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Himanshu Roy

JWB Blogger

74-Year-Old Grandma Knows How To Hai-yah Men Half Her Age

  • IWB Post
  •  August 31, 2016


What would be your reaction if you heard about a 74-year-old woman martial arts expert? If it’s of disbelief, then we are one the same page.

When I first saw the video of Meenakshi Gurukkal showing her enviable martial arts skills as she fights a man almost half her age, I couldn’t believe it either.

But this frail, elderly woman, who looks like just another doting grandmother is not someone that you want to mess with.

Perhaps the oldest practitioner of the ancient art form of Kalarippayattu, an ancient form of martial arts that originated in Kerala, Meenakshi is a legend of sorts.

Meenakshi says that when she first started learning Kalaripayattu, she was only seven. It was her father who took her to the martial art classes, where at that time there were not many girls.

It was Meenakshi’s passion for dance that made her learn Kalaripayattu since this form of martial arts increases flexibility and balance.

Fast forward. Six decades have passed since Meenakshi first entered the arena of Kalaripayattu with her father, and now she runs her own martial arts school, imparting her knowledge to the next generation.

She says that although not many women would learn Kalaripayattu back in those days, it was her father who was open-minded and insisted that his daughter learns this technique of self-defence.

Now, in a country where not many women are encouraged to take up sports or martial arts, this 74-year-old woman is not only an inspiration but also a trailblazer.

With her unending tenacity and grit, Meenakshi has shown the world that when it comes to passion, age is only a number.

We fervently hope that in the future, the school that Meenakshi runs produces more such women who would take her legacy forward.

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