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Accomplished musician Willie Nelson took on another honor Monday night just before his 81st birthday. He received his fifth-degree black belt in the Korean-origin marital art of GongKwon YuSol.
According to the Associated Press, the Texas native was honored among a group of fellow students, family, and friends including celebrity Lance Armstrong. Nelson received his honor from instructor Grand Master Sam Um, and while the music icon chose not to demonstrate his skills, Um assured onlookers that Nelson was quite capable, admitting, “He has more stamina then I do.”
Nelson has practiced GongKwon YuSol for 20 years, and believes it has helped him tremendously. He told the press, "I'm pretty healthy at 81. I think a lot of it has to do with the exercise that you do. I think martial arts is one of the best exercises you can do. Mentally, spiritually, physically, everything. I'm sure that's helped."
KVUE reports that the 81 year old celebrated his birthday Tuesday with a concert at The Backyard. Just this past weekend, the father of 8 was inducted into Austin City Limits Hall of Fame by fellow Texan Matthew McConaughey.
Nelson’s newest CD, Band of Brothers, is expected to be released this June.