As he approaches his 81st birthday, Willie Nelson proves that we’re all a lot less healthy than we think we are by obtaining a fifth degree black belt in Korean martial art Gong Kwon Yu Sul today, simultaneously prompting two questions in the mind of anyone who reads about it, the answers to which could probably both be yielded by a quick Google search. Still, isn’t it more fun to wonder? Anyway, the questions are:

1. How many degrees do black belts go to? Does it ever stop?

2. Shouldn’t all that marijuana have had some adverse effects on Nelson’s health?

[BONUS QUESTION: Do you think his signature braids give him a tactical advantage?]

Sadly, Nelson did not treat the ceremony audience in Austin, Texas to a display of his mean moves, but his instructor did advocate for the country legend.

“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,” commented Nelson. “Honestly, I was surprised to be getting this degree. I don’t know what else is out there. I never thought about anything beyond second-degree black belt.”

Nelson has been studying Gong Kwon Yu Sul for two decades, and clearly feeling as though he needed to explain his remarkable health in light of his age lest he risk investigation by paranormal agencies, he told The Telegraph back in 2012:

“I have always been interested in keeping fit and doing boxing and wrestling. As a youngster, I loved Charles Atlas, Bruce Lee and Kung Fu. But when I lived in Nashville I switched to doing Taekwondo. Last year, at the age of 78, I got my second degree black belt. And singing is the best exercise – two hours a day will keep you in pretty good shape. I think it’s very important to learn from your own body. It doesn’t lie to you. If it feels good, do it. If it don’t feel good, don’t do it.”

Whatever you’re doing, Nelson, it’s working.

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