June 12, 2021
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/how-to-become-a-sheepdog-grappling-with-weapons-making-yourself-harder-to-kill-are-there-fringe-navy-seal-smart-drugs-much-more-with-tim-kennedy/
[00:03:09] Podcast Sponsors
[00:05:47] Guest Introduction
[00:12:53] The Inspiration Behind Sheepdog Response Training
[00:23:24] What to Expect in the Sheepdog Training Course
[00:28:12] What a Sheepdog-trained Person Might Carry On Them in Public
[00:35:06] Podcast Sponsors
[00:37:03] cont. What a Sheepdog-trained Person Might Carry On Them in Public
[00:37:46] The Importance of Jiu-Jitsu in Combat Training
[00:43:40] How Real-World Experience Makes Sheepdog Training Legit
[00:48:14] How Sheepdog Response Vets Attendees for The Program
[00:54:33] Real-life Examples of Sheepdog Attendees Using Their Training
[01:01:21] Fringe Smart Drugs, Supplements, and Secrets of the Sheepdog Response Team
[01:07:09] The Most Dangerous and Impressive Occupation in Filming “Hard to Kill”
[01:13:20] Closing the Podcast
[01:14:46] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Tim: And we're sitting here watching these things happen, frustrated, like, why can't one of us be sitting in the movie theater when some prick walks in and starts mowing people down? Tens of thousands of people like you that have situational awareness, their eyes up with a weapon knowing that my family and those around me are going to be safe and protected because I'm here. Think about that for a second. I get to make you do whatever I want you to do and you don't get a say in it.
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Alright, folks, I got a pretty cool dude on the show today. His name is Tim Kennedy and he is definitely a unicorn. You're going to learn more as we get into this show. And right up the alley of this show, I actually mentioned towards the end of the show, but I'll tell you right now, there is this new–it's like a documentary series. It's called “End Game.” And this podcast that you're about to hear is all about preparedness, not for necessarily like a coming great reset or economic collapse, but more just like what to do if somebody pulls out a gun at Walmart, or attacks your loved one, or if the alarm goes off in your house at night and you're not sure what to do or how to how to grapple effectively when someone has a weapon.
It's actually a really, really practical chat we have as the sheepdog course that Tim Kennedy puts on, but this other thing, this documentary. I mean, it's everything from how to invest in the stock market right now on hedging with gold, and silver, and crypto, and real estate to home remedies that you should have available on hand from professional herbalists to how to set up your home for fuel, and heat, and power to homeschooling. I'm on the documentary. I talk about unschooling and preparing your kids to be more creative thinking, independent, resilient, stress-proof thinkers of the future. It's actually a really, really cool series and I want to tell you about it because if you dig today's episode, you'll dig this series.
It just came out at least at the time I'm putting this out. I actually just got through all the audios myself. I tend to access documentaries like this, and then I buy them and download the audios or download the videos, then I convert them to audio. I have this little app called YouTube to MP3. So, I'll convert it to audio and just listen to it while I'm walking and stuff. But this one is called “Endgame: The Coming Collapse and How to Survive It.” You can go to BenGreenfieldfitness.com/endgame if you want to access all those videos and download them or watch them. I think it's one of those things where it's free to watch them all. But then if you want to buy it and download it and have access to it forever, you pay to get them. And I think they're worth having so you can tuck them away for your next hike so you can learn how to be a little prepper yourself.
So, what else do I have to tell you about before we jump into today's show? You've heard the saying it's better to give than to receive. And as much as that feeling of giving warms your little heart, it's nice to get something back every once in a while. So, I just launched a refer a friend program to my supplements company Kion. So, what that means is I'm going to give you 20 bucks. For every friend, or family member, or co-worker, or anybody that you refer over to getkion, who basically get some stuff for themselves, you get 20 bucks. It's that easy. I'm just basically paying you to send people to my website is what I'm doing really. And I figure if you're taking some of our cool supplements like our creatine, our aminos, or sipping our coffees, or having our energy bars, or anything else I've designed over there, I might as well pay you for it. So, you go to getkion.com/bgfriends, like Ben Greenfield friends.
And if you go to getkion.com, getK-I-O-N.com/bgfriends, there's no lengthy intrusive signup process. You just put your email address in, and then as many other email addresses you can wrangle up, and that's it, then you just sit back and wait for the Kion cash to start pouring into your inbox. You'd just basically refer your friends and you get back some serious dough to use on anything you want to for your body to be able to operate at its peak potential. And that warms your little heart quite a bit getting paid to live healthy. So, check that out, getkion.com/bgfriends.
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Well, folks, if you notice perhaps by following me on Instagram that my wife and I were recently immersed in this really, actually pretty cool three-day close-quarter combat, and firearm, and personal defense, and situational awareness course called Sheepdog Response. We took it over in Post Falls, Idaho. And during the course, we had hours upon hours, neither of us have a big jujitsu background, our boys have rolled for years, but neither mom nor I have joined them too often, but hours upon hours of grappling, and close quarter combat, and kind of like jujitsu with weapons, and situational awareness, and firearm training, a whole lot more. I put a bunch of photos up that we took along the way, if you guys want to check out how sore and beat up we were at the end, but also a little bit more prepared for any curveballs life might have thrown at us.
And I'll link to some of our own takeaways if you go to the shownotes for today's episode, which you're going to find because they're named after my guest today, in honor of my guest today, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/timkennedy. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/timkennedy is where you can access the shownotes for everything that you hear on today's show because I was so impressed with the course that I want to get the founder of Sheepdog, the guy who came up with this crazy idea, Tim Kennedy himself, on the podcast to talk about it. And if you don't know who Tim is, you should Tim. Tim has a really extensive background that I'll barely scratch the surface of, but he's a retired American mixed martial art artist, and also a current soldier.
So, he was a fighting professional for like 15 years from 2001 until 2016. And he fought all over like UFC, Strikeforce, HDNet Fights, and even some of these TV shows, and was one of the few fighters to simultaneously serve in the United States Army while also fighting professionally. And along the way, he worked in television hosting and producing, and of course as an entrepreneur himself with enterprises like this Sheepdog Response. So, his army background is that he completed basic combat training and then Ranger School. So, he served in the special forces. He served on Operational Detachments Alpha. He was a sniper, sniper instructor, the principal combatives instructor for C Company. He deployed at Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom. He's still active, Ranger-qualified, Green Beret, Special Forces Sniper. He's toured in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm sure plenty of other clandestine locations around the globe is kind of like a real-world Jason Bourne, so to speak, if you want to think about Tim that way, although I don't know if you would describe yourself that way, Tim, or if you align with Matt Damon at all.
But also, before I get into Tim, if you guys want to watch one of his TV shows, he's got some cool TV shows, too. He hosted the History Channel series, “Hunting Hitler.” And then, he also hosted this cool show on the Discovery Channel called “Hard to Kill” where he explored the day in the life of all these different dangerous occupations around the world. And he has some other TV appearances, too. He's been to Deadliest Warrior, Ultimate Soldier Challenge, all over the place. So, we're lucky to have him on the show. Again, the shownotes are going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/timkennedy.
Tim, welcome to the show, man.
Tim: What an intro. I was like on a caveat any of that stuff as you start insinuating Jason Bourne comparisons like, Jason Bourne was ugly, he had hairy hands, he had more similarities with the ogre or a troll, [00:09:25] _____.
Ben: That's right. But you hunt, too, don't you? Are you a bowhunter?
Tim: I hunt all the hunts, to include bow hunting, yes, spear hunting, off horseback with a lance from a helicopter with a knife.
Ben: Well, no kidding.
Tim: Yeah. We get silly here in Texas.
Ben: Yeah, you can do that. Texas is one of the few states where it's actually legal to spear hunt, isn't it?
Tim: It is. Well, there's a lot of places that you can spear hunt. Now. when you look at something to eat, it's essentially a bow and arrow. If you can bow hunt, I'm using an arrow that weighs 20 pounds that has the head of like a javelin, it is definitely the most humane way to hunt. It just takes a very crazy high skill level. But when we're hunting pigs in Texas, it has way less to do with the process, or it's about eradication because there's so many. So, it's just a way to get creative and have fun. When you're killing 400, 500 pigs a year, it really just comes down to what are some other creative ways that we can kill these assholes.
