Meet our ninja grandma

Share this story

Don’t let her age or small stature fool you; this grandmother of four is training to be a ninja.


87-year old Doreen Lanning is training to become a ninja warrior at Ninja Senshi Ryu in Kingswood.


Sitting in her favourite armchair wearing her black karate suit at her Kingswood Park home on Tuesday, Doreen told the Weekender why she decided to sign up for ninja school.


“I remember my father would always tell me if I set my mind to it then I’d do anything, so when I read a story about four ninjas saving a medical student from being mugged, I set my mind to it,” she said.


“And now there’s all this fuss about it.”


That ‘fuss’ she is referring to is the media interest that has sparked since a fellow ninja student took her inspiring story to a metropolitan newspaper.  


Doreen has even appeared on channel Nine’s ‘Mornings with Kerrie-Anne’.


“There is a photo of me, Kerrie-Anne and a few others up on the wall at Senshi Ryu,” Doreen said.


Standing at just 4 feet 9 inches, this feisty grandmother has learned techniques that can force any opponent to the floor.


Doreen agreed to be put to the test by putting myself and Weekender photographer, Melinda Jenkins, to the ground.  


Before the test we asked if we should fight back and she cheekily replied: “You can try.”


After successfully ‘throwing’ us, Doreen, who holds a green belt, said she could even disarm an attacker with a knife.


“If I never get to a black belt I don’t mind,” she said. “I just love the atmosphere of Ninja Senshi Ryu. I think everyone should come down and just have a look. No one gets hurt and everyone is so lovely greeting you with a hug.”


And for the record, the grandmother said she had no intention of hanging up her karate boots, which are a few sizes too big.


“I won’t feel old until my hair turns grey,” Doreen said.

Share this story