Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Seconds Out: Women and Fighting
Alison Dean


Alison Dean’s unique perspective as a 30-something university lecturer turned amateur fighter allows her to delve with great insight into the ways martial arts can change a person’s – and particularly a woman’s – relationship to their body and to the world around them, and at the same time considers the ways in which women might change martial arts. Combining historical research, anecdotal experience, and interviews with coaches and fighters, Seconds Out explores our culture’s relationship with violence, and particularly with violence practiced by women.

Paperback, 220pp
Coach House Books, 2021
ISBN 9781552454190


ALISON DEAN teaches English literature. She also punches people.

“An important addition to women’s martial arts scholarship, Dean provides personal insight into the radical space women occupy in sport fighting. Seconds Out is a must-read for all fighters looking for mentors in the complicated world of martial arts.” – L.A. Jennings, author of Mixed Martial Arts: A History from Ancient Fighting Sports to the UFC

“Dean brings a fresh new female voice to the topic of combat sports.” – Trevor Wittman, renowned MMA trainer, UFC analyst, and founder of ONX Sports

“Trained in the discipline and art of both fighting and literature, Dean combines both with style. She honors the fighters, writers, and historians who have come before her and definitively ends the idea of women fighters as a novelty. Seconds Out is a must-read for anyone who feels the call of the bell and reverence for a good fight.” – Sue Jaye Johnson