There are some awards and celebrations across the world that are noted for their difficulty, dedication, prestige and honour. The diligent process of selection and filtration makes it so respectable and worthy. A Nobel prize, the Pulitzer prize , a rank in an Ivy League college, a Black Belt Grandmaster in martial arts are few of the many noteworthy events that command a different kind of respect.
But it seems like there are two ways of wearing a taekwondo black belt.
What does it take?
In the first method, you have to be a dedicated student. You will be eligible to test for a 1st-degree black belt only after 3-5 years. Hopping to the next level will take you as many years as the belt you are going for. That means going for a 2nd-degree black belt will take you a minimum 2 years. So you can imagine someone spending at least 9 years to master the 9th-degree black belt.
In the second method, you just have to be Donald Trump. Sirf naam hi kaafi hai.
The former US President was awarded the honorary 9th Dan Certificate, the highest level in martial arts, by Kukkiwon president Lee Dong-sup at Florida. Even though Trump has never practiced the art; no, not even a day. Trump obviously enjoyed the honour because he thought taekwondo was a 'magnificent martial art for self-defense'.
Apparantly, Lee got to know that Trump was quite interested in taekwondo and so a South Korean resident in the US helped organise the meeting. Trump vowed to wear the taekwondo clothing at Congress, if he returned to the White House in future.
Levels up to Putin
This honorary title puts Trump in the same league as Putin, who received the same honorary 9th-degree black belt in taekwondo in 2013. Like Trump, Putin too never practiced taekwondo. But he has a black belt in judo. Their titles have put shame to martial art expert and actor Chuck Norris who has an eighth-degree black belt.
What did Twitter say?
Many mocked this act of publicity because many consider 75-year-old Trump to be unworthy of recieving such an honorary title. Taekwondo is based on 5 basic tenets- Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit... none of which seem very Trump, to be honest.
As a taekwondo marital artist I see this as deeply insulting to taekwondo as an art and to all the fellow fighters...this guy can barely lift his legs...— Angry green dude (@varu_13) November 23, 2021
Why would an Asian American give any award to Trump after what he's done to vilify the Asian community?No, tgf is not worthy of such an honor. https://t.co/PqZVAGkErV— Solace Zeta (@solace_zeta) November 21, 2021
Trump received an honorary black belt from the World Taekwondo Headquarters president at Mar-a-Lago last Friday.Hey, Siri. How do you turn your national martial art into a joke meme overnight? pic.twitter.com/ERPHyBTTB7— John Lee (@koreanforeigner) November 22, 2021
I spent 5 years. Took 5 to 6 classes a week to get my black belt. Another 5 years to get my 2nd degree. This is insulting And that is the point— kimballkinnison (@kimballkinnison) November 23, 2021
What do you think? Does Trump deserve this?