What is a true Martial Artist? They come in many shapes and sizes but they all have one thing in common, the want to improve and the ability to do so. Each one of them is seeking perfection in their art all the while knowing that they will never do so. Tim Kennedy is no different in this, but he is different in every way. Tim is not only a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu, he also holds 6 other black belts, he is a top tier MMA fighter and active in the Military Special Forces. Recently War Tribe Gear had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Kennedy and find out more about his history.
When was the first time you started training jiu jitsu?
I don’t know exactly. When I started training, around 4 to 6 years old, there wasn’t a lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu places around. The nearest one was over 2 hours away in Santa Barbara. Even before Jiu Jitsu I was involved in Catch Wrestling and other grappling martial arts. I trained in many other martial arts growing up, even in high school. My first “official” Jiu Jitsu Class was around 12 years old.
Why did you start to train?
For me Martial Arts was an outlet. I am a middle child and I am the personification of that. I have an incredibly successful older brother and amazing younger sister and then me. Martial Arts was a way for me to fight, learn discipline and not go to prison.
Have you ever competed in a Jiu Jitsu match?
My first match was around 14 or 15 years old. I had over 30 tournaments by the time I started in MMA, and had somewhere in the range of 300 matches.
Do you have desire to compete any longer?
Yes, I love to compete. Any time a Black Belt walks into the gym that is over 200 lbs, I think “yes, a challenge”. Having competed in martial arts for the better of 25 years, I wanted to compete in other things like I have been doing the last couple of years.
Have you ever considered Master Worlds or a Fight to Win type match?
I’m a martial artist and I almost resent competitive jiu jitsu, because It’s far from from jiu jitsu really is. If someone were to butt-scoot toward we, I would likely kick them in the face. Martial is the operative word in the title of Martial Arts it is actually Martial Technique because arts is a pore translation of what it actually is. This is a violent thing that people have lost sight of.
Do you have a favorite submission or position you like to work?
Top. If I am on bottom it is to make you work. I am fine on the bottom but I don’t really attack from that position. Most of what i work from that position is setting up scrambles which is where my submissions come from. Today Master Royler showed us two submissions and both of them were from a scramble This is the type of Jiu Jitsu that I love.
You hold very many black belts in various martial arts. When did you receive your black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
I received my black belt in 2010 from Master Royler Gracie while a student at Gracie Humaita Austin.
I also have 6 other black belts. I love BJJ and being part of the Gracie Humaita Association but this needs to be put into perspective as to who I am as a person. While a black belt is the corner stone of many peoples existents, it’s not for me. It is significant to me and I am not belittling it at all, but it is a piece of a pie for me.