Story at a glance

  • Kukkiwon, a taekwondo governing body, awarded former president Trump with an honorary certificate at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
  • Trump now has an honorary ninth dan belt in taekwondo.
  • The ninth dan belt is the highest level a person can achieve in taekwondo.

Former President Trump received an honorary ninth dan belt certificate in taekwondo from the sport’s main governing body in Florida over the weekend.

Issued by Kukkiwon president Lee Dong-sup, Trump received the honorary belt at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. Kukkiwon posted the exchange to its Facebook page, where Trump can be seen wearing a traditional taekwondo uniform, outfitted with a black dan belt. 

In taekwondo, the ninth dan belt is the highest level a person can achieve. 

“It is my honor to receive the honorary dan certificate and I think Taekwondo is a magnificent martial art for self-defense. I wish to see Kukkiwon taekwondo team's demonstration," said Trump according to Kukkiwon’s Facebook page. 


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In the exchange between Trump and Dong-sup at the former president’s Florida resort, a framed photo can be seen of Trump shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 

According to The New York Post, Trump isn’t the first world leader to receive an honorary ninth dan belt. Russian president Vladimir Putin also received the same honor when he visited South Korea in 2013.

Neither leader is known to have personally practiced taekwondo.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee describes taekwondo as a Korean martial art that teaches more than just physical fighting skills. The sport intends to enhance an athlete’s spirit through training the body and mind. 

Taekwondo is a global sport and stands among the official games in the Olympics.


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Published on Nov 23, 2021