He doesn’t share this information with most, but Kenton Givens is a disabled combat veteran who fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 as a Marine. His wife is US Army and Kenton himself also has a long career in law enforcement. They have four daughters and one son between the ages of 5 and 18 and we are guessing there is never a dull day in their home!
Kenton will be participating in the World Police and Fire Games for the first time at the Fairfax 2015 games, as a competitor in submission grappling. He holds a BJJ Blue Belt at the Jiu Jitsu Institute in Yorktown, Virginia and holds a Black Belt in Judo with the Virginia Academy of Judo. His past experience with competition has only been on the local level in Gi, so the upcoming No Gi level will be a big step for him, but one is mentally and physically ready for. Gi participants are clothed in a kimono, or the customary white jacket/pants while No Gi participants typically only wear board shorts. Another major difference between Gi and No Gi is the point structure as well as certain moves that are allowed and varying takedown strategies.
Kenton has been a police officer since 2001 and is currently assigned as the Department K9 trainer, as well as holding the title of Senior Master Handler. He has worked uniform patrol as a County Officer and in the local jail as a Deputy Sheriff as well. When asked what piece of advice he would give someone aspiring to have a career in law enforcement, Kenton answered:
“Never stop training, it doesn't matter what department you work for, never wait on your department to train you. This is a professional career, and to be the best at it -- at the moment of truth -- you have to train in all aspects of combat, firearms, verbal judo, defensive tactics, the laws, etc. Train and take care of one another so everyone can make it home.”
Kenton puts family first, training second and says that he has been painfully aware of how quickly time flies, now that he his oldest daughter is going to college. He says to enjoy life and never take it for granted. He has learned that children truly allow you to live, laugh, love and cry and he appreciates watching them grow and learn.
He cites his wife as being his biggest source of encouragement and motivation, as she consistently pushes him forward in his dreams and aspirations. He draws inspiration from his Katrina Y. Soriano, his best friend who he lost to cancer several years ago. After attending academy together, they were zone partners during their career and he now wears a bracelet in her honor, reminding him to always work harder.
Kenton’s MUST SEE Virginia recommendations: National Harbor of Maryland, a drive down to Virginia Beach, as well as the historic sites in Virginia.