Russian President Vladimir Putin, famous for shooting tigers and shirtless fishing, can add another notch to his black belt.
While visiting South Korea today, Putin was named an honorary taekwondo grandmaster by the World Taekwondo Federation, an award that comes with a ninth degree ranking, or dan, and a black belt.
The distinction puts Putin in a rarified group of martial arts masters. Even Chuck Norris, the Walker, Texas Ranger himself, is but an eighth degree black belt.
Putin, a judo champion who began practicing that sport art while in high school, has promoted martial arts in Russia and even wrote a book about judo.
He humbly accepted the Korean award, saying, “I don’t think I have earned such a high dan.”