Do not mess with this tiny old lady. Sensei Keiko Fukuda, a 98-year-old Japanese woman in San Francisco just earned a 10th degree black belt in Judo, making her the first female ever to master the highest level of this traditional Japanese martial art. To put this in perspective, only three other people in the world – all guys living in Japan – currently hold this honor.
“All I did was Judo…this was my marriage,” Fukudo told the SF Chronicle. She never married or had children, but instead left Japan to teach Judo to the world. The woman is the only living disciple of Judo’s original founder and currently teaches three times a week at a woman’s dojo, or martial arts school. Now that’s impressive.
For those of you not familiar with Judo, you might have seen this martial art on the Ultimate Fighter TV show. The martial art is particularly known for its throws, choke holds and joint locks (think slam downs, strangled necks and snapped elbows). I love Sensei Fukuda’s mantra: “Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically.”
Check out her inspiring video below (from when she earned the 9th degree black belt).