My Article in the Irish Independent Newspaper.

Today the Irish Independent Weekender Magazine featured me and Amanda English in a big article on Women’s MMA in Ireland.

How to kick ass and look great. Love it!

This was a great opportunity for me to put across the positive face of MMA. When first I was pitched the idea I was a little bit hesitant as I didn’t want negative press with a biased slant to the article.

But after talking to Ali, the reporter, I thought she seemed very open minded and passionate about her work. This is what I always look for in people.

I had one condition, that if she wanted the story she had to come into the cage and experience it. She jumped at this with some caution. I showed her everything that was involved and the outcomes of a fight. I enjoyed educating her on it and improving her ground and pound :).

So then a difficult decison came.

To heel or not to heel. That was the question.

They wanted to show the other side of the Alpha Female. The glamorous lady like side juxtaposed with the hard edged cage fighter.

I really was uncomfortable with this but did want to show people that I wasn’t some violent barbarian. I couldn’t turn down this kind of publicity or the opportunity of drawing more women into MMA. Showing them that intelligent women compete in this combative art.

So off to the shops I went. Got a nice little black number, a very edgy pair of  Iron Fist heels. They fulfilled another dream in my life, to be tall.

Iron Fist. The perfect name for my shoes!

The photographer that came from Press 22 was Alan Place. He remembered me from taking my picture when I opened my very first kickboxing class all those years ago! This was surely a good omen.

We did the most amazing shoot. Taking lots of edgy, cool pics in crazy poses. Some of them not so easy in heels and a dress.

As much as it would attract an audience I don’t think heels and dress matches will be practical.

In between rounds you go have your make up and hair adjusted, and Tyra Banks tells you she needs more fierceness in your eyes.  Miss Jay will be holding your spit bucket.

Over 4 hours we took lots of great shots that I hope you will see at a later date.

About to knock his lights out 🙂

After we were done I was happy that I had shown a different side of WMMA. Some people may not agree with what I did but I remember what Ronda Rousey said recently. Even after winning an olympic medal she was living in her car. So she decided she was going to take some pictures, talk a bunch of s**t. But you know what, at least she could feed her dog.

Love or hate Ronda, look where she is now. To be fair, she is a great fighter who backed it up.

And that’s what I hope to do.

My Radio Interview With Cork FM Part 2

In which I discuss my dishonourable discharge from the Space Marine Academy!

We talk about modelling the training and tactics of elite fighters.
How when you fight you face yourself.
Having the first Ladies MMA match in Germany with Vanessa Reinsch and my wrestling coach Tim Murphy scoffing Gummi Bears. Also what goes through a fighter’s mind backstage before the fight and what the Alpha Female nickname means to me.


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Seeing yourself as a winner.

Meeting the new challenge of the Gi, compliments of my coach Tim Murphy!

I often ask my kids in class, do they enjoy winning?

Usually their hands raise up quite fast. because I’ve been programming them, been building them to enjoy winning.

A lot of people feel it’s wrong to put pressure on people to win or to rise to the highest level. But secretly they wish they had the key to doing it.

Sometimes fighters in our club lose because they won’t allow themselves to dream about being the best. Because in their day to day life and work they are programmed to be mediocre and not rock the boat. So they fit in.

This is a load of bullsh**t.

But the secret to achievement is to be programmed from a young age.

For example I’ve had a kid training with me for years. He recently fought in his first amateur MMA match. He really was a lion let out of the cage. He ran through his opponent with fury, dominance and the thought of losing never crossed his mind.

The next day he fought in another tournament against a lot of eager fighters like himself. Though he lost one match he had the iron will not to break. He ended up winning the whole section in the final.

He has a long way to go but understands how to enjoy winning and seeing himself as a winner. He always shouts yes or jumps in the air after winning because he knows how hard it’s been to do it.

People want to win but their self image and the subconscious thoughts in the brain are holding them back.

Life can be cruel and circumstances that we cannot control damage our belief in ourselves. For years when I worked in the system I would sit down at the canteen tables and listen to the mob of negativity. And not to go all Uriah Faber on you but positivity is the biggest ingredient in this.

Sometimes you need role models to show you the way in life. Be they parents or coaches or really good friends.

For me I have lots of wonderful people who are winners surrounding me. So everyday it bulletproofs me to life.

I make a point never to stick around negative people for very long. And I think this is what a lot of people should realise and start doing. Cut it away and the seams will be strong.

I do believe people should do martial arts, but not the safe ones. You must feel like you are on the edge of the cliff to really understand what you were given life for.

