Putin becomes eighth-degree karate black belt

Published 3:45 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014

Story highlights

Russian-based federation says Vladimir Putin gets eighth-degree belt in Kyokushin-kan discipline

Putin, 62, is quite the sportsman and already has highest rank in taekwondo

No protective gear is worn in Kyokushin-kan

(CNN) —  

That Vladimir Putin, he’s a baaad man.

The muscle-bound Russian President rides horses while shirtless. He catches massive fish and gives them a kiss. He tranquilizes tigers.

He also is apparently pretty good on the mat.

Putin, 62, has been awarded a karate black belt, the Russian Kyokushin-kan Karate-do Federation said Friday.

In a letter to Putin, the federation said the Kyokushin-kan International Honbu decided to award him an eighth-dan, or eighth-degree, black belt for his “contribution in promoting Kyokushin-kan karate in Russia.”

Putin, known also for his judo skills, had already been awarded a fifth-degree black belt in 2001, according to the federation.

Kyokushin-kan is a full contact form of karate in which no protective gear is worn and in which striking an opponent in the head with hands is not permitted.

Putin in 2013 also received the highest rank in taekwondo, the ninth-dan ranking, giving him honorary grandmaster status, according to Russian state news agency Itar-Tass.