Ben: I hear you. I bow hunt down in Hawaii, but I hunt those pigs for meat. I mean, those things are feeding on avocados, and macadamia nuts, and under mango trees, and their meat is just like nutty rich fatty goodness. And I've eaten on some Texas pigs before, too, and there's not a real comparison in terms of flavor, but I can see hunting them for pests being handy. But the spear hunting thing is interesting. One of my friends actually got in big trouble. He lost his Under Armour sponsorship, I think, Josh Bowmar, because he hunted a black bear with a homemade spear up in Canada. You could probably Google this and still find some of the videos that might still be up there, but huge outrage over Josh who threw javelin, I think, in high school or college taking down a black bear. And it was very controversial. People thought it was an unethical way to kill an animal. But if you saw the size of the spear and the size of Josh, you might differ with that opinion.
Tim: I definitely differ with the–I mean, anybody could have controversy about anything, but I thought that was an incredible hunt. I thought that was a humane kill, the skill level involved in that, the dedication and time that he put into it. What you're seeing is like a 32nd video of what it has been a lifetime of work. It's like watching the UFC fighter fight a contender, fight for the title and he loses. And you're like, “Oh, what a crappy piece of trash fighter this dude is,” and you failed to notice that he's been doing this for 20 years that led up to this crescendo of a moment, and then you pass judgment on 30 seconds. Or inversely, the champion who want it and you're like, “Yeah, of course, he's the best,” and you forget about all the hard work that he put into. It was no different with that hunt. I thought that was an extraordinary hunt.
Ben: Yeah. Well, 30 seconds carefully edited by YouTube trolls, so yeah. Sometimes not all, it appears. But that's actually not entirely what I want to talk to you about. I really, really wanted the folks who listen to the show to hear about Sheepdog because it was pretty sick. It was a very, very cool special weekend. And my wife and I came out with a lot more confidence, and I went from really having no clue how to practice and dry fire with my weapon to how to roll to–just the way I walk across a parking lot is–well, I guess thanks but no thanks to you, changed forever because I can't necessarily relax while walking into the grocery store now and I'm looking right and left and assessing the entire situation, and the escapes, and exits. But it feels right to be able to think that way, how to think that way.
And I'm curious if you could explain to folks what Sheepdog is and why you made Sheepdog.
Time: First, I'm going to applaud you that you're definitely–the goal of a course is at the completion of it, you can't learn in three days all of the things. So, I've been doing this for 25 years as a professional. And then, before that, I grew up in a household with my dad who is a narcotics officer that was part of task forces that were stealing planes full of cocaine from Pablo Escobar. We had a red phone in the closet and I would answer it, and the guy–to get bonafides on my dad. If the dad was a regular police officer and working regular hours, he shouldn't be available during the day. So, if he's calling during the day–so there's this like script that we had to go through about how to answer where my dad was, and who he was, and what he was doing, and just to add levels to my dad's covering–
Ben: You probably grew up petrified about sneaking a cigarette into the backyard.
Tim: Oh, no. This sharpened and honed my tradecraft.
Tim: I still got away with stuff that most kids didn't get away with with a dad that was trained to do this.
Ben: One of the only 10-year-olds in the neighborhood smuggling narcotics in a condom in your butthole.
Tim: Yeah. Not literally, but yeah, kind of. At eight, my dad was like, “Hey, I need you to go into this parking garage and find out if you can break into this yellow Camaro that's in there, and try to find out whose name is on the registration because [00:14:18] _____ to get in there.” And I was like, “Oh, yeah, sure.” This is an eight years old. Now, with a son that's six, it blows my mind that these things were happening there. But at the end of three days, you are on a trajectory and I'm complimenting you and applauding you like not everybody takes ownership of the process.
Ben: Well, you wouldn't be complimenting me if you saw my draw speed.
Tim: You're aware of it, right? And that's like a big part of it. And as you're walking to the grocery store and you're seeing all these things around you, right now, it's conscious thought. But the more that you do it, the less time you're going to have to spend on it. So, to answer your question, what is Sheepdog Response? Sheepdog came from Colonel Grossman. He wrote some great books. One of them, “On Killing,” but this was a metaphor, a parable about three different groups of people. One is the sheep. They're just regular, every day, living our life, not in a derogatory way that I think the left and the right use the word sheep, but just people living. They're going to eat grass, they're going to make little sheep, and they're just living a regular life.
And then, there's the predators, the wolves that are looking for the weak ones of the society, of the herd, of the flock to go and kill to provide, in some wolf's instances, just satisfaction because they don't even need the meat, they just want to kill. And then, there's the sheepdog. The sheepdog has way more in common with the wolf. It has canines. It has a digestive system that's designed to process meat. It has all the predatory skills of a wolf. It has a musculature of a wolf, the bone structure of a wolf. But the thing that separates it is it loves the sheep, and the sheep, its flock is what it–they don't even know why, but that is their sole purpose for existence is to protect the flock.
And that is the name, but the process came from–I'm a Green Beret. And when I was over in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm fighting what I thought was the worst dude on the planet, hunting down. I was part of the task force that killed Zarqawi. There's bin Laden, leader of the Taliban, and there's Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, and I was part of the task force that killed him. And we're over there. And while I was over there, there were shootings happening in the United States, school shootings, active shooters, and it was gut punches where I'm like over here doing this, and I'm walking down the halls that are filled with giants, just absolute heroes, barrel-chested freedom–I argue that if you pulled out a knife and slit one of these guy's arms open, red, white and blue would just pour out of their arms. They just–
Ben: Right. They've got that Navy SEAL stash. What's the handlebar?
Ben: Cannibal shoulders, yeah.
Tim: Well, this big [00:17:01] _____, these jaws that just looks so stoic and a little cleft chins. Their eyes were just like that steely–every look they make is blue steel. I'm joking, but I'm not because this is just how all of them look. And we're sitting here watching these things happen in the United States and frustrated like, why can't one of us be there? Why can't I, Tim Kennedy, be sitting in the movie theater in Aurora when some prick walks in on the preview, the debut of Batman, and starts mowing people down? Like, why can't I be in the theater on that night? Untrained, nobody that doesn't know anything about really how to do violence. And before the door opens, he throws in a flashbang or a gas grenade and I'm like, “Yehey, the fight's on.”
Ben: Right. For you, that's fun, what most people would find terrifying, what arguably someone who may have been through a Sheepdog course might at least be able to keep somewhat of a head-on their shoulders about–like you wanted to be able to put people in those type of situations, but there weren't thousands of views.
Tim: Yeah, there weren't. But now, four years into this, so that was the inception is can I–so a Green Beret, first and foremost, we are our forced multiplier. So, you the taxpayer pays me, the Green Beret, to go to places behind enemy lines and train friendly forces that believe the same thing that we believe in democracy and capitalism. And we know they don't like terrorists. We're going to go over and find friendly forces that want to fight the Taliban, and we're going to help them and empower them. And if I can do that overseas, why can't I do that in the United States?
So, we came back with this new vision of, “I'm going to empower the American people.” If you go back to 1773, 1774, a tyrannical government was like, “We're going to tax you on this T.” And we're like, “No, you're not. We're going to do what we want, and all of us are a bunch of studs that carved our existence out of the wilderness, and we're going to fight you for it.” And then, we have a revolution. That's the beginning of who we are as rebels, but every individual American was a badass. They're going to fight bears in the wilderness with a knife. We're talking about Josh jumping out with a spear. That was just like a Tuesday for a lot of people.
Ben: Right. Mel Gibson and the patriot.
Tim: Yeah, and not an exception, just the American. So, then not that we're a soft society now, but we have had it so good for the past 70 years that we forgot what it looks like to be worried and to be scared and to have to struggle, and what a great blessing that we've been so fortunate as a country. But now, there's wolves knocking on our doorstep. There's predators that are prowling in the wood line looking at us, and countries that are our peers that want to do evil to us and that there are empowering people here to do evil. And then, we have this disgusting weak, coward of the–I'll call them a serial killer where there's an active shooter, a school shooting the serial killer that is looking for the opportunity to kill as many people as he can for whatever reason. I don't care what the motivation is, whether it's a radical Muslim, or a crazy Christian, or a depressed kid.
