Martial arts master John Worley celebrates 80th birthday with 80 push-ups

Minnesota martial arts master marks 80th birthday with 80 push-ups 02:04

MINNEAPOLIS — Monday marks another trip around the sun for John Worley. But instead of cutting the cake for the milestone, he’s pumping iron.

He does a push-up for each year he’s been alive, a tradition he’s done for the last decade. This year is tough because it’s a big one: 80.

“There are days when I certainly feel like I’m 80. Most of the time I feel great. I don’t feel any different than I did 10 years ago, really,” Worley said.

Worley credits his stamina and longevity to karate.

“Martial arts is a sport, it’s a physical training exercise, it’s mental conditioning, it’s all that, but it’s more than all that,” he said. “The sum of it is greater than its parts.”

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It was that passion that led him to the Twin Cities 50 years ago, where he helped found National Karate . The martial arts academy has 13 schools in the metro, and even more beyond.

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