Willie Nelson will receive his 5th Degree Black Belt in the art of Gong Kwon Yu Sul, a modern Korean martial arts system. At a ceremony on Monday, April 28th at 7:30pm, Grand Master Sam Um will be promoting Nelson at his studio, Master Martial Arts, located at 3425 Bee Cave Rd C-4 in Austin, TX. The celebration takes place two days before Nelson’s birthday.
Nelson has been a practitioner of martial arts most of his life, starting with studying kung fu when he was a songwriter in Nashville. In the past 20 years he has been training in the art of Tae Kwon Do and Gong Kwon Yu Sul often practicing techniques while traveling on the road in his bus, Honeysuckle Rose. Just prior to his 80th birthday last year, Nelson told Men’s Health Magazine, “Really, all my life, Charles Atlas and Bruce Lee were on my mind. It’s a good form of exercise, especially as you get older. I went through school playing all kinds of sports. I played shortstop. I ran track. I played football. I was a pole vaulter. Then when I went to Nashville, I got into some martial arts and kung fu. I liked it. We used to offer kung fu lessons to the kids in town. It’s good for you.”
With a six-decade career and 200 plus albums, this iconic Texan is the creative genius behind the historic recordings of Crazy, Red Headed Stranger and Stardust. Willie Nelson has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor and activist.