Black Belt Nun

As anyone who attended a Catholic grammar school in the years gone by can attest, nuns were considered deadly with rulers. Now comes a story about a nun in North Carolina who is a black belt in karate.

Sister Joan Pearson works at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In one of those odd coincidences of fate, Joan was a couple of years ahead of me in high school. Her sister Mary was a friend of mine who graduated in my class. I vaguely remember Joan – now Sister Joan – as one of those all around nice girls who everyone liked.

Sister Joan says she got into karate for the “focus and awareness” she got from training. She was just awarded her first-degree black belt in August. As to what her fellow nuns think of her karate training, she says:

At times during her years of practice, Pearson has gotten some “giggles and eye rolls” from her fellow sisters when seen shadowboxing inside the church.

But that never bothered her.

“You may find that many nuns like to sew, knit or crotchet — I myself could never crochet,” she said, bristling at the thought. “But golly, you know what? I can do a great roundhouse kick!”


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