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February 20, 2017

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Don’t mess with kung fu granny, 94

A STICK in hand, 94-year-old kung fu granny Zhang Hexian fights local bullies and protect her fellow villagers.

The granny has long been well-known in her hometown, Ninghai County, in Zhejiang Province. Recently, she has become a celebrity on Chinese social media, with some netizens saying that they wanted to be her disciples.

Zhang started to learn martial arts from her father at the age of 4.

“My father would teach me kung fu skills even when in bed,” she says.

Every day, she gets up at 5am, practises kung fu moves, and has porridge or noodles for breakfast. She grows vegetables, chops wood and cooks meals by herself, since her husband died several years ago.

Kung fu keeps her healthy.

“My mom has never been to the hospital, and would recover from occasional colds after some sleep,” said Feng Chuanyin, Zhang’s son. “She never takes health products such as vitamins or supplements.”

Video clips and pictures of her practising kung fu have gone viral.

“My dear granny, You are so great!” read one post on Sina Weibo.

“Granny, do you still want to have disciples?” asked another netizen. Some netizens even said they wanted their children to learn kung fu from her.

Kung fu has not only brought her a strong body, but also romance.

At 14, she met a man named Feng Yongkai, who was four years older than her. He was a kung fu student of Zhang’s father.

They would practise kung fu together in the mountain, gradually falling in love before getting married.

Zhang’s kung fu has even helped her deal with robbers. Once coming across three robbers on a mountain, she shouted: “Dare you come and fight me?” and brought down two of them before they could even react. The third, realizing he had no chance, quickly ran away.

Kung fu has given her strong arms, making her able to do large-pot cooking. Considered the best cook in her village in the 1970s, she once cooked as many as 52 dishes for a single banquet. Now in her 90s, she is still able to thread a needle.

Practicing kung fu is a tradition in her family. Zhang has taught her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren kung fu.

“We practise kung fu for health reasons and self-defense,” said Feng Chuanyin. “My mom tells us that attacking others is absolutely unacceptable.”

In good spirits, Zhang said that she wanted to keep teaching kung fu to the young.


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