I want to address those issues, and hopefully, prevent them, but I also want to be ready for whoever that person is, whenever they walk into that Christmas party in Ventura and they start trying to shoot people. We have now trained 9,000 Americans. And next year, we're going to train another 2100. And every year following, we're going to add to that, and there's going to be tens of thousands of people like you that are dry firing, that have situational awareness, that are walking into a grocery store and not looking at their phone, both their eyes up with a weapon knowing that my family and those around me are going to be safe and protected because I'm here. And that was the beginning of Sheepdog Response.
Ben: Yeah. And it's funny because–well, it's not funny, but it's meaningful that what I discovered–I think the first night of that course, we're watching some videos. It was one of the few times when we just got to sit around for some classroom time that was–I think it about a three-hour-long situational awareness course. And they showed us a video and I became starkly aware of my own lack of situational awareness when they showed us this video that I thought was a cheesy commercial about a guy and a girl going out in high school. It was them writing love notes to each other, and him carving something in her desk and passing notes back and forth in class, and standing around near the cafeteria chatting.
And at the very, very end of the video, this dude, one of their fellow students barges into the big room in the school where they're standing with a gun and proceeds to begin with the school shooting. And then, they play the video again, and the entire video that you thought was a commercial for a dating service or something, if you pay attention in the background, you can see the same kid, as the couple is visiting the library, he's in the background. He's got his laptop open to some gun channel. And in another video, he's like drawing violent imagery in the background during an art class or something. And then, you get to the end of the video and you're like, “Holy cow.” If you actually know what to look for, then you can identify these type of people, and hopefully, shut down a situation before it becomes violent preferably.
But man, when I was sitting there in class, I felt like a dummy when they played that video again and I'm like, “How do I not even see stuff like this?” Because I like to think that I hunt, I've got some nature awareness going on, I meditated. I'm not one of those guys who's always sucked into the screen of my phone, but man, that was an eye-opener for me. And then, we proceeded. And I would love for you to unpack this a little bit over the next few days to actually take that situational awareness. And I'm fine if you want to explain to people what that is, or take a deeper dive into that as well. But we took that situational awareness and then proceeded to learn a whole bunch of cool skills. And this might rabbit hole a little bit, but walk us through what a typical Sheepdog course looks like if someone registers and shows up.
Tim: Well, just take a piece of beautiful music written by Rachmaninoff or Beethoven, Handle. The big moments are the opening the crescendo and the close. So, we frontload a Sheepdog Response course with what we think is the most impactful block of instruction, which is the situational awareness. Ben, as you learn the OODA loop, the observe, orient, decide, and act, the thing that takes the longest, you might be the fastest out of the holster, and you might be the best fighter, and you might have all the skills with all the equipment, you have the coolest gun and the coolest knife. But the thing that takes the longest is your brain's ability to process what's happening around you.
When we look at the Boston Marathon bombing, a guy in a black sweatshirt walked up to the finish line of the Boston Marathon. He set down a backpack, and in that backpack was a pressure cooker. In that pressure cooker, obviously we know what happens. But around there, how many people do you think, Ben, saw what was happening there? How many people saw him set down that backpack, 10, 20, 30?
Ben: If that.
Tim: They couldn't process what they saw. Now, having seen pre-assault indicators and understand what I think is called “The Gift of Fear,” a great book by Gavin de Becker, where he talks about–
Ben: What'd you call it, “Gift of Fear?”
Tim: Yeah, “The Gift of Fear.” He just talks about we have forgotten and we have lost so much inherent skill. You know that six cents? If you have kids–there's times where my kids will be around somebody. I'll be like, “Hey, go say hi.” And they're like, “I don't want to go say hi.” You're like, “Okay, don't go say hi.” I don't know what it is that my kid sees in that person, but they haven't been culturally–the construct of society hasn't taught them that whatever that is inside of them, that fear, that's not okay. They're still acting and responding, and I'm like, “Okay, absolutely.”
Ben: Or your dog.
Tim: Yeah, 100%. Well, we have that stuff. The society has tried to dole it. Society is trying to tell us that it's not okay to profile. It's not okay to look out and be like that person that's sitting in the parking lot underneath the lamp post that has no light bulb and he's watching people come in and out of the store. There's probably nothing wrong with him. As a matter of fact, I should feel empathetic and sympathetic to whatever trouble that person has had in their life trying to ignore that that's happening, when in truth, we should recognize that that is a potential threat. And then, if my wife is getting into her car without me being there after shopping and she opens the door and locks it and that person gets out of the car and gets to the car behind her, right behind her and says, “Hey, drive us to the secluded area,” and whatever happens to my wife is going to happen. She saw all the pre-assault indicators, but she intentionally ignored them. And a lot of times, we try and talk ourselves out of it. So, that situational awareness component is why we start the course with it. And that is why we hammer so hard on getting your brain to work.
Ben: Yeah. And it's not like situational paranoia, right? Because that's what I was afraid of when we were going through all that. I'm like, “I'm never going to be able to just walk into a cocktail party and relax again.” But as you referred to a little bit earlier, you briefly alluded to this idea of competence, and just that idea of being almost like unconsciously competent when you walk into a room, and even your subconscious just spinning away unable to process potential threats, potential exits, potential people that aren't acting the way that you might expect a normal person to act in a situation like that. So, it's not as though you are paranoid. I never want to give people the impression this is about walking everywhere, biting your nails, looking fearfully around. It's more just like being freaking aware.
Tim: I actually think it's freeing. I pity people that live in fear, and they're living in fear because they don't have the skills. And the first skill is that situational awareness, and then obviously, all of the other ones have defensive tactics and what are the tools that I'm carrying. But I mean, really, if there's something that I'm worried about, I mitigate it with a measure, so then I can continue to live, right? I of course worry about my children and my teenage daughters that are in college, and what can I do, and try to protect them from a third–in college, a third of women are sexually assaulted in college, a third. So, what are measures that I can put in place to try and protect those young women as they're going through a great phase of their life to make sure that they're protected here at home? When I'm traveling, what can I do to make sure that my wife and my one-year-old and my six-year-old are safe? And it's not so that I'm living in fear, it's so that they can live with freedom and no paranoia, that they could just be comfortable and know that they're safe. And I think safety is one of the key motivators of why we do these things. It's so that you can live free.
Ben: Yeah. Now, there's a couple of times I might rabbit hole a little bit here and ask you a few practical questions. So, just so someone can wrap their head around the idea of someone who's been trained as a sheepdog with situational awareness, say, walking through Walmart. You mentioned just a few minutes ago about what you have on you. Like, if you, Tim Kennedy, and you might be an extreme example, I suppose, but let's even just say the average sheepdog having gone through your course where walking through Walmart in addition to being situationally aware, what do they actually have on their body or in their bag that if shit does hit the fan would allow them to react as an appropriately trained sheepdog?
Tim: It depends on where we're going. So, if we're using Walmart as the example, I change and tailor the stuff that I carry depending on the permissiveness of the environment that I'm going to go into. So, if I'm going to Burkina Faso, Africa as a contractor or in a military capacity, it might have a few more things than I would if I was going to be hanging out in Germany, a very permissive, friendly place to Americans, like tourists. Similarly, if I'm in the United States and I'm in Texas, and I'm going to barbecue joint in Lockhart compared to Southeast Boston, clearly, one of them is totally permissive that I have very little to no worries about. And the other one, I might take some planning to mitigate some of the potential threats. Going into Whole Foods compared to Walmart or a Waffle House at 2:30 in the morning, you're going to have totally different groups of people. At Whole Foods at 11:00 a.m., you're going to have a whole bunch of moms that drop their kids off at school a couple of hours ago. They're now doing the shopping for their families. And an hour from there, you're going to have a bunch of working people that are coming in there to grab some food for lunch.
So, understanding the social patterns in what we call a POL or pattern of life, and what is the normal thing for what's happening there, and then identifying the outliers. The outliers could be potential threats. And so, if I'm walking to Walmart at three o'clock in the afternoon, that's a pretty permissive environment compared to walking into Walmart at 11:00 p.m. at night where I'm going to have a different group of people that are going to be there. And some of the things that I have with me, I work in law enforcement, I am a Special Forces Sniper and a Green Beret. I don't have a time in my life where I don't have a gun with me. And I have tailored my life that I can always have a gun with me. Thankfully, I've never had to use it in the United States.
Ben: And that gun, is it holstered at your size? Do you use like a chest harness or–?
Tim: Sometimes it's in a fanny pack. In Texas, it's hot as heck here right now. For example, right now, I'm wearing stretchy rogue American apparel shorts that I just got done working out in, and a T-shirt. So, it'd look weird if I had a gun in my pants.
