'Kung Fu Granny' keeps town safe at 94

The face of strength and protection in a province of southeast China has a bamboo stick in her hand and 90 years of Kung Fu experience under her belt.

Zhang Hexian, left, practicing Kung Fu.

Zhang Hexian, left, practicing Kung Fu. (Imaginechina via AP Images)

Zhang Hexian, 94, has been protecting the members of her village and fighting injustice for decades and has recently become a star on Chinese social media.


After photos and videos of the “Kung Fu Granny” practicing her craft surfaced on the Internet, stereotypes of inactive old women took a punch.

Kung Fu keeps Zhang in good health and in tip-top shape. According to her son, Feng Chuanyin, she has never been to the hospital – and never takes vitamins or supplements.


Zhang began learning Kung Fu from her father at the age of 4 and has not stopped practicing her skills. She has even become quite the teacher herself, according to her students in Zhejiang Province who called her “wing-footed.”

Zhang’s practice has even helped save her life. According to Xinhua News, Zhang encountered three robbers on a mountain and challenged them, asking, “Dare you come and fight me?” Before they could respond, two robbers felt the wrath of the Kung Fu Granny and were immediately taken down. The third reportedly escaped knowing he would not stand a chance.

Kung Fu has also earned Zhang the title of best cook in her village because of her ability to do large-pot cooking with her strong arms. She reportedly once cooked 52 dishes for a single banquet in the 1970s, all by herself. Now at 94, she still stays true to her talents.

Zhang continues the tradition of practicing Kung Fu with her family, as she once did with her father. She has taught her own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren her skills. And she says she’ll keep teaching young people as long as she can.