South Korea’s Dong-a Ilbo newspaper recently reported that Kukkiwon, also known as World Taekwondo Headquarters, awarded former president Donald Trump with an honorary ninth degree black belt in the world-renowned martial art of Taekwondo.
A delegation led by Kukkiwon president Lee Dong-seop visited the ex-commander in chief at Mar-a-Lago “to bestow him the honorary ninth dan certificate and a set of Taekwondo wear.” A ninth degree (or Dan in Korean) black belt is granted to a Taekwondo practitioner who has achieved the highest skill levels in the fighting art.
Dong-seop said he asked for Trump’s “continuous support and cooperation for Taekwondo and Kukkiwon” during their meeting. According to the Dong-a Ilbo, “a South Korean resident in the United States served as a bridge to enable their meetup.”
“It is my pleasure and honor to receive this honorary certificate. Taekwondo is a great martial art for protecting oneself in these times (when COVID-19 prevails),” Trump told reporters.
Rumors that Trump, the 45th president of the United States, may run for the office again in 2024. After he received his black belt, he teased the supporters in attendance stating that he would wear the Taekwondo outfit if he “makes it back into the White House.”
“The former president also invited the Kukkiwon Taekwondo demonstration team to the United States,” the South Korean newspaper said.
Kukkiwon was established by South Korea’s federal government as the official governing body of taekwondo. Sometime in the 1940s and 1950s, this prominent martial art was developed on the Korean Peninsula. South Korea’s capital Seoul, is home to Kikkuwon and the World Taekwondo School, a martial arts facility managed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism in the country
The Korea Taekwondo Association and Kukkiwon hosted the first World Taekwondo Championships in May 1973, an inaugural event which featured 200 taekwondo competitors from 17 countries. Kukkiwon’s taekwondo demonstration team was subsequently formed in September 1974.