Christina McMahon, Ladies Kickboxing Champion.
How did you become interested in Kickboxing?
My brothers were involved in the Carrickmacross Kickboxing Club from an early age, but there were very few females involved and I didn’t feel I could get involved at that point. Later when I went to College to study Sports and Leisure I decided to join the Club for fitness training. I was a lot older starting than most of the other competitors, who would have started at the age of 8-10. My coach – who is now my husband, encouraged me to enter the Irish Open shortly after joining. I took part in the Beginners Section winning all 5 fights (using just two techniques!) this then give me the confidence to keep going, and it has just progressed from there.
How long has the Club in Carrickmacross been running?
The club has been running for 16 years, we now have all age groups involved and both males and females take part in the sport.
What training do you do to maintain your fitness and how often?
I usually train twice daily in the months leading up to a competition and off peak I would train daily. I would also travel around the country to train with competitors at my own level, and vice-a-versa competitors travel to Carrickmacross, usually from Dublin, Armagh, Cork and Sligo.
How long has it taken you to achieve your standard of Kickboxing?
I progressed rapidly at national level and by winning my first All Ireland in 1997, I qualified for the World Games in Poland. Without the experience of a number of competitions and fights behind me plus the cost of attending the world games, I decided to hold back. In 1998 with experience behind me I traveled to the European Championships in the Ukraine and with the help of sponsorship from Dolans Pharmacy I went on to win bronze.
Have you ever sustained any serious injuries from Kickboxing?
I never got any serious injury form kickboxing, in fact the only major injury I ever sustained was a broken nose, but that was from playing football as a teenager. With the safety rules in place in kickboxing it is very unlikely that anyone would sustain a serious injury. Also the type of kickboxing a competitor is involved in is a major factor, not many people realise that there are three disciplines within kickboxing – light contact, semi contact and full contact.
What type of Kickboxing do you do?
I take part in semi and light contact in the – 55 kg weight.
How did it feel winning Bronze in the WAKO European Championships?
When I won the European bronze it was a brilliant experience and sense of self-achievement. People’s attitude to my participation in the sport changed, they recognized that I was fighting at world level, representing and winning for my country. At national level I think I became a target to beat and the pressure became greater. It was at this point I realised that being strong psychologically was as important as being strong physically, I think this experience made me stronger and as a result I won silver medal in the 2001 World Championships games (Slovenia).
Is there any possibility Kickboxing programs could make children aggressive?
No, the game doesn’t make you aggressive in fact it counteracts aggression. In my opinion, children will learn some discipline and how to cope with growing up, and I just think it is great for children, gives them the opportunity to learn the martial arts principles. Juniors involved in the Carrickmacross club must report any out of club incidents they become involved in, and if they are not reported they run the risk of being asked to leave the club. It also gives kids self-confidence and the ability to walk away from a confrontational situation, which is always the best solution.
Christina would like to say a special thanks to Margaret and Aidan Dolan from Dolan’s Pharmacy for their sponsorship and support for the last six years.
Thank you for your time Christina and continued succes!
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