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28 Celebrities Who Are Black Belts

Updated August 7, 2020 351.2k views28 items

This list contains information about celebrities who are black belts, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Several famous actors, athletes, musicians, and politicians are black belts. Some of these celebrities are black belts in karate, while others are black belts in judo. One of the world's most powerful leaders is a 9th degree black belt.

Who is the most famous celebrity who is a black belt? Elvis Presley tops our list. Elvis Presley was a 1st degree black belt in karate. Willie Nelson is a 5th degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul. Nelson earned his black belt the day before his 81st birthday. “It's just good for you physically. For your lungs. The more you're breathing, exercising, the better you're going to feel,” Nelson said about martial arts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is a 9th degree black belt (the highest of all degrees) in Taekwondo. He also practices judo. In 2008, he released a video entitled “Let's Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin.” Steven Seagal is a 7th degree black belt in Aikido. He is also a black belt in karate, judo, and kendo. Wesley Snipes has a 5th degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and a 2nd degree black belt in Hapkido.

Are you impressed that so many celebrities are black belts?

  • Elvis Presley
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

    Elvis Presley earned his seventh-degree black belt at Grand Master Kang Ree's in Memphis, Tennessee.


    • Born: 1935-01-08
    • Age: Dec. at 42 (1935-1977)
    • Birthplace: Tupelo, Mississippi, United States of America

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  • Willie Nelson
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    Willie Nelson is a 5th degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul.


    • Born: 1933-04-29
    • Age: 87
    • Birthplace: Abbott, Texas, United States of America

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  • Sarah Michelle Gellar has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

    • Born: 1977-04-14
    • Age: 43
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

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  • Vladimir Putin
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    Vladimir Putin is a 9th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

    • Born: 1952-10-07
    • Age: 67
    • Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

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