Carole Taylor is the definition of you’re never too old to learn something new. Recently, the 83-year-old was awarded a fifth-degree black belt in karate. And it gets even better: the legendary Chuck Norris presented Taylor with the award.
On Saturday, Taylor showed off her skills at Chuck Norris’ annual United Fighting Arts Federation International Training Convention.
Taylor played with the crowd when she hobbled onto the mat with her cane, inciting laughter the audience. After her demonstration in which she showed off her footwork, traditional hand techniques, and stances, Taylor received a standing ovation from Norris and the audience. After, Norris awarded her a fifth-degree black belt — a feat that takes years to reach in the Chuck Norris System.
“I was so excited. I was able to bow to him, turn around, he put (a black gi) on me, I turned back around and bowed, and then he grabbed me and hugged me so hard, he actually pulled me off the ground almost … my one foot went up,” Taylor excitedly said afterward.
She added: “(Norris) was so kind, and he’s 81, and he made some comments about that he had not been exercising all that much recently and that I had inspired him to go back and to begin to train again, and that made me feel very, very good.”
Currently, Taylor teaches karate at the dojo, where she was first introduced to the practice. During the pandemic, she led classed from her home due to social distancing.
83-Year-Old Crushes Karate Competition, Gets Awarded by Chuck Norris
“It helps her mind to stay calm, to be able to focus on all the forms they have to learn, and that really has kept her brain fresh, I would say. It helps her to remember things, to memorize things,” Taylor’s daughter said. “The dedication has given her something to keep going after every day.”
Similar to Norris, Taylor also has a passion for acting. She’s appeared in various plays and films. Yet, Taylor is incredibly grateful to have karate in her life.
“It’s just one of those things that makes for a more full life for me.” She added, “I absolutely love it, and it makes me feel strong, and it makes me feel confident, and it makes me feel as though I’m able to continue to learn,” she said.
Her daughter said that she and the rest of Taylor’s family couldn’t be more proud of her.
“My mom’s just been through a lot. She’s had a lot of things thrown her way, and she’s just always found the light in everything and kept on pushing, and just inspiring other people with her love and her kindness, and everybody that meets her is impacted by her light. And I am extremely grateful to be her daughter,” said her daughter.