A 76-year-old Indian grandmother, Meenakshi, has become a social media hit after a video of her pulling off some epic martial arts moves went viral on Facebook.
The video shows Meenakshi, dressed modestly in a sari with her hair tied back, displaying some swift moves and brilliant reflexes, as she competes against a man who appears to be half her age.
Meenakshi is known for her excellence in the Indian martial art form of Kalaripayattu, which apparently started and is still practiced in Kerala.
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“Kalari demands dedication and discipline. The aspirants must try to achieve mastery over their body movements and balance in their training period," Meenakshi told The New Indian Express. "At this age I could easily perform Kalari because of the physical fitness I gained through practice.”
Kalaripayattu uses, sticks, daggers, swords and shields, and requires excellent reflexes and the art to judge opponents' moves. Meenakshi began learning the art when she was only 6 years old, and now at the age of 76, she has proudly practiced for a whopping 68 years.
She also runs a school in Vatakara, Kerala, where she teaches the form of martial arts to around 150 students. Meenakshi does not charge any fee for her martial arts, and instead just accepts any donations they willingly offer as a gift. Most of the students are girls between the ages of 6 and 26.
"Gender and community are totally irrelevant. What matters is age. The earlier you start, the more proficient you are," she says.
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Meenakshi is an example of breaking gender stereotypes, and certainly proves that age is nothing more than a number.