8/02/2006 4:09pm, #1
76 year old woman earns black belt!
Black belt proves age is just a number
Ventura woman, 76, believes in positive thinking
By Andrea Barkan, Correspondent
July 31, 2006
At 76, Ann Zacher didn't question her ability to break boards with her bare hands during her tae kwon do black belt test in February.
Nor did she question her ability to take up tae kwon do five years ago, at age 71. Or, for that matter, to singly raise three young children 40 years ago, after her divorce, on wages earned as a typist for the County of Ventura.
"I believe in positive thinking," Zacher said last week, settled comfortably into a couch in the same house she grew up in near downtown Ventura.
"You can handle so much if you just realize how much strength we have," Zacher said. "It's just the idea of always accepting you can do things."
Zacher practices what she preaches — from taking tae kwon do to teaching folk dancing a couple of times a week. She loves movies, too, and is a self-described television rerun nut who corrects grammar and pronunciation during news broadcasts.
She writes with a senior writing group and reads books twice, because "you get more out of it."
Of her black belt test, she said, "It was really hard. I loved it. Oh! It's so much fun. Oh, it's fun to break those boards! You get out all your aggressions."
Zacher's son, Troy Taylor, is her tae kwon do instructor at Gen Jitsu Dojo in Ventura. Learning new patterns, or kata, brings Zacher the most joy in tae kwon do. "That's the best part to me — the patterns," she said. "To me, it's like a dance."
She's been dancing all her life and started a local group called "Gotta Folkdance" more than 40 years ago. "The thing that really got me is the music," she said. "And the people. The people are so fun.
"It's just so interesting to see the things that anyone can do. It's got nothing to do with age."
8/02/2006 4:17pm, #2
"...............You get out all your aggressions."
What's really sad.Somewhere there's someone on a TaeKwondo forum singing the praises of this style and the success of this woman achieving her BB.
8/02/2006 4:19pm, #3
Well....... the story seems to be more about how much she likes dancing..... and she says the kata are basically a dance to her.
Don't get me wrong - belts should correlate with fighting ability, but I doubt this woman is fooling herself into thinking she's a fighter.
Would you be happier if she was doing Tai Chi?-Jordan
8/02/2006 4:27pm, #4
The woman I could care less about.It's the instructor I guess I have my beef with.
There’re old people in BJJ,in kyokushin and probably in MT.The difference in most cases is that those old farts have been doing martial arts since they were a lot younger. Heck! I know a man who started training at 55.He's a brown belt now.
And let's face it, there’re a lot of people who would look at this as a good thing to promote for a MA style.
Last edited by CanucKyokushin; 8/02/2006 4:30pm at .
8/02/2006 4:39pm, #5
I just hope she doesn't try to beat up any purse snatchers."Prison is for rapists, thieves and murderers. If you lock someone up for smoking a plant that makes them happy, you're the fucking criminal." - Joe Rogan
El Guapo says dance!
8/02/2006 4:39pm, #6
Yeah - I must be getting desensitized to BS in TKD.
I find myself not caring about changing the crappy martial arts and wanting everyone to just abandon them for more combat-proven arts.
By the way, before I quit my TKD school there was this 80 year old woman who trained there with us. She got promoted to blue or green or something and then just stayed at that belt for 2 years. The instructor was willing to promote her, but she was very vocal about how she didn't feel she deserved it. She didn't want to be belittled by being given a promotion she hadn't earned. And since she would never be able to fight like a black belt, she never wanted to be a black belt.
That woman had her head on straight. The only weird thing is that she was doing martial arts at all, but then again, if there weren't instructors out there willing to take her money she wouldn't have been training in the first place. Bottom line: not her fault.-Jordan
8/02/2006 4:46pm, #7
C'mon, regardless of what you (and I) think of TKD, it's a 76 year-old woman breaking boards! I have to admire someone her age getting off the front porch, much less heading over to the McDojang.
I've dated girls in their (early) TWENTIES that I couldn't get into the gym. That's just farking lazy. But once you're pushing your EIGHTH DECADE, it's pretty impressive to [show up for how ever many classes are required] and [perform however many dances... err... forms are required] and [break howevery many boards are required] to get a BB, even if it is in TKD.
8/02/2006 4:53pm, #8
I think I could take her.
8/02/2006 5:07pm, #9
What if she broke your bow?
Would you stab her with an arrow?
8/02/2006 5:09pm, #10
I'd get grounded for getting my expensive **** broken.