China's 'Kung Fu Grandma' still teaching martial arts at 93

By Ben Hooper  |  Feb. 20, 2017 at 4:15 PM
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Feb. 20 (UPI) -- China's 93-year-old "Kung Fu Grandma" has been practicing martial arts for 89 years and says she has no plans to stop anytime soon.

Zhejiang province resident Zhang Hexian, 93, dubbed the "Kung Fu Grandma," said she started learning kung fu from her father when she was only a toddler.

"I started when I was four years old," Zhang told CNN. "It's my family tradition that has lasted more than 300 years."

"I was born in 1924, at a time when China was at war with other countries," she said. "So [kung fu] was also a good way to learn self defense."

"My dad took me to sleep at that time. When we woke up in the morning, we started practicing kung fu in bed. I learned basic martial arts skills such as pushing palm and throwing a punch at an early age," Zhang told Chinese news agency CCTV.

Zhang, whose hometown is known as "the village of martial arts" due to the popularity of kung fu, followed in her father's footsteps by instructing her family. She said many of her family members have now moved away, so she teaches her neighbors.

Zhang said she was amused to learn that she had become famous as the "Kung Fu Grandma" online.

"I never thought about being famous," she said. "If people love kung fu, my family can teach them. We have been teaching people around here -- but I never imagined we'd get the attention of others around the world."

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