Interview with Kate Allen-Cottone – Take Back Your Life

Gym Owner and Fighter Kate wears many hats. She’s a full-time owner and operator of the only Muay Thai gym in West Philadelphia, with her husband and partner Charlie....

Gym Owner and Fighter

Kate wears many hats. She’s a full-time owner and operator of the only Muay Thai gym in West Philadelphia, with her husband and partner Charlie. She’s also an active fighter, which means she also considers herself a student, and two years ago she had a full-time career as a dental hygienist. I interviewed Kate almost two years ago, when she was getting ready to open the gym and she talked a lot about her hopes and the aspirations that she and Charlie had for the community that the gym would invite, create and house. Kate had left her previous gym for precisely the reasons that she wanted to make her own gym – that former environment was toxic, unsupportive and at times abusive: all the things that Muay Thai should be a haven from, not an excuse for. The motto for her gym is the motto for Kate’s transition: “Take Back Your Life.”

above, my interview with Kate after training with her

I got to talk with Kate at my gym, Petchrungruang in Pattaya, where she had come to train with me for two days out of a longer (albeit too short) training holiday, slash honeymoon with Charlie. This is a short and informal interview, but Kate is a great communicator in that she follows her own thoughts and considers a multitude of things in each answer, and for that I am thankful. Mostly I wanted to know how she has transitioned from an entire career to another, and the shift in responsibilities and balancing her own needs upon becoming a gym owner as well as a fighter – something I imagine is incredibly difficult. Kate laughed afterward that her students are going to watch the interview and think she hates them because there was mention of how she makes herself available to them pretty much 24/7 and the complications that involves. But you can’t be a student at VIII Limbs and not know how much Kate dedicates herself to her gym. In less than two years her gym has experienced exponential growth and created a bonded community.  The day after this interview Kate seemed to continue her reflection; in the cab ride back to Bangkok she composed a post for her page that spoke of how the fire is still there for her to continue fighting, so she was excited to get back and implement some of the things she’d developed on this short trip. Her students are lucky.

Our training together was wonderful, and it was great to finally meet her husband Charlie. We filmed a very sharp video of us working on clinch for about 30 minutes that I really like. I’ll voice over that and post for my Patreon supporters and post some of it on this blog. This is my second time training with Kate in Thailand, and I really look forward to the next time we’ll see each other!

You can find Kate on the 8 Limbs Muay Thai Academy Facebook Page or at


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Female FightersMuay Thai

A 100 lb. (46 kg) female Muay Thai fighter. Originally I trained under Kumron Vaitayanon (Master K) and Kaensak sor. Ploenjit in New Jersey. I then moved to Thailand to train and fight full time in April of 2012, devoting myself to fighting 100 Thai fights, as well as blogging full time. Having surpassed 100, and then 200, becoming the westerner with the most fights in Thailand, in history, my new goal is to fight an impossible 471 times, the historical record for the greatest number of documented professional fights (see western boxer Len Wickwar, circa 1940), and along the way to continue documenting the Muay Thai of Thailand in the Muay Thai Library project: see


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