Chuck Norris fact: “Chuck Norris has only one fear: It’s to find out that there is no one let to roundhouse kick.” Norris needn’t fear because Russian President Vladimir Putin has just been awarded honorary grandmaster status in Taekwondo, thus besting him, so there’s always at least one person to roundhouse kick for stealing his thunder.
Putin, who always makes a show of how healthy and sporty he is, is actually a black belt in Judo, but doesn’t practice Taekwondo. Hence the “honorary” title that’s been bestowed on him.
Still, it’s one level higher than Chuck Norris, who has an eighth-rank black belt so, at least in theory, Putin could roundhouse kick Norris into oblivion.
In real life, we all know that the universe expands because stars are trying to find a way to stay as far as possible from Norris, so Putin doesn’t stand a chance.
The Daily Mail reports that Putin was awarded the honorary title by the “head of the World Taekwondo Federation while on a visit to South Korea” and that he accepted it with due modesty and gratitude, while promising it to use it to bring more attention to the martial arts.
“I don't think I have earned such a high Dan. Let's call it our campaign to popularize this wonderful martial art. Russia will do its best to contribute to its popularity at home,” he is quoted as saying.
“He is one of only a few people to have been awarded the ‘Dan’ rank, including a number of other high-profile political characters. Earlier this year, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was awarded an honorary tenth-degree black belt – although, according to Reuters, the ninth-degree is usually the highest achievable rank,” the Mail goes on to say.
Juan Antonio Samaranch and Jacques Rogge of the International Olympic Committee also have attained “Dan” rank, so at least Putin is in great company.