Willie Nelson Gets Fifth Degree Black Belt

Image: Willie Nelson Gets Fifth Degree Black Belt

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 09:48 AM

By Courtney Coren

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The day before his 81st birthday, country singer Willie Nelson received a fifth-degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul, a Korean martial art.

Nelson began practicing the martial arts decades ago and received his fifth-degree black belt at a ceremony on Monday in Austin, Texas, People magazine reported.

"It's a good form of exercise, especially as you get older," Nelson told Men's Health about martial arts in April 2013. "I went through school playing all kinds of sports. I played shortstop. I ran track. I played football. I was a pole vaulter."

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"Then when I went to Nashville, I got into some martial arts and kung fu," he added. "I liked it. We used to offer kung fu lessons to the kids in town. It's good for you."

According to The Telegraph, Lance Armstrong and Grand Master Sam Um, Nelson's instructor, were in the audience. 

"He has more stamina than I do," Um joked.

"I'm pretty healthy at 81," Nelson told The Telegraph. "I think a lot of it has to do with the exercise that you do. I think martial arts is one of the best exercises you can do. Mentally, spiritually, physically, everything. I'm sure that's helped."

Nelson was also inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame at a concert Saturday night.

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