North Andover Grandmother Working Toward Second Black Belt

Stephanie Brooks at the Salem Street Studio in Medford. Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

MEDFORD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A North Andover grandmother in her 80's is working toward her second martial arts black belt.

It's been a long climb for Stephanie Brooks, who is approaching her 82nd birthday — she didn't know if she would feel okay again after her husband died in 2002.

"Once he died, I just felt like, why didn't I die too? I felt as if I had, you know?" she said. But Brooks says martial arts entered her life, and gave her purpose again, especially when she began to learn the Korean martial art Tang Soo Do fifteen years later.

"I knew that was what was given to me to do, and it just empowered me. Suddenly I felt like I was alive again," she said.

Brooks is already a black belt in Taekwondo, and now she wants another challenge.

She's training with Grandmaster Marco DiScipio at the Salem Street Studio in Medford, who calls her "absolutely phenomenal."

"My mind is ready, my spirit is ready, my love for it is ready, and there," Brooks said.

Stephanie had some advice for anyone looking to grow themselves:

"If you can find something that you love, like I love Tang Soo Do, you should do it," she said.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) has more:

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