15 Feb 2012

Apparel Brand Showcase: Brutal T-shirts

So I'm browsing through my Facebook wallposts once day when I should be doing work when I notice some little sidebar adverts pop up. This is unusual for me because like 99.99999% of people, I take absolutely no notice of adverts on Facebook. But this one stuck out. Why? Because it had a really cool illustration of an octopus grappling with a man. Yes! I love octopuses (never octopi, apparently). I had to find out more!

Quite by chance, within a matter of days, one of the founders of Brutal T-shirts, Kiril Stirbu, contacted me with great excitement wanting to see if he could send me some of his designs. Here is a short interview I conducted with Kiril talking about his brand and martial arts in general. Enjoy!

WEBSITE: http://www.brutaltshirt.com/
FACEBOOK PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/brutaltshirt
MEERKAT10 at checkout for 10% discount


Hey Kiril, tell us about yourself please and how Brutal T-shirt got started?

My name is Kiril Stirbu; I am from Chisinau, Moldova. In 2010 I was still practicing traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu (officially) and studying BJJ from YouTube and Stephan Kesting’s Grapplearts (unofficially, with no partner and gym, just in my mind), when the concept of the first Brutal T-shirt appeared. I’m not a designer, so it was pretty amateur, but I’ve made ten “Ushiro Jime” t-shirts and gifted them to my friends.

How did you get into BJJ?

In 2011, immediately after the BJJ virus was imported to Moldova (by Christian Graugart, a BJJ brown belt from Copenhagen, Denmark), my mates and I started regular BJJ training in Chisinau. We also organized our first Newaza tournament in Moldova. After a while, my good friend Ion Vartic embraced the Brutal T-Shirt concept and we created another t-shirt “Jiu-Jitsu Moldova Grappling Club 2011”. It was also amateur, but it was an official BJJ T-shirt (with the Brazilian flag on it) and the guys from our gym loved it. So this was our first success. It was May 2011.

Who designs your t-shirts?

After our first couple of t-shirts, Karma gave us our “secret weapon” – the third business partner, an extremely talented illustrator/designer, Maxim “Braga76” Pahov from St. Petersburg, Russia. I suppose that was exactly the moment when our company started.

So, right now, there are three partners in the BrutalTshirt project, two of them stay in Chisinau, Moldova, and the third lives and works in St. Petersburg, Russia. All our stuff is produced in Chisinau. Ion and me, being BJJ practitioners, provide Maxim with new Jiu-Jitsu & MMA related ideas and also handle all the administrative work, production, marketing, branding etc.

You have a funny mission statement, called BrutalTshirsophy, what the heck is that?

On our website, we wrote: "We are your favorite mma/bjj t-shirt creators from another dimension. Our mission is to break all stereotypes and provide brand new mixed martial arts and brazilian jiu jitsu clothing designs and ideas that will even make your grandmother proud of you wearing them. No one has a brutaltshirsophy except us. Period."

But let me explain myself a little more:

There are two extremes in men’s behavior in the modern world:
(a) You have the really brutal guys, who practice “deadly” martial arts. They tend to wear black, they always seem very serious and they barely smile. They might look mean and dangerous, but the truth is they are soooo booooooring!

(b) And next you have people who don’t practice any fighting arts. All they do is party all day and hang around. They wear bright colored clothes, smile a lot and love music. However, they will suffer a heart attack after running a mile and you will probably fail to detect who is the girl in their hangout. They are funny, but not brutal enough, and they are a perfect match for being bullied.

But! There is the third way you can follow! We call it “Fun Is The New Brutal” – when a man doesn’t forget about his manly fighting abilities (normally, he can easily choke you out or armbar you on the mat), but he is still an open minded, fun, smiling nice person, loving the world and enjoying life. This is the outline of our BrutalTshirsophy. It’s still a pretty young science/concept, which is currently evolving and developing. in myself a little more.

Whoa! I think I'm digging the BrutalTshirsophy big time! What plans do you have for 2012?

As for our plans for now, we intend to produce several more kick-ass t-shirts, a rashguard (we’ve just tested a sample during a two-day BJJ seminar with Christian Graugart in Chisinau), a hoodie (we have some brilliant ideas for it) and the most desirable aim for 2012 is to create an awesome ripstop BJJ gi.

Everyone can buy our merchandise on http://www.brutaltshirt.com/. Right now we are negotiating with some well-known MMA/BJJ retailers. People can also contact us directly on www.facebook.com/brutaltshirt or via email at support@brutaltshirt.com

Well people, there you go, Brutal Excitement is how I would describe this new apparel brand my words. Thanks to Kiril for taking the time to speak to me and send me his lovely designs. I look forward to seeing his company grow and the new designs they produce.


About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Braga76 said...

Thank You man!

kimatsu said...

awesome design!!!

Liam H Wandi said...

MY SPONSORS!! Awesome Designs with lots of spirit.

ushirojime said...

February 15, 2012... First day of Brutal World Domination!!! MU HA HA HA HA!!!
Thank you very much Mr. Yang.)

Terrible said...

I like octopus too... when it's on my dinner plate :P

Cool shirt!


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