Putin trumps Chuck Norris in black belt stakes

Putin Image copyright Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been awarded the highest rank in taekwondo, it is reported.

While on a visit to South Korea, he received a ninth-degree black belt from Choue Chung-won, president of the World Taekwondo Federation, Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency reports.

The Russian president has now eclipsed the likes of martial artist and actor Chuck Norris, who is reported to have an eighth-degree black belt in taekwondo.

Vladimir Putin somewhat modestly said of the high distinction: "I'm not sure if I deserve this". He went on to suggest that the event be seen as a promotion of "this beautiful martial art".

This isn't the first martial arts achievement by the Russian president, who also has a black belt in judo. He was also reported to have released a martial arts DVD called Let's Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin.

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