Age: 39 | Height: 5’10”
Starting Weight: 285 lbs
Current Weight: 210 lbs
Hometown: Washington, DC
Home Gym: Team Rubao Carioca
Instructor: Rubens Rodrigues
Vernon Kirk discovered jiu-jitsu when helping his son investigate a karate school. At the suggestion of a friend, They checked out jiu-jitsu instead. Since then, both father and son have been hooked on jiu-jitsu and have felt the benefits in every aspect of their lives.
How did you discover jiu-jitsu?
My son wanted to do karate. A friend took us to Bushido Judo School back in 2009. When the kids’ class ended, my friend and the instructor talked me into taking the adult class. I’ve been hooked ever since. I found jiu-jitsu because my friend and another student kept beating me on the ground and they took me to my jiu-jitsu instructor, Rubens Rodrigues, a sixth-degree black belt.
What motivates you to train?
My biggest motivator is being better than I was yesterday. Another driving force for much of life is to set the right example for my kids. A strong work ethic and dedication set the example for their current and future success.
What else do you do for physical fitness?
I lift weights two times per week, run two times per week, do Yoga once a week, plus I train jiu-jitsu as much as possible.
How have you changed your diet? At one time I lived on junk food and Diet Mountain Dew. I suffered fromhorrible migraine headaches, weighed 285 pounds, and knew something had to change. Most of the junk is gone and so are sodas. Now I do a modified Paleo with cuts in gluten and dairy.
What’s been the biggest
challenge so far?
My biggest challenges are balancing my career that involves traveling and being a driving force in my family’s life. When I travel I plan carefully so that I can visit local jiu-jitsu schools to get my training in as well as get different perspectives on the art. My wife works evenings, so again, I have to carefully plan the times I train to optimize the amount of time I spend with my kids. An added bonus for me is that my son comes and trains with me which makes our relationship even closer.
What’s been the best benefit from the changes you’ve made?
The greatest benefit I have reaped from my change of lifestyle is the confidence I have in all aspects of my life. I also believe that my children watching me make these changes has set a good example of what may seem almost impossible can be possible with hard work, dedication, and the support my family offers me to persevere.
What advice would you give to someone else looking to make the same sort of change?
Just do it! It will never be perfect, but once you get going you can’t stop. Baby steps lead to strides, and strides lead to pride in one’s accomplishments.