There is a saying that a man who has faced death at the point of a sword has an elevated understanding of life.

If you look at it MMA has gotten so popular because it pushes the boundaries and more and more people want to feel this. And believe me fighting in the cage is better than any drug. ( I’ve never taken drugs but that’s my opinion, dammit!)

The only way to build real confidence is to face hard situations and come out through them and getting into the cage , even if it only in class is a great starting point for that.

Because I believe in myself so much as a winner I’ve gone out and looked for harder challenges and starting in 2012 I’ll be on the Cage Contender roster. There I’ll have the chance to face more opponents that want and know how to win just as much as me.

All of these steps will hopefully make me reach the pinnacle of my profession.

This is a quote that I love.

“History shall be kind to me for I intend to write it! ” – Winston Churchill

I’m really enjoying writing mine.

Happy New Year to all my Alpha Female Followers. I’ve given you your starting point.

Now go do it!

Peter Irving MMA Seminar

10th Legion European Champion Peter Irving

10th Legion European Champion Peter Irving and Fighter’s Only Columnist comes to Pankration Kickboxing for a MMA seminar on Saturday 19th November.
Peter is one of the most respected fighters in Europe, a BJJ Black Belt under world champion Leo Negao, highly skilled in Muay Thai and Fighter’s Only magazine’s resident techniques expert. You can see his articles and techniques in every issue.
Pankration Kickboxing Academy
Eastway Business Park, BallySimon Road, Limerick
Date Saturday 19th November
Time 1.00 PM to 5.00 PM
Cost €50
Contact Dermot on 086 3122933 . Numbers will be limited to 25 so book early to avoid disappointment.
“I’ve been training with Peter in Urban Kings for the last year. Every time I go over he shows me another level of MMA which I’m finding I can utilise in my fights. Peter is a great strategist who shows me the most simple answers to the most complex problems. If I had to describe him in one word I’d say Samurai.” Catherine Costigan

The Alpha Female Looks For Supremacy Part 2

The View Through The Wire!

So weigh in over.
I definitely got some funny stares at Fitness First where we weighed in.
Now time for food.
I keep going over the plan in my head. Even though there are wonderful shops around Norwich this is not a sex in the city moment.:)
I must keep my eye on the prize.
My hand being raised is much better than a new pair of boots.

When we arrived at the venue, The Talk, it’s always interesting when we walk in. The boys always stare at us and I have the feeling I will only be accepted by them after I justify myself in the cage.

I could see Iman sitting down with her coach. As a fighter I always try to do one thing before the clash.
I show respect.
So I always go up and shake their hand and wish them good luck with a big smile. Iman was a bit surprised but then I am always happy to go to the dance.

Again you must remember she goes through the same 8 weeks of killer training and being pushed to the very edge of the cliff. Now of course I always hope I am the one with the parachute.

The gameplan I worked out Dermot, Tim, Rosi and Peter was to simply out wrestle her.
We knew she would be very strong(and also way younger than me, you never know what these young ones are going to do:))
We went into back area to wram up. It was pretty small but it would do.

I bought the ticket to the emotion train.

No matter what happens in the fight the only thing I can never accept is my failure to execute my plan because I didn’t bring out my potential in the fight.

First I feel nerves as I hear the screams of the crowd when the fights outside begin.
To be honest I have always found anything that scares me in life I must defeat.
No matter what the outcome I must try.
I must challenge or else what is the point of my life.

Dermot gets me warmed up with shadowboxing which I must say felt great. I feel like someone has given me lots of drugs like I was in Crank.

Then I begin smashing pads really hard in a dark corner just behind the stage which is kinda cool, but not so much for Dermot if I miss.
I throw some bone crushing punches and kicks.
Then Murphy rolling, hitting shoots and the ground and pound which he is famous for. Man, can he hurt you if you’re on the bottom,pulling guard on him is not a great idea!
I love smashing things and going really fast which is why Tim’s style of fighting suits me really well.
I think that I could never do this without Dermot and Tim. They inspire me, they make me unbreakable. They take care of me and they always have my back.

Now it’s time to go.
My drums start over the sound system.
The crowd waits for me.
I always make them wait to build the atmosphere, get them excited about what’s going to entertain them.
I enter the cage with my hand raised because I know I’m no 1.
This might sound cocky but it’s not the time to doubt myself.
Iman comes into the cage pretty pumped up, jumping up and down. I can see she wants to win badly.

It's funny. I always know how much my coaches care when I see them outside the cage, they look so worried!

We touch gloves.

