Prior to the "kung fu craze" of the '70s, two women were already spreading tai chi in Europe and America.
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Marguerite de la Rocque
Stranded by her cruel relative on an abandoned Canadian island (literally named the Isle of Demons), she survived for two years by hunting animals and eventually made it back to France.
An Inuit woman so strong nobody could even beat her lice in arm-wrestling, her story just gets stranger the closer you look.
Sword-slinging, opera-singing bisexual rock star of the 17th century - who burnt down a convent to romance a nun and had to be pardoned by the king of France TWICE.
When horse-riding Spaniards invaded, she defied her tribe to befriend one of the abandoned horses, using her new bond to fight off the Spanish.
When the end of an era was at hand, this samurai woman refused to go gently.
When the most powerful man in the world made plans on her country, she: turned down his marriage proposal, destroyed his armies, and defiled his head so famously that she became legend for centuries thereafter.
Mexican revolutionary who bombed bridges, led hundreds of women into battle, and was instrumental in turning the tide of the war for the revolutionaries.
One of the most famous women in American history, this hyper-capable Shoshone woman walked across America with a baby strapped to her back, in order to map it.
Escaped slave turned slave rescuer turned plantation-torching Union spymaster, she was part Moses, part Joan of Arc, part Spider-Man.
Stephanie St. Clair
This audacious black gangster fought the Italian mob for control of Harlem and won, taunting them in full-page newspaper ads as she went.