Ben: I actually don't know why you're wearing shorts or pants during an audio podcast. I always opt-out.
Tim: This wisdom. So, a fanny pack I can carry into the gym. I look pretty normal here in Austin. It's pretty relaxed. But then last week, I was having to be downtown as in kind of dress clothes. So, I had it inside the waistband holster that I was carrying in the front over my right hip. I'm right-handed. I have a light on the gun with a red dot. I have good ammo. I have a backup magazine. I have a tourniquet.
Ben: Yeah, that was actually one thing I learned was the tourniquet. That one took me by surprise. I never just really thought about the value of having tourniquet and how many extra minutes that can buy you or someone else if there's anything from an accidental discharge to unintentional firing. Can you just give people a brief idea of why you'd want to walk around the tourniquet?
Tim: I think 80% of the people that died in the Las Vegas shooting, they bled out. So, they had an extremity wound and they went into shock because of the loss of blood and they ultimately died. That number, that 80% of the people that had life-savable injuries to a tourniquet, if there were that many number of tourniquets there, there would be that many more people alive. So, with a big blood loss type wound, a car accident, a skill saw, a chainsaw, a gunshot wound, all of those things you bleed a lot, and the amount of blood that you lose in what could be 15 to 20 seconds is almost impossible to recover from. It's blood that you need to keep inside of you and a tourniquet stops that blood from getting out.
So, I keep a RATS tourniquet and regular North American Rescue tourniquet on me all the time. I have little tiny kids. I have a one-year-old. I have dogs. Even my six-year-old is pretty tiny and the tourniquet doesn't really work a regular one. And they have a lot less volume of blood than we do, so the amount of time and the amount of blood they can lose in volume is so much less than what we can lose. So, the tourniquet is the easiest solution to keeping blood in the body, and it is so fast. There's blood coming out of it. I throw a tourniquet above it and I tighten it until the blood stops. That's it. The science has proven medically it is absolutely no damage can be done with the tourniquet. All it can do is good. All it can do is save life, keep blood in the body. So, there's no reason–and even though I think I'm a pretty slick gunfighter, I'm always ready for whatever it's going to happen.
The number of times that I've had to use my gun or a knife here in the United States is a big O zero. The number of times that I've put a tourniquet on somebody or I've been present with an accent were in the dozens. Two days ago, I was driving back from Bastrop, Texas into Austin, Texas and it had been raining here. And a car lost control, it swerved over, it hit the railing on the right-hand side, and then flipped over two lanes and slid against the center divider. Thankfully, it stopped there and didn't go into oncoming traffic. And it happened right in front of me. This was two days ago, 48 hours ago. I have a full medical bag in my truck. I get out. I run up. And everybody's wearing seat belts, thankfully. It was a pretty soft hit and they slid into that railing and then rolled over. So, their airbags didn't even deploy. I get there and they're upside down and I'm getting thumbs up already. Oh my god, this is going to be easy. I pulled them out and everybody's fine. But that was 48 hours ago. It could have been so much more catastrophic and so much more deadly. But I had stuff with me that regardless of what would have happened, I would have had all of the things necessary to be able to preserve and protect human life. And that's the mission of our company is to preserve and protect human life.
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Plus, with the tourniquet, you always have the ability to do blood flow restriction training on the go if you need to get in a quick bodyweight workout. So, it doubles up. I know it's funny. I actually used to travel–well, I still do. I travel everywhere with these blood flow restriction bands, and so kind of sort of had tourniquets on me, just because I use them for workouts. But now, I have that little–what's the name of the tourniquet you guys recommend? It's like this little black one with the twist device on it.
Tim: Yeah. That's the North American Rescue. They call it the TQ.
Ben: That's the one I keep in my fanny pack now, and that was a good tip, something I hadn't thought about. And yeah, I mean, you guys tell people what to have in your glove box, what to have in your bag, what do have in your fanny pack if you're one of those weird folks. And then, after going through all that, we also did a ton of rolling. And like I mentioned in the intro, I'm not a guy who's done a lot of jiu-jitsu. My wife has never done any. And jiu-jitsu seemed to be kind of like the preferred form of self-defense maneuvering that was really focused upon during Sheepdog training. And I think probably 75% of the people there had never rolled. But again, we spent like eight hours over the course of the weekend learning the bare minimum, almost like feeding through the firehose jujitsu training.
But why that form of training for Sheepdog Response course?
Tim: I'm a black belt in jiu-jitsu. I'm a black belt in army combatives. And having done this violent stuff overseas in a lot of different capacities, I get to pick where the fight happens with jiu-jitsu. So, you've been to protector one, which is the level one intro course. Protector two is predominantly on your feet. So, we teach all striking. But the reason we start in protector one with the ground is if you can't dictate where the fight's going to happen, the fight's going to happen wherever the fight's going to happen. I get to pick where the fight happens. The fight can happen right here on the concrete. It can be on the ground. I can pick you up and I can carry over the car and do it on top of the car.
I get to pick where the fight happens. And if you look at all of the UFC champions currently, every single one of them has a wrestling and jiu-jitsu background. Even though some of them are knockout artists, that some of them love to put their heavy hands on somebody and get the big, huge gigantic knockout and the gift bonus from Dana White, all of them, first and foremost, are grapplers that then get to choose to stay on their feet. I'm going to use like a Chuck Liddell as an example, or an Anderson Silva, two of the most famous champions of the UFC. And everybody knows them for their fantastical knockouts, these just big, huge left hook right hands from Chuck, or these crazy kicks, these vicious elbows and knees from Anderson Silva. John Jones, maybe arguably the greatest fighter of all time currently. All of them are grapplers first, and all of them were collegiate level wrestlers, all of them black belts in jiu-jitsu, and then they're able to knock everybody out. But if they don't get to pick where the fight happens, then the fight–like if I had to fight Anderson Silva or Mike Tyson, am I going to walk up to Mike Tyson and touch gloves and be like, “Alright, Queen of Marquessberry Rules, let's do this? “
Ben: Yeah. Depends how high he is, but yeah.
Tim: Yeah. I'm going to shoot a low single. I'm going to put him on his ear, and then I'm going to grab a brick and smash him in the head. But I get to do that because I have the skills that can choose how the fight is going to progress, and that's where we start. I think that jiu-jitsu is a superpower. You learn how to control your own body. You get to control somebody else's body. That sounds so simple but think about that for a second. I get to make you do whatever I want you to do physically and you don't get a say in it.
Ben: And as you guys taught in the course, a lot of these fights wind up on the ground and/or the ability to be on the ground can sometimes allow you to resolve a situation with a little less violence, such as a blood choke that puts one to sleep very quickly, but doesn't actually result in a great deal of damage aside from getting them into a hell position until, say, like the cops show up or additional support shows up. I mean, it's not a completely nonviolent form of submission, but it seems to also be something that allows you to shut down a potentially threatening scenario without necessarily straight-up killing someone. I might be wrong with that assessment. Maybe that's not what you [00:41:29] _____.
Tim: No, you're absolutely totally right. It is a martial art. It's called the gentle art. And when you look at the founders of it, Hélio Gracie, and the guy that I got my black belt from, Royler Gracie, they are not built like me. They don't have these scars to heavy chunky hands. They're kind of petite-built men. And they designed this style of martial art to be able to neutralize a bigger, stronger person. And then, when you add guns and knives into the mix, it becomes obviously more deadly, but it becomes even more important that you're able to control somebody else and be able to control what they want to do with their body. That is like if they're going to try and grab a gun, if they're going to try to pull out a knife, you are able to control that. You're going to allow it to happen or not, but it's your choice.
When you look at police officers and when they're trying to get cuffs on somebody, they're just getting their butts kicked and pinning on because if they just had a little bit of jiu-jitsu, it would be so easy. They wouldn't have to hurt somebody, they wouldn't have to shoot somebody, they wouldn't have to hit somebody, wouldn't have to escalate, they get to do anything they want. You could save life with the skills of jiu-jitsu. If you have to shoot them, you can. But more importantly, you can save not just your life and the lives of everybody behind you, you can also save the bad guy's life. They might be in a phase that 10 minutes from now, they're going to bounce out and not be depressed or not be all hyped up on drugs, and they're going to be like, “Oh my god, what have I done?” And now, they're going to spend the rest of their lives trying to make up for the mistake that they made in that moment of fear or depression.
