Putin stripped of honorary taekwondo black belt


Russian President Vladimir Putin has been stripped of his honorary taekwondo black belt by the World Taekwondo Federation.

Putin was awarded the prestigious item by the federation’s chief, Choue Chung-won, and was also made a grandmaster of the martial art during a November 2013 visit to South Korea, where taekwondo originated. 

The World Taekwondo Federation announced the decision in a statement and said that it strongly condemned Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, which it said goes “against the World Taekwondo vision of ‘Peace is More Precious than Triumph’ and the World Taekwondo values of respect and tolerance”.

“In this regard, World Taekwondo has decided to withdraw the honorary 9th dan black belt conferred to Mr. Vladimir Putin in November 2013,” it continued.

In solidarity with the International Olympic Committee, no Russian or Belarusian national flags or anthems will be displayed or played at World Taekwondo events,” the statement added, while announcing that neither itself nor the European Taekwondo Union will organize or recognize taekwondo events in the two countries moving forward.

World Taekwondo’s thoughts are with the people of Ukraine,” the federation concluded, saying that it hoped for a “peaceful and immediate end” to the conflict.

The World Taekwondo Federation’s decision to strip Putin of the honorary black belt is a second personal sporting snub for the leader in recent days.

On Sunday, The International Judo Federation (IJF) suspended Putin from his role as its Honorary President and Ambassador, a position which he had held since 2008.

A black belt in that sport too, Putin was a regional champion in his hometown St. Petersburg as a youth, the IJF website says, and also made an instructional DVD named ‘Let’s Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin’ in addition to a book on the discipline distributed to millions of schoolchildren.

The IJF has also canceled this year’s Grand Slam scheduled for Kazan in May, but Putin has not yet responded to these measures or those from the World Taekwondo Federation.

Elsewhere on Monday, global and European football bodies FIFA and UEFA banned all Russian teams from international competitions, while the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has similarly made calls for all athletes from Russia and Belarus to be prevented from participating at international events.


5 thoughts on “Putin stripped of honorary taekwondo black belt

    1. Yep. Anyone who studies a real martial art knows Taekwondo is for show ponies anyway hence it’s relationship with the “modern” Olympics 😛 Karate, on the other hand, was “allowed” to be a demonstration sport at the Tokyo Olympics only but will not continue as an “official” Olympic sport. The “modern” Olympics are a complete joke & only used now to make money, manipulate nations & as a propaganda platform.

  1. “ honorary” means that someone that really put the work in to achieve this award ,could easily kick his ass

  2. Who cares? The guy is too old to kick anyone’s ass. If he can still do a split without breaking his legs or getting a hernia, then I’ll still consider him a black belt. Otherwise, what does this have to do with anything? I’m sure Putin is losing sleep over this. NOT! I’m sure he doesn’t have other things occupying his mind right now like oh, I don’t know, fighting a war?


  3. Martial arts is a construct/system of fighting, and generally for war (hence martial).
    Most folks consider it Asian, and that ain’t particularly true.
    Different styles in different corners of the not flat Earth.
    What is Savate, or Glima.
    Mastering a rifle is a martial art in and of itself.
    Mastering a side mirror of a 83 Chevy 3/4 ton can be a martial art.
    Same with knife, club, spear, quarter staff, my brother’s socks, blah blah blah.
    Further more, none of it does much good without the most important thing……

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published.