Florida retiree Donald Trump was awarded an honorary ninth dan black belt by the head of the Taekwondo governing body of South Korea this week, reducing the worth of belt rankings that people worked hard to earn in the process.

Kukkiwon president Lee Dong-seop presented the belt to Trump at Mar-a-Lago even though Trump has never been a martial artist. Adding further embarrassment is the fact that Trump was presented the award in front of a picture of himself and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

“It is my honor to receive honorary dan certificate and I think taekwondo is magnificent [sic] martial art for self-defense. I wish to see Kukkiwon Taekwondo Team’s demonstration,” Trump said.

The honorary award comes despite Trump inciting a violent insurrection to overthrow democracy just a few months ago in a scheme to stay in power as a dictator. It also runs counter to right-wing distaste for participation trophies.

Taekwondo is not only an ancient martial art, it’s an Olympic sport. At a minimum, it takes around nine years to earn a ninth dan black belt. But Trump did not have to lift a single finger or do any of the work required to earn the belt. That makes his belt even less than a participation trophy. He now reportedly outranks Chuck Norris, who only has an eighth dan black belt.

News of Trump’s honorary award drew mockery and outrage as it seems that he has once again rendered an award that is supposed to be earned into a joke similar to how the Presidential Medal of Freedom is now perceived after Trump awarded it to several who didn’t deserve it.

The reputation of taekwondo is now damaged. Millions of practitioners around the world have been insulted. They spent years developing their skills and striving to attain new rankings through tireless exercises and broken bones only for an obese old man with no training whatsoever to receive the top ranking one can achieve without doing a thing to earn it. It’s pathetic and disgraceful.

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