I start pretty good. Dermot shouts out "Watch for a big right". So I keep my distance and land a 1-2 combo and a low kick.

After that it’s a bit of a blur.
Clinching, constant pressure for takedowns.
Iman is strong but not 100% able to change her plan of attack.
As in the words of Sexton, “Don’t be afraid to bin it!”

I land a big knee in the clinch which makes her cry out in pain. I score a good takedown.

She tries a nice armbar from the guard but I defend it and rain down some hammerfists on her face.

Her face is really funny. I keep on hitting her but she’s stubborn and won’t let go of the arm. I can’t believe I didn’t see the armbar coming but when you’re under pressure you miss things. So I stay calm and let her waste her energy.

Round 2
Where ever she goes I must make a dead end for her attacks.
Keep moving. Judges watching.

High crotch to the skies. Dermot tells me later it’s the first time he’s seen a high crotch pick up and carry across the cage in a women’s match.
On the way down she tries to guillotine choke me. The big gloves we are wearing give me problems. My windpipe is safe but it takes time to pop my head out. All I’m thinking is my poor coaches, because they can’t really see whether it’s on or not.”
To be honest, coaches need way more credit. I’d rather be a fighter anyday than suffering all the constant cardiac arrests. 🙂

I land another big knee from north south control and finish the fight on top.

At the end the MC announces that it was a very technical battle which is a great compliment.
And now the pay off.

And the winner is... The Alpha Female! Catherine Costigan!

Fighter happy. Coaches happy. Crowd entertained.
Job done.

I always love getting changed in the bathroom afterwards and meeting some of the most interesting women. I always love the same question. Oh my God, how do you stick to your diet?
But I do enjoy these conversations as the girls are really supportive and appreciative of my effort. And I have to say I want their respect more than any man’s. I do it for them.
Girls rule! Boys drool!

Now off to DFC in Norwich, the best chicken and chips ever.

Myself and Iman are now good friends and I look forward to training with her in the future. MMA is a great thing, imagine how many wars could be averted by a good old MMA tournament.

MMA brings out the very best in human spirit because that’s what it takes to survive and win in the cage.

It’s over. Now on to hip surgery 😦

Can everybody please friend Stuart Chase on FaceBook and tell him to get my DVD done. Please Alpha Female Followers play your part!
Myself and Iman will be very happy. 🙂

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My Interview with Through The Wire

William Downes is doing great job promoting women’s mma. Here’s a nice interview he did with me.
Click on the picture above to read it!

The Alpha Female Looks For Supremacy Part 1

What you dream about when you diet for too long!

Apologies for not having written a blog in so long. Between my hip surgery and moving the gym and a number of other things it’s been hard to find the time to sit down and do it.

So my Alpha Female Followers, here we go.

I was invited to fight on July 2nd at the ECFF Supremacy Show in Norwich. My opponent was the very tough Iman Darabi from Sweden.

My hip surgery for the tendon tear was booked in for July 18th and I was determined to get one last match in first!

This would be my second time fighting in the UK. My First was a K1 match with Becky Usher in Sheffield last year. That one started very well for me but stopped due to a cut after 40 seconds when we clashed heads in the clinch.

A lot of travelling, dieting, the worst B and B ever and the promoter being late picking us up  so we missed the flight home and having the flu made it an experience I wasn’t keen to repeat.

I watched Iman on YouTube and saw she was big for the weight, very strong and short. Heavy punches and aggressive. I saw some technical points I might be able to exploit and worked on my game plan diligently with my coaches.

What followed was the toughest training camp I’ve had so far. The one way ticket to hell. The return flight to be decided by the result of the fight.

Squaring off with Tim Murphy. Time to tame the Mad Dog.

Lot’s of Tim Murphy double legging me, squishing me into the Point Blank Cage, (possibly the hardest fencing in the world) and saying come on, push the pace while landing migraine inducing punches on my forehead from whatever funky position he liked this week.

Lot’s of pads, technique and conditioning with Dermot, doing his best impression of Rene from Allo, Allo. (You stupid woman..) and being my human punch bag and grappling dummy. I’m the only person he puts on his Twins Headguard for , so I know I’m getting somewhere with my power shots 🙂

Rosi Sexton came over to train with me showing me some great conditioning drills and chain wrestling drills that became one of my keys to victory during the match.

With Peter Irving at Urban Kings in London.

I flew to London to train with Peter Irving from Fighter’s Only.He analysed the match up too and showed me some great techniques to use and did some awesome thai pads with me. He’s a Samurai and that’s it.

