The Story Of Josh "Bricks" Reed & How Bricks Boxing Came To Be
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this article. My name is Josh "Bricks" Reed, owner and founder of Bricks Boxing MMA & Fitness. I am 32 years old, and I have been in the Boxing and MMA business now since 2010 as a fighter, a trainer/coach, and now have been running my own gym since November 4th of 2017. I feel like my story of how Bricks Boxing came to be is pretty unique given my background. I never graduated high school. I never have taken a business management class of any kind. I never was able to take out a loan to start and build my gym. I also have had to endure some pretty gritty/outlandish things to make this gym happen all in hopes that it will become a successful business. I'm gonna rewind back to where my athletic career began in 2006. I was a sophmore in high school who decided to play a season of football. All up until that point I was a skinny skater kid who tended to get into more trouble than I should have and was very rebellious. I never cared about school as far as grades went and never cared about working out. Honestly, the only reason I decided to play football and start working out was because I wanted to get bigger than my older brother who would beat me up all the time. First day of summer weights getting ready for the season and I became hooked and spent the rest of my high school days realizing that I had a natural gift for combat sports. It gave me a new purpose and was the only reason I made it as far as I did through high school. I passed just enough to play football. Once my senior year's season ended, I quit trying to pass classes and never officially graduated high school. I did not get to walk with my class. Back in those days you were looked at like a loser who wouldn't amount to anything if you did not go to college. I knew I was going to do something with my life, I just wasn't sure what. I jumped right into trade work as a painter helping to repaint apartments after I got out of school. I continued on lifting weights very intensely looking fore something more. After a few years of that and painting when I turned 22 I got a job as a bouncer at an old bar here in KC called the velvet dog. They put on an event called the Bartenders Brawl and anybody who was a bartender or bouncer in the service industry could sign up for kickboxing or MMA. They gave you a list of gyms you could train at for free over the next 8 weeks, which I ignored and trained myself for. That was really stupid looking back knowing what I know now, but I still won the fight in 37 seconds. There was no going back after that and I quickly found an MMA gym and began seriously training and competing in MMA fights enduring a lot of ups and downs. My first legitimate fight against a trained opponent after that bartenders brawl fight, I took a kick that snapped the ulna bone in my forearm almost all the way in half requiring me to have a 10 inch steel plate put inside my arm complete with 12 screws. I sat on the couch depressed for 9 months not able to use my arm thinking about how dumb I must have looked in there & questioned whether or not I could be any good at this sport. In the end I used it as motivation to come back and train harder. That really was a decisive factor in my life, because if I had quit, this gym would not be here. So now here is where all of this begins to come together. It is now 2012 and I had been painting for work this whole time hating my job and working on my 4th fight when my coach tells me a gym called Title Boxing Club is hiring trainers to teach classes. They paid $20 per class & I was willing to do anything to get out of painting so I made a full time job out of it driving all around the city teaching a few classes and doing personal training at each club. I really fell in love with teaching because people get life changing results out of a boxing /kickboxing workout and I have met some of my best friends doing it. I gained a huge following doing it and before I knew it, I had tickets for my fights at each club, t-shirts, sponsorships and had over 100 people at my fights. I was still struggling to get by, but life was good and I thought I was on a good path to make a run at the UFC. Unfortunately Title Boxing Club went out of business in 2015. It was a sad day because that really was a home for a lot of people who were really upset about it. At the time, I had no thought of opening my own gym. Some of the old members reached out and I began doing personal training with them at the gym where I would train for my fights. You get to know people a little better when you spend an hour with them 1 on 1, and one of my clients would always ask me about my life as far as what its like to get in the ring and what the training process was. I noticed he really started questioning me on how I was doing financially, if I had insurance, or how I got by while trying to make it as a fighter. I told him straight up that I was broke and I had no plan for the future ahead other than me hoping to make it big as a fighter. He looked at me and said that it sounded like I would have to be my own boss to make all this work, that I should open up my own business & that he could help me do it. I thought he was crazy. I said doing what, and when he asked what skills I had, all I could think of was painting. So, I said that and immediately he told me that the building he worked at needed the conference room painted. I showed up to this place and it ended up being a huge power plant that provided steam energy. Turns out, this guy was the general manager of this place and after looking at the conference room and giving him the quote, he put a hard hat on me and started walking around the plant pointing out all of the things that needed painted, saying "This could be a really good thing for you Josh". I knew in that moment that I had finally caught the break I had been looking for and I said "Let's do it". So on September 15th of 2015, I filed my LLC and began my journey as a painting contractor. I decided that day, that I would use my painting money to open up my own gym some day. As I pushed on towards that goal, I got discouraged many times. I wasn't sure if opening a gym would be successful, so I wanted to make sure it was a small space in a building where the landlord would rent it out for a low price in exchange for fixing it up. To consolidate my expenses and put myself in the best position to succeed, I wanted to live in it as well, so I didn't have two separate rent payments to make. I was struggling to find the right building. It was either to expensive or I couldn't live in it. Here it is now 2016 & I had basically given up and had decided I was going to rent a house and save up more until I could get the building I wanted. This is where it gets crazy. The DAY I was on my way to sign my lease for a house out in Blue Springs, Missouri, I stopped at an auto parts store in North Kansas City to get an item I needed for my truck when I came across a for lease sign. It was a three sectioned building and when I called the number, I was able to tour it right then and there because the owner ran his business out of the middle section. This was the perfect starting point. I knew it was meant to be. It had the right size, the right price & I could live out of it, it just needed a ton of work. It was gross and dirty but I did not care. I signed the lease within an hour of looking at this place, told the guy in Blue Springs I wasn't gonna live in that house after all. I went home, grabbed my mattress, my tools, my dog went back to the building, flopped my mattress down in the middle of this dirty ass building and started working on my dream. This place had no heating or cooling, no plumbing lines, other than a toilet, missing windows and lot of other things that made it rough living for a really long time. I will save my living situation war stories for another blog. Well, that wraps it up. This is how we got here. My plan has worked out just how I thought it would and I'm proud to say that we have had a tough start just as any small business has, but we have worked hard, survived covids shut down and upgraded from a 1500 square foot building to a 5600 square foot building all within 5 years! Enjoy some of the pics from where we started to where we are now! Thanks for reading!
First Location - November 4th, 2017 - 1500sqft
New Location - March 5th, 2021!