Ben: That's a good point because like on the first day, Tim, when we were like shrimping and doing guard retention and working with like Kimura and triangle choke and everything, I appreciated it and it was interesting. But really, the second day where we were doing that, but each of us had like a knife tucked away or a gun tucked away, that's where shit seemed to start to get really real because I can try to put somebody in an arm bar. But if they're able to quickly yank a Glock out of their back belt and just pop a cap in my head as I'm trying to maneuver their arm, it's game over.
And so, that was super interesting for me going from here's what rolling around the ground looks like to here's what rolling around the ground looks like when something's really on the line and there's weapons and you're trying to keep track of a knife and/or a gun at the same time you're trying to submit someone. And it got me to thinking, and I want to ask you about this because whether it's jiu-jitsu or anything else, I know that you guys have a lot of real practical instructors like I think the guys at our course. I think there was a SEAL, there was a Ranger, and a couple of firearms safety instructors with a great deal of armed forces experience, and then two professional jiu-jitsu fighters. And what I wanted to ask you was, are there a lot of firearms or close quarter combat techniques or trainings that are taught that are like this but aren't practical or applicable in the real world, so to speak? I'm sure you have some examples of fighting that looks good on paper but doesn't work once the fight hits the streets.
Tim: Oh, man, you're just trying to get me fired up now. Yeah, there's a whole bunch. Like that traveling snake oil guy that's coming back, “Hey, if you take the snake oil and you rub it on that wound of yours, it's going to miraculously heal you. Oh, you have diabetes? Cool. Drink the snake oil and it's going to make you be better. Oh, you have cancer? Drink.” There's a lot of that on the self-defense martial arts side where you have charlatans. They're charlatans. They're fake pastors that don't know anything about preserving and protecting human life. They've never done real violence, but they curate, they editorialize what they're going to show you so that it looks cool. At the Wizard of Oz, there's a guy behind the curtain that's playing with the handles that just makes it look crazy and impressive, when in truth, it would never work and it will never work, and he knows that it will never work. And there are dozens of martial arts, and there's thousands of people that teach those lies. If you don't practice that martial art against a fully resistant opponent, it's not a real martial art.
So, if you're going to go and do a technique and that person is going to let you do it, that's a kata. And a kata is, in martial arts, it's like a pretty dance that you never have to do against somebody that is going to try and stop you. It's just a rehearsed series of beautiful things that look cool. And I don't want that martial arts. I want something that's going to save my life and save my family's lives, and save everyone else behind me. When I look at some of the Krav Magas and the Taekwondos, and even some of the karates, well, there are some good Krav Maga schools that do have jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai, and boxing, and wrestling, and CrossFit, all in there. There's also the ones that's like, no, all you have to do is kick to the groin and poke them in the eye.
And I don't know if when you're in Idaho, it's like Trevor Prangley, if you roll with him. Sometimes we'll have people from these styles of martial arts and we'll tell them, “Hey, man. Do whatever you want. You can do anything. If you want to try and kick me in the groin, if you want to bite me, if you want to try and poke my eyes out, I want you to try and do any of that to us because I want you to understand that none of that works and it's going to get you killed. And even worse is all the people that come into your building to learn from you, you're teaching those people how to die. They're not going to be able to do anything.” And then, at the end of it, they're like, “Oh my god, I'm a horrible person. I've been lying to everybody and taking their money for the past–” however long they've been running their school. So, yeah, fully resistant opponent. You have to have somebody that doesn't want you to do what you're trying to do to them, and they're going to try with all of their heart to stop you. So, that's judo, that's jiu-jitsu, that's wrestling, that's Muay Thai kickboxing, Hawaiian Kempo. Yeah, all of those, you practice the moves against somebody that is going to try their hardest to not let you do it.
Ben: We came out of all that close quarter combat. And in the afternoons, we actually drove. We shifted locations and drove out to the range, and it was a lot of like 3 yard, 5 yard, 7 yard. This was Sheepdog 1, so it was all handgun initially without the magazines loaded, just learning how to handle our guns. And then, eventually, just a ton of shooting and ducking, and even like running and moving with our weapons and learning how to handle in close range, a lot of these real-world firing scenarios.
And one thing that came across my mind that I'm sure it's a question that you must have gotten in the past, I would imagine, but I'm curious what your response would be because I even know people probably jump into the comments section of the show and ask it. Do you ever get people complaining that you're just enabling or empowering people to be more violent? And what I'm getting at here is kind of like that whole vigilante justice. That's the word I'm looking for. Are you concerned at all about a whole bunch of vigilantes running around doing what technically police officers or the executive branch of the government is supposed to be doing? Do you ever get feedback that you're just equipping people to be more violent once you take all these folks who are hot under the collar of the Sheepdog course and they're heading to Walmart with their handgun on their tourniquet?
Tim: That's a great question. One, the executive government is not supposed to do anything. I wish they didn't even exist. But the empowering the individual, a capable society is a polite society. A trained society is a polite society. A man that has the ability to do violence but doesn't, that is a kind and gentleman. A man that doesn't have the ability or capability to do violence, that man is useless when it comes to protecting and preserving human life. So, what we find and often depending on the group here in Texas, I'll even address it flat out, if you have any other motivation here besides to be a protector, if you have any other motivation besides to be a sheepdog, then we're going to find it out while we're here. It would be very difficult to hide that motivation while you're sweating and struggling and on the range.
I don't think people are as clever as they think that they are when it comes to the high beam motivations when they're in total red or black freak-out mode, adrenaline dumps when they're fighting for their lives over a gun and a knife. And Tim Kennedy is laying on top of you holding that knife and slowly covering your mouth and nose while he's looking at you in the eyes like, I'm going to know what your motivation is for being there. Are you there to protect your family? So, yes, we do worry about that and I'm not going to give the backside of what we do, but we have a whole bunch of different background systems that we use, that ministry safe like that church has used to run backgrounds on people, social media where we can take quick little snapshots and I can search them–
Ben: Okay. So, when people register, because I was wondering–like that first day and we were standing around, everybody's got a gun and I walk up and I've got like 20 strangers around me, that rolled into my head. Can I trust these people? All these people with firearms in close quarters, is there a potential for like one bad apple to be in that crowd? Because I don't recall that I did like a huge background check or bio check when I registered for the course, but then you guys are doing that on the backend?
Tim: You give us all the information from the individual that we need to do it, so yeah. And then, the waiver, you do sign that we can look into you. But then, we don't put a big exclamation on that. And then, somebody could still come in there and not again show you behind the curtain. But when you're giving that orientation while that person was up there talking, do you remember looking around? So, that was the first time that all of the instructors, which were present there on night number one, got to see the people that were attending the course. Do you remember seeing the instructors on the outsides of the room?
Ben: Yup. Looking at all the Idahoans in their beards and every single person there are driven up in a black Dodge Cummins.
Tim: Yup. Do you know that all those instructors have guns on them?
Tim: Yeah. And all of us are standing on the outside of the room looking in at the new attendees. Even though we've run background checks, we don't know you yet. And do you remember the instructors coming up and talking to specific people and like, “Hey, where are you coming in from? What made you take the course?”
Ben: Jeez, man, now you're making me feel bad. I thought people were just interested in me as a super interesting individual.
Tim: You are really, really, really interesting, but they were also doing their jobs, which was situational awareness, and we do it on both ends. So, we do it before you arrive, which is the pre-planning portion, which we covered in that first block of instruction. And we do the same thing with the individuals that are coming into our courses. And then, hands on the act of it, then we go and profile even further when we're talking to somebody–if there's an outlier, like the girls got a little extra attention. In Idaho, obviously, let's say a black Muslim was attending that course, that's an outlier. Would I expect that here in Austin? Of course. And would they be welcome? Absolutely. Would they be in Salt Lake City, a Muslim community there in California? Absolutely.
But in Idaho, Post Falls, not a big community of black Muslims living in that area. So, if there was a guy in that course, we'd probably walk up and talk to him that came in. “What brought you to this course? First of all, welcome. So proud that you're here.” And we get a little bit of insight as to who that person is, what their motivations are. Then we find out, as a matter of fact, yes, there is a mosque there and they have been concerned because there's been some weird alt-right people present at their building. I want that person to be trained. I want him to be able to take and protect his flock in his community. So, I want to empower that individual to do that. No, we don't preface in that mission statement, in that protect and preserve in human life. It's like, “Hey, this is only for white Christians,” or, “This is only for straight men.” This is for everybody.
