USKA Fights is back in action this Saturday, July 21st, at the Econo Lodge in Allentown. The event offers both professional and amateur kickboxing and Muay Thai. One of those amateur fights is Brittany Bickhart verses Jessica Barrall; which sees Bickhart making her Muay Thai Debut. Bickhart is a local product; graduating from Liberty High School and Lock Haven University and is sure to have the crowd’s support come fight time.
What aspect of martial arts did you first start learning?
I started training three years again at a gym called Kioto BJJ. I worked at the gym downstairs at the desk which was the weight room part of the gym and when the guys would come down from training they would always try to get me to come train. One day I tried it and fell in love with it. I started just boxing for a workout and eventually I dabbled into Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu.
What do you like the most about training martial arts?
Training martial arts completely changed my life and could not have come into my life at a better time. It was a positive way to deal with the negative things in my life. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for training. I really like the self-discipline that it teaches you. Training takes you to places that you thought you could never push yourself and teaches you all around mental toughness.
This is your debut fight; what is your mindset going into it?
I am mentally and physically ready for this fight. I have been waiting for this moment for years and have been busting my ass to get here. I eventually want to get in the cage and having a background will help me get a feel for the standup game. This fight is just a stepping stone for me. I am a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I have competed in numerous tournaments and usually find my way to the podium. I have the best training partners as I train with absolute beats. I also cross train a lot with other schools. I have been to Virginia, Long Island, Hamptons and Atlanta. I also have had the pleasure to train with world champion black belts like Diego Morales and multiple studs from Brazil. I am under Kioto for BJJ and the main instructor and school owner is Jerome Klumb. He also has a MMA fight a week from my Muay Thai fight.
In what way does your martial arts training relate to your work?
I am now a probation officer and training had a huge impact in helping me get the job. I just graduated college a year ago with criminal justice as a major and I am truly blessed to have a job in my field this early on in my career. I am confident when I am out in the “field” as a probation officer I can defend myself and protect others thanks to my training in martial arts.
Who has been the most supportive of you fighting?
This fight has been a hell of a ride training for it and I am beyond ready. It is not the easiest thing to weight cut and maintain a full time job but in my mind, I can achieve anything. I am so blessed to have so much support in my life. My family is amazing and my girlfriend Sarah has been dealing with my “hangry” moments and still manages to love me in the end. The teammates I have are incredible, I could not imagine doing this without them. All in all, sometimes I wonder why I put myself through the grueling practices and the weight cutting but in the end when my hand is raised it is all worth it. Lastly this fight is dedicated to my best friend Sam’s dad. He recently passed away from cancer and he is the real fighter. He is one tough ass dude, so this one is for him.