“It kind of took me by surprise.”
Your brother announces that he got engaged. You're a bit surprised because he has only been dating his fiancee for 5 months. Someone asks what you think about it, and you say this.
It kind of took me by surprise.
I feel kind of obligated to go.
You look a little sick. Are you OK?
It's somewhat smaller than I thought it would be.
But only "kind of" sounds right before a verb, and only in casual conversation:
I kind of wanted to go with them.
We want to move, but we're kind of waiting for him to finish school.
People sometimes pronounce "kind of" in a way that sounds like "kinda".
To "take ___ by surprise" means to suddenly surprise someone. This phrase is probably as common as "surprise ___", or maybe even more common. Here's an example:
A: What did you think of the end of the movie?
B: It totally took me by surprise.