Tell about yourself and life before stunts, Kenny!
I was born and raised in Southern California. I grew up playing guitar and singing with my dad Ken SR. As a young boy I started playing football and performing in kenpo karate. I have been a college athlete and professional/semi professional athlete in football and MMA. I have honors in football and one hell of a left front kick.
I recently striped my black belt in Ziran Kenpo . Since I was a kid I dreamt of becoming a professional football player. I scratched and clawed my way to make practice squad but fell short in a severe injury within weeks of achieving my life long goal. I healed up and came back strong playing many years in semi professional football. Earning many championships with Pacific Islanders. I then realized my football career was over.
Desperate to compete at the highest level you see since I can remember I knew deep down I was born to compete. It's actually something I cant even control. I realized I needed to test myself. I dropped from 365 lbs to 265 lbs and won my first MMA fight in less then 2 minutes by standing body gelatine. My hand was raised and I was off to a new journey.
To win a heavy weight title in the UFC, I fought from 2010-15 only losing time to an injury that prevented me from being able to continue. I have not been able to compete since that day. With a surgery gone wrong and the pressure of providing for my family, I focused on working in the fitness industry, place to give others hope of feeling their best self.
I have spent many years in the health and fitness industry achieving over 14 national certifications. I'm a very passionate person who thrives off of culture, family and accomplishments. There is nothing more gratifying then using the gifts God gave you. I've lost many friends at a very young age. This tought me to value life and live each day with purpose. You have one life and you are the writer of your own story.
What inspired you to become a stunt person?
When I realized there was a place to utilize all the things I love in one job I was hooked.
What is your greatest skill as a stunt performer?
I believe my toughness and MMA skills.
What is the best part about being a stunt performer?
Being on set of a movie, nothing better.
Tell your all-time personal favorite stunt story!
So far my favorite stunt story was when I was responding to a casting call for a background job - only to find that I had a fight scene with former UFC champion Mark Munoz when I showed up onset. That day I gained a friend and deep respect and love for the stunt community.
I had no idea I was even going to do a fight scene. The coordinator did a great job teaching us the choreography. They then let us go and gave us the freedom to perform the way we wanted. I know everyone is going to enjoy that scene even though I have yet to see it myself. We made something special that day. We had fun, we worked hard and we used what we are passionate about - MMA!
What advice would you give other stunt people?
Being coachable is the best advice I can give.
Anything else you would like to tell the community about?
As a high level martial artist understanding that fighting for film is different then for a fight or tournament. Take the time to learn all the stunt fundamentals. Learn the basics of fighting for film. Study the difference in camera angles and how to sell a hit on screen.