Vladmir Putin... 9th Dan (honorary)

Discussion in 'News' started by John Hulslander, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. John Hulslander

    John Hulslander Active Member

  2. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I agree, honorary anything is a pretty meaningless gesture. I always reminds me of Elvis with his red satin-trimmed dobok back in the day. Kang Rhee made him an honorary 'disciple of discipline', whatever that means. Look at that belt!


    Melody likes this.
  3. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    I ain't even mad. Putin is a legit high ranking Judoka and Kyokushin Karate black belt. Even though not TKDlike mentioned it is a gesture. I see it as a compliment for his dedication to Martial Arts in general.
    ssiidd and Pat Thomson like this.
  4. ssiidd

    ssiidd Active Member

    His comment "I'm not sure if I deserve this" sums it all up for me. It can only come from someone who knows and respects martial arts and taken the 'journey'. My respect for him as a martial artist has increased fourfold!
    Pat Thomson likes this.
  5. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    Pretty much. He publicly acknowledged is it a nice "gesture" but that he knows and wants it to be clear to others that he is not qualified for the title, even if it is just an honorary thing.

    But to be honest, with his experience in Kyokushin and Judo, just based on technique alone I bet Putin could easily test into some decent rank very quickly. Of course technique isn't the only thing that is considered for rank such as knowledge of philosphy of TKD, the history, upholding its values etc. But just from a technical perspective, Putin is no slouch.
  6. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Due to the influence he holds, and the size of the population of Russia, Putin probably has the potential to do more to further the art of Taekwondo than any of us here. And furthering the art is what it's all about after a particular Dan grade. So maybe it's right that he be honoured in this way, even if it is only a gesture.
  7. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    So, yeah, hes a pretty decent martial artist (or should I say fighter? The difference is semantic anyway, but thats the nature of language) but hes a terrible person. Are we suddenly forgetting that?
    Mark 42 likes this.
  8. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    No, we're not. But it's a meaningless thing anyway, so, meh.
  9. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Well for a start, who decided it was a good idea to give him one?
  10. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    I was speaking purely of his technical proficiency to avoid the political debate.
    Gnarlie likes this.
  11. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    ^this. Best not to discuss politics, war, or religion unless you're a fan of never-ending debate.
    Ivor likes this.
  12. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Is it even possible to extricate politics from an overtly political act? Because I dont think they hand out honorary dan grades to everyone who is good at judo. The awarding of an honour to a world leader is political by nature surely? And although we may think it's meaningless (it is in terms of martial arts) it also implies that the taekwondo community supports this decision in some way. For someone with such an awful human rights record I don't think it's right to award him with anything. And why exactly did the org In question award this? What does it gain? Is it hoping to receive more acceptance for The art in Russia or something? Or does it support putins new anti gay laws? Politics can be boring, but it's also quite important.
    northface and Mark 42 like this.
  13. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    No, they don't. But Putin is a martial artist in a position to greatly further the spread of Taekwondo in Russia.

    Yes. But it may not be for the reasons you seem to be implying.

    Maybe true. See further comments below.

    On one hand I kind of agree with you. But on the other, the benefits of introducing / spreading the practice of Taekwondo in the country he governs will affect the individuals in it in the long term. See comment below.

    Support from Putin, who already has an understanding of martial arts, in spreading the practice of Taekwondo in Russia.


    Exactly the opposite. As you might have seen from the quotes I posted in your Taekwondo philosophy thread, the values at the core of Taekwondo are humanistic, promoting peace, tolerance and acceptance. The world leaders of Taekwondo recognise that in in order to effect change worldwide, individuals have to change themselves. If there were ever a group of individuals to work on influencing, it would be those governed by a man like Putin. In the long term, it is the individuals within Russia who have the power to change that human rights outlook you mentioned.

    I don't think it is boring, ever, and I agree that it is important. But, just like war and religion, everybody has their own opinions /belief system. These are things they are entitled to, and typically values they tend to have formed early in life and held for a long time. From a Taekwondo / humanist perspective, some of those values may be less desirable than others, in that they do not promote peace and harmony. But changing those things is something that takes a very long time. Which is why a long-term practice like Taekwondo is needed, to slowly influence people over the time that they spend practicing. A change that the individual implements in themselves over a long period of training is much more likely to stick than someone else's opinion expressed in a few discussion points on an internet forum or at a party.

    That's why discussion of politics between non-politicians is of limited value. Value only exists if the participants in the discussion are actively looking to consider and change their views, and that's very rarely the case with political discussion. It's usually just two individuals with megaphones wearing ear defenders and blaring at one another.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  14. Mark 42

    Mark 42 Member

    So if handing out belts promotes the art / sport, that makes it okay.
    Sounds like McDojangism to me.

    BTW, you don't have to do martial arts to understand that a Black Belt has to be earned.
    I would never think I was worthy of one without training, no matter who gave it to me.
    It's like giving a Nobel Peace Prize to someone based on his popularity or name recognition.
    It always bothers me that cardboard yard sign could affect an election. I can just see
    someone in a voting booth: "Hmm, that guy had really cool looking signs, and they were
    everywhere. People must think he's good, since he's so popular. I'll vote for him"

    People should be given honors because they earned them.
    northface likes this.
  15. TechnicalTaekwondo

    TechnicalTaekwondo New Member

    The worst part of these Honorary belts is that they don't even bother learning the history or basics. Chuck Norris got a 8th dan (which was also highly debated) from Major General Choi Hong Hi and ends up saying in interviews:
    In 1990 I was honored with another milestone by being the first man ever in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded an 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master recognition in the Tae Kwon Do system. This was a first in 4,500 years of tradition – something that still humbles me to the core of my being.

    ref: http://www.wnd.com/2007/07/42458/"
  16. UK-Student

    UK-Student Active Member

    Giving out honorary degrees is not mcDojangism when you are talking heads of state. Is the whole WTF a mcdojang? Pff.

    Honorary belt - not real belt. I believe in the picture, the belt says "Choue" and not Putin.

    However, I'm with Bowlie. Putin is a terrible person and anyone who associates themselves with him voluntarily deserves to be tarred with some of that brush. "But it spreads taekwondo" is not a valid argument to me, and yes, I criticise ITF people as well for doing the same. Many of the ITF pioneers left Gen. Choi exactly because of his agreement with North Korea so it's not a ridiculous policy. Some of my TKD heroes took this exact view.
    northface likes this.
  17. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    So how should someone attempt to influence a person like Putin if not associating with him voluntarily? Ignore him until he goes away?
  18. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Yes. I can see now why they did this, I mean the aim of Taekwondo is the betterment of humanity, but I sadly think that this is a task beyond the scope of martial arts. Spreading TKD in Russia will spread the popularity of TKD but do very little in my eyes to help the people there. The way to deal with people like Putin is to disengage with him in my view.

    I will freely admit to never having been to Russia, but I firmly believe that anywhere you go the vast majority of people are good decent folks. Russia does seem to have a big problem with violent crime, racism, xenophobia and anti-semitism, but I bet its carried out by a minority, just like anywhere.

    The majority of Russians seem to be decent hard working people that want a fair and corruption political system and are starting to fight for that. The problem is Russias well established and draconian law system for dealing with internal dissent.

    I firmly believe that the way to deal with awful people is just to disengage, not to say 'hey, Putin, here's a little present from all of us and would you mind being a little nicer please?'
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  19. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    So, do nothing?
  20. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    as you succinctly put it

    'it is the individuals within Russia who have the power to change that human rights outlook you mentioned.'

Share This Page