His journey to where he is today began before he joined the Military. All of his early life he was a heavy, fat, unconfident, quiet reserved individual, who happen to be larger and stronger than most of the football team. In fact he was told he would never really be any good at sports, and would always be “heavy”, “fat”, or “husky” by every “expert/coach he met and he should just accept it. It is one of those strange ironic twists of fate that he wasn’t allowed to play sports growing up and then, later on in life, excel at such a wide variety of athletic and physical endeavors most refuse to believe he didn’t grow up playing sports his entire life!
Immediately following High School, Kirk Joined the U.S. Navy. It was this choice that began a journey which led him to achieve things previously thought to be unattainable and to believe much more is possible. During his time in the Military he assumed a wide variety of responsibilities the majority of which involved Security and Fitness. His ability to excel in those realms brought him much accreditation and accolades for his performance and the performance of the individuals under his mantel of instruction throughout his career. His first assignment was onboard the USS El Paso, during this tour, he was assigned the responsibility of a Mount Captain of gun turret #31. It was here that he learned the difficulties involved in remaining calm, being in charge, and making the correct choices under stress. When the USS El Paso was conducting operations in the Adriatic, a Coastal Patrol craft from a nearby Communist country made what appeared to be an attack run on the ship. During this time MT31 was allocated as the security turret, as the vessel made its approach, MT31 was told to load out and standby. The vessel eventually broke off its approach after closing to within 500yds from the USS El Paso. Over the next 36 hours several other similar vessels would make the same approach, as we were told to remain in the area for security of a Carrier Group operating in the area. Afterward he received special recognition for situational awareness and leadership in what could have been an International incident.
His next tour was onboard the USS Sphinx, where he assumed the role of Security Team Leader, and Senior Mount Captain. It was during this tour that he developed an affinity for fitness and being able to teach others on how to work out and achieve physical improvements. Operating along the coast of Central America, he was instructed in a wide variety of security and small unit tactics, self-defense techniques, and the physical readiness training programs of the Armed Forces of several Latin American countries. This set the groundwork for understanding the differences in how to teach an individual to respond to a potential threat despite the possible size differences involved. It was also where he developed his ability to utilize firearms in both Close Quarters and Long Range. His shooting ability was taught on a gun range and further developed and honed under real world conditions, not in a simulator or in a classroom.
After transferring from the USS Sphinx he was sent to NAS Keflavik Iceland, where he was assigned to Base Security and assumed the role of Shift supervisor. His knowledge of fitness still growing he encouraged and trained his squad in the weight room and conducted constant hand-to-hand / restraint techniques and unarmed-vs-armed tactics. His squad was on record as having the highest overall Physical Readiness Scores for the department and the base. In addition, during his tour, not one of his squad members was ever injured in an altercation or detainment of a suspect. This was a direct result from him applying the tactics and techniques, he previously learned, in a training format that allowed his squad to be ready and able at all times. The same could not necessarily be said of the 7 other squads that were assigned this same role.
After leaving Iceland, he was transferred to NAWC Lakehurst, NJ. During this tour, he was assigned the duties of Senior Small Arms Instructor, PR-24 and ASP Baton Instructor, and the Security Fitness Specialist. These responsibilities allowed him to improve his weapons tactics knowledge, and his unarmed self-defense techniques. As the Gulf War, Desert Storm, broke out, he volunteered to go over as part of the Navy Security Teams, this request was denied and he was instead designated Rapid Response Leader for NAWC Lakehurst, NWS Earle, and NAS Willow Grove. This new position required him to be on the base, armed, 24/7 with an emergency 4×4 vehicle, and being able to respond in less than 1 minute to any crisis. This role was borne out of necessity as the Military had several conflicting and outdated policies in place at this time. So with minimal to no guidance he developed the instructional guidelines and created a level of response procedure based on threat level of an attack or potential threat. This was a task normally assigned to a mid-rank officer and not a junior NCO. Again his previous training and knowledge allowed him to create a successful program that resulted in ZERO casualties, to both personnel and equipment from the Auxiliary Security Forces who were backing up and assisting regular Security personnel. It should be noted that this was not the case at most other bases, more than a few involved Military Personnel and civilians being injured by untrained personnel utilizing unfamiliar equipment, inadvertent weapon discharges, and many lost man-hours trying to correct the problems. This program was adopted and by Naval Station Philadelphia, and Naval Station Norfolk and eventually become part of the current Security Manual. After the war, he was recruited to play Semi-Pro Football and as the Backup Quarterback/Tight End/ Outside Line Backer for a small team from Deptford NJ, made it to the finals in his first and only year just to lose in an injury laden game for both teams.
After his Tour at NAWC Lakehurst was complete he was transferred to the USS Samuel B. Roberts, He was assigned the responsibility of the Commands fitness level and equipment. The Navy was going through a rework of their Physical Readiness Standards and the USS Samuel B. Roberts had to comply. During this phase of training he incorporated Powerlifting and Strongman style lifting techniques to aid Sailors in their ability to pass the PRT (Physical Readiness Test) as well as control their Bodyfat levels. After achieving a 100% pass within 4 months of taking over the program (a waterfront first) he was recruited to assist in the development of Navy-wide Shipboard Fitness Training programs. This responsibility required much research into program development, Nutrition, as well as selecting what equipment was most beneficial to be utilized while a ship was underway. During his deployments he was assigned as the VBSS Training Officer, and while working with NATO forces, earned considerable accolades for his teams’ physical abilities and tactics from the other countries involved in the training exercises. During RUUKUS 96 (Russian / United Kingdom / United States) joint exercise in the North Atlantic, he was offered an extremely rare opportunity from the Russian Commander to transfer to the deployed Russian Spetsnaz unit for the remainder of the Mulit-National Joint Operation (about 6 weeks), as a goodwill cross training exercise. This offer was completely unexpected and out of left field for his Command, but was ultimately not done due to “politics”, “not enough lead time for the request to be properly channeled” and being deemed as “critical to mission” by his Chain of Command. Shortly after this deployment, Kirk was promoted to the Rank of Chief Gunner’s Mate (E-7). A rank comprised of only approximately 7.3% of the Navy enlisted (at that time, currently 7.7% 2012).
