no coaching, science, or structure. 

A Different Kind of Combat

In March 2006, Tim went to Iraq for his first combat deployment. He was the youngest person ever to be part of the Combatant Commanders In-extremis Force, a specialized force that focused on hostage rescue. Tim’s new boss was John McPhee, and his approach was to push people to either get better or quit. He was built for war, which was why Tim saw him as a role model. 

Tim’s personal life was in a good place, too. He had married Ginger, a government contractor managing radio crypto for one of the most elite Special Operations units in the military. She was a very intelligent and loyal woman. They met six months before he went to Iraq and spent every day together until he had to leave. They got married at a strip mall. 

About the Author

Tim Kennedy is a Green Beret, a sniper, and a former mixed martial arts fighter. He has starred on the History Channel’s “Hunting Hitler” and the Discovery Channel’s “Hard to Kill.” He owns Apogee Cedar Park, a private school in Texas, and Sheepdog Response, a tactical training company. Scars and Stripes was written with help from Tim’s friend Nick Palmisciano, who served for six years as an infantry officer before moving into the world of business.

Read our full summary of Scars and Stripes . . .

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