Zhang Hexian has mastered 15 styles with 36 moves each
94-year-old Kung Fu granny, Zhang Hexian, has become an internet sensation in China.
The grandmother has been practicing kung fu for 89 years, following a family tradition. “I started when I was four years old,” she told CNN. “It’s my family tradition that has lasted more than 300 years.”
According to The Star, Zhang’s hometown is Ninghai County, Ningbo in Zhejiang province. Her family members had all learned kung fu for discipline and strength.
Video clips and pictures of her practising kung fu have went viral on Chinese social media.
“My dear granny, You are so great!” read one post on Sina Weibo, according to The Star. The netizen wished she would live more than 100 years. “Granny, do you still want to have disciples,” asked another.
“I was born in 1924, at a time when China was at war with other countries,” Zhang said to CNN. “So (kung fu) was also a good way to learn self defense.”
Zhang’s kung fu style originates from Fujian province and encompasses 15 different styles. Each style has 36 moves. According to the grandmother, it takes her three years to master one style. Zhang has mastered them all but struggled in the beginning.
“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 practicing I’d be starving and we’d have nothing to eat.”
Zhang wakes up every morning at 5am to exercise. She especially enjoys using bamboo sticks to fight an opponent. The grandmother has never had to go to the hospital and credits kung fu, sleep and a healthy diet for her health.
“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.”
Whilst Zhang’s family have moved away over the years, the kung fu granny now enjoys teaching her neighbours.
Discussing her new found internet fame, Zhang said, “I never thought about being famous. 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.”