Thelma Jones, a 90-year-old Black woman from Southfield, Michigan, recently earned her 5th-degree black belt in Isshinryu karate and she’s not planning to just stop there.
Jones has been practicing karate for 50 years and still continues taking karate lessons 3 times a week at Southfield Martial Arts despite her age.
Her instructor, Willie Adams, who is a 77-year-old grandmaster with a 10th-degree black belt, said that anyone who knows Miss Jones would say that she is “tough.”
“It really does teach you to listen, behind you, in front, and be aware of all things,” Jones told Fox 2 Detroit.
In fact, there were times Jones had to use her karate skills to fight off criminals. When she was 60 years old, she was able to defend herself from robbers at a bus stop.
Just recently, she felt a suspicious man was following her. She said she was able to elude the man skillfully because of the senses she developed through karate and she didn’t have to fight him off anymore.
Moreover, Jones, who maintains her shape at her age, wants to motivate others to do the same. She said, “Take care of your body, take care of your mind, and think a situation through before you react.”