Diplomats will be less likely to cross the gsecretary-general of the United Nations come general assembly time now, with Ban Ki-Moon being awarded a 10th degree black belt in the ancient Korean martial art of taekwondo.
For those of you who aren’t well versed in the various black belt grades, as I am, you perhaps wouldn’t know that the 10th degree essentially means that Ban Ki-Moon can now, theoretically at least, break bricks with his bare hands.
Such a demonstration of power might be enough to bring wayward states like Iran and North Korea into line.
World Taekwondo Federation president Choue Chung-won said that the reason for awarding Ki-moon the belt was because of the work the UN does towards world peace and all that other stuff they’re supposed to do.
“I am delighted to have presented UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with our prestigious black belt,” Choue said in a statement.
“The black belt is a globally-recognized symbol of expertise across the martial arts and awarding it to the secretary-general represents how strongly matched the WTF’s values are with the United Nations.”
Ki-moon was also effusive in his platitudes towards the WTF (what the fuck, indeed) saying that “The World Taekwondo Federation have many accomplishments to celebrate as they mark their 40th anniversary,” before adding “They have become a great example of the values and objectives that are shared by the United Nations and the Olympic Movement.”
While technically 9th degree black belt is the highest grade attainable in the normal ranking system, honorary 10th degrees can and have been awarded in the past.
Former inductees into martial arts’ most exclusive club include a former International Olympic Committee Presidents in Juan Antonio Samarach and his successor Jacques Rogges.
Wax on, wax off… Wait, that’s from the Karate Kid.