Appetite for a Comeback – Part 3: Charlotte discovers new career path as certified cutwoman

Pictured: cutwoman Charlotte Lewis readying an MMA competitor.

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

After her fast paced teenage years spent as a martial arts competitor, Charlotte Lewis joined Britain’s Royal Air Force at the age of just 19, continuing her adventurous and extrovert life journey. A tragic workplace accident saw her confined to a wheelchair and dealt the bleak prognosis of never being able to walk again.

In Part 2 of Appetite for a Comeback, ‘Char’ recalled how her recovery had gathered great momentum and had reached positive shores. That is until a reality gut shot was delivered, in which she faced the realisation of not being able to return to kickboxing.

Catch up on Part 2 HERE.

Char accepted the reality and found alternative paths to fulfilling physical ambitions above and beyond that of walking, of which was once so far out of reach. She is now back in the gym, and alongside her progression as a certified combat sports cuts woman, has found a new way to satisfy the hunger for competition.

“I’m training again,” she proudly states, “competing in bikini fitness competitions. It’s safe to say I absolutely love it. I have a new coach, so I still have that personal connection with someone who supports and works towards something with me. I’m able to throw myself into something where I see changes and improvements every day.”

Nevertheless, martial arts had been a foundation of her upbringing. “Despite not fighting, I wanted to stay involved,” she said. It was time for Char to refill her think-tank for ways to rekindle a martial arts career.

In doing so, she discovered the IMMAF progression pathways, specifically, the branch established by international cutman, Joe Clifford, who has implemented an exam based education and progression system for Seconds, from beginners to the experienced international level.

“I’d always been fascinated by hand wrapping and the cutman role,” Char said, “but had absolutely no idea of how one would go about getting involved in it, and did think I would face challenges trying to break in to a male dominated role.”

But it was quite the opposite, as she would discover. IMMAF’s cuts team, supervised by one of the industry’s best, has seen Clifford lead an international group of men and women, each certified and educated as ongoing course graduates, gaining experience at regional events and IMMAF championships across the globe.

“After intense googling, I came across the IMMAF process,” Char explained. “By the next day I was booked on and ready to head to Dublin two months later. I couldn’t recommend the course highly enough. Joe is an absolute wizard, I learnt so much and he was and continues to be such a supportive role model, I am very lucky to have him in my corner.

“I started off with some shadowing, I met a lovely lady called Beccy Davies, who also came up through the IMMAF process. She has been another massive supporter for me and has openly welcomed me, offering years of knowledge. I started off shadowing her and I travel to Dublin to get some experience in with Joe and his regular team, which has been amazing. I have been fortunate enough to be booked for various gigs this year, both solo and as part of an all-female cuts team including Beccy and another inspiration, Nicola Vicarey. I am hoping to be selected to be on Joe and Bob Plant’s team for the IMMAF Asian open in Beijing and the IMMAF world championships in Bahrain this year.

“After everything that’s happened over the last 7 years, I am just so pleased to have fallen in love with a career path again. I have a hugely supportive team around me, I am excited about all the opportunities that are now within reach and after missing the sense of belonging I felt while I was serving, I feel like I’m finding that again within IMMAF and the sport of MMA. I look forward to many more years on the cuts team and would just like to thank everyone that has been involved in my journey so far.”

For information on how you can take part in Joe Clifford’s educational cutman program, or to inquire about certification, please contact

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