Today it is our privilege to bring you an interview with Actress, Stunt Performer and World Champion Martial Artist – Caitlin Dechelle. We discuss Caitlin’s approach to training, working in the film and television industry, her goals for the future, plus much more…
What types of movement do you specialize in?
Black belt in 3 styles: Chinese Kenpo, Japanese Goju Ryu and Taekwondo
How did your passion for these disciplines begin and develop?
I started martial arts at the age of six. My grandpa suggested it for me to learn self-defense. I fell in love with it and have never stopped. I use my karate skills as a stunt woman and action actress as well as integrating them into my daily workouts.
What does your weekly training routine consist of?
This all depends on my what job I am on at the time. When I’m in between jobs, I’m in the gym nonstop. I love cardio – stair stepper & treadmill are my favourite; but of course, weights are a major component as well. I also enjoy different workout classes, yoga and hiking every so often to switch it up!
Can you tell us about some of the most notable movies, films, adverts, performances etc… that you’ve worked on as a stunt double and actress?
Chinese Zodiac with Jackie Chan (acting/performed my own stunts)
Wonder Woman, Furious 7, Agents of Shield (stunt double)
Teen Wolf (acting as well as stunts)
Are there any people, books , or experiences that you would be willing to share with us that have really helped shape your mentality?
My dad. He has been by my side at all my karate classes, lessons, tournaments, etc. He pushed me to constantly work harder and be the best that I could be. And till this day I still look to him for guidance. Also, my mom. One of the smartest, most loving people I know. She’s my backbone and is always there to encourage me and teach me about life. They have both been so instrumental to my success.
How have you transformed your passion into a successful business/career? What advice would you give to someone who is trying to do the same?
After many 10+ years of competing on the NASKA (North American Sport Karate Association) and accumulating over 90 world titles, it was time to retire and continue doing what I loved. I stumbled upon the stunt world and figured this was a great way to continue doing martial arts. It was just like competing, but on a much larger scale, and for so many more people to see. My advice would be “go for it.” There is never a “right” time to move or “right” time to start. If it is something you are truly interested in and ready to commit to, then do it!
What do you think are the most important characteristics to develop in order to pursue your ambitions?
Persistence. Dedication. Resilience.
Are there any specific principles that you try and live by and why?
Kindness and understanding first. Be humble. Be patient. Live in a “we” world not a “me” world. Always give back to those who follow in your footsteps and never forget where you came from. Those sound cliché… but those are the principles I allow to guide my life. After becoming vegan, I’ve not only learned to care for myself better but also to care for the world better.
What are your goals and plans for the future?
Become a female Jackie Chan or Tom Cruise. I would love to be an action actress doing my own stunts.