They call her the "Grandmother of the Dojo."

Maria Gonzalez of Baldwinsville, New York, recently earned a third-degree black belt in karate at the Andrello Baldwsinville dojo. She's only 4-foot-10 and 128 pounds, but she's been training in martial arts for over 20 years. It's something she decided to pursue after a 30 year career as an elementary school bilingual teacher.

In a YouTube video posted by, she can be seen wielding a katana, breaking boards and performing a series of takedowns.

"It was never on my bucket list, but damn, it feels good." -newly-crowned third-degree black belt Maria Gonzalez

Gonzalez had made it clear to her senseis that she wanted to earn her belt doing the same activities and exercises required of everyone else, even if it took a few extra years to perfect them.

Her hard work paid off at last Saturday's graduation ceremony, where she received a loud ovation for her efforts.

"They're very gentle with me. They never hurt me. Ever. I hurt them."

Gonzalez was born in New York City and said she had to learn to stand up for herself at an early age due to her small stature. Although martial arts was never the dream, a desire to lose weight prompted her to follow up on a flyer in 2001. She quickly fell in love with the practice.

Even though she's achieved this impressive feat, Gonzalez will not be slowing down anytime soon. She continues to work at the dojo and intends to develop a scholarship to increase minority representation in the martial arts.

This grandmother ain't nobody to mess with.

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