Contrary to popular belief, beauty is not just skin deep, and Catriona Gray proves this a fact. This Filipino-Australian model, TV host, singer, and beauty queen is also a proud martial artist with a black belt in Choi Kwang-Do keeping her robe tight.
With the Miss Universe 2018 underway, Catriona is focused on preparing physically and mentally for the beauty pageant. She has several activities included in her workout, like Pilates, weights, and functional training. But Catriona reveals that, growing up, she wasn’t very sport or coordinated. Being 5’9” has several advantages in Catriona’s work now, but it was just awkward during teenage years.
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“I was so uncoordinated because I was so tall. And school activities like athletics and balls sports –I just couldn't do it,” she admitted. But when her parents encouraged her to try self-defense, Catriona finally found a sport she could really enjoy.
“I started when I was eight years old and I got my black belt when I was 12. There’s this sense of achievement every time I moved up a belt. I did karate four times a week for four years; it was crazy. It really taught me discipline. When you're young, you sometimes just want to stay home and watch TV. But I just enjoyed karate naman. It teaches you about common sense and being aware of your surroundings.”
When asked if she had any karate moves she could share with ABS-CBN Lifestyle readers, Catriona mentions that self-defense is not for engaging fights. It’s about knowing what to do in situations where someone may come at you, be it how to block them or how to get away.
One basic tip Catriona shared is making sure your thumb is outside and beneath your fingers when making a fist. This way, you can protect your thumb in case you punch someone or something. If your thumb is inside and it makes an impact, you could break a finger.
Another important yet taken-for-granted advice from Catriona is to always be aware of what’s happening around you, especially if you’re commuting from place to place. “Just being aware and making your senses keen to your environment is very important,” Catriona said.
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Photo from Instagram.com/catriona_gray | Interview by Mels Timan