She may be petite, but her fervour doesn’t know that. This 93-year-old granny from China has become an internet sensation after images of her performing Kung Fu went viral.
Zhang Hexian has been practising the art for over 89 years and now she’s mastered it.
When asked, Zhang sais that Kung Fu has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember.
“I started when I was four years old,” she tells CNN. “It’s my family tradition that has lasted more than 300 years.”
Hailing from China’s southeastern Zhejiang province, where all her family members have learned Kung Fu, Zhang has become a go-to-person for the said art.
She now teaches her moves to other in her village.
“I was born in 1924, at a time when China was at war with other countries,” Zhang says. “So (kung fu) was also a good way to learn self-defence.”
She recalls how she’d just start practising Kung Fu as soon as she’d wake up, in her bed, whilst the covers were still over her.
The Kung Fu that she’s mastered originated from Fujian province and bears 15 different styles and each style has 36 moves.
According to her, it would take 3 years for someone to master one style, the beginning being the most difficult of all.
(Also read: 500 ‘Kung Fu Nuns’ From Nepal Are Cycling The Himalayas In A Stance Against Human Trafficking)
“Most difficult was learning to squat firmly because it made my muscles so sore,” Zhang says. “I remember being so sore, I couldn’t even go to the bathroom. And we were a poor family, so after practising I’d be starving and we’d have nothing to eat.”
She wakes up every morning around 5 a.m. to exercise, then performs her favourite type of kung fu, that involves using bamboo sticks to fight an opponent.
Plenty of sleep, Kung Fu, and a healthy diet is the secret of her agility and nimbleness at this age. She also eats a little bit of meat for keeping her healthy, pointing out that she’s never had to go to the hospital.
“To have good body, you need to exercise and keep a positive attitude,” she says. “It’s also important to help others as often as you can.”
(Also read: Meet Kenya’s Kung Fu Grannies – The 60+ YOs Who’ve Had It With Sexual Attacks & Kick Right Back)
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