Former President Donald Trump was widely mocked on social media after he was awareded an "honorary" ninth-degree black belt in taekwondo at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend.
The "ninth dan" belt, reportedly the highest level one can achieve in taekwondo, was presented to Trump by Kukkiwon president Lee Dong-seop, who was featured in photos posted to Kukkiwon's Facebook account showing Trump wearing a traditional taekwondo uniform.
Kukkiwon, a taekwondo governing body based in South Korea, also posted a statement attributed to Trump in which he thanked the organization for the honor:
"It is my honor to receive honorary dan certificate and I think taekwondo is magnificent [sic] martial art for self-defense. I wish to see Kukkiwon Taekwondo Team's demonstration."
The news soon attracted the attention of decorated mixed martial arts fighter Nathan Quarry, who said the award amounted to little more than a participation trophy.
Others agreed and offered criticisms of their own.
Asian American news site NextShark, pointed out that in receiving the title, Trump now outranks martial artist Chuck Norris, who never advanced his eighth-degree taekwondo black belt.
Also outranking Chuck Norris: Russian President Vladimir Putin, who received the same belt and the title of grandmaster in 2013.
Trump has made headlines in the past for receiving awards that have been denigrated as participation trophies.
In April, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) awarded Trump an inaugural Champion for Freedom award, which the organization said is awarded to those "who have worked tirelessly to create good jobs, protect the values that make our country great."
The award was bestowed on Trump by Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott, who chairs the NRSC and was forced to defend his decision after receiving heavy criticism from other politicians on social media.
Scott insisted he presented the award to Trump for "the right reasons," a statement that prompted George Stephanopoulos, the host of ABC News' This Week, to note that Trump received the award "despite the fact he continues to spread lies" about the 2020 general election and the January 6 insurrection.