25-year-old Long Islander Brittany Gianino – who fights as Brittany Brutality – is a strawweight fighter that trains out of Longo- Weidman MMA. As a third-degree black belt in Kempo and former New York State PKF kickboxing champion, Brutality oozes individuality and expression.
Stepping into The Hair Salon …
Supermodel Sonya: What is your personal style?
Brittany Brutality: I’ll say I’m really simplistic. I’m a v-neck, T-shirt kind of girl. I never leave the house without my Mala beads. They keep me grounded and remind me to be mindful. That’s pretty much what I usually rock.
Supermodel Sonya: How important does hair come into your preparation?
Brittany Brutality: Having dreadlocks is definitely difficult. I had them done a year and a half ago. I have to twist them pretty tight and pull them in a ponytail. I’ve recently been having my dreadlocks crocheted. When they do them, I make sure that they are tight. Now I’m going to start french braiding the dreadlocks for fights. I would encourage anyone to go out and get them done. They are the best!
Supermodel Sonya: What would you like people to know about you and your personal style?
Brittany Brutality: My whole life, my mom tried putting me in pretty pink dresses and frilly dresses. Clearly, I was uncomfortable with that. My whole thing now and forever, is for everyone to just be exactly who you want to be, and wear exactly what you want to wear, and if you feel comfortable in a certain outfit, then that’s what you wear. And don’t care what anyone else says about it!
I don’t think twice about a baggy shirt and baggy pants. Or shredded jeans or a leather jacket. I don’t care what other people think of me. I just do what makes me feel comfortable. People ask, “Are you trying to dress and look like a boy?” No, I’m trying to dress and look like me.
Supermodel Sonya: Is there a beauty product that you can’t live without?
Brittany Brutality: Let me think about that. I don’t really know. I am all about everything that is all natural. I go for all natural soaps that are locally made as well as cocoa butter. Things that are organically made. I love these shampoo bars that I recently purchased from the girl that does my crochet dreadlocks. So anything that is organic and local I will use everyday.
Supermodel Sonya: What is the most important thing to you?
Brittany Brutality: I have to say my family, my friends, and of course my incredibly supportive fiancee. Without just family and people having your back in general, I don’t know where anyone would be without their family, but my fiancee has gone above and beyond. She’s defended me when I’ve had disagreements with my own family. She’s defended me against friends when it comes to me wanting to be a fighter. She’s definitely the most important person to me.
Supermodel Sonya: Can you tell me what is the biggest misconception that people have about you?
Brittany Brutality: The biggest misconception is that … people think that I have a look of authority. I teach kids martial arts and a lot of kids think that I’m much older than I look. Some kids thought I was like thirty and forty years old! I look serious when I teach and they guess that I’m older. Meanwhile, there was an instructor that was thirty plus, but the kids thought that he was twenty. I asked a student, “Why do you guys think that I’m older?” and he answered, “I don’t know. I guess it’s because you look angry all the time!” (Laughs)
So, I guess that’s the biggest misconception that people have about me. That I am much older than I really am. I’m a goofball and out of my mind sometimes. I’m pretty hyper and people that know me would say that I’m really silly. So, I get that people think that I’m really serious a lot and that’s the biggest misconception about me.
Supermodel Sonya: What got you started in fighting?
Brittany Brutality: I have two brothers so growing up, I had to defend myself often. And I got into martial arts because of them. Probably because I wanted to prove that I could hang with them. If they tried to start fights with me, then I could actually defend myself. I actually fell in love with martial arts because of that. I started when I was nine and started competing when I was twelve. I found out then how competitive I was that way. When I got into high school, I started to have fights. When individuals found out that I could do karate, for some reason that made them want to fight me. After the fight was over, it would prove to them that they should not have done that (Laughs).
I figured out that I really enjoyed this, but not because I was beating people up. I was excited that I knew that I could defend myself and prove myself I guess. And after I had a couple of competitions where, not that I thought everything was too easy, but I wasn’t showing everyone what I was made of. My instructor at the time told me that maybe I should get into kickboxing.
At my first match, I was actually told that I should hit that person as hard as I could, but not let them actually hit me! I was like, “Wow!” That’s what made me fall madly in love, and then right after kickboxing for a couple of years I was like, now I need to do more. So, what’s the next step after kickboxing? MMA. So it all just came together, full circle. Every time I competed in one thing, I just wanted to do better and get better. That’s it. I just want to be the best in the world.
Supermodel Sonya: You mentioned your brothers. I bet they are your biggest fans.
Brittany Brutality: They completely helped lead me to where I am today. My youngest brother has come to every one of my fights that he could attend. So yeah, I’d say they are really supportive.
Supermodel Sonya: Do you have any dreams or goals that you want to accomplish?
Brittany Brutality: Absolutely. I’m hoping to get in as many fights as I possibly can for the rest of this year. I am getting married at the end of September 2017.
Brittany Brutality: I want to get in as many fights as I can up until the wedding. Then after that, If I can’t go pro this year, then it’s all signs of going pro … I mean, I have realistic expectations. I have a line that I want to hit for New York. When you’re trying to go pro and go number one, the organization you want to go for is the Ring of Combat so I’m hoping to get in the Ring of Combat within the next year, and just get a couple of of good fights and hope that I can get the UFC to notice me.
Supermodel Sonya: Well that’s pretty much it. Is there anything you want to add or have anyone else know about you?
Brittany Brutality: I have a passion for fitness as I am a certified trainer!
You can catch Brittany Brutality’s next fight at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Girls in GI’s.