Ben: Even in the Idaho course, I mean, there were six-year-old grandmas down to my wife who's a homemaker who had never touched jiu-jitsu or even handgun she's owned for two years in her life. To me, who pretends to be a badass on social media, but really has decades of learning to do, particularly around firearms and combat. And then, there were people who were just like dead shots out in the range but had never rolled before or people who were black belts but had never touched a gun. And so, yeah, it really spanned the gamut even in Idaho, but that's interesting that you guys do those kind of background checks. That actually makes me feel a lot better. I'm sure answered some of the questions people might have asked.
And then, I also wanted to ask you, because I think this would be really cool for folks to hear, it's all good and well to talk about this stuff, but tell me a story about an actual Sheepdog attendee. Like an actual person who actually took what they experienced in this course and experienced some kind of an incident where they used their training. Can you think of a good one?
Tim: Oh my god, man. So, I could tell you hundreds and hundreds of these.
Ben: Well, tell us one, at least.
Tim: Can I give you two?
Tim: Okay. So, we had this young woman attend. She's a deputy in Louisiana, and she is cute as a button. And bless her heart, she has that Sheepdog Protector in her. First, she's a small-statured human. She's a female and she's chosen a career that is not forgiving, especially in an area of the United States that is even less forgiving to be a woman or somebody that's small in stature. She shows up. She learns how to–first time ever, her department had never showed her how to use a tourniquet. She attends the Protector 1 course, she attends the Protector 2 course, and she attends our TTRC on medical course. She attends all of them. We find out that she had come out of pocket because her department wouldn't pay for anything. So, then we ended up giving her some scholarships to come to the other ones.
She goes back to the prison that she works at, and a guy is trying to kill himself with a shank that he smuggled into his room. She goes in and he's like, “Okay, this is my way to get killed by a cop,” and he attacks her with the shank. She fights him, covered in blood. She wrestles the shank out of his hands, then she subdues him and gets a tourniquet on him and saves his life. And she learned the fighting portion, the tourniquet portion, and the kind of controlling situation. She understood exactly what was happening there, that this was somebody that wanted to die, and how do I save this person's life?
Ben: And she was already a trained cop?
Tim: Trained, is a law enforcement–lots of departments have different requirements, and I think this is a dangerous assumption. Law enforcement does not, especially in the current era of defund the police, law enforcement does not have the training that they need. They don't have the budget to train. They don't have the time to train. So, our law enforcement, their hands are tied behind their back, they're undertrained, they're underprepared, they're underfunded. And then we're like, “Hey, go out there and deal with the worst of society.” And it's no different where she came from. They had no training budget. I will say she is not trained or was not trained. When she came to us, she did not know how to fight. She had the spirit. She had the heart. She did not know the medical training. And then, she brought that back to the unit and we've had people from her unit come to us since then.
So, that's one impressive story. And Courtney, if you're listening, you're amazing. You're a hero. And then, another one just got this week. Just two days ago, three days ago, I'm driving back from the range–and I'm not saying I was reading an email while I was driving, but this email, it was one of our Protector 1 students or Level 1 students. And he was at a birthday party at like a Chuck E. Cheese. It wasn't in Chuck E. Cheese, but he described it at like a Chuck E. Cheese. When he walked out to the car to get something, he saw that there was a guy standing outside of the entrance, and he was just kind of like watching people come in and out.
And so, he goes out to the car and gets something, and then a young lady walks out of the building, I think to go to her car as well. And he confronts her and he's like, “Hey, ma'am, can I have some money? My car broke down. It's right around the corner.” And she's like, “No, I don't have any money.” He's like, “Well, can you come give me a jump? I think the battery is dead.” And he's trying to lure this woman away from this building, this party, out around the corner. He's just a dad. He's untrained, but he just attended a course, but he saw the guy. He understood the outlier. Situationally awareness-wise, he identified that this could be a potential threat. They saw that interaction. And normally, he said he would have avoided that potential confrontation, but immediately, he turns around and he walked back up. He's like, “Hey, what's going on?” And he doesn't do the tough guy thing like, “Hey, bro, what's your problem? Leave her alone.” He totally defuses the situation.
I'll see that kind of a brave approach coming from a position of humility where he was talking to the–he didn't know the girl. And he's just talking to this woman. He's like, “Man, we just wanted you back inside for this other thing,” and the guy's like, “Hey, man, what's your problem?” He's like, “Oh, I don't have any.” “Did you need some help?” And the guy's like, “Yeah, man.” Now, the guy got agitated because he realized his easy score, whatever his motivations were, just dematerialized. So, the two of them walked back inside and the girl was unaware what was potentially happening. And she's like, “Well, thanks for that. Are you going to help him?” And he's like, “Yeah. I'm going to actually go call the police is what I'm going to do.”
And then, it dawned on her what she had just agreed to, that this woman had just agreed to a stranger to go out into a dark parking lot around the corner and help a guy jumpstart his car. So, they called the police and of course the guy takes off running. The guy emails just like–that would have gone 10 years ago. I probably would have just fist fought the guy. Who knows if he has a gun or a knife. But my cavalier bravado of me being a savior would have got in there, or I would have never even seen what was happening because I had been so ignorant of the potential threat have existed there. And I could give you hundreds of these stories.
Ben: They showed us a video of a girl who had been getting bullied by one of her classmates at school, and one of her other classmates actually leaked out a video when this happened. But he came up to bully her and actually put hands on her, her father had been training or using a lot of these sheepdog techniques, and she literally did a couple of jiu-jitsu moves on the guy. I think she actually wound up taking a knee to his face, and then she had her–I think she had like her Keds running shoes on or whatever and she was just, boom, out of there. You'd hear the teacher in the background saying, “Get that girl,” and the bully is just like laying there on the ground, has no clue what happened to him. And of course, I know that will upset some people about some girl messing up a guy's face at school, but ultimately, I watched that and I'm like, “Man, if that was my daughter, that's what I want my daughter to be able to do if there's a bully actually physically assaulting her at school rather than her just having no clue what to do or how to handle the situation.”
So, yeah. They showed us a lot of cool anecdotes at the course. And again, if you guys are listening in, I'll link to the course. You can read more about it and everything in the shownotes. But Tim, I know that our time together today is limited, but I had a couple of fun questions I want to ask you just rolling around my head. Do you have a couple minutes?
Tim: Of course.
Ben: Okay. Alright, cool. So, I'm not going to name any names, but I've gone down and done like Mark Divine SEALFIT course down in Encinitas, and even come down as one of the instructors later on it and helped out with the course, and hung out with a lot of, I guess so-called like operators, and Special Forces, and SEALs, and Rangers. And it seems like a lot of you guys are kind of like operating on an entirely different level energetically, like mentally, even just like pupils dilated full on aware of every last little thing that's going on in a very energetic alert, “How many cold brews did you just drink, bro?” type of way.
And for me, being in the supplements, and nootropics, and smart drugs type of industry as part of what I do, I've always wondered if there's some kind of a special MK ultra-esque fringe supplement or smart drug or secret compound that guys like you take to give you an extra edge. I mean, because there's of course the, “How did you sleep last night?” I asked one of my instructors and he said, “I'll sleep when I'm dead,” which I hear a lot. And so, I'm just curious, do you guys have any special tools in your back pocket? And you can plead the Fifth if you want, but I'm just curious.
Tim: Not in the way that you think. I'm going to say yes. Well, we've been short-wired, we've been hotwired, we've been short-circuited. So, in the selection process, whether you're a Green Beret going through Special Forces selection, you're MARSOC, you're a Navy SEAL, all of our selections are very similar. They're looking for people that can, I'll say go black, where we can consciously choose to–I can lay in this water for as long as you–I will make you bored of you trying to make me into our pain because I just won't even acknowledge that I am in pain. So, we can consciously short-circuit our own brain, right?
And then, when we get into the training portion of it, they start selecting, hand-selecting, and shaping the way that we are going to behave. We're going to respond and we're going to react. Time is this existential concept that is removed from our life. Like it doesn't matter if I have to hop on a helicopter at one o'clock in the morning and I have to work for the next 72 hours. All that matters is I have to do the thing that they're asking me to do and successfully meet the end state of that mission. Nothing else matters. All that matters is success, like gender, race, sleep, food. The only way that those matter is if they enable and facilitate me to be successful or they're detriment and a liability.
