Keiko Fukuda Becomes 98-Year-Old Black Belt

By: Simon McCormack

A 98-year-old woman who dedicated much of her life to judo has earned the martial art’s highest honor.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Sensei Keiko Fukuda was awarded a tenth-degree black belt. She is the first woman and one of only four people to achieve that rank.

When she lived in Japan as a young girl, Fukuda studied calligraphy, flower arrangement and tea ceremony, according to

A clip from the documentary Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful explained that Fukuda endured gender discrimination and chose Judo over marriage in order to pursue her dream

“This was my marriage,” Fukuda said through tears. “This is when my life destiny was set.”

News of Fukuda’s accomplishment comes one week after a story about an 82-year-old skydiving grandma and a separate piece about a 99-year-old woman who loves Nintendo.

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