Upon completion of his tour on the USS Samuel B. Roberts, he was assigned to the United States Naval Academy, where he was assigned the role of being a mentor, counselor and Fleet Representative, to the Midshipmen. During this time he got involved with their scholastic teaching and their various sport programs which included coaching the Women’s International Pistol team, assistant coach to the Men’s International Pistol team, Weight Room Assistant Coach for the Men’s and Women’s Power lifting team. When school was out of session during the summer months he was assigned to fulfill the role of Company Chief for the Summer School Program as well as the Summer School Fitness Director for 4 years. Shortly after arriving at the Naval Academy, he observed a lack of muscular training for the members of the Women’s Pistol Team. After the team did not qualify for Nationals, he developed a weight training routine for them which allowed them to improve their performance and win the Intercollegiate Nationals for Sport Pistol and place second in Air Pistol the following season. He was also responsible for students who were having challenges passing the Academy PRT, so over the summer when the Midshipmen were in Summer school or in transit between assignments, he would lead them through a variety of programs designed to assist them in their physical abilities and keep it fun so they would continue to follow the program during their time at the USNA. In addition to coaching and counseling the Midshipmen, Kirk also participated in the Naval Station Annapolis Hi-Power Rifle and Pistol Team. After his first year of being a member he was voted into the Captain and Road Coach of the Team for the following three years. During his 4 years as a member of the team, he personally qualified for the All Navy Shooting Team in both Rifle and Pistol every year, as well as qualified for NRA Hi-Power Rifle and Pistol Nationals every year. Another accomplishment was that every member of his team also qualified for the All Navy Shooting team in both Rifle and Pistol during those years as well. This was (and still is) an extremely rare occurrence for any small Military command to claim, much less make this claim several years in a row.
After completing his tour at the U.S. Naval Academy, Kirk was assigned to the USS Halyburton out of Mayport, Fla. This is where he further developed and refined a previously successful fitness program (that eventually became the basis of the Brick Training System). The implementation of this program allowed the USS Halyburton to lead Naval Station Mayport waterfront in Fitness standards. Shortly after 9/11 he was called upon to increase the physical abilities of the VBSS/MIO Boarding parties (Visit Board Search Seize / Maritime Interdiction Operation) of several ships as well as to assess and recommend the appropriate training and gear to be utilized for these operations. Utilizing the BTS, with the Sailors he was able to achieve measured progress in both the abilities of the teams to do the operations and with the individuals PRT Performance. While onboard, he assumed the role of Force Protection Officer and was solely responsible for the Security of the ship (answering only to the Captain). In this role he was responsible for the overall training of the Commands’ Security Forces, Boarding Parties, and Reserve Forces. This training included Basic and Advanced weapons handling, CQ (Close Quarter) Shooting techniques, Unarmed Self-Defense techniques in both limited movement areas and open ground, Entry and Clearing room procedures, Rappelling and Rope climbing, crowd control, and restraint tactics. He was also assigned the role of Assistant Boarding Officer, where he was responsible for conducting multiple Counter-Drug Boardings, with a USCG LEDET, as well as MIO Boarding’s during the Iraq war. He was also promoted to the Rank of Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate (E-8). A rank comprised of approximately 1.8% of the Navy enlisted (at that time, currently 2.4% 2012).
During his last 10 years in the Navy he qualified as a Navy Physical Fitness Specialist, Navy Group Fitness Specialist, and Command Fitness Leader. He earned and carried multiple certifications from ACE (Group training), ISSA (Personal Training), the Cooper Institute (Personal Training) as well as a variety of specialized training for athletes and people with “unique” challenges.
Since retiring in 2004, Kirk has actively been competing in Bodybuilding and Power Lifting competitions as well as training individuals for a variety of physique and athletic sports. He has trained several Physique athletes to qualify at a National Level in several different Federations as well as having mentored and coached several athletes who now hold State and National records, and earned Scholarships in Powerlifting, Track, Soccer, and Tennis. The biggest accomplishments in his mind, isn’t in the trophies or records but in an individual achieving something they thought was unattainable!! He enjoys working with a wide variety of individuals from both current and former competitive athletes to the person who just wanted to improve their “couch potato” lifestyle.
Now located in Boca Raton, Florida, Kirk routinely works with clients by using the Brick Training System (BTS), a process he developed while in the Military to help personal train to maintain their Physical Readiness Fitness Levels. This unique approach to training has enabled personal helping people reach their fitness goals through a simplified approach to proper nutrition, cardiovascular exercise, and safe, effective weight training and flexibility training, to train clients. This system coupled with his extensive wealth of exercise experience and nutritional knowledge sets him apart from the rest of the pack of Personal Trainers in the area. Young and old, men and women of all walks of life have responded enthusiastically to the Brick Training System. Clients routinely have achieved great results in weight and body fat loss, reduction in stress, marked improvements in: Flexibility – Body Toning – Strength, general overall health improvements (including coming off of medications previously thought to be on for life) as well as an increased ability to function in their everyday life. Kirk attributes all his client’s successes to goal setting, providing motivation, accountability, adherence to the principles of BTS, and most importantly by having fun!!