And when we carry that into the entrepreneurial mindset where we could construct our own environment, I'm very sorry I wasn't present with you in the course, but all the time people ask me that same question like, “What are you on, dude?” And I'm like, “Man, I am on life.” I don't need to sleep. All I want to do is work. All I want to do is hammer it. And it is the sweetest satisfaction to see everybody fall off into the fringes of this unsuccessful failure when, man, I'm just getting started. Like nine o'clock in the morning and people are showing up to work and I'm like, “Bitch, I've already been working for four fucking hours. Welcome to my world.”
Ben: That's one of the most useful things I've taken away from hanging around with guys like you is it rubs off. Like I get up about 3:45, 4:00 a.m. most mornings now. And granted I'm doing some woo-woo meditation, gratitude, breathwork, journaling, I'm easing my way into the day. I'm not getting up and crushing the kettlebells right away. But now, I mean, when you get to 10:00 a.m. and you've lived an entire day that most people are just getting started, there is something empowering and confidence-inducing about that.
And the other thing I like about your reply is a lot of people who are kicking around the idea of maybe like getting a one of those super-duper cold pool setups outside their office or their home, or doing something like that that shifts the body into a lot of like a self-shock syndrome for short periods of time, I mean, that's one of my secrets. Honestly, I have a 32-degree ice bath right outside my office, maintains 32 degrees year-round, and I get in that thing every afternoon, sometimes just a minute. But you do feel remarkably more resilient to, let's say an argument at a dinner that evening when you've done that earlier in the day no matter what kind of substances you might have floating around in your body. So, that's interesting to know that you don't have a drip IV of LSD going into your veins, but you forward yourself to be harder to kill and more resilient under stress using training.
Tim: Yeah. If you can consciously choose to do these–like it's not painful, it's not damaging you, right? But if you're choosing–I always tell the guys like my teammates that I work with, if you were choosing to have dirt in your eyes, your hands dripping with blood, when you're swinging kettlebells and you go to grab your pistol and a callus on your middle finger which has been rubbed raw from the trigger guard of your rifle, that callus falls off again and the sweat is dripping in your eyes, and that feels like a regular, comfortable afternoon, how easy is everything else that could happen? Whether it's an argument at work or a problem with one of your kid's teachers, that is so easy to solve because you've already put yourself by choice voluntarily through the hardest moment of the day. You did it to yourself. So, anybody else, they can't bring what I can bring to myself. I know I'm way more medieval to what I can do to me than anybody else can do to me.
Ben: Admittedly, I do like to chalk up my hands quite a bit before I draw, just in case. You guys should add that to the bag, just a little bit of chalk. When everything goes crazy at Walmart, you got to make sure that you're getting rid of the blisters or at least alleviating the potential for them to form.
The other thing I want to ask you, just because this looks so cool, this “Hard to Kill” show that you did. What was the, in your opinion, the most dangerous, or I guess impressive to you, occupation, that you were able to encounter as part of filming that show?
Tim: When you think about ski patrol, I was like, “Oh, man, these guys, they're–“
Ben: Ski patrol?
Tim: Yeah. They're like up in Tahoe, hanging out, drinking, trying to hook up with the seasonal mamas that are popping in. But then you see behind the scenes where they do an avalanche training where they're using dynamite dropped out of helicopters to cause avalanches. The physicality, I pride myself like you do to be a pretty physically fit person. And I did their PT test, which is a must-pass event. There's an elevation change of about 5,000 meters and you have to do it in such amount of time. You have to have a medical pack with you, and you have to do it in your ski boots. I was dying trying to get this done. I didn't have time to acclimate to the altitude. So, I think we were going from like 8,000 to 13,000 feet.
I failed the test. And I don't fail a lot of physical tests. And there was like this 26-year-old girl that just–she blew past me in this test, and she was like, “Hey, how are you doing?” And I'm bent–like if I had a heart rate monitor on, I was definitely in the red. Mentally, I was just totally broken. And she's just having like a casual conversation like it was a Sunday afternoon and we're about to have a cup of tea. I was like, “I hate you. I'm going to throw you off this mountain, come here, if I could catch you.”
Ben: Wow. And what was her career?
Tim: She's ski patrol. She's one of the avalanche recovery team, which is a fancy name for ski patrol.
Ben: Wow. That's crazy. But you did like bull riders, modern flight training, just a whole gamut of dangerous occupations and you just jumped in there with them?
Tim: Yeah. But when you think about a bullfighter, you're like “Alright, that's a tough job. There's a dude hopping in there.” So, there's a degree. My expectation was met. When I got hooked by a bowl, and I got thrown up in the air, and try to get trampled on, I had to go. I brought my A game. When I'm doing an experimental test pilot or a bush pilot helicopter, okay, you're going to lock me in the fuselage, the cockpit of a plane, you're going to cover it with an avgas and set it on fire. Okay. I'm in the zone right now. When you tell me I'm going to be a ski patrol, I think there's a degree of pride and ego that I brought with it. I was like, a 25-year-old could be ski patrol, right? I'm a Green Beret. I've fought in wars, Afghanistan, Iraq. I've killed bad dudes. And I got there and I was like, “Oh, my god, this is really hard.” I was just surprised and humbled of course.
Ben: Yeah. Well, it's a fun show. I'll link to that in the shownotes for anybody who wants to check out Tim on that show. It's at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/timkennedy. But just something I wanted to finish up with because I was thinking about this the other night. This was like five nights ago. The alarm in our house went off, and this was the first time I've gone off since I've taken the Sheepdog course. In the past, I've woken up and been probably a lot more stressed than I was this last time. The gun rather than being locked, in this case, just the extras, my wife's Glock rapid recoil and just her own personal gun, but it had been, up until we took the Sheepdog course, locked in the upper section of the closet by her underwear with the Megs over across from that in a different part of the closet.
And then, all the rest of the guns, because we got a Colt Carbine, and some hunting rifles, and a couple of home defenders and everything just kind of locked away in the safe. But in this case, I mean, I won't say where it was, but the gun was literally within arm's reach. The Meg was within arm's reach. I mean, within 10 seconds, I was at my door feeling very confident with the handgun in my hands knowing what to do, knowing I was capable of firing and firing accurately should a situation arise. I went through the house. The basement door had blown open because the kids haven't locked it after they've been playing in the basement before bed. And I shut everything down and put the gun away and went back to bed, but it felt really good in the same way that I feel super confident walking across a parking lot now knowing that when the alarm goes off in the house, I know what to do and I have what I need to have. It's a cool feeling.
I guess my only complaint, Tim, is that sheep really aren't that stupid. I've also haunted sheep down in Hawaii and they've got freaking sentinels and intelligence outlets. And I've haunted sheep for like four days before trekking around unsuccessfully in sheep land. So, maybe I should have gone with like a sloth or a panda, or more stupid animal then. I'm saying sheep are pretty smart.
Tim: Yeah, especially real wild ones. The domesticated ones are a little bit more tame. You're definitely right about that.
Ben: Yeah. Well, this is such a cool course. I'd have been remiss not to get you on the show afterwards because I got so much out of it, and I love to share cool experiences I have with my audience, and I know they like to be prepared. And for any of you who wants to check this course out, you can go to the Sheepdog website. I'll link to everything Tim and I talked about, too, like books like “Gift of Fear.” And also, by the way, a fantastic documentary I'm going through right now called “End Game,” like a survival and prep documentary. It's got like 20 different long-form interviews on there put on by my friend named Jeff Hayes. Really good documentary filmmaker from Revealed Films. That'll be a cool resource for you guys as well. That one's called “End Game.” And I think for any of you who got lit up by this show, you would enjoy that series. So, I'll put that in the shownotes and just everything if you'd be able to dig more into Tim, what he does. Look for a Sheepdog course in your area. They're worth traveling, too, also, in my opinion. And you can find all that at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/timkennedy.
Tim, I want to thank you for giving your time and coming on the show, for sharing all this with us, and for helping a heck of a lot of people to be a lot more prepared, and hopefully, making this country a safer place.
