Putin's Latest 'Feat': He's Tougher Than Chuck Norris

Russian prez's taekwondo black belt outranks Walker, Texas Ranger

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 13, 2013 9:20 AM CST

(Newser) – Somehow, despite all the time he spends shooting whales, catching humongous fish, drunkenly arm wrestling, beating hockey legends on the ice, dressing up like a bird and flying through the skies, and, of course, painting, Vladimir Putin still found time to achieve the highest possible rank in taekwondo. The Russian president visited South Korea recently and was honored with a ninth-degree black belt from the president of the World Taekwondo Federation, the BBC reports, citing Russian media.

To put that little feat in perspective, that's higher than Chuck Norris' eighth-degree black belt. But it should come as no surprise to us, seeing as Putin already has a black belt in judo and has released his own martial arts DVD ("Let's Learn Judo With Vladimir Putin"). In what was perhaps the understatement of the year, Putin reportedly said of his honor, "I'm not sure if I deserve this."

In this Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 file photo, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, is seen during judo training at a sports school in St. Petersburg, Russia.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Government Press Service, file)
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