Ninja Nan from Dereham shows you are never too old for the dojo

Joan Patchett has been called 'Ninja Nanny' by her grand children after taking up Korean martial art

Joan Patchett has been called 'Ninja Nanny' by her grand children after taking up Korean martial art Kuk Sool Won. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Like many nans, Joan Patchett loves gardening and spending time with her grandchildren.

Joan Patchett has been called 'Ninja Nanny' by her grand children after taking up Korean martial art

Joan Patchett has been called 'Ninja Nanny' by her grand children after taking up Korean martial art Kuk Sool Won. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Mrs Patchett is, however, also skilled in the Korean martial art of Kuk Sool Won – a talent which has earned her the nickname Ninja Nan.

The 64-year-old retired science teacher took up the sport last October and has already won a medal in an international competition.

Joan Patchett has been called 'Ninja Nanny' by her grand children after taking up Korean martial art

Joan Patchett has been called 'Ninja Nanny' by her grand children after taking up Korean martial art Kuk Sool Won. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

She finished fourth in the over-40 category at the World Kuk Sool Won Association European Tournament, an event which saw 800 people from across the continent compete at the University of East Anglia in Norwich in June.

Mrs Patchett who lives in Holt Road, Dereham, is the third generation of her family to take up the martial art.

Joan Patchett has been called 'Ninja Nanny' by her grand children after taking up Korean martial art

Joan Patchett has been called 'Ninja Nanny' by her grand children after taking up Korean martial art Kuk Sool Won. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt


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She said: 'I've never been very sporty and I was always completely useless at PE when I was at school.

'I've really enjoyed it and it's made me feel fit and healthy and gives me more energy.

Joan Patchett has been called 'Ninja Nanny' by her grand children after taking up Korean martial art

Joan Patchett has been called 'Ninja Nanny' by her grand children after taking up Korean martial art Kuk Sool Won. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

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'Everyone tells me I'm a completely new person.'

The martial art is part of Mrs Patchett's long-running efforts to improve her health and fitness.

She also started attending Louise Rayner's Slimming World Thursday group in Dereham in April 2013 and lost three-and-half stone.

Mrs Patchett's daughter Emma Hurst is a black belt and her son Michael Patchett is a yellow belt.

Grandchildren Ashley, 10 and Blake, nine, and Evie, five, also compete in Kuk Sool Won.

Ashley and Blake are brown belts while Evie is a white belt.

Mrs Patchett, who trains with the Kuk Sool Won Dereham and Wymondham UK School, is a yellow belt and hopes to make it to black belt.

She said: 'I'll be about 70 by then, but I think I can do it.

'It goes to show that you're not too old to try new things and I'd recommend it to anyone.'

She added: 'I never thought I'd end up doing something like this and my friends and family think it's wonderful.

'My grand kids now call me Ninja Nanny.'

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