Thursday, April 19, 2007

Enter the Old dragon

This is Britain's hardest granny Mary Athay - who has just gained her blackbelt in karate aged 62. While many ladies her age may look forward to a game of bingo, Mary completed a gruelling five hour session of hand to hand combat to gain the top martial arts grade.

She can already smash through two-inch thick wooden blocks and roof slates with her bare hands, wield a bow staff and now wants to start sword training. The supergran only took up the challenging sport in 2002, because she was bored of aerobics classes and wanted to explore new ways to stay in shape.

And since joining the Dragon Tang Soo Do Karate Club in Bristol, mother-of-four and grandmother-of-five Mary has not looked back. Despite bagging the top honour, she says she has no plans to hang up her karate suit yet and plans to keep on training for years to come.

Mary, an accountant from Bristol, said: "My grandchildren think it is great fun to play fight with me, but they're wary of going too far. And my husband never chats back to me now either. It is very, very hard work, but getting a black belt was a huge achievement for me and makes me want to train even harder."

After receiving her black belt and certificate last week Mary, who is also a keen scuba diver, can not wait to get back in the training room. She added: "I was 57 when I started, and the average age in the club is about 25 so I got some strange looks, but I absolutely love it. The only task I can't do is smash a breeze block in case I break a bone."

Karate teacher Jill Hampton said the club were very proud of her.

She said: "She is a great example of how you are never too old to achieve your dreams."

2 comments:

Debbie said...

I would hate to admit that at almost double my age she could kick my ass, but I'm here to tell you, that I would give her a struggle.

dom said...

You say that about you daughter too who is a third your age ... hahaha Debbie can be beaten up by a kid and a granny ... nananana