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Find Your Fit with Celestine
Posted date: 30-Nov-2016

Find Your Fit With Celestine

Celestine, or Celeste as she is commonly known, first found out about U Sports through volunteering at the 2015 KeepFit! event. Since then, Celeste began joining  in the Fitness Interest Group activities and her friendly personality and willingness to share led her to being identified as a sports leader for the Fitness Interest Group.

 

As a scrawny kid, Celestine suffered a couple of bullying incidents growing up.  As a result, she developed interest in self-defense which has since built her confidence and saved her from close stranger-danger encounters.
With her interest in self-defence, flexibility, and calisthenics training, Celeste would lead participants in workouts related to these disciplines which are suited for people of all ages and fitness levels to join in the fun at U Sports Keep Fit sessions together with the rest of the Fitness Interest Group sports leaders.

 

 

We had a short interview so that she could share her exciting stories with us:

 

Introduce yourself!

C: Hello, I’m Celestine! I enjoy self-defence, flexibility, and calisthenics training. I trained as a dancer during my teenage years, and have been training in martial arts since my first year of university studies; I have a brown-black belt in kyokushin karate and a black belt in jujitsu. Also, I write for fun in a blog, where I share posts about self-defence training and training as a female competitive martial artist.

 

     


What’s U Sports Keep Fit about?

C:  U Sports Keep Fit one-hour sessions offer a good variety of workouts, because we (different Fitness U CHAMPs) teach a wide range of sports such as self-defence, netball, basketball, and so on. My sessions consist of self-defence, flexibility training, and calisthenics, which means that the training sessions require just you as a person and no other special equipment, so everyone of all ages and fitness levels can join in the fun!

 

Everyone’s having fun and definitely share some strong bonding at the sessions – some participants are regular attendees! I love hearing their stories and experiences, and making new friends during the sessions. It’s always great to see smiles and hear laughter during the workouts, as everyone motivates one another because the training can be quite intense at times!

 

How intense can a typical session get?

With the Fitbit Charge HR tracker, I am able to monitor the number of calories burnt during the session, as shown in the screenshots below. In addition, knowing the intensity level of the session is useful for planning future sessions, as I am able to gather both detailed feedback from the Fitbit Charge HR tracker and the U Sports Keep Fit participants. The sessions are typically conducted at the fat-burn zone, which means that “a higher percentage of calories are burned from fat”, yet it is “a good place to start for those new to exercise”

 

 

 

Above: Fat burn zone – taken from https://help.fitbit.com/articles/en_US/Help_article/1565#zones

 

 

 

 

How did your interest in self defence came about?

C: When I was in secondary school in 2000-2001, I was 160cm and weighed just 40kg; also, I was also the painfully shy and quiet president of the school’s Art & Craft club. During this time, I was bullied just because I had male friends – it’s a single-gender school thing – and felt the need to learn self-defence. However, it wasn’t until 2006 that I decided to finally learn self-defence.

 

Knowing how to protect myself has greatly helped me in my travels to cities such as Bangkok (Thailand) and Tashkent (Uzbekistan), especially since I tend to travel solo. Thankfully, I’ve never had physical contact in any of them — I’ve always managed to think of a quick solution on the spot to get myself out of the situation as soon as possible.

 

 

 

Above: Celestine teaching a self-defence technique

 

 

 

Any stranger danger encounters you can share with us?

 

In Singapore, our streets are relatively safe. My stranger danger encounters are usually overseas and that’s where you need your wits about you.

 

I was staying in a 4-star hotel in Tashkent, Uzbekistan with my competition team a few years back. A stranger had followed me out of the lift, but I didn’t think much of it; we were the only ones on the floor. As I walked past my room, I noticed that he was tailing me closely behind, so I decided to walk to the end of the corridor and make a U-turn back to the lift; he was still behind me. I was extremely lucky that the lift door suddenly opened — standing inside it was my coach’s wife! For the next few days, my team had to escort me to the room and out of the room. I told my room mate – a lady from Pakistan – what had happened, and she kept a lookout too.

 

Self-defence isn’t always about fighting; it’s also about self-awareness and spatial awareness.

 

 

What are some other self defense tips that you can share with us?

 

C: I always emphasize in my Saturday self-defence classes: the first rule of self-defence is to RUN! If you need to apply a few effective moves, do so and run away immediately to look for help. Learning self-defence is to learn a new skill; as with any skill, practice makes perfect which is why there are monthly sessions to help everyone – including myself – to hone their reaction times and skills.

 

What’s next? 

 

Moving forward, Celeste hopes to be consistent in her martial arts and flexibility training and to share more workout exercises with the U Sports Fitness Interest Group members. U Sports will continue to support and develop the sports leaders through the U CHAMP programme and providing relevant sports development courses.

 

Join us in our U Sports Keep Fit facebook group for updates on our sessions!