A pensioner who knows how to pack a punch has achieved the remarkable feat of gaining a black belt in martial arts.
Monica Senior, from Evelyn Road, Mitcham, said she no longer needs a walking stick and has vastly improved her mobility and fitness after four years of intensive training in Chow Kwang Do.
The 69-year-old, who suffers from arthritis and diabetes, said she started taking up classes four years ago after taking her nine-year-old granddaughter Maicah.
She said: “I find the speed drills very difficult and I’m obviously not as fast as everyone else, but I’ve been told my punches are very impressive.
“I’m actually a very passive person and I don’t believe in violence, but this is the best form of exercise I can do because it doesn’t put too much stress on my joints.
“This has given me mobility to walk and flexibility I never would have dreamed of a few years ago.”
Vince Cassar, the academy director of the Cassar Academy in Aberconway Road, Morden, said Monica’s achievement was nothing short of “remarkable”.
He said: “Before she joined us she really struggled to get up the first floor and she just had a knee replacement.
“I told her it was never too late to start and that I’m sure we could develop a training programme that would really suit her.”
She has even recruited her 70-year-old husband, Curtis, to take up classes and he is currently on course to get his own black belt by the time he turns 71.
But, she insisted: “We are a very peaceful family.”