I would just like to say I went the whole way to London and did not have one Ben’s cookie. (Alpha Female Tip: Make sure you go Covent Garden and get the best cookies in the world.)

Joanne, my buddy and sparring partner coming in and battling me in the cage night after night. Longest lasting of all the women who have come through the gym doors. She’s a true friend and trusted member of our coaching team. with perfect straightened hair at all times. 😉 No matter what a girl’s image is important.

I look forward to her getting her Black belt this year.

Little did I know I was about to get a chest infection which put me out of training for a week. When I went to see my doctor I asked her how long should I rest and that I’d already taken a whole day off training.
Her face was a picture as she told me at least two weeks to get rid of it.
So I kind of followed her advice and wheezed my way through the next two weeks 🙂

This was my best weight cut ever, thanks to the grappler’s s nutrition guide which I must have read cover to cover so many times. I was really able to maintain my strength and not feel week and drained. I felt really healthy and it’s definitely the best diet ever for your skin looking great. 🙂

But as it was getting closer to fight day it was getting harder and harder and eventually I was dreaming of Mars Bars. No matter what I did I was stuck at 51kgs which was beginning to make me WORRY!
My routine every day was stepping on the scales before each meal to have an idea of how much I could eat now.
After a whole week without dropping anything on the scales, Dermot, the man I can always rely on to get results, looked at everything and talked to his friend,  Roy and came back with the BEST ADVICE EVER, HAVE A CHEAT DAY!!

It so worked, I had an awesome cheat day and was lighter the next day!! 🙂

And was much happier and easier to live with. I guess my metabolism had just slowed down too much.

So the last training day I was at 49 kgs and was spitting nails!

Hungry but Shredded 😉

One of the most important things I’ve learned is this…

In a fight you don’t just face your opponent, you face yourself.

War approaches.

Everything I could possibly do to ensure victory was done. Nothing left but waiting.

Time to become The Alpha Female…

To be continued

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Through The Wire

Like it says. Through The Wire!

Some cool pics of my last fight are featured on the Through The Wire website. I like the image of mma they are putting out.

“Through the wire aim to bring a new different aesthetic to British martial arts, one similar to that of the Asian martial arts promotions like Pride and Dream. We want to focus on the ‘Arts’ part of MMA. Fighting is often a beautiful thing and this is what we want to exploit. We aim to show the world that there is more to MMA than its stereotype.”

Well said. I want the public to understand what a beautiful, technical martial art MMA is at the highest level.

Make sure you check out their site.



Sandbag Conditioning for MMA and Fitness Video

How To Work The Heavy Bag


My Heavy Bag Training Paying Off! Irish Cup Kick Jutsu 2008

Stalk don’t walk. You gonna work the big bag, first you got  to think of it as a man, not a bag. Once you understand that, you don’t start punchin until the bag swings away from you.

It’s dead weight, see? So if you hit it when it swings towards you, it knocks you back., smothers your punches, takes your balance- it don’t allow you full extension on your shots, no follow through. Joe Louis said you don’t punch your opponent , you punch through your opponent.

That’s it, rotate. That way your heads always moving and you  always have one shoulder back ready to fire a power shot- so youdon’t have to do something before you do something,say if you got an openin’. Don’t stop, move with the bag, circle it. it will tell you when to punch, just like an opponent.

That’s an excerpt from million dollar baby where Hilary Swank did a great job of portraying a fighter, and Clint Eastwood did an evern better job of portraying Dermot’s father, a role he returned to in Gran Turismo!

One of my pet hates is seeing bad bag work on Tv, especially by women. I was watching the new series of V and female FBI agent is watching the priest work out on the bag and asks for a go, saying I have 3 brothers I can punch etc.

I cringed, praying she’d be good.

No, dire!

The scene was only saved when some one else came in and remarked, “it’s like the Thornbirds in here. 🙂

Work the bag like the trainer describes above. Take your time and get good technique and leverage, keep your hands up. Dermot was teaching the beginners class bagwork last night and of course they dropped the free hand with almost every punch no matter how often they were told.

Then he performed a miracle. He told them every time I see one of you drop your hands you get 10 pushups.

And Lo, instantly perfect hands up was achieved. That one always works. 🙂

One of my favourite things is boxing, so every week I try to get at least 2 sessions in at least. We have some awesome Twins punch bags in the gym which are handmade in Thailand and they are the best to develop the quality of your punch to KO power. The bags shouldn’t be so hard you have too hold bag or to light to give sufficient resistance to your shot.

You can get some more ideas from my video here…


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