Tim: I really appreciate it, man. You have an open invitation. You got [01:13:35] _____ one of the Texas courses that I'm physically teaching at. Not that I'm a better teacher than the staff that are teaching because I think they're also extraordinarily gifted, but there's definitely a different vibe when I'm there. And the ones that we do here, some they need to hit on the Singleton Security and the Level 2 course, the Protector 2.
Ben: That's in Austin?
Tim: And it's like how do you clear a house by yourself? When the alarm goes off, you grab your gun with risk mitigation and with my–there's a lot that's going on at the same time. And so, you already did the Protector 1 course, which is a prerequisite to come. And I usually am one of the teachers for that. So, I would love to see you and love to train with you. And it's absolutely my pleasure talking to you and thank you for your time.
Ben: Awesome, man. I'd love to do it just because, just in case there's an avalanche, I also know that I'll be safe. Alright. Well, folks, thanks for listening in and until next time. I'm Ben Greenfield along with Tim Kennedy of Sheepdog Response signing out. Shownotes are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/timkennedy, K-E-N-N-E-D-Y. Have an amazing week.
Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
My wife and I recently immersed ourselves in a three-day, close-quarter combat and firearm and personal defense training course called “Sheepdog Response” (and, perhaps because I'm becoming a crazy prepper, I've also been drooling over the new Endgame Survival And Preparation Documentary by my friend Jeff Hays).
During Sheepdog, we experienced hours upon hours of grappling, close-quarter combat, situational awareness, firearm training, and much more. You can see some photos we took here and here. We were feeling a bit sore and beat up at the end, but definitely more prepared for any “curveballs” life may throw at us. I think these types of skills, along with skills such as wilderness survival, plant foraging, hunting, etc. are really good ways to ensure that one is prepared for life in general. (If you're already thinking, “I need to do this,” you can get 10% off Sheepdog Response with code BENGREENFIELD).
I was so impressed with the course that I decided to get the founder of Sheepdog, Tim Kennedy, on the podcast to talk about it, and much, much more.
If you haven't heard of Tim, then you definitely need to know about this guy. Tim is a retired American mixed martial artist and current soldier. A fighting professional from 2001 until 2016, he has fought in the UFC, Strikeforce, the WEC, ShoMMA, HDNet Fights, and represented the Chicago Red Bears in the IFL. Kennedy is one of the few fighters to simultaneously serve in the United States Army while also fighting professionally. He also is a television host, producer, and entrepreneur.
Tim completed Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training, Airborne School, Special Forces Assessment and Selection, and the Special Forces Qualification Course. In 2007, he completed Ranger School and was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group, where he served on an Operational Detachments Alpha. During this time he was also a sniper, sniper instructor, and the principal combatives instructor for C Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group. Kennedy deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom multiple times. In August 2009, Kennedy transitioned from active duty to the Texas Army National Guard's 19th Special Forces Group and served in the position of Special Forces Weapons Sergeant. Among Kennedy's multiple awards is the Army's Bronze Star Medal with V device, which was awarded for valor under fire. He is now an active, Ranger-qualified, Green Beret, Special Forces Sniper with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other locations around the globe.
Tim was the host of the History Channel television series Hunting Hitler, which explores alternative theories about Adolf Hitler's death. He also hosted the show Hard to Kill (on the Discovery Channel), in which he attempted to explore a day in the life of the world's most dangerous occupations. Tim produced the TV documentary Not a War Story in 2017 and helped co-produce Warriors in 2014, and also produced and hosted Iron Dragon TV. He’s also made appearances on Deadliest Warrior and The Ultimate Soldier Challenge.
During this discussion, you'll discover:
-The inspiration behind Sheepdog Response training…12:40
- 25 years as a professional
- Sheepdog Responsehas several tiers of 3-day intensive training courses (use code BENGREENFIELD for 10% off)
- Sheepdog came from Colonel Grossman's parable of sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs:
- Sheep: regular beings, just living their lives
- Wolves: looking for the weak ones to kill
- Sheepdog: has all the predatory skills of a wolf but it loves the sheep and wants to protect them
- Sheepdogs: Meet Our Nations Warriorsby Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
- Tim was part of the task force that brought down al-Zarqawi (Abu Musab al-Zarqawi), leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)
- While he was at war, he was hearing about the school shootings in the U.S.
- Vision of wanting to empower the American people to fight, protect and defend themselves from the wolves that are knocking on our door
- Four years of Sheepdog Responsehas already trained 9,000 Americans; will train 21,000 by the end of next year
-What to expect in the Sheepdog training course…23:35
- Front-load the course with the most important aspect of training which is situational awareness
- Your brain's ability to process what's happening around you takes the longest
- The Gift of Fearby Gavin de Becker
- People live in fear because they do not have the skills of situational awareness
- 1/3 of women are sexually assaulted in college
- Safety is one of the key motivators to why we train, so that we can live free
-What a Sheepdog-trained person might carry on them in public…28:45
- A sheepdog changes and tailors the stuff that he carries depending on the permissiveness of the environment
- Plan to mitigate threats; understand the social patterns or POL (pattern of life) of the people in the environment you are walking into and identify any outliers (potential threats)
- As a green beret, Tim caters his life to be able to always carry a gun with him
- Tim always carries a TQ tourniquet pouch—80% of people that died in the Las Vegas shooting bled out; carries all things that can preserve and protect human life
- A big blood loss type of wound, a car accident or a gunshot wound, bleeds a lot; blood lost in a 15-20 second time is almost impossible to recover from; a tourniquet stops that blood from getting out
- A tourniquet is the easiest solution to keeping blood in the body
- Tim keeps a CAT (combat application tourniquet) and a regular rescue tourniquetwith him at all times
-The importance of jiu-jitsu in combat training…38:15
- Tim has a black belt in jiu-jitsu and Army combatants
- “I get to pick where the fight happens” with jiu-jitsu
- Understanding how to control your own body and someone else's body
- UFC fighters have wrestling and jiu-jitsu backgrounds
- Being close to the ground allows you to neutralize bigger, stronger people without hurting them or worse
- Jiu-jitsu is the gentle art of martial arts
-How real-world experience makes Sheepdog training legit…43:55
- There are many charlatans in the martial arts industry selling techniques that would never actually work in the real world
- There are dozens of martial arts but if you don't practice the martial art against a fully resistant opponent, it's not a martial art
- If you are going to do a technique and the person allows you to do it, you're doing a kata
- A katain martial arts is like a dance; a choreographed pattern of movements
- A martial art should be something that saves your life, your family's life
- Other martial arts are just teaching people how to die
-How Sheepdog Response vets attendees for the program…48:40
- A capable society is a polite society, a trained society is a polite society
- A man that has the ability to be violent, but isn't, is a kind and gentle man
- A man that does not have the ability to be violent is useless when it comes to protecting and preserving human life
- Sheepdog Responsedoes background checks on each attendee
-Real-life examples of Sheepdog attendees using their training…54:35
- Female police deputy attended 3 Sheepdog courses
- Before Sheepdog training, she had never learned how to apply a tourniquet
- When attacked at work by an inmate who was trying to kill himself, she fought back, subdued the attacker, applied a tourniquet to him, and saved his life
- Level 1 student saved a woman that was being lured by a man based solely on the situational awareness learned from the course
-Fringe smart drugs, supplements, and secrets of the Sheepdog Response team…1:01:15
- Sheepdog Responseteam specially selected: Green Berets, Navy SEALS, or Rangers
- No supplements or smart drugs, only training and pure inward motivation
- Consciously short circuit our own brains to successfully meet the end state of a mission is all that matters
- Everyday problems seem so easy to solve when you have put yourself through the hardest moment of the day
-The most dangerous and impressive occupation in filming “Hard To Kill”…1:07:10
- Ski Patrol and avalanche recovery team
- Elevation change of about 5000 feet, have to be medically trained and know how to acclimate to the elevation
-And much more…
- Singleton Security Courseteaches the fundamentals of home protection
Resources from this episode:
– Tim Kennedy:
- Sheepdog Response(use code BENGREENFIELD for 10% off)
- Discovery Channel's Hard To Kill
- History Channel's Hunting Hitler
– Other Resources:
- TQ Tourniquet Pouch
- CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet)
- Endgame Survival And Preparation Documentary By Jeff Hays
–Kion Refer A Friend: The Kion Refer A Friend program allows you to receive a gift—in this case $20 Kion bucks—for every $20 you send to a friend, family member, co-worker, or anyone really because there’s no limit to the number of friends you can refer.
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