THE leading taekwondo organization in the world honored President Duterte and his special assistant Christopher ‘Bong’ Go with honorary blackbelt titles during an official visit to South Korea.
Duterte was bestowed an honorary 9th Dan Blackbelt certificate while Go was given an honorary 5th Dan Blackbelt and a uniform by the Kukkiwon, otherwise known as the World Taekwondo Headquarters and home of the World Taekwondo Academy, and the World University Taekwondo Federation (WUTF).
Go represented the president during the awarding ceremony held at the National Taekwondo Institute in Seoul and attended by notable officials of the sport.
Previous world leaders who were also recipients of Honorary Dan Blackbelts include former US President Barrack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The 43-year-old public official related the experience on Wednesday when he went to the Smart Araneta Coliseum to watch the PBA Commissioner’s Cup game between defending champion San Miguel Beer and Columbian Dyip.
In his short message during the turnover rite, Go mentioned the support being extended by the Philippine government to sports, including taekwondo.
The presidential assistant, a taekwondo practitioner in his younger days, said the combat sport teaches the art of excellence and perfection as well as self-discipline, noting it brings stability to the body system.
“Back in the Philippines, I have always advocated to the Filipino youth the use and practice of sports as an alternative to vices and other unproductive pursuits,” he said during his short speech. “When you have discipline, you are better able to handle challenges and obstacles.”
Sports, according to Go, is one of the administration’s tools to fight the President’s three-point campaign against illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality.