Mimi Chan began her martial arts training at the age of 3 under the guidance of her father.
Little did she realize, she was learning from a master.
Fists and feet of fury were flying Saturday night at the World's Fair Park Amphitheater.
The Wah Lum Kung Fu & Tai Chi of Knoxville, in celebration of its 18th-year anniversary, served as host to a dazzling display of martial artistry.
Mimi Chan's father, 74-year-old Grandmaster Pui Chan, was special guest at the colorful and tradition-steeped anniversary event, which drew an audience of more than 200 people.
Dozens of Chan's students, including Wah Lum of Knoxville founder and Sifu (teacher) Leroy Kautz, were on hand to honor Chan and participate in the event.
Master Chan, who was born in China, is considered a pioneer in introducing traditional Kung Fu to America.
Mimi Chan, now a 33-year-old Sifu who was chosen as the model and martial arts video reference for Disney's feature animation, Mulan, said it took her awhile to appreciate her father's stature.
"I started training when I was 3 because I knew nothing different," said Mimi Chan.
"When I was little, I didn't realize it was such an opportunity."
She eventually learned about her father's well-deserved reputation.
Master Chan is the Sixth generation Wah Lum successor of the Wah Lum Northern Mantis System, and is also a 33rd generation successor of the famed Shaolin Temple.
Master Chan introduced the Wah Lum System to the United States in 1970 and is the founder of the Wah Lum Kung Fu Temple in Orlando, Fla.
He has given many demonstrations worldwide and has appeared in many TV programs including the Discovery Channel, ESPN and pay-per-view. He is listed as one of the most influential Martial Artists by Inside Kung Fu magazine.
Master Chan also was inducted in the Black Belt's Hall of Fame.
Kung Fu students and Sifus from several states were also on hand to participate in Saturday's celebration and watch demonstrations in traditional Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, weaponry and sparring.
Kautz put his Wah Lum forms and weapons demo teams through the paces. The Wah Lum students also demonstrated traditional lion and dragon dancing.
There was a special performance by the Tennessee Children's dance ensemble with their Fusion Art.
But most important, Kautz, who began studying under Master Chan in 1987, said it was an opportunity to recognize a true legend in martial arts.
"It's very rare to see a grandmaster (of Master Chan's level) in our branch," said Kautz.
"There are just a handful of them in the U.